BRM Reviews wXw Shotgun 2020, Episode 3 (6/12/2020)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews wXw Shotgun 2020, Episode 3 (6/12/2020)

Post by Big Red Machine » Aug 22nd, '20, 22:09

Alpha Kevin is outside of the building. He appears to have just discovered that Shotgun 2020 is a thing, having been booked against Metehan on today’s show. I think the idea is supposed to be that he didn’t know he was booked until today, even though they announced it on last week’s show. The other possibility is that Kevin knew he was booked but didn’t realize they had brought back Shotgun (I guess the Director of Sport’s office is located at the Turbinhalle or the wXw Academy instead of the Steffy, which is the arena where Shotgun 2020 is being taped). Abdul and Aytac tried to ambush him, but Mike Schwarz made the save. Kevin had no idea who Abdul and Aytac were. Kevin wanted to tell Director of Sport Absolute Andy about this assault, but Schwarz insists that they should handle it on their own.
The execution of what they were trying to execute in this segment was good (wXw is fantastic at keeping little attacks like this feeling realistic), but once again I find myself very unhappy with Kevin’s portrayal. He’s always been goofy (with the ability to turn the serious on when he winds up in a blood feud or something happens to Melanie), but what they have him doing now is a bridge too far for me. “Guy who pays no attention to the product” is not an endearing gimmick. Kevin right now is a more palatable version of Orange Cassidy. Even when OC isn’t doing dumb sh*t that exposes the business, a guy who shows up and doesn’t try only makes me wonder why the promotion books him. With Kevin, if he’s not going to pay any attention to what is going on in the promotion- to the point where he doesn’t even realize they’ve started taping TV again- it just makes me ask if he really wants it or not. Does he want to be a big-time professional wrestler or does he want to be a weekend warrior?

Pretty Bastards are arguing over which of them should go to Absolute Andy and ask for a tag title shot. As if that wasn’t childish enough, Prince Ahura kept asserting that Maggot should go because he is the youngest. To add to the childishness, they also argued who was the leader of their stable when it’s clear to anyone with a brain that Bobby Gunns is the leader. Eventually they settled on telling Norman Harras to do it. Harras argued, but agreed eventually, in exchange for Pretty Bastards saying that they would owe him a favor. Pretty Bastards came off like total goofs here, which is not what you want for members of your top heel stable.

ALPHA KEVIN vs. METEHAN (w/Ezel)- 4 10
Ezel’s signature pose is REALLY stupid. It just looks so goofy that you can’t take them seriously.
Melanie Gray was not at ringside to support her husband because Kevin apparently “wants to do it on his own.” That’s odd. It’s not like Melanie has been cheating to help Kevin in matches, and Kevin was the one who encouraged Melanie to return to wXw at the end of last year, so him not wanting her at ringside with him is very odd. Just looking at who is out here, my guess is that the reason Melanie isn’t at ringside is because Kevin’s going to get a post-match beat-down, and this way you avoid having to make the choice between having man-on-woman violence or having Melanie become a damsel in distress and not try to defend Kevin (which we’ve seen her try to do even while on crutches, because she’s awesome and these two love each other).
Metehan won clean with a new finisher in about four and a half minutes. In most circumstances I would say that the match was too even based on their respective positions on the card (Metehan is a pushed heel while Kevin is a lovable undercard goof), but if Kevin is going to wind up getting put into the Shotgun Title tournament via the established mechanism of impressing Andy with good showings in defeat, then he’s going to have to take more of the match than expected based on his position on the card. Shockingly, Kevin did not receive a post-match beating.

NORMAN HARRAS & ABSOLUTE ANDY IN ANDY’S OFFICE- Good. Or maybe bad? I’m a little confused.
Norman very politely pointed out to Andy that Pretty Bastards are owed a rematch for the tag titles. Andy pointed out that his partner, Jay Skillet, is stuck out of the country. I’m not saying that Andy’s point isn’t reasonable, but his insistence that he’s concentrating on the Shotgun Title tournament right now and that’s the priority because “we need a new champion” is a defense that suffers from the huge flaw of being an obvious double-standard. Axel Tischer got stuck out of the country and couldn’t defend the title so he vacates the belt, but with Jay Skillet in the same situation, Skillet and Andy are not vacating the tag titles.
That sort of thing is perfectly in line with my view of Andy’s character, which is that Andy is a heel. The problem is that the bookers seem to have positioned Andy as a babyface. He has been pitted against the heel faction of Die Raucherpause and was a jerk to the heel Ezel, and in kayfabe, if he was a heel, there is no way he would have been given this job. So which is it? Is Andy a heel inexplicably given power and then feuding with other heels, or is he supposed to be a babyface even though he’s a hypocrite?

They’re finally going back to the angle they had done to set up a match between Marius and Mike Schwarz at last year’s World Tag Team Festival weekend, but it got scrubbed because Marius got shoot suspended for being abusive to a fan (I think he hit the fan, but I don’t remember for sure). Marius cut a good little promo to lay the groundwork for the story they will doubtlessly tell in that match (Marius think his conditioning is so much better than Mike’s that he will be able to get him blown up in three minutes and then dominate), which has been booked for next week’s show.

Schwarz sets up his side of things, saying that Al-Ani can be as well-conditioned and technically proficient as he likes, but all it takes is one good punch to put someone down.

Hektor won a competitive seven-minute match.

Let’s start with the good. Alexander James is f*cking PHENOMENAL in this role. He is an absolute douchebag who verbally abuses his girlfriend and has even occasionally crossed the line into emotional abuse… but not for one moment does he make me think that he is doing this for any reason other than that he loves her and wants to help her. I know that sounds crazy, but every mean thing he has said to her has been part of a larger speech urging her to adopt the same aggressive, heelish attitude that he has over the past year. He has found success with this attitude and he wants her to have the same success… so in his mind, that necessitates patronizing her and yelling at her and encouraging her to do the same morally questionable things that he does.
Kelly’s acting has also been great in these segments, and this one was no different. She has found this wonderful place where she is essentially allowing herself to be a doormat only up to a certain point and no further, at which point she will just walk off- sometimes she’ll take an out that AJ gives her to do so, and sometimes, like here, she’ll walk out on him without any prompting from him, all in the name of essentially avoid having a fight with her boyfriend, but she refuses to let his immorality influence her, no matter what he says. It’s wonderfully human.
I also loved that they had AJ give Kelly some advice that was reasonable (go back to Andy and demand answers) at the same time that he was giving advice that was unreasonable and heelish (if Andy won’t give you answers, then you should get his attention by attacking people until he gives you the answers the your questions). I’d be shocked if Kelly wound up following that second part, but if she does go to Andy and demand answers and not leave until he gives her answers, then AJ can use it as evidence that Kelly really should be listening to him more, all while remaining heel despite having given good and moral advice because of the immoral advice that he presented as if it were a reasonable alternative.
The problem in this segment was some of the content Kelly was given. Quite frankly, I thought she came off like an idiot when she said that she “trusted” that Andy actually did have a “secret plan” for the women’s title (and AJ made it clear that he shared that assessment). Kelly came off as way too gullible for someone who has absolutely no reason to trust Andy. I think the issue here stems from the same problem I described with Andy in the segment with Norman Harras. If Andy is a babyface, then Kelly should at least have some reason to trust him, and while the booker seems to be insisting that Andy is a babyface, the few scraps of evidence we have for that is far outweighed by the evidence to the contrary.

Levaniel noted to us that Killer Kelly had asked Andy to give her another title shot (Melanie Gray had hand-picked her as a replacement challenger to Amale at 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 3 but Kelly refused it because she wanted to earn her title shot this time and not be a replacement like she was when she beat Melanie to become the very first wXw Women’s Champion), so I guess maybe she did take some of AJ’s advice to be more assertive (AJ had lectured her for passing up said title shot out of a sense of fairness, which he thought was a ridiculous thing to do because life isn’t fair). Levaniel says he doesn’t think Kelly should get a title shot. In fact, he thinks Amale should be able to refuse any challenger she wants. As you’ve probably guessed by now, Levaniel has been trying to get into Amale’s pants.
Levaniel then plugged his new t-shirt and brought out his guests, the Pretty Bastards. He managed to accidentally antagonize them by getting lost in the question he was trying to ask and in his verbally flailing about, he kept bringing up the fact that they lost the tag titles. They complained about Andy using Jay Skillet’s absence as an excuse to not defend the tag titles. Wanting to get back in their good graces, Levaniel agreed with them, only for them to point out that mere minutes ago he was saying that Amale should be able to avoid defending her title for the same reason.
Levaniel flailed about, trying to explain his double-standard, but Pretty Bastards were having none of it. Being a dick, Prince Ahura told Levaniel that Amale used to twerk for him before Levaniel had come to wXw, and then he mimed grinding. Levaniel got upset and responded by rubbing their tag title loss in their face o purpose this time. Ahura pretended to make up with Levaniel, but it was just a ruse to get him in position for Maggot to jump him.
This went on longer than it probably needed to, but it wasn’t unenjoyable. The thing I enjoyed most about this was the way that everyone managed to feel like a heel at all times, even as they began to argue. There were no babyfaces here. Even after getting attacked, Levaniel still felt like a heel because he remained a self-serving little twerp the whole time, even when that brought him into conflict with the more hated heels.

This was an okay episode of Shotgun. My biggest takeaway from this show is that Andy’s characterization could turn into a big impediment to my enjoyment of wXw, which would be very disappointing. Hopefully they have some plan to resolve that issue.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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