The show opened with a recap of everything that happened at 16 Carat Revenge 2019: Frankfurt involving RISE, Schadenfreude, Jay FK, and Absolute Andy. It was only upon being shown these events one after the other that I realized that RISE's victory in the main event of that show, with Bouncer getting the pin on Brookes after the heels interfered was a pay-off to Bouncer having overheard the heels' plans to interfere in the match, and that he very much was "exploiting the situation" as Lucky Kid alleged, even though Lucky was almost certainly unaware of just how true his allegation was.
ABSOLUTE ANDY & JAY FK vs. RISE - 6.75/10
Apparently the referees in wXw have the authority to fine wrestlers for rules infractions, so as you might expect, RISE picked up several fines for illegally trying to enter the ring while Ivan Kiev was the babyface in peril. Tassio Jung seemed to give up on this the moment the match hit the usual point where a tag match breaks down into chaos. If that was going to happen then it was better to just not start things fining people gimmick at all.
This was a very good six-man tag with some nice little twists and turns. We got a moment where Pete Bouncer thought that Lucky Kid could have tagged out and didn't, and then later part of the finish saw Absolute Andy throw Kiev in the way of Lucky Kid's handspring elbow, so RISE is almost certainly going to have some internal strife after this one. I was pretty shocked that Jay FK got the win here, as I was pretty sure we were heading towards a RISE vs. Schadenfreude tag title match in a cage or something so Jay FK can't interfere, but this win seems likely to put Jay FK back into the title picture as well.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Bouncer yelled at Lucky and accused him of not working as part of the team. Kiev tried to make peace between them but gave up and left. Bouncer then stormed off as well and Lucky was sad.
AMALE WINCHESTER & BABY ALLISON BACKSTAGE - Very good. Allison wants to friends and tells Amale she would rather team with her than fight her like they have to do tonight. Amale says she doesn't want friends. Allison tries to sell her on the idea of a team by pointing out that they beat Killer Kelly and Yuu when they teamed together but Amale (who got the pinfall on Yuu) took all the credit for the victory, then walked away. This was maybe five lines, which was all they needed to get the point across. That point is that Amale is mean and gruff and while Allison will probably wind up as a babyface, Amale will almost certainly not.
JAY FK & ABSOLUTE ANDY BACKSTAGE - Entertaining as hell! Andy is utterly fantastic as the old guy trying to be cool to fit in with the new generation, and Jay FK taking turns laughing at him behind his back just made it better. That and the little but before Andy showed up where Kaspin was telling Skillet he was shocked that "the old man" actually managed to get them the win tonight help establish that to the audience that this is an alliance of convenience and it is really going to wind up being a question of who dumps who first, and whether either side realizes that the other is on to them.
For the moment, though, they are content to work together. New plans are made. Jay FK will help Andy defeat Lucky Kid at True Colors 2019, and Andy will return the favor by helping Jay FK regain the tag titles.
RISE BACKSTAGE - Interesting. Bouncer and Kiev are disappointed after their loss. Lucky Kid is not with them. Kiev asks Bouncer how he was able to react so quickly when Andy and Jay FK ran in on their match with Schadenfreude in Frankfurt, and he admitted to knowing the attack was coming, but he did in such a way that I'm not sure if Kiev was supposed to think he was kidding or not. Bouncer tells him not to worry about that because "every win is important." He notes that at True Colors is now a second big show in a row at which they're not booked (Amerika ist Wunderdar being the first) even though Lucky Kid is. The two best friends resolve their issue and move on.
AMALE WINCHESTER vs. BABY ALLISON - 2/10
Amale wins a short match cleanly.
THE SMOKE BREAK WITH BOBBY GUNNS - Fine. He notes that he has fulfilled the promise he made the last time he was here to return as the wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion and he wants to defend his title here tonight because he is a fighting champion. Marius Al-Ani comes out and does his "that title is too heavy for your scrawny little shoulder" bit and explains to us that he wants to win the title to not only become champion but to also double Ilja Dragunov's humiliation when Al-Ani beats Ilja at True Colors by not only beating him but having that loss send him to the back of the line. Barbs are exchanged, a challenge is made and accepted, and the commentators inform us that management will surely okay this match. Moments later we get a graphic for it, declaring it to be official.
VEIT MULLER & MAGGOT OUTSIDE THE BUILDING EARLIER TODAY - Good character stuff. Maggot asks Veit if he has seen his tag team partner Prince Ahura, who appears to be late yet again. Veit says no. Prince Ahura eventually shows up, chatting on his phone with someone asking the person if he/she got laid. Director of Sport Karsten Beck appears to tell Ahura off in an entertaining manner for being late yet again. This segment took the usual "Prince Ahura thinks they're huge stars simply for having wXw contracts while Maggot is more realistic and realizes that they are still at the bottom of the wXw totem pole" stuff we've seen on previous shows and took it up a level or two, with Maggot showing some frustration at Ahura's lack of dedication to preparation, and with Karsten Beck expressing his disapproval of Ahura, which we know cannot help but affect Maggot as well because they are tag team partners.
PRETTY BASTARDS vs. THE CROWN (Jurn Simmons & Alexander James) - 5/10
Ahura's showboating and arrogance result in him being taken out. Maggot tries to take out The Crown on his own to show everyone his fighting spirit but he is easily dispatched. I believe this was The Crown's first win- and Jurn's first non-BS win- all year.
AMALE WINCHESTER ASKS KARSTEN BECK FOR A WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH - Meh. Karsten points out to her that she hasn't won enough matches and suggests that he could add her to the later women's match as well so she can impress everyone by winning two matches in one night. She agrees, and so it becomes official. Amale was touching Karsten's arm like she was trying to seduce him, but that seduction was nowhere in her tone of voice or other body language. Her acting here was very dry. I'll usually cut people slack when they're not using their first language, but she had seemed so good in her earlier segment that I was expecting better out of her here.
LUCKY KID APOLOGIZES TO IVAN KIEV - Lucky made a rather poor choice by not taking his Schadenfreude jacket off first. Ivan says that he just wants everyone to stay in RISE. Lucky reassures him that in wXw, RISE is his family, and vows to beat Absolute Andy at True Colors.
WHEELER YUTA VIDEO PACKAGE - Good.
ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. WHEELER YUTA vs. VEIT MULLER - 7.5/10
Great action. Yuta had a very good showing here. Marius Al-Ani came out to distract Ilja, resulting in Ilja diving on him. This got Ilja out of the way for the finish, which saw Veit pin Yuta after hitting his finisher.
LUCKY KID CONFRONTS ABSOLUTE ANDY BACKSTAGE - Fine. He tells Andy to stay out of his business with RISE and Schadenfreude. Barbs were exchanged. Andy tried to goad Lucky into putting the title shot he earned by winning 16 Carat Gold on the line but Lucky didn't allow himself to fall into that trap. Instead he gave as speech about what beating Andy at True Colors 2019 would mean to him.
VALKYRIE VIDEO PACKAGE - Fine.
AMALE WINCHSTER vs. KILLER KELLY vs. VALKYRIE - 6/10
A fun three-way in which the "Kelly is on the outside when the finish happens in a three-way" motif from earlier this year returned. Said finish was Valkyrie pinning Amale (with a sick top-rope fame-asser) which caught me off guard as I assumed the route we were going was Amale being built up for a title shot by doing what Karsten Beck told her to do (we don't have a challenger for True Colors yet, after all), but instead they put over the newcomer (this part of the swerve was set up by not doing so in the earlier three-way), and now we have instead set up for Amale to be annoyed at Karsten for setting her up to fail.
EMIL SITOCI vs. JULIAN PACE - 5.75/10
Pace dove onto Sitoci to start things off, but then they kind of wasted it by doing a restart when they finally got into the ring. Throughout the match Sitoci engaged in some kind of extreme behaviors like fish-hooking and biting whose oddness in the situation fit his "I want to feel something" character very well. He got the (relatively) clean win on young Mr. Pace, then hit him with a completely unnecessary spinning Tombstone, then cut a promo on Avalanche.
KARSTEN BECK & AMALE WINCHESTER BACKSTAGE - Meh. Amale tells Karsten that putting her in two match tonight wasn't fair, but claims that she still displayed enough heart to earn a title shot at True Colors. Karsten seems doubtful that she has earned a title shot and also informs her that Toni Storm won't be at True Colors. But Killer Kelly and Valkyrie will be at True Colors, and so he has booked a rematch of tonight's match and for her to prove herself in and maybe earn a title shot at Superstars of Wrestling. Amale accepted this.
Over the course of this show I have become more and more lost as to what Amale's character is supposed to be. Is she the gruff heel we saw backstage with baby Allison? Is she a manipulator who is trying to trick Karsten into giving her what she wants? Is she just a shy babyface for whom even asking for a title shot is tough and I'm supposed to be proud of her for overcoming her shyness and taking the initiative? I don't know. I'm sure that the fact that English is not her first language (or Karsten's either) is an issue, but if that's the case I'd rather see them act to the fullest of their abilities and just get the scene with subtitles.
THE CROWN BULLY JULIAN PACE BACKSTAGE - Very good. Pace stands up for himself and touts his mentor Avalanche's victories over them in tag matches in recent months. They challenge him to find a tag team partner and face them at True Colors. We then got a card run-down which informed us that said partner would be Wheeler Yuta.
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH:
Bobby Gunns(c) vs. Marius Al-Ani - 7/10
They were having what was on pace to be a great match until Ilja Dragunov ran in for the DQ and started attacking Al-Ani. Bobby Gunns then cut a promo saying he was angry the match ended in such a manner and noting that he has unfinished business with Ilja (who he has never beaten) and Ali-Ani (who took the Shotgun Title from him last year) so he demands to be inserted into the Ilja vs. Al-Ani match at True Colors and puts his title on the line. A graphic then appears to tell us that this has been made official.
The booking here was a little clumsy and I think it would have been better if this wasn't the main event, but there really wasn't anything else they could have put in the main event spot, either, based on the various backstage segments they wanted to do.
This an okay show from wXw. It certainly did the job of a "Road to..." show very well, although I wish they would up the quality of the wrestling on these events. I'm very excited to see where these storylines go and should have my review of True Colors 2019 up in the next few days.