Tuesday, January 3, 2017

wXw World Tag Team League 2016: Night 2 Review

The World Tag Team League continues, while "Speedball" Mike Bailey challenges Jurn Simmons for the wXw Unified World Wrestling Title!!

wXw World Tag Team League: Night 2
Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 10/1/16

1.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block B - A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani) vs. Cerberus (Ilja Dragunov & Julian Nero with Adam Polak): ***1/2

Both of these teams lost their first match of the tournament the night before, meaning that whoever lost this match, would be the first team eliminated. Obviously, Cerberus had a lot on the line here, as they’ll lose the wXw World Tag Team Titles if they’re unable to make it to the finals. Fortunately, for them, they did manage to get the win here, eliminating A4 from contention in the process. I thought this was a really good opener. There was some very solid back & forth action, and both teams worked pretty hard. This wasn’t quite as good as most of the tournament matches from Night 1, but as I said, this was still really good.

2.) wXw Shotgun Title - Pete Dunne vs. Francis Kaspin: ***1/4

Pete Dunne defeated Da Mack to win the wXw Shotgun Title the night before, and he’s immediately making his first defense, as he took on Francis Kaspin. This was a solid title match. It wasn’t anything spectacular, but for what I was, it was enjoyable. Kaspin showed some promise, and had a few highlights in this one, but ultimately, Pete Dunne was able to pick up the win here to retain his wXw Shotgun Title.

3.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block A - Los Gueros Del Cielo (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate): ****

Moustache Mountain needs a win here to stay in contention in Block A. This match did feature an early dance-off, but after that, the action really picked up in a big way. While that aforementioned dance-off did go a little long, the last two-thirds of this match were awesome! Both teams looked great, and the fans were really into the match at all of its different stages. It was a ton of fun to watch from start to finish, and not only was the action great, but all four men got the showcased their personalities. Honestly, this succeeded on all fronts. In the end, Moustache Mountain were able to get the win to keep their tournament hopes alive.

4.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block B - Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn) vs. The LDRS of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.): ****1/2

Out of all the matches that were going to take place across this tournament, this one was probably the most anticipated. I had a feeling this match was going to be great, but these two teams went beyond that, and had a fantastic tag team match!! All four guys are so good, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise that this was as awesome as it was. There was a ton of great action in this match right from the opening bell, and they also told a good story at times, and included some cool moments. One of those saw Zack Sabre Jr. sacrifice himself to save his partner from eating a devastating attack from Death By Elbow. While the match ended in a 30 Minute Time Limit Draw, I don’t think that hurt the match too much, in my eyes. What bothers me sometimes in matches that end in a time limit draw is that someone you’ll get the feeling watching a match that it’s going to end in a draw. In some case, this can be seen when the guys really aren’t going all out to try to win the match, and it comes off like they’re just wrestling to fill time. That wasn’t the case in this match. The intensity was there the whole way through, and towards the end of the match, both teams tried desperately on multiple occasions to win the match before time expired. Simply put, this was an incredible tag team match, and the fans in Oberhausen gave it a ton of praise immediately after it was over, chanting “Match of the Year”. This was easily the best match of the tournament, and it’s probably one of the best matches in wXw all year.

The rest of this match creates a very interesting situation in Block B going into Night 3. While A4 has been eliminated, this result really helps out Cerberus. If they manage to beat the LDRS, and if A4 beat Death By Elbow, then they win the block and advance to the Finals. For the two teams tied at four points (Death By Elbows & The LDRS), they need to win their match, and hope the other team at 4 Points loses their match.

Up next, we have a special appearance from Karsten Beck. He gets a large ovation from the crowd. Beck has a huge scar on his head, which apparently, is the result of a brain tumor having to be removed. His “retirement” following his loss at 16 Carat Gold 2016: Night 2 was supposed to lead to comeback angle with him going up against Jurn Simmons, but shortly after he returned in the Summer of 2016, the brain tumor was discovered, and Beck was forced out of action. I did take three semesters of German at Penn State, but unfortunately, my German is a little rusty, so I couldn’t understand all of it. It seemed like he was just explaining his situation, and thanking the fans for all of their support. Then, Christian Jakobi (who is apparently the booker & promoter of wXw) comes out, and starts talking about him in a positive light, but then his mood changes, and he starts takes verbal shots at him. Jakobi shoves Beck, but Beck shoves him down in response. This leads to Ringkampf (Axel Dieter Jr., Big Daddy Walter, & Timothy Thatcher) coming out to Jakobi’s aid. They corner Beck, and force him to leave, which he does. It really sucks to hear about what happened to Beck. I’m not sure what his current situation is, but I hope he’s able to make a return to the ring someday.

5.) John “Bad Bones” Klinger vs. Dirty Dragon: *1/2

Dirty Dragon is a member of Ceberus. They showed a video package that explained the issues between Dirty Dragon and his opponent, John “Bad Bones” Klinger. Dirty Dragon seems like a very sleazy character. He had the early advantage (using his fanny pack and necklace as weapons), but Bad Bones soon took control, and this turned into squash match with Bad Bones getting the win after locking Dirty Dragon in a crossface, which caused him to pass out. He kept it on for several more seconds, and then chased off Adam Polak. This was pretty much a nothing match.

6.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block A - JML (David Starr & Shane Strickland) vs. Ringkampf (Big Daddy Walter & Evolve Champion Timothy Thatcher): ***3/4

JML need a win here to stay alive in Block A. To start the match off, JML revealed that they had Ringkampf scarves stuffed in their trunks, which incensed Ringkampf. I thought this was a really good tag team match. Starr got isolated by Ringkampf early on, until he’s finally able to make the hot tag to Strickland. Everyone looked solid here, and the action throughout the match was actually pretty good. It was probably the best showing in the tournament from this Ringkampf team. The two teams played off each other well, and as a whole, this was another really good match in this World Tag Team League. JML were able to pick up the win here to keep their hopes alive.

With that result, it means that every team in Block A is tied at 3 Points, meaning that Night 3 just got a lot more interesting, with regards to Block A.

7.) wXw Unified World Wrestling Title - Jurn Simmons vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey: ****1/4

The night before, Mike Bailey earned this opportunity by defeating John “Bad Bones” Klinger. Much like that match, I wasn’t how this one was going to go. Outside of that Fatal Four-Way Match where he won the wXw Unified World Wrestling Title, I really haven’t seen that much of Jurn Simmons. The only things I know about him are that he’s from The Netherlands, he likes to call himself “Massive” (because he is), and fans like to chant “Chewbacca” at him. When the dust settled, this match blew away my expectations. I thought this match was awesome!! There was some great action (and great spots) both inside the ring and outside of the ring, throughout the match. Despite the massive size difference, which was, of course, the big story of the match (no pun intended), Mike Bailey more than held his own against Jurn Simmons, who was much larger than him. To his credit, Simmons did a very good job in this match as well. He took some of Bailey’s best shots, but kept fighting back. While we did get some shenanigans towards the end of this match (a referee bump, which led to one or two low blows from Jurn Simmons), it didn’t take away from it too much, for a few reasons. Firstly, Bailey returned the favor a short time later with a low blow of his own, before a second referee came out. Secondly, the shenanigans didn’t directly lead to finish, and because of that, I wasn’t as bothered by it. Eventually, Jurn Simmons is able to put Bailey away to retain his title.

After the match, Simmons accepts a handshake from Bailey as a show comes to a close.

Here are the block standings after Night 2:

Block A

Los Gueros Del Cielo (1-1-0) – 3 Points
Ringkampf (1-1-0) – 3 Points
JML (1-1-0) – 3 Points
Moustache Mountain (1-1-0) – 3 Points

Block B

Death By Elbow (1-0-1) – 4 Points
The LDRS of the New School (1-0-1) – 4 Points
Cerberus (1-1-0) – 3 Points
A4 (0-2-0) – 0 Points

Overall: 8.5/10

I thought this was a really strong show from wXw. In my opinion, it was right on par with the first night of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament from a few earlier that year. Aside from Bad Bones vs. Dirty Dragon, every match on this show ranged from good to great to awesome. Looking back on it, my ratings for those other six matches were all different, which speaks to all of those matches. They all had their own unique aspects that made them standout from each other, which is really cool. Obviously, Death By Elbow vs. The LDRS of the New School was the Match of the Night, but Jurn Simmons vs. Mike Bailey, and even (to a lesser extent) Los Gueros Del Cielo vs. Moustache Mountain weren’t that far behind. A really, really good show from start to finish from wXw.

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