By Markus Gronemann for F4WOnline.com
Night 1 of the wXw World Tag Team League is in the books and they started off strong with a show filled with great matches, amazing wrestling and craziness in the main event. Top to bottom, it was one of the finest shows I ever attended live with some great and otherwise very good matches.
There were roughly 500 people in attendance at Turbinenhalle 2.
Dark Match: RISE (Ivan Kiev & Pete Bouncer) defeated Coast 2 Coast (Leon St. Giovanni & Shaheem Ali) by pin (6:23) after Bouncer hit Self Justice on St. Giovanni
This was a fun opener with two good teams with a quick pace and a few good highspots to get the crowd going. Coast 2 Coast came over on Thursday and will stay through the end of November. Alexander James, who had extended stays here and is a part-time trainer at their school, recommended wXw to them.
Toni Storm pinned Meiko Satomura (7:40) after hitting Strong Zero
This was one hell of an opening match with two of the best female wrestlers in the world. Satomura is very smooth and they worked really well together. Storm won after a second Strong Zero.
World Tag Team League 2018 Block A Match: The Lucha Brothers (Penta El Zero M & Rey Fenix)  defeated Okami (Daichi Hashimoto & Hideyoshi Kamitani)  at 7:08
This was insane and had the crowd going crazy with the contingent of British and Irish fans making noise. It featured lots of high flying, crazy double team moves and stiff shots by the two Japanese wrestlers.
World Tag Team League 2018 Block B Match: Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero)  defeated Jay FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet)  at 10:10
Monster Consulting were over like nobody’s business, especially with the British crowd, who adored them. The overseas fans, headed by Sarah & Sarah of the podcast of the same name also organized a bowling tournament, the “Oberhausen Open”, which took place after the show and involved 22 teams consisting of wrestlers and fans to which Monster Consulting sponsored a trophy. Jay FK are such smarmy heels that people love to hate, including doing an interview in full character for a media panel earlier. Avalanche played the monster who, at times, no-sold everything including a cross body where Kaspin just bounced off his chest. He did play babyface in peril a bit and made the hot tag to Nero. Avalanche pinned Kaspin after hitting a Boulder Dash.
Julian Pace defeated Emil Sitoci and Fred Yehi and Lucky Kid in a wXw Shotgun Title #1 Contendership four way in 7:02
This was another fun match. Shotgun champ Marius Al-Ani came out before the match when everyone was in the ring, did some flipups, and told the wrestlers that nobody wanted to see them as they were not stars on TV and he was. This drew a big pop as Sitoci has been on numerous big reality shows in the Netherlands and now actually works as a television producer for Endemol, coming up with concepts for new shows.
He also said that nobody ever hit the gym like he does and has the body that he does, which again, was funny as Sitoci is pretty ripped with great abs. The match itself consisted of lots of quick spots and working together. Pace picked up the win afer hitting a Code Red on Lucky Kid to a good reaction. There’s also a neat little story here as he made his main roster debut exactly one year ago during Tag League 2017 and now earned his first ever title match.
World Tag Team League 2018 Block A Match: Calamari Catch Kings (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham)  defeated Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER)  at 14:37
This was a tremendous match. Gresham and WALTER started to a big pop as Gresham wouldn’t back down. WALTER just picked him up, carried him to the corner with outstretched arms, put him on the turnbuckle, and patted his head. Gresham then did a flying body press on him but WALTER caught him and wanted to slam him, but Gresham held on, caught WALTER’s leg, held it up so WALTER couldn’t get at him, then tripped the other leg and patted WALTER on the head. They had an otherwise brilliant hard-hitting match, based on chops, strikes, and submissions. Ringkampf had CCK in a double sleeper, only for them to reverse out into a double octopus hold. WALTER accidentally clotheslined Thatcher at one point which lead into the finishing sequence of Gresham tapping him out with the Calimari Clutch.
World Tag Team League 2018 Block B Match: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)  defeated Team SPLX (Angelico & Jeff Cobb)  at 16:35
This was another very good match as all four men are great. Angelico did some great flying and Cobb is just a beast. At one point, he had Fletcher up in a gutwrench and spun him from side to side about four or five times before slamming him. There was lots of stiff action, including some sick flying knees by Angelico. Angelico was pinned after the Sydney Spinner.
David Starr defeats Jurn Simmons in a hair vs. hair hardcore match
This was probably the greatest hardcore match I ever saw live. The feud between those two has been going on for a year now as they teamed during tag League last year, lost in the finals, developed some tensions, broke up, had a match, made up afterwards, and then Jurn turned on Starr and destroyed him with a cane. They were then supposed to meet in a last man standing match during 16 Carat this year but Simmons broke his ankle a few days earlier and was out until August. He returned at Shortcut to the Top, got into it with Starr, and they had a last man standing match where they dismantled the ring, went to a double down and ended up here with a series of great promos and segments.
During the pre-show when he was supposed to be interviewed, Simmons came out, attacked announcer Sebastian Hollmichl, and buzzed off some of his hair.
Simmons came out first with a black-painted Singapore cane and Starr, who usually has an elaborate entrance with all his nicknames being read, decided to forego that procedure and attacked Simmons right away. They brawled on the ramp. Simmons brought a wax patch, put it on Starr’s hairy chest and ripped it off, leading to a bloody patch on Starr’s chest. They brawled up the stairs to the balcony and fought up there, amidst the VIP section and the section where the crew, the journalists, and the announcers were. Simmons again attacked Hollmichl (the announcer) and tried to throw him off the balcony, until Starr hit him with a barstool. They brawled down the other side of the stairs when Starr got up on top of the first landing and jumped on Simmons and a few young boys from about 10-15 feet up (right in front of where I was standing which looked crazy).
After some time, they got up and brawled some more with Simmons putting a piece of barricade over two wall segments, eventually suplexing Starr through it. They used some more chairs and the cane and ended up back in the ring. After some more wild brawling, including a stapler, Starr introduced thumbtacks into the mix. He ended up getting slammed and powerbombed into it and had tacks oll over his back and was also bleeding from the stapler wounds. Simmons also put some tacks in his mouth and kicked him in the face. Simmons then hit the referee with the cane so he couldn’t count any pinfalls. Starr hit Simmons again for the pin but there was no ref, and when Tassilo Jung ran out, Simmons kicked out at 2.9. Simmons set up two chairs in the corner and put thumbtacks on top of the seating cushions. He went to the top rope with Starr and went for a piledriver, but Starr managed to escape. He then managed to do a piledriver from the second rope with Jurn on the top ripe through the chairs and tacks for the pin to an amazing pop at 24:34.
Simmons then wanted to escape the shaving, but Emil Sitoci and Dirty Dragan, two of his former friends who he also turned on came out to keep him in the ring. While he was distracted, Starr cut off some of his hair from behind. Sitoci superkicked him over the top rope and they put him in a chair. Starr allowed Dragan to cut of the first batch of hair. Then, Sitoci cut some off and eventually Starr brought a buzzer and buzzed off most of Simmons hair, only leaving some on the sides and a small lock at the front, which of course, looked even more ridiculous. This was a totally wild, crazy match which nontheless was very good for what it was.
wXw just announced that world champion Absolute Andy has a shoulder injury and is out of tonight’s three way main event against Bobby Gunns and ilja Dragunov. They’ll have a match for the interim world title and the winner will face Andy at a later date.
The promotion announced that world champion Absolute Andy has a shoulder injury and is out of Saturday’s three way main event against Bobby Gunns and ilja Dragunov. They’ll have a match for the interim world title and the winner will face Andy at a later date.
Jim Smallman Standup comedy show
At midnight, there was a 90-minute Jim Smallman (one of the PROGRESS owners) stand-up show which was hilarious. He went through the history of wrestling from the days of Farmer Burns and Hackenschmidt all the way to Thesz, Rogers, Sammartino, Graham, Flair, Hogan, Warrior, Undertaker, Austin, the nWo, the Kliq, Sid Vicious, Scott Steiner, John Cena, and Daniel Bryan. He told some great stories from various PROGRESS shows and meeting some wrestlers such as New Jack and X-Pac. He explained that after the angle he did with Jimmy Havoc, his then 10-year-old daughter saw it on YouTube and was scared of Havoc until when she was over for Christmas and Havoc also was there. They sat her down and explained how it wasn’t real. Havoc spent the night and the daughter again and again asked if they would fight. They would say no and his daughter eventually came into his room in the middle of the night, told him Havoc was asleep in the guest room, gave him a plastic folding chair and told him “he’s asleep, go finish the job”. This was super entertaining and I’d recommend everyone to go see him if you get the chance.
He also answered a few questions and said that PROGRESS would not run WrestleMania weekend this year as the staying costs at the hotel would be too expensive and it didn’t make sense for them to go. But, they probably would do another U.S. tour down the line. He also said that the idea of a PROGRESS/wXw/EVOLVE triangle was thrown around a while back, but it never got out of the talking stages, but that he would love something like that.
Before the show, some members of the European wrestling media had the chance to talk to Tassilo Jung, wXw’s head of talent relations and media for some insights on the current developments in wXw:
On the wXw/WWE relationship:
Tas said that he could only talk about things that only happened such as the Robbie Brookside training session at the wXw Academy. From what Avalanche (Robert Dreissker) stated, it was about three hours of drills and basics and he said that it was probably one of the most exhausting things he had done in quite some time. Jung indicated that there were ongoing talks, but that he would like not to comment on them right now. He said that they were in contact to get permission to air the Pete Dunne/WALTER match a few months ago and that he expects to be able to use other WWE UK performers in the future if they asked for that, stating that they regularly have Killer Kelly on their shows, who is a contracted WWE UK talent. What he did state though is that as of right now, there is no deal in place like WWE has with PROGRESS or ICW.
Bad Bones update
He went a bit more into detail with the Bad Bones John Klinger situation as they surprisingly suspended him in April while he was tag team champion and part of one of their main storylines. He said that Klinger and he remain friends, he talks to him regularly and that they would go hiking together in Switzerland (where Jung lives) next week. He said that Bones “made a grave mistake” and that’s why they decided to suspend him, but that the door to working together in the future is not closed forever and that, whatever happened, could be remedied at some point.