Tuesday, January 3, 2017

wXw World Tag Team League 2016: Night 3 Review

The 2016 World Tag Team League reaches its conclusion!

wXw World Tag Team League: Night 3
Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 10/2/16

1.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block B - A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius Al-Ani) vs. Death By Elbow (Chris Hero & JT Dunn): ****

While A4 has already been eliminated from contention in Block B, they were looking to make sure that they didn’t finish the tournament with a 0-3 record. I thought this was a great opening match, and it was easily A4’s best match of the tournament. This was a hard-hitting match that featured some really good action throughout. Death By Elbow was, of course, awesome. Absolute Andy was also very good, but once again, Marius Al-Ani had another impressive performance. Despite the fact that his team was eliminated the night before, I think Al-Ani has definitely been one of the standouts of the weekend. I came into this tournament having no idea who he was, but by the end of the weekend, he really won me over. In the end, A4 managed to get the victory over Death By Elbow, getting their first points on the board, and thus, eliminating Chris Hero & JT Dunn from contention in Block B.

2.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block A - Los Gueros Del Cielo (Angelico & Jack Evans) vs. Ringkampf (Big Daddy Walter & Evolve Champion Timothy Thatcher): ***1/4

Since all of the teams in Block A were tied going into this third night, a victory is more important than ever. Jack Evans starts off by rapping and challenging Ringkampf to a dance-off. Ringkampf weren’t impressed, and the dance-off ended pretty quickly. I thought this was a solid match, though it was probably one of the weaker matches of the tournament. While that might sound like a knock on the match, it’s really not. The match quality of this tournament has been very high, so the fact that one of the worst matches of the tournament was still pretty good says a lot. Something else that I’ve realized over the course of this tournament has to do with Timothy Thatcher. I think he’s much more tolerable in a tag team setting. Yes, he still does his usual stuff, but it’s never really the central focus of the match. Ringkampf managed to get the win here, moving to 6 Points in Block A, and eliminating Angelico & Jack Evans from the tournament.

Up next, we get an in-ring promo from Christian Jakobi. After turning heel on Karsten Beck the night before, he apparently went after other German wrestling promotions that were being featured on wXw’s streaming service (wXw NOW) for being too amateurish. Eventually, he’s interrupted by Da Mack, who comes out wearing a Ringkampf T-Shirt. However, he tears it off, signaling that he wasn’t going to join the heel faction that is evidently allied with Jakobi. He basically stood up to Jakobi, and it looks like he’ll be leading the charge against him.

3.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block A - JML (David Starr & Shane Strickland) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate): ***1/2

This match will decide who will Block A. Because Ringkampf won in the previous match, that also eliminated Moustache Mountain from contention, meaning the best they can do is play spoiler. If they win, then Ringkampf wins Block A and goes to the Finals. If JML win, then they go to the Finals. As for the match, the first five or so minutes were mostly banter between the two teams (including JML going after the moustaches of Moustache Mountain) but then the action picked up from there, and the match ended up being very good. While it wasn’t the best match of the tournament, it was certainly one of the most entertaining, as it mixed good wrestling action with fun comedy. Some of the stuff we did see in the second half was particularly cool. In the end, JML managed to pick up the win, meaning that they win Block A, and will be advancing to the Finals!

Up next, we were supposed to get an in-ring wedding between Kevin Roadster & Melanie Gray, but they were attacked by Alpha Female & Marius von Beethoven. There’s really not much to say about this, aside from the fact that it was probably one of the shortest wedding segments in wrestling history.

4.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Block B - Cerberus (Ilja Dragunov & Julian Nero with Adam Polak) vs. The LDRS of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.): ***1/2

After Death By Elbow was eliminated from contention earlier in the night by A4, which meant this match would decide the winner of Block B. I forgot to mention this earlier, but the LDRS main catchphrase, “Armbars & Chickenwings” (which the fans sang in all of their matches this weekend), is pretty cool. I thought this was another really good tournament match on this show. For the most part, the action in this one was pretty solid from start to the finish. The only thing I would say is that this match really showed that Julian Nero was the standout of the four, and not in a good way. It’s not like he’s bad, but you could tell in this match that he was clearly the weak link here. Still, as I said, the match was very solid. It was right on par with the match that preceded it. The LDRS managed to get the victory here, meaning that not only do they win Block B (advancing to the Finals in the process), but it also means that Cerberus are no longer the wXw World Tag Team Champions!

With that result, here are the final block standings:

Block A

JML (2-1-0) – 6 Points
Ringkampf (2-1-0) – 6 Points
Moustache Mountain (1-2-0) – 3 Points
Los Gueros Del Cielo (1-2-0) – 3 Points

Block B

The LDRS of the New School (2-0-1) – 7 Points
Death By Elbow (1-1-1) – 4 Points
Cerberus (1-2-0) – 3 Points
A4 (1-2-0) – 3 Points

5.) Da Mack vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey: ***1/2

This was the only non-tournament match of the evening. Both men suffered disappointing defeats over the course of this weekend. Da Mack lost his wXw Shotgun Title to Pete Dunne on Night 1, while Mike Bailey failed to capture the wXw Unified World Wrestling Title from Jurn Simmons on Night 2. Even though this wasn’t the best match of the weekend for either guy, it was still a very good match. Both guys looked good (Bailey more so than Da Mack), and the action in the match was pretty solid. It did end on a high note, as Da Mack won the match by countering a shooting star press attempt from Bailey into Mack Magic, which is basically a Diamond Cutter/Ace Crusher/RKO.

After the match, Da Mack & Mike Bailey embraced, but they were soon interrupted by Ringkampf. Da Mack & Mike Bailey try to go after them, but they’re soon overwhelmed by Big Daddy Walter & Timothy Thatcher. Axel Dieter Jr. (Da Mack’s former tag team partner and also a member of Ringkampf) just stood there and watched. The ring crew tried to calm things down, which brought out A4, who wanted to fight Ringkampf right now. Ringkampf finally backed off and left. 

6.) wXw World Tag Team League 2016 - Finals - wXw World Tag Team Titles - JML (David Starr & Shane Strickland) vs. The LDRS of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.): ****1/2

The winner of this match will not only win the 2016 wXw World Tag Team League, but they’ll also win the (now vacant) wXw World Tag Team Titles. While I would say that the match between Death By Elbow & The LDRS of the New School from Night 2 was the best match of the tournament, this match came pretty darn close to matching it (and it might have). I thought this was a fantastic Finals!! There was a ton of great action throughout this match, with both teams fighting to win the tournament and titles. The match was a little long, and that is a fair criticism to make, but the match never really felt long, because there was a so much fun stuff in this match. All four guys were awesome here, both in terms of the actual wrestling and character interactions. In particular, I liked the fact that JML were much more serious here compared to their earlier match with Moustache Mountain, which was nice to see. We also saw the continuation of a little story between Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr. where, after the referee got knocked down, Zack Sabre Jr. dipped towards the dark, villainous side when he used one of the title belts. Scurll had been trying to get Zack Sabre Jr. to cheat at numerous points throughout the tournament, and now he had. Ultimately, their efforts failed, as JML puts Zack Sabre Jr. away with their tag team finisher, called the JML Driver (a combination of Starr’s Straightjacket German Suplex and Strickland’s top rope diving double foot stomp) to win the match, the 2016 wXw World Tag Team League, and the wXw World Tag Team Titles!! Once again, I thought this was a fantastic match, and a great way to conclude the tournament.

After the match, Marty Scurll offered handshakes to JML, which they both accepted. Then, David Starr takes the mic, and says it’s amazing to be underrated as the wXw World Tag Team Champions. He says that JML was born in wXw, and that they came through on their promise to win the World Tag Team League. Strickland then takes the mic, and says that when wXw goes to Frankfurt later that month, they’d be defending the titles in a TLC Match!! They celebrate with the titles as the show comes to a close.

Even though this was an awesome moment for JML, their time as wXw World Tag Team Champion wouldn’t last long. A few weeks later, the titles were vacated, and Shane Strickland disappeared from the promotion. It’s still unknown (as I type this) what exactly happened between Shane Strickland & wXw, but regardless, it’s really unfortunate, as JML are a great tag team, and had an incredible journey to the top of wXw’s tag team division.

Overall: 8.75/10

The third and final night of wXw’s 2016 World Tag Team League was arguably the best show of the weekend. While Night 2 featured some of the best matches of the weekend, Night 3 was an incredibly consistent show from top to bottom, with not a single match following below the ***1/4 mark (it also lacked the one bad match that Night 2 had). The Finals of the World Tag Team League was easily the Match of the Night, and it was really cool to see JML win the titles, even though their reign would (unfortunately) be cut short. The rest of the undercard was incredible solid from top to bottom as well. What really struck me about this whole tournament was the international and inter-promotional feel that it had, with wrestlers from various countries and multiple promotions from around the globe. The in-ring quality throughout the whole tournament was also incredibly high, as there wasn’t a single bad match in the tournament. In conclusion, definitely check out Night 3, but also check out the entire tournament.

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