Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Amerika Ist Wunderbar
Date: April 4, 2019
Location: La Boom, Woodside, New York
Commentators: Jeremy Grave, Sebastian Hollmichel
This is WXW (Westside Xtreme Wrestling) from Germany and another promotion I don’t know much about. A few weeks ago someone asked me to do one of their shows so I’ll take care of it as part of the Wrestlemania weekend festivities. As usual I have no idea what to expect from this so let’s get to it.
We’re joined in progress with David Star yelling at Lucky Kid, who won the 16 Karat Gold Tournament and gets to face Starr tonight. Kid doesn’t look impressed as Starr leaves.
Opening sequence, featuring some names such as Walter and Toni Storm, meaning I won’t be totally lost.
And now the same opening sequence as I think we’re starting late.
And now, a black screen as the streaming problems seem to be in full swing.
We’re good to go about twelve minutes after the scheduled start, which is pretty good for indy wrestling.
LAX vs. The Crown
The Crown is Alexander James/Jurn Simmons. Thankfully commentary feels us in a bit, saying that the Crown is a relatively new team who stumbled out of the gate. James and Ortiz start with Ortiz claiming a hair pull. Well to be fair there’s kind of a lot of it man. A northern lights suplex gives Ortiz two and it’s off to Santana to kick James in the head.
Simmons comes in for some better luck with the powerful forearms to Santana’s back. The Crown takes over in the corner but Santana slips away and jumps over the ropes with Ortiz tagging in on the way. LAX speeds things up in a hurry with a series of splashes straight out of the Lucha House Party playbook. Simmons is right back up with a hard suplex to take over again though and it’s back to James for something like a triangle choke.
Ortiz finally fights out and rolls over for the hot tag to Santana as the pace picks back up. A sitout F5 takes James down but the top rope double stomp misses. An Alley Oop plants James again and Santana drops a frog splash for two with Simmons making the save. The Street Sweeper is broken up but the Decapitation (whatever that is) is broken up as well. LAX is right back up with the double belly to back faceplant for the pin on James at 11:21.
Rating: B-. LAX is just good and always worth checking out no matter where they are. They kind of came out of nowhere and I can’t imagine they stick around the small pond of Impact Wrestling much longer. They’re that good and a team who could be stars anywhere they go. Hopefully that’s the case in the future as they’ve more than earned it. The Crown was fine for a power team but nothing all that great.
Darby Allin vs. Avalanche
Thank goodness for name graphics, though I’ve seen Allin before in MLW. Avalanche is a monster (duh) though apparently not a Shark or an Earthquake. The smaller (and more dead looking) Allin bails outside to start and Avalanche follows, earning himself a whip into the barricade. Back in and Avalanche takes over as the German chants begin. I don’t speak German but I might have better luck with that than the NXT UK chants.
Allin manages a Code Red for two and a flipping Stunner follows, only to walk into a Samoan drop. A Fujiwara armbar works a bit better for Allin as Avalanche has to get a boot on the rope. Back up and Avalanche uses the power to take over again, this time asking Allin what is wrong with him. A running splash in the corner (the Avalanche) sets up a fall away slam into a Vader Bomb for the pin on Allin at 5:14.
Rating: D+. Just a step above a squash here with Avalanche following the tradition of the German monsters. Allin was trying but there was only so much he could do against a monster like Avalanche. It was a good way to see what Avalanche can do and that’s what makes sense going forward for the company.
Yuu vs. Jordynne Grace
Women’s match with Grace as a replacement for LuFisto who isn’t here for some reason (that’s better as I just saw the face and didn’t remember LuFisto looking like that). Grace takes her down with a headlock to start and runs Yuu over with a shoulder. Yuu’s headlock doesn’t work and it’s a pair of running knees in the corner to set up another Vader Bomb.
Yuu takes her down and grabs a chinlock, which lasts as long as you would expect for a chinlock against someone made of muscle. Grace hits a charge in the corner and a spinning Samoan drop gets two. The Grace Driver (pumphandle driver) finishes Yuu at 7:54. Dropping someone on the back of their head can do that most of the time.
Rating: D+. These two beat each other up but Yuu was clearly a few steps behind. Grace has been impressive in Impact as she looks unique enough to be a monster with some skills, which is more than you might expect from someone her size. Yuu was completely acceptable but nothing too special.
Video on the Shotgun Title (seems like a midcard title) match. The subtitles don’t help all that much but I think the title changed hands recently and the former champion is getting his rematch. Fair enough.
Shotgun Title: Marius Al Ani vs. Emil Sitoci
Sitoci is defending after winning the title from Ani a few days ago. They start fast with Ani grabbing a quickly broken chinlock and getting armdragged down. Back up and Ani sends him into the ropes but stops to pose, allowing Emil to grab a backslide for two. A suplex sets up a double arm crank as Emil can’t keep the momentum going. Ani kicks him in the back of the head and poses some more as they have the face vs. heel dynamic set up pretty well.
Back in and Emil hits a good belly to belly before slapping on a seated abdominal stretch. The split legged moonsault hits Ani’s raised knees but Ani grabs an O’Connor Roll into an ankle lock to put Emil in trouble for a change. That doesn’t last long either as Emil is up with a gutbuster and a top rope elbow to stay on the ribs. A snapmare driver is countered into a quickly broken ankle lock so Ani throws him down with a release exploder suplex. Ani goes up top for a splash but gets pulled down into a super Spanish Fly to retain Emil’s title at 9:02.
Rating: C+. These guys looked better than anyone else on the show so far as they beat each other up and you could see the story of the match. It’s perfectly fine for a title defense and the finish looked good. Emil was referred to as a legend and I could see him being someone who had been a star for a long time around here. Good match and another nice entry on the show.
We see the same argument between Starr and Kid that opened the show.
David Starr vs. Lucky Kid
I think I’ve been watching too much indy wrestling as I now recognize Starr’s music and can recite most of his many nicknames. Kid seems to be rather popular and I don’t think Starr would be a face in his own living room. The announcers recap the story with Starr being jealous of Kid winning the 16 Karat Gold Tournament and not getting the respect he demands.
Kid defeating Walter has something to do with it as well. Kid starts fast and slides between the legs for a dropkick to the head. That leaves Kid in the ring for a little taunting (not good against Starr, who calls himself the King of Taunts), meaning it’s Starr coming back inside to nail him in the head. Starr takes it outside and drops Kid on the barricade, only to get chopped in the corner. A big lariat gives Starr two and it’s time to just hammer away at Kid’s head.
The referee starts a count on the downed Kid but Starr comes over to get him, meaning the comeback is on. Kid can’t get a Crossface so they trade forearms to the head. Starr catches him on top with a belly to belly superplex….which is no sold. Well ok then. With the suplexes not working, Starr hammers away with more shots to the head until Kid grabs a suplex of his own. Starr’s German suplex (how appropriate) and another lariat are shrugged off for something like a powerbomb to put Starr down again.
Kid slaps him in the face and grabs a small package for two but the Blackheart Buster (brainbuster onto the knee gives Starr a very close two. A powerbomb onto the knee gets two more and Starr can’t believe it. Kid is dead so Starr kicks him in the head and yells about making Walter tap out.
That earns him a middle finger from Kid and the fans remind Starr that he never beat Walter. They slug it out with Starr’s lariat staggering Kid. Starr tries it again but gets reversed into a Crossface, which is broken up in a hurry. Sliced Bread puts Starr down and Kid’s 450 goes knees first into Starr’s chest. Another Crossface makes Starr tap at 14:33.
Rating: B+. It takes something special to suck you into a show where you don’t know what’s going on and only know one of the wrestlers. I liked this match quite a bit with Starr’s frustration coming through as Kid managed to survive to continue what seems to be Starr’s descent into madness. Very good match here and I liked it far more than I was expecting.
Post match Starr sits in the corner and grabs the mic, saying that he’s not safe venting his frustrations anymore. This is Wrestlemania weekend, but the fans here have allowed the evil corporation to take over independent wrestling. Starr is independent and there are certain cowards who don’t show up to shows like this. Cowards who tapped out to him at 16 Karat Gold (Walter) and work for companies who don’t provide healthcare or allow them to unionize. These fans were chanting NXT so they’re just as fake as Walter is. Walter won’t face him in a WXW ring so Starr is quitting WXW.
Aussie Open is ready to defend the Tag Team Titles. Works for me as they’re rather awesome. An unnamed guy comes in and doesn’t think much of them.
Absolute Andy vs. Chris Brookes
I’ve heard a lot about Andy before but I’ve never actually seen him wrestle. Andy chills on the floor to start and pulls Brookes outside so the chopping can begin. A suicide dive has Andy in more trouble and Brookes adds a double stomp from the barricade. Andy can’t powerbomb him onto the barricade so Brookes wraps the ring skirt over Andy’s face and hits another stomp. As they get in for the first time, Andy kicks the ropes for a low blow behind the referee’s back to take over. Andy sends him into the corner and we get the opening bell as the four minutes of brawling before didn’t count.
A missed charge in the corner lets Brookes get up top for a backsplash to the back and a suplex gets two on the bigger Andy. A spinebuster plants Brookes right back down but Andy misses a good looking moonsault. Brookes gets two off a slingshot cutter and grabs something close to a Koji Clutch. That’s broken up with a foot on the rope and Andy is fine enough to run the corner for a belly to belly superplex. Andy grabs an F5 but gets reversed into a rollup for a very sudden pin at 5:43.
Rating: C-. It was fine while it lasted but it didn’t last long. Andy seems to be a legend around here, which is rather impressive given his pretty generic physique (he has some size to him but not much in the way of muscles). Brookes is someone I’ve seen elsewhere before but never been all that impressed by him. I could have gone for more of this and I can see either of them giving a better performance with more time.
Tag Team Titles: Aussie Open vs. Workhorsemen
Aussie Open (Mark Davis/Kyle Fletcher, who don’t have their belts for some reason) are defending against JD Henry/Anthony Henry. Fletcher and Henry start things off and the fans are split. Henry takes him into the corner to start and backflips away for some early posing. The Workhorsemen start in on the arm with the rather large Henry (those are some huge trunks) coming in for a Codebreaker into a knee to the head from Henry.
Fletcher muscles Henry over for a suplex though and it’s off to Davis for the power chops. It’s already back to Fletcher, who misses a charge in the corner and gets chopped by Henry. A neckbreaker onto Henry’s raised knees get two on Fletcher and it’s off to a chinlock. Fletcher gets taken into the corner but fights out of it in a hurry, allowing the hot tag off to Davis for the house cleaning.
Henry and Davis slug it out until Fletcher comes in, only to have Henry run both Aussies open. Gibson and Drake are sent outside, leaving Henry and Davis to slug it out. The other two come back in and are chopped down almost immediately. Henry’s sitout slam sets up a moonsault for a VERY close two as the announcers can’t seem to remember which one is Henry and which one is Drake. The Aussies are right back and Drake gets superkicked, setting up a piledriver and a double flipping powerslam (the Fidget Spinner) retains the titles at 15:49.
Rating: B. Another rather good match here as Aussie Open is one of the better indy teams around today. They work well together and this was quite the match from both teams. This is the reason I like watching shows from this weekend as you never know what kind of random pairing you’re going to see with this kind of a result. Good stuff here, as the show is getting back on a roll.
WXW Unified World Title: Bobby Gunns vs. Shigehiro Irie
Gunns is defending and a smoker, described as the King of Smoke Style. Uh, yeah. Gunns takes him down as we hear about Irie pinning Gunns before Gunns won the title. Makes enough sense. Irie gets in a bulldog to put the champ down and a rather early near fall. A cross armbreaker is broken up in a hurry and Gunns kicks him in the back. The arm wringing begins and Gunns stomps on the raised arm ala Shayna Baszler.
An STF is broken up with a rope grab and Irie scores with a quick suplex for two. Irie gets in a good looking top rope splash for two but Gunns pops up from a hard left armed clothesline. Gunns snaps off the German suplex but gets Pounced hard into the corner. They head to the apron with Irie nailing a piledriver to knock Gunns silly, albeit on the floor.
Gunns starts crawling back inside and gets caught with a legdrop to the back. The Cannonball gives Irie two and he blasts Gunns with his Beast Bomber lariat for two, with the bad arm preventing the fast cover. Gunns catches him on top and snaps the fingers ala Pete Dunne (he’s an NXT fan).
Irie is too big to be German suplexed so Gunns pulls him down into the Rings of Saturn. That’s quite the problem so Irie bites the rope for the break. Sebastian: “By the skin of his teeth!” Jeremy: “That was perfect Sebastian.” The Beast Bomber gives Irie two and they flip each other off with Gunns pulling him into a cross armbreaker for the tap at 15:30.
Rating: B-. It was entertaining but it didn’t feel like a major match at all. Gunns isn’t the most thrilling wrestler and I didn’t get invested into this one for the most part. Irie felt like a monster for Gunns to slay and while that’s fine and exactly what Gunns did, it didn’t exactly get overly entertaining and I didn’t buy Gunns’ title as being in jeopardy.
Post match here’s Joey Janela of all people as Gunns lights up a cigarette. Janela does the same and says he wants the belt.
Overall Rating: B. I liked this. I’m not sure how much I’d want to watch it in the future but for what we got here, I had a good time. There were enough good matches to keep the show entertaining with only one or two being less than adequate. I can see why this is one of the better received European promotions and it was better than expected. Well done.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the History Of In Your House.
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