wXw We Love Wrestling Tour 2018: Frankfurt
By Big Red Machine
From April 21, 2018
David Starr vs. Marius Al-Ani vs. Emil Sitoci vs. Ivan Kiev - 6.25/10
Despite being billed as a "Four-Way Dance" this was not an elimination match. This sort of thing is a big pet peeve of mine. Is it really that hard to just pick one name for an elimination version and another name for a non-elimination version and just have everyone stick with it?
RISE came out with Kiev for his entrance, but then all went to the back, showing that they have turned over a new leaf. The match was very choreographed, but in the slower-paced, more "we had a creative four-way match" that you'd see in CHIKARA rather than the "all the hot indy spots" PWG-esque way. They had some new variations on things, but this was generally just meant to be an entertaining opener, which it succeeded at.
DIRTY DRAGAN TRIAL SERIES MATCH: Dirty Dragan vs. Absolute Andy - 4/10
This was short but did exactly what it was supposed to do, so much so that I almost decided to rate it as a segment rather than a match. Andy offered Dragan the "easy way out" by telling Dragan to lie down for him so he won't have to get hurt but Dragan refused. Andy dominated most of the match, but his arrogance allowed you to believe the two big false finishes they gave Dragan. Andy won with relative ease, but because Dirty Dragan is... well... Dirty Dragan, the fact that he stood his ground instead of taking the coward's way out manages to feel like an adequate step forward for him to start off his trial series.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Andy went to attack Dirty Dragan after the match but Dragan's pal Emil Sitoci (who suggested this trial series to Christian Michael Jakobi) came out to make the save. Andy offered Sitoci a handshake because he respects Sitoci as a fellow veteran but Sitoci, disgusted by Andy's actions, refuses the handshake and goes to check on Dragan. Andy then attacked Sitoci from behind and laid him out with an F-5.
MELANIE GRAY PROMO - This was all in German, but she said the English word "rookies" several times with enough disdain in her voice that I think I figured it out.
KILLER KELLY vs. MELANIE GRAY - 6/10
Melanie shoved Kelly off of the top turnbuckle while Kelly was posing for her entrance to start things off hot. Melanie worked on Kelly's arm for a bit before Kelly made her big comeback but got cut off again via a vertical suplex onto the entrance ramp when she went to stop Melanie from walking out. Melanie worked over Kelly's back with her signature Texas Cloverleaf submission that I don't know the official name for, and after Kelly got one good hope spot in, Melanie wound up getting the submission victory.
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH:
Bobby Gunns(c) vs. Mark Davis - 6.5/10
They told a story based around Gunns having to overcome Davis' size and power advantage. I'm amazed at Gunns' ability to be placed in situations like this and not cheat at all and yet never once feel like he's the babyface.
ALEXANDER JAMES PROMO & SEGMENT WITH ILJA DRAGUNOV - Meh. The wXw fans are trying to turn him into their version of BJ Whitmer or Zack Gibson where the fans boo him unmercifully and won't even let him talk. It didn't really seem to catch on, so that was nice. He was supposed to face wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion Ilja Dragunov tonight but Ilja is injured so the match isn't happening. James claims that Ilja isn't injured; just scared. He also said that Ilja was "weak" and that his family, including his "little bastard son" had made him weak.
Ilja came out but was held back by a mere two security guys. James taunted him and Ilja broke through but was quickly restrained again. James taunted him some more, telling him to come fight him and not let his fans and his family down. James took his bow and started to leave when Ilja broke through security again to nail James with Torpedo Moscow.
I think the idea was that Ilja was so injured that just two security guys could hold him back, but we had no visible indication that Ilja was really injured, which I think hurt the segment a lot. Ilja did sell his head and neck a lot after hitting James with Torpedo Moscow, but it was too late to overcome the inherent awkwardness of what we had already seen. It probably would have worked a lot better if he ahd taken his Matrix jacket off so we could see some athletic tape on his neck or whatever. I don't mind James getting laid out because he's the type of heel who works well if you lay him out the first time because the most dangerous thing about Alexander James is his intellect, and especially when he is putting that in the service of getting revenge on someone.
wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Monster Consulting(c) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) - 5.75/10
PETE BOUNCER PROMO - Meh. This was all in German but I think I got the gist of it. He said that John Klinger was no longer RISE, but the others- himself, Ivan Kiev, Lucky Kid, and Tarkan Aslan- were RISE. And so were the fans. That last part felt a little too over the top corny.
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. LUCKY KID (w/Tarkan Aslan) - 8.5/10
The story of this match was Lucky Kid's quirky mannerisms getting under Zack's skin, causing Zack to decide that there was no way he was going to lose to this little pipsqueak while Lucky, knowing how big of a match this was for him, was determined to win... but he was determined to win the right way, because when Tarkan Aslan passed him brass knuckles, he threw them back and escaped the submission by getting to the ropes instead of cheating. The combination of this build-up, plus Lucky Kid's big first-round upset win at 16 Carat Gold, plus the general feeling that this might be Zack's last match in the promotion and why would you waste that on Lucky Kid if you weren't going to do something big here all combined to create an atmosphere where Lucky Kid getting a pinfall victory over Zack Sabre Jr. actually felt possible, which is a remarkable accomplishment. An AWESOME match.
A solid show from wXw. While most of the undercard wasn't great, it did further the storylines along, and the main event was not only excellent, but felt like a big moment for Lucky Kid. I'd definitely recommend watching this whole show, though if you're really pressed for time you can skip everything but the Ilja segment and the main event.