wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
RingKampf(c) vs. Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) - 6.5/10
Jay FK dominated early on isolating each member of RingKampf and working them over, and even hitting their finisher for a shockingly believable nearfall. From there RingKampf took over until Jay FK made a comeback, resulting in an interesting inversion of your traditional match structure (although that does fit in well with a feud between one team babyface-leaning tweeners and one team of lightly heel-leaning tweeners). RingKampf got the clean win and the match was good, but I think going five to eight more minutes would have been of tremendous benefit to Jay FK. Given that time, this match could have been that match that even though Jay FK lose clean, it feels like their "coming out party" as a key part of the division from here on out.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - RingKampf offers handshakes. Skillet accepts, but Kaspin struggles with the decision before slapping WALTER instead. WALTER slaps him right back... and then they shake hands. This felt like a pointless swerve before having them just shake hands anyway.
Jurn Simmons vs. Mike Schwarz - 7/10
They had a great hardcore match with lots of weapon use. Jurn won with the Viking Execution, followed by a Border City Stretch type of move, aided by the Kendo Stick.
16 CARAT GOLD 2018 QUALIFYING MATCH:
Lucky Kid (w/Tarkan Aslan) vs. Ivan Kiev (w/Pete Bouncer) - 6/10
The story here was the Kiev was having none of Lucky's antics. They also did one spot each where the second got up on the apron to cause a distraction but the other guy's second warned him off. Lucky Kid picked up the minor upset victory, while we fans are left even more curious as to just how quickly RISE might collapse.
FOUR-WAY MATCH FOR THE wXw WOMEN'S TITLE:
Toni Storm(c) vs. Killer Kelly vs. "Session Moth" Martina vs. Veda Scott - 5/10
Before the bell, Martina sexually harassed Toni Storm, who was clearly extremely uncomfortable. Martina pulled Toni over to where Killer Kelly was in the center of the ring, and while still thrusting her ass at Toni, grabbed Kelly's hands and attempted to dance with her. Kelly looed completely disgusted that Martina was even touching her. Seeing this, Veda Scott started to dance as well, off her herself... and in her dancing, slowly maneuvered herself around behind Toni Storm... and then quickly rolled her up for a nearfall. I know I say it basically every time I see how, but the hell has WWE not signed Veda Scott yet?
The three babyfaces exchanged hard strikes while Veda hit on the outside. Some stuff happened until we found the situation reversed, with Veda being the only woman in the ring. She then got the referee to help her do the rope-walk part of a rope-walk crossbody onto the pile on the floor. Why is the referee helping one of the competitors? This spot was the beginning of a dive train... but while the babyfaces all got cheered for their dives, Veda's dive- the first one- was met with chants of "YOU STILL SUCK!" This is even more amazing to me when you consider the fact that Martina's dive includes a dumb comedy spot she does in every match where she either gets herself too blown up to move or falls into a drug and/or alcohol-induced stupor (depending on your interpretation of what is going on) and needs the referee to hand her a beer to recharge her batteries before doing her dive. And because I really, truly hate this spot, I'm going to point out that it makes no sense even within the context of its own comedic logic because she drinks a lot more beer on her way to the ring that she does during this spot, and yet while setting up for this dive totally drains her stamina bar, the much smaller amount of beer she drinks here somehow lasts her the entire rest of the match.
The match was shorter than I was expecting. It was decent for the time it got, but I think they went WAY overboard on the cutesy stuff like the "everyone takes turns punching each other in a circle" spot. The one-on-one and even one-on-one-on-one confrontations were all good, but when they tried to do spots with all four women, well... they were trying to do spots with all four women rather than having a wrestling match.
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH:
Bobby Gunns vs. Absolute Andy - 7/10
Normally in a veteran vs. up-and-comer feud we either get the arrogant young punk heel vs. the veteran babyface or the bully veteran heel vs. the respectful young babyface just trying to earn his way up the card. In this feud wXw has given us the arrogant young punk heel vs. the veteran bully heel... and it's working out pretty well.
The match was going really great until it got derailed by some very strange booking. First we got a ref bump, after which Andy took over. Bobby's brother Vinny Gunns, on crutches, hobbled out of the crowd to yell at Andy, so Andy kicked him in the leg and locked on the sharpshooter, with the announcers putting it over as if this would end his career. The crowd chanted for Marius Al-Ani, who they assumed would make his return to make the save, but when he didn't show, they started to chant for Bobby Gunns instead, and Bobby was able to save his brother.
Medical personnel came out to help Vinny, and while Boby was checking on Vinny, Andy laid him out with a superkick and an F-5 onto the title belt. Andy then went to get his trademark wrench from under the ring and was going to hit Bobby Gunns with it when an image of Marius Al-Ani appeared very briefly on the Tron. This distracted Andy enough for Bobby to fight back and then nail Andy with the title belt. Bobby then locked on an armbar for the submission victory.
The stuff with Vinny Gunns seems to have been intended to facilitate a Bobby Gunns face turn, and that part of it was well-executed. I probably would have been fine with (although slightly disappointed) if that was what led to the finish, but to have both that and the Al-Ani stuff in this one match, combined with the lame "his picture magically appears on the Tron" way they did it, hit the point of being overbooking and hurt this match. It was still great and got me a lot more interested in Bobby Gunns than I have ever been before, but the match definitely feels like it would have been better with just one or the other.
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH:
"Bad Bones" John Klinger(c) vs. "Speedball" Mike Bailey - 7.25/10
All of RISE came out with Klinger, but Da Mack is the only one who actually came all the way to the ring with him. The others pointedly went to the back after doing their pose together on the stage. The first time that Da Mack tried to get involved, Klinger ordered him to the back as well.
I really didn't need them to stop the match for a full minute and a half to each hit a pose before restarting things by just trading chops. Other than that, the action was pretty good here, with the story being not just both men's toughness, but also Speedball's high-risk maneuvers leading to his downfall. Klinger picked up the completely clean win, reaffirming his place as the undisputed leader of RISE and putting a rest of Ivan Kiev's recent grumbling by doing exactly what Kiev said he had better be able to do if he wanted to keep his leadership position uncontested: retain the wXw Unified World Wrestling Title.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #1 - Great. The rest of RISE came out- led by Kiev, who had a brief stare-down with Klinger- and they all did their pose together (though Kiev struck the pose significantly later than the others). Pete Bouncer and Lucky Kid lifted Klinger up onto their shoulders in victory and Klinger thrust the arm holding his championship belt out in a in celebratory manner... and I'm sure it was just a coincidence that he stopped with the belt about one inch from Kiev's face. Great stuff.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #2 - RingKampf came out and WALTER had a stare-down with Klinger, who held his arms out to keep his men back so that he, WALTER and the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship could be the focus of the attention.
This was a decent show from wXw, but not up to the usual standards of their big events. It did have quite a number of important storyline developments in the top matches, as well as stuff that did a good job of building characters on the undercard, so was worth watching, but I wouldn't say that you really need to see anything other than the top two matches, and that's only if you are really into the storylines.