In one week, wXw will be in France, they are running a show with APC in Studio Jenny. wXw will face APC in a tournament named « Fight For Paris« , 4 wXw wrestlers are going to have a match against 4 APC wrestlers in quarter-finals, matches are Christianium against David Starr, Aigle Blanc against Jay Skillet, Dick Riviere against Marius Al-Ani and Tristan Archer against Cody Hall. During that event, two wXw titles are going to be defended, Montero Salem (Thiago Montero and Rick Salem) will face Pretty Bastard (Maggot and Prince Ahura) for wXw Tag Team Championship and wXw Women’s Championship will also be defended but the opponent of Amale is still unknown. A-Buck will also face Avanlanche and Julian Pace in a triple threat match. We had the chance to talk with Tassilo Jung, COO of wXw about the show, Amale and wXw !
Let’s talk about the show first, how came the idea to do a show with APC in France ? Progress made it also a few month earlier, so did it help to take that decision ?
wXw is a German wrestling promotion, so by nature Germany is our core market. We distribute our events and our original content formats via wXwNOW, a SVoD service – think a smaller-scale WWE Network. In addition to wXw it also features fifteen other promotions from all over the world, including CZW, SMASH and White Wolf Wrestling. As wXwNOW has an English-language version of everything, we have grown quite a bit of an international following. Subsequently we have also ran events in London, the United States and Canada.
We feel getting our brands (wXw, wXwNOW) and the names of our wrestlers into the world is important. Teaming up with promotions to run joint events is a nice way to do this. We have selected two European promotions for a little trial run of this in 2020. One of them is APC.
We have known APC for a long time and we have worked with them on their tournament in January 2013 – back then a few of our younger wrestlers (Karsten Beck, Sasa Keel etc) participated. It very much helps that we know the company and that we trust our liaison between companies. Of course we have checked in with our friends from PROGRESS as well to learn about their experiences.
In 2019, NJPW World added french commentary to some of their shows, AEW came on TV in France. Do you have the idea to develop a fanbase in France and so maybe to add french commentary on wXwNOW ?
There is a certain amount of French wrestling fans already travelling to our major events in Oberhausen. In fact we have been contacted by French commentators about a project like this twice. So far we have decided against it. We are very hands-on with our product. wXw tries to development talent – this goes for our wrestlers and for our staff members. Our commentators receive a lot of feedback and briefings. As none of our creative team members, agents or our main commentator speaks much French, it would be impossible for us to listen their commentary, check for quality and help them in developing. At this stage this is a deal-breaker for us.
Amale is your current Women Champion, her nickname is « French Hope » but in France she said that no one believed in her. But this is before WWE tryouts in Germany because just after that she started in wXw and made it really fast to the top. But what made you believe in her ?
We do run a wrestling school, the wXw Wrestling Academy in Germany. This school is open for our members as well as for international trainees. We have a lot of people coming in for any time between a week and three months to train with us – so far wrestlers from roughly 35 countries have travelled to Germany to do so.
After her initial tryouts with WWE Amale received the feedback that she had potential but needed to get more experience, seek higher level of training and wrestle more at better places. Amale contacted us and was willing to frequently travel to Germany to train alone.
That impressed me because doing a training and travel schedule like this while maintaining a regular job takes a lot out of you.
As we had an opening on events we decided to put her in a few matches. Her work ethic and her drive to get better are impressive. A lot of wrestlers in Europe want to go places but don’t want to go out of their comfort zone. They might not wanna take a Friday booking right after work or a Sunday evening show too far away from home. They would rather not sit in a car for five hours, let alone eight or ten. I believe it’s important for talent to get on as many shows and to as many classes as they can – sometimes this does take a little more effort. The times I have seen Amale leave a venue far East in Germany at 8pm on a Sunday saying that she would drive right through the night to arrive back at her job at 7am Monday morning are great proof of her passion for wrestling.
I think the improvements she has made within the last year are very straightforward. She has a lot to learn and a long way to go but so far she is doing very well.
Today, wXw is one of the major promotions in Europe, according to you, how did wXw became so popular?
I believe that if you do something with a lot of passion and with the right attitude for a long time, you will eventually get good at it. wXw tries to improve every single year, we aren’t happy to just leave things the way they are and put our company in cruise control. Over the years we have received a lot of help from people like Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), Fit Finlay, Vince Russo and Tom Prichard who have been generous enough to sit down with us, evaluate what we are doing and point us in the right direction. Keeping ones ears open and listen to feedback from more experienced people isn’t only important to talent but to promoters and office members.
Do you have some name of french wrestlers who maybe we could see in wXw in 2020 ?
As company policy we do not comment on possible future bookings before they are publically announced. I am very happy to take a closer look at some of APC’s talent during the Fights for Paris event.