And now for something completely different. The Network has thrown this show along with a few other indies up at time of writing, so it’s the perfect moment to give wXw some love. It’s the 5th October 2019 and we’re in the Turbeninhalle 2 of Oberhausen, Germany, for Femmes Fatales 2019! Your main event tonight: The Final match of the annual Femmes Fatales tournament!
Is it fair to say that Westside Xtreme Wrestling is the biggest wrestling promotion on continental Europe? It certainly seems that way, at least in terms of general notice. Very little seems able to compete with wXw in that way, largely because of the manner in which they have been able to cultivate relationships with wrestling companies all over the place, not least WWE. A lot of people who made their bones in wXw have showed up since in bigger companies and brands, especially NXT UK (two former winners of this tournament for example, Jazzy Gabert and Toni Storm, have been prominent in NXT UK since). Femme Fatales is wXw’s main women-only show, a one night single elimination tournament featuring some of the best female talent from Europe and beyond. There will also be a wXw Women’s Championship to boot, so this is a great way to introduce ourselves to wXw’s women’s division. Let’s get to it.
After wXw’s intro splash highlighting some of the big names that have wrestled and/or shown up at their shows and we’re into the opening package. We get a rundown of previous tournaments, and a confirmation that the winner of tonight’s tournament gets a shot at the Women’s Championship. It’s a multi-national set of competitors, from as far apart as Japan and Ireland.
The show’s announcers speak German, but we do have English commentary through Andy Jackson and Rico Bushido. Not unlike the STARDOM Cinderella tournament, we start with a presentation of the Femme Fatales Cup, and an introduction to all of the competitors one after the other. From there, it’s a quick cut into our first contest.
Wesna vs Session Moth Martina (wXw Femme Fatales Tournament Quarter Final #1)
Wesna is a long-standing powerhouse/technician of women’s wrestling in Europe, and might be the best kept secret of that category, having never gotten a run in the mainstream for whatever reason. Martina, well, I suppose being Irish and living on Dublin’s northside, I am uniquely placed to explain her gimmick, that of a working-class “boird” from “da flats”, who likes wearing tacky ostentatious clothes, drinking and coming out to rave music. Think the Irish equivalent of an English chav or American white trash. She’s mostly known as an OTT performer, but has been all over. She’s out here grinding against the ring announcer before collapsing on the mat and playing wasted. Not exactly a positive character for the Irish, but wrestling takes all-sorts.
After Wesna hits the ring Martina vacates in a hurry, but eventually comes back in to the sounds of “Please don’t die”. Martina with a charge after the bell, and floored by a standing-still Wesna. And again. And again after some encouragement from the crowd and some Dutch courage from her bottle, described vividly as “a potion” by commentary. Wesna brings the hurt with some big chops, but Martina back with a running forearm and then a somewhat slow rana. Charges into the corner, boot to the head, then a missile drop-kick from the second rope gets Moth two.
The crowd behind Session Moth as we continue with Wesna getting back on top. Northern Lights Suplex with a pin for two shows she isn’t just a frail whale. Stomps, looking for a fireman’s carry but Martina out, but then eats a boot to the face. Standard wXw crowd is cool, despite the very small size, with fans all the way up to the actual ring. Martina trying to rally back with forearms, a headbutt, an enziguri, then a cutter OUTTANOWHERE, but only two after that decent sequence. Caught coming off the second rope, Samoan Drop from Wesna gets two. Crowd into this one now.
Martina set-up on the top, chops, Wesna with the charge but intercepted with a kick to the face. Lung Blower from the top, followed up with a Crucifix Bomb – neat move – and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in just over seven.
Winner: The pride of Dublin
Verdict: Fun opener. Wesna looking a tad limited, but Martina was a good opponent for her then.
Martina offers a hand in the aftermath, Wesna reluctantly takes it, but chases Martina off when she goes for some grindage.
Leyla Hirsch is a Russian-born but USA adopted wrestler. She wrestled on the male team in high school, won a state championship and then trained for pro-wrestling with CZW, so we might see some craziness. She might be small, but she’s ready to step in the ring with anybody. Compare this to the WCPW stuff for their World Cup that I have been looking at and its night and day: wXw knows how to do it right. The wrestlers sound believable, there is accompanying footage that is blended in seamlessly, it’s all good.
Leyla Hirsch vs Sammii Jayne (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Quarter-Final #2)
We’ve met Hirsch, but don’t know much about Jayne, apart from the fact that she’s Scottish and has popped up in WCPW/Defiant and OTT. Crowd big behind Leyla. Headlock from Jayne to start, whip chains, and the smaller Hirsch floors Jayne on a charge. Drop-kick, corner forearm, double-knees, but Jayne out at two. Going for another charge, but caught and hit with a fallaway slam. Crossbody charge to the corner, Jayne to the top and hits a not-too-great looking missile drop-kick for two. Snap suplex for two, then a rest-hold. Commentators tripping over each other on the manufactured banter, which the match doesn’t need.
Leyla gets to the rope, takes a knee drop to the ribs for two. Another rest-hold follows, and this one has lost a bit of heat. Hirsch rallying back, nice running knee followed by a picture-perfect German. Hirsch with a hip-toss into an armbar attempt, but Jayne battles out. Jayne with an enziguri, and follows up with a cool looking move where Hirsh is propped on the ropes, then subjected to a German as Jayne slides under her and out of the ring. Only two though. Jayne with the whip, Hirsh back at her with a jumping neckbreaker. It’s got rhythm back. Hirsh with some roll-throughs, locks on an armbar and Jayne submits in just over five-and-a-half.
Winner: The little gal.
Verdict: Hard-hitting, but maybe a bit short given a fifth of it was rest-holds.
Straight into the next one.
Baby Allison vs Lana Austin (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Quarter-Final #3)
Commentary fawning over “sexy” Allison, the “witch bitch” of wrestling. OK then. Not really familiar with either of these two, aside from Austin being a journeywomen who seems to show up on every indie show going (and an episode of NXT UK). Allison opens up by asking Austin to compare asses, and the cause of women’s wrestling is being lost before our eyes. The commentators aren’t helping, indulging their inner Jerry Lawler for this part. We eventually get wrestling, and Austin on offence early, flooring Allison with a sloppy clothesline. Austin to the apron, where she gets thrown into the ring post and out.
No ringside brawling thankfully as we head straight back in. Allison with mounted punches, then with a Matrix dodge to an Austin clothesline. Allison nails a DDT, sexy pin, only two. The commentators might as well be masturbating on ringside. Austin dumped in the corner, StinkFace, but of course. Let this one be over soon, please. Austin back on top, gives Allison her own Stink Face followed by some better clotheslines. Knee to the face, Russian Leg Sweep, only two. Another terribly looking clothesline, this time from Allison, if you can’t do it right, don’t so it.
Allison with slaps to the head, Austin back with forearms, then a vicious looking headbutt. Drapped DDT, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in around five.
Winner: The better wrestler, for sure.
Verdict: Could have done without the “sexy” antics in the ring, and the sexy banter on commentary. Sometimes it’s nice to not have to explain you aren’t watching porn when you watch wrestling.
Straight unto the next match.
Vicious Vivian vs LuFisto (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Quarter-Final #4)
Vivian I know nothing about, but this could well be a squash for her. Her opponent might be the best women’s wrestler to never make it onto a big worldwide-known promotion, who is probably going into the last few years of her career.
Vivian tries an ambush, and it goes about as well as you would expect. LuFisto takes over with beatdown offence, snapmare, two. Vivian able to get in a clothesline for barely one, then walks into a big chop, super-kick and that’s it in less than a minute.
Winner: I think LuFisto might be winning this tournament.
Verdict: Designed just to get LuFisto over, like she needs it.
An ad for wXw’s next big show and we’re onto the semis.
Session Moth Martina vs Leyla Hirsh (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Semi-Final #1)
I just realised that Martina’s entrance video features her robbing stores on Dublin’s Grafton Street. Nice. “Leyla spent the morning in a gym, not in a bar”. “Leyla is a gym rat, Martina…frequents bars”. They are harping on that point. The much taller Martina gives Hirsh a pat on the head, before suffering a take-down. Commentators posit Martina has some experience with leprechauns, hilarious. Hirsh with a wrist-lock, and Martina sells so much the crowd starts another “Please don’t die” chant.
Hirsh putting in a modified STF for a bit, Martina out of it and hits a rana. Corner elbow, another, and then a boot to the face. Crowd is into Moth’s offence. Nails a suplex, and Hirsh rolls out. Martina going for a tope, but intercepted with a forearm. Back in, Hirsh to the top, but crotched and then worked over in a tree-of-woe. Layla with big hammer blows to the head, then three release German’s to a big reaction, all executed really well. A “Suplex City” chant of all things. Exchange of strikes, Martina dumped out with a drop-kick, then nails a headbutt on her way back in. Martina to the top, going for that Lung Blower/Codebreaker, but looks like she just jumps into Hirsh, sloppy as hell, and gets the “Didn’t get all of it” treatment.
Hirsh rallying back with an armbar, Martina countering into pin attempts, and then a modified abdominal stretch that gets some crude commentary, jeez. Hirsh back with a Boston Crab, but Martina with the rope-break. Forearms from Session Moth, another headbutt, but Hirsh answers with an enziguri. Hirsh to the top, but shocking botch on the moonsault, which falls so short that Martina has to roll at the last second just so Hirsh’s legs scrape her side. Another “Didn’t get all of it” and that’s it in just over seven.
Winner: Hirsh, perhaps being pushed a bit too, far too fast if that finish is to be believed.
Verdict: Ending was laughable, and not the only bad spot.
Show of respect between the two, and then we are straight into the next semi-final.
Lana Austin vs LuFisto (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Semi-Final #2)
“Well, here comes the pain”, because we needed another Lesnar reference. It’s been barely ten minutes since LuFisto was last out. She dances along to some pro-LuFisto chants, and here we go.
Roll-ups from the start from Austin, but nothing doing. Knocked into the corner, stomped on, and put into a Bow-and-Arrow that looks pretty vicious. A pull to the hair gets Austin out of it, but LuFisto right back with strikes and kicks, then a leg-lock/calf crusher variation. Commentators really covering themselves in glory here: “Austin moves like someone used to having weight on their back”. Give me the German guys, please. LuFisto laying in chops, kicks to the head, but Austin finally gets into it with an elbow, then a Sunset Flip for two.
Looking more and more like an extended squash match as LuFisto back on top, another leg-lock, but Austin eventually able to get to her feet where she nails a big forearm. More forearms, and eventually LuFisto goes down after eating a headbutt, but only two. Austin, naturally, hits a stunner, but only two as well. LuFisto answers wit a sweep kick, locks in a modified Figure-4, and Austin taps out in around seven-and-a-half.
Winner: LuFisto, who for her age and size can go way more than you would think.
Verdict: Really only kicked into gear in the last few minutes, but was alright.
The commentators hype up the next match, which is for the wXw Women’s Championship. A very brief highlight package showcases the previous champions which amount to just four wrestlers, Killer Kelly, Toni Storm, Melanie Grey and current champ Amale. We get to see the set-up for Amale’s last defence against Faye Jackson, which resulted in Amale retaining in controversial circumstances. wXw’s authority figure, the worst actor in history, agrees to set-up a rematch as a result, and that’s next.
Amale (c) vs Faye Jackson (wXw Women’s Championship)
Amale is a sort of Dive-esque heel, who has subsequently been signed up to WWE’s British developmental, with a few jobber appearances on NXT UK to her name at time of writing. Jackson’s a lesser-known wrestler from the indie circuits, best known for a mostly comedy gimmick of having a big butt. The commentators will have a field day.
Jackson with an immediate charge to take Amale down, then mounted punches. Amale dives for the outside for a few moments to get her bearings. Jackson dodges a charge then gets put onto the mat a few times, with Jackson finishing with a delay Scoop Slam. Jackson to the second rope, Amale dodges a drop, then takes some corner charges. Dodges a cannonball by rolling out again.
This time Jackson follows and we get some crowd brawling. Amale put in a ringside chair so Jackson can gyrate against her. Eventually Amale able to throw Jackson into the ring-post, then very slowly and awkwardly back in. Drop-kick sends Jackson into the corner, then a running boot gets two. Amale taking over with heel offence now, hair pulling, mounted punches, stomps, rest-holds. Running knee, head scissors, and man it does not look that good really. Jackson fights out of it, then lays in some elbows. Amale back with forearms in the corner, but then Jackson turns the tables and is able to her her own running charges into the corner. Only two. Not a great rhythm to this one so far.
Jacksoin gets Amale up for the fireman’s carry, but Amale out. Back to corner charges because that’s been half of this match, but Amale pulls out the best move of the match so far with a German to the much bigger Jackson. Jackson takes Amale down, Vader Bomb off the second rope, but only two. More corner charges, yawn, and Amale dodges a cannonball. Amale hits an STO they call a “Champion Maker, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in just over eight-and-a-half.
Winner (and still wXw Women’s Champion): Amale, but not looking super great.
Verdict: Rather dull interval match the card didn’t really need.
Amale is showered with roses by the crowd, but responds by stomping on them, because this is crowd participation heelery.
The ring announcer talks about some upcoming events, then it’s time for the main event.
Leyla Hirsh vs LuFisto (wXw Femmes Fatales Tournament Final)
LuFisto seems like the obvious winner, but it would probably do more for Hirsh’s career. Hirsh ambushes LuFisto at the start with a takedown and an armbar attempt, but LuFisto to the ropes. Nice start. Exchanging strikes, LuFisto dodges a drop-kick, then Hirsh squirms out of a submission attempt. Hirsh with the take down, dueling mounted punches as they roll around, and Hirsh takes the advantage. Foot choke on the corner, then double knees into the back of LuFisto’s head. This one has started with a head of steam.
Hirsh with more submission attempts, stomps, then rope-assisted clotheslines. Kicks to the head, but LuFisto back with strikes, then a vicious looking running kick that floors Hirsh. LuFisto with her own head kick, then another. Only two though. Stomps, then a leg-lock. Almost heel offence from LuFiaro now, with rope-assisted submissions. Working over the legs, then a wheelbarrow. Hirsh set up on the ropes, but dodges a charge and LuFisto awkwardly rolled to the outside, where she takes a tope, then another, and then a third, but LuFisto back with a forearm on the last one. Was a bit of an awkward section.
Exchanging punches on the outside, and LuFisto able to hit a powerbomb into the front row chairs, to a “Holy Shit” chant, but man it did not look all that great. Hirsh left prone on the outside for a while, but no sign of a count-out, so LuFisto has to get her back in for two. Dueling forearms for a bit, then dueling chops, LuFisto going for the Burning Hammer, Hirsh out of it, jumping knee, German, but only two. This thing suddenly came to life out of nowhere. Hirsh slaps on an armbar, but LuFisto to the ropes. Corner charges from Hirsh, but LuFisto with a nice kicking counter, then hits a big spear for two.
LuFisto going for a Butterfly Powerbomb, but Hirsh counters with a reverse suplex. Hirsh to the top, nearly trips on the way, and hits another almost no-contact Moonsault, for two, then transitions straight into the armbar again. LuFisto counters into an STF with a hair yank, but Hirsh to the ropes. LuFisto drags her off, hits the Double Underhook Bomb, but only two, Crowd big into this one now, and big behind Leyla. LuFisto going for the Burning Hammer again, Hirsh out of it again, and gets two off a big clothesline. Hirsh back to the top, this time nobody home officially, LuFisto with the Burning Hammer and that’s it in around 14-and-a-half.
Winner (and 2019 Femmes Fatales Tournament Winner): LuFisto
Verdict: Some more sloppy moments from Hirsh and it had some slow sections, but the last few minutes was pretty golden.
LuFisto celebrates with the trophy, and a show of respect in the aftermath. The winner addresses the crowd, talks about some thoughts on her retirement recently, and says Germany is her favourite place to wrestle. She turns 40 soon, but she’s just starting. Now she’s going to challenge Amale for the wXw Women’s Championship, which the crowd is happy about, and that match happens tomorrow at the Tag Team PPV. A “wXw” chant, and we are done. Amale would win that match.
Best Match: I suppose the main event had a great ending sequence, bar the terrible moonsaults.
Best Wrestler: Session Moth actually can jump between actual wrestling and comedy skits pretty well.
Worst Match: Allison/Austin featured some of the worst aspects of women’s wrestling, both in-ring and on commentary.
Worst Wrestler: Honestly, although they worked very hard to get her over here, Hirsh’s moonsaults were shocking.
Overall Verdict: It was OK. If the commentary had been more bearable I probably would have had more time for it. As it is, it’s a bang-average women’s show.
Quick Thoughts On TLC 2020
Eight-Man Tag: Exactly what pre-show matches should be, just big NJPW-style tags where everyone gets a minute. And it served a larger story with Big E pinning Zayn. Watchable.
McIntyre/Styles (then Miz): Liked this one, though it was a bit long (lots of waiting around between big moves). No ridiculous spots was something I appreciated, and thought Miz/Morrison were used well. Give it a watch.
Banks/Carmella: Really good stuff from these two, in a match that succeeded in “making” Carmella for her return and gave Banks a decent platform as champion. Must-see.
New Day/Hurt Business: Straightforward tag, and the right choice to swap the belts at this point before the Hurt Business run out of steam. Nothing too special, but nothing to avoid either.
ShayNia/Asuka and Charlotte Flair: Another straightforward enough tag where all of the attention was on Flair’s return. Too many times the Women’s Tag belts have been on someone holding a singles title, they need to build up an actual division. Skippable.
Reigns/Owens: Fun match, made largely by Owens’ intensity, and they did good job making you think he could actually pull it off. The Reigns Family drama remains the best thing WWE has going on. Check it out.
Orton/Fiend: The usual Wyatt insanity, now with fire. Seems like this was an effort to re-do their disastrous feud a few years ago properly
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