So how do you start a new review of a company most people who are new to BritWres probably haven't heard of? Well, let's start at the beginning, shall we? wXw (Westside Xtreme Wrestling) was founded in 2000 and primarily gained a reputation as a deathmatch company (similar to CZW and IWA Mid-South). Yes, like those companies mentioned they had some damn fine straight wrestling matches with the likes of Ares (Claudio Castagnoli/Cesaro's tag team partner in Swiss Money Holding), Bryan Danielson, Chris Hero, Zack Sabre, Mike Quackenbush, El Generico, Robbie Brookside plus many more world-renowned grapplers. But in those early days, the star of wXw was deathmatch wrestler Thumbtack Jack who won CZW Tournament of death in 2008 as well as having multiple reigns with the now-defunct wXw Light Heavyweight Title. The company moved away from the blood and guts and went in the direction the company is going today with the emphasis being on world-class wrestling and less about deathmatch wrestling. During the early days, wXw did produce stellar 3-day events when it invented the 16 Carat Gold tourney. Thanks to Alan (wXw's English announcer) on the F4W podcast the Dr. Kieth Lepinski show I found out about the tourney in 2007/08. I can't remember the year exactly but during those days even with the advent of YouTube, these shows were hard to track down unless you paid to import DVD directly from Germany. So it wasn't until the Highspots Network launched that I got my first taste of wXw 16 Carat Gold. The World Tag Team League was formed in a similar vein with the shows being a 3-day event. Later on, they would add a fourth show (with Inner Circle taking place the day before WTTL and Ambition taking place on the afternoon of day 2 of 16 Carat) and after party events to well and truly make it a wrestling festival. This year they also added a Female Fatales (which was an all-female show) show to take place on the second day of the festivities.
So for those unfamiliar with this, here is how the World Tag Team League works. There are eight teams in the tourney. Of the eight teams, they are split into two blocks with 4 teams in each block. Every team will wrestle at least once in their block. Also as a little added twist, the current WXW World Tag Team Champions enter the tourney with their belts on the line. Last years winners where JML (David Starr & Shane Strickland) who beat the LDRS (Zack Sabre Jr & Marty Scurll). This year's teams entered were current wXw World Tag Team champions The Young Lions (Lucky Kidd & Tarkan Aslan) who are in the top heel stable RISE. The Briscoe Brothers (Mark & Jay), The Rottweilers (Homicide & Low-Ki), EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik) aka the newer version of LAX from TNA fame, The Spirit Squad (Kenny & Mikey) aka the male cheerleaders of WWE Fame, RingKampf (Timothy Thatcher & Walter), A4 (Absolute Andy&Marius Al-Al-Ani) and Massive Product (Jurn Simmons & David Starr). I think you'd agree that was one hell of a lineup. Also, this years 16 Carat Gold winner, Ilja Draganov, faced RISE Leader and wXw Unified World Champion Bad Bones John Klinger. So I've hyped it up, let's get into the action and kick off a huge review of this massive wrestling festival with Inner Circle.
WXW Inner Circle 5/10/17 WXW Academy Oberhausen Germany
Rather than giving a full review of this show which featured a mixed bag ill just review the two big matches from this show as Walter took on Ringkampf teammate Timothy Thatcher and the main event as Homicide taking on David Starr as well as adding results of the other matches on the show.
Singles Match: Alexander James vs. Julian Pace
James is a former CZW Junior Heavyweight Champion and made the wXw Academy or top of the class wrestler tap out to a London Dungeon clean.
Winner: Alexander James
Singles Match: Kim Ray vs. Rafa
Kim Ray beat Rafa with a spin kick.
Winner: Kim Ray
Ambition Rules Match: Walter Vs Timothy Thatcher
Before we start I would assume you're wondering what an Ambition Rules match is. Well, dear reader, ambition is a hybrid of wrestling and MMA - like UWFI in Japan used to be. Ambition (similar to the old UFC Tournament style back in the day) is normally a show held during the 16 Carat Gold weekend but as this was Ringkampf colliding it needed this stipulation and considering both men excel in this style of match, it made sense to me.
Early on both men grappled with one another. Walter eventually took Thatcher back and tried to sink the hooks in but Thatcher got out somehow. Both men reverted to grappling with one another until Thatcher got ahold of Walter's arm and tried an armbar but he made the ropes. Both men then began slapping the shit out of one another. Walter and Thatcher grappled some more then Thatcher applied a Fujiwara armbar and the big man was forced to tap out.
This may not be everyone's cup of tea and was a little short but remember this is supposed to be an actual fight so made sense that it ended so suddenly. I love this old UWFI style of match not regularly but if Walter and Timothy Thatcher are involved its bound to be good and this was!
Winner: Timothy Thatcher
Tag Team Match: Jay-FK (Jay Skilet & Francis Kaspen) Vs EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik)
Yep, that is NWA/TNA/TNA/Impact/GFW/Fuck That Owl Wrestling Tag Team Champions taking on the youngsters but ever developing team of Jay-FK and as wXw had flown LAX in then they should have been used here to give Jay-FK the rub. Anyway, EYFBO went over clean in a fun match with a blockbuster powerbomb.
Winners: EYFBO (Angel Ortiz & Mike Draztik)
Singles Match: Massive Jurn Simmons Vs Jaxon Stone
Jurn picks up the win with a massive piledriver.
Winner: Jurn Simmons
Singles Match: David Starr Vs Homicide
When this match got announced I hoped and prayed homicide would turn back the hands of time to 2003/2006 period when he was one of the best performers in ROH and thankfully Homicide did just that in this match. Well sort of. Early on, Starr worked over Homicide's arm with variations of armbar's and grounded the Notorious 187 Lucha Thug. Both men went back and forth in a lock spot and then the action spilled to the outside. It wouldn't be a homicide match without some walking brawls. Tope Con Hilo by Homicide who then continued to pummel Starr on the outside. Back in the ring Homicide nailed Starr with a big Taz like exploding suplex. Homicide dropped onto Starr with a Double Axe Handle for a near fall. Starr battled back with some chops but then got cut off with a big side backbreaker. Homicide and Starr traded strikes then homicide followed it up with the three amigos spot for a near fall. Starr battled back and gave Homicide a draping DDT, a lariat and a blockbuster for a near fall. Starr went for the Chaos Theory but Homicide countered it into an STF but Starr just reached the ropes.
Homicide teased the Cop Killer (Gringo Killer) but Starr battled out. Starr nailed homicide with a big running kick for a two count. Starr went for the Product Placement but Homicide battled out and rolled up Starr for a two count. Homicide nailed Starr with an Ace Crusher and lariat for another near fall. Starr eventually battled back and out of nowhere nailed Homicide with the Product Placement to pick up the win.
This was one hell of a match and it was great to see the Homicide of old show up for this match with Starr. Afterwards, Starr put over Homicide and ended with enjoy your WTTL and come and buy a shirt.
Winner: David Starr
Overall this was a fun little show and gave us a genuinely great main event. A perfect way to kick off the massive WTTL weekender. Go and check it out now on wXw Now or Highspots Network. It's well worth a watch and breezes by in an hour and 40 minutes.
The review of night one of WTTL will be here soon enough so make sure you keep an eye out for it!