Ringkampf (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) (c) Bobby Gunns & Jaxon Stone
No Disqualification Elimination Tag Team Match for the wXw World Tag Team Championship
Eventwerk, Dresden, Germany
(reviewed 12/01/2017) Fun match here, made fun both by its execution but also by its relative uniqueness. Ringkampf come for a fight and initiate a brawl as soon as they make their entrance and this occupies the first half of the match, with each pairing taking turns in the ring. Before long the baddies are able to isolate Thatcher and put the hurting to him for a while until Ringkampf fight their way back on top and WALTER hits a powerbomb on Stone through a pair of chairs to eliminate him. First half of the match, not so hot. Nowhere near bad but just sort of aimless, lacking the fire that brought this feud to a boil. When Gunns is on his own, though, the match really picks up and turns into something a little more interesting. It’s not often in these elimination tags that you see the heel team go down one member halfway through, especially not when you have a face team like Ringkampf. They’re shooters, large men who excel at causing pain in many ways, very stoic guys who were heels only a few months ago. Not terribly sympathetic, these dudes. But the thing is, they’re facing Bobby Gunns. Gunns is a real shitbag, this cocky young man who has delusions of what “real manhood” looks like and bases his entire personality around smoking. He’s mostly an annoying thorn in the side of anyone he comes across but leading up to this match he and Stone tried to blind Thatcher with a cigarette, crossing a line in a big way. Rightfully, Ringkampf want to punish this kid, make him learn his lesson, but the thing is you just don’t see that too often in wrestling. While Gunns certainly deserves a shot in the mouth for all the things he does, it’s a little odd to see him get his ass kicked by these much larger men for 12 minutes or so. He’s defiant in the face of his punishment, almost valiant. He’s certainly more than a little sympathetic, especially when the referee starts asking if they’re going to go for a pinfall after beating on Gunns for a while and the commentators grow a little uneasy. It’s an interesting situation that just doesn’t come up much in wrestling due to decades of ingrained storytelling habits and I think this match is sort of worth watching on that aspect alone. Moreover, though, the second half of this match is where the hardcore aspects come into play with the usage of thumbtacks and a pair of makeshift tables. Quietly being a deathmatch veteran, Thatcher takes the brunt of the damage here, most notably getting a thumbtack lodged in a very uncomfortable part of his face in a great moment. If that at all sounds enticing, along with the abnormal approach of this match in general, then I recommend giving this a go.