wXw 16 Carat Gold 2019: Night 2 (3/9/2019)- Oberhausen, Germany
TONI STORM & WESNA BUSIC vs. KILLER KELLY & YUU- 6/10
A good opener, building up anticipation for tomorrow night’s Toni/Kelly title match while telling something of a story about Wesna having a size advantage over both babyfaces (but especially Kelly). Toni Storm pulling on Kelly’s combat pigtails was a FANTASTIC spot. That Toni is cruising for a bruising, and that bruising is going to come tomorrow night.
DAVID STARR PROMO- GREAT!
He’s much calmer than last night, but still clearly broken up about his loss to WALTER. He says that he gives it his all every time he’s in the ring, but he can’t wrestle anymore this weekend. He doesn’t care about being in some little feature match that will excite fans on the internet. “I came here for two things, and now both of those things are out the window.” He’s just having a little more trouble putting this loss behind him because everyone knows that WALTER did, in fact tap out to David Starr, so he’s “not going to accept” this loss and he’s not going to set “Big Daddy Sellout” get away from him, and vows that he will one day beat WALTER. The crowd was very supportive of him.
Like last night’s promo, I really can’t do Starr’s delivery here justice. It’s something you have to watch for yourself. He did such a tremendous job of being rational but emotional and then temporarily going to that place where he starts to sound a little crazy but then calming himself down and pulling back, but waiting just long enough before doing so to make you wonder if the crazy has really taken root inside of him and he’s fighting a battle to keep it down constantly, or if it is just the result of the emotions he is feeling at the moment.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Penta el 0M vs. Ilja Dragunov- 6.75/10
A very good ten-and-a-half-minute slugfest/spotfest combination. Some of the “do your signature pose in the other guy’s face” stuff felt a little overdone (maybe Ilja’s being too long was a factor in this), but the actual clash of personalities part of this definitely worked.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: “The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker vs. Shigehiro Irie- 6.75/10
CHRIS BROOKES vs. JULIAN PACE vs. DAISUKE SEKIMOTO vs. REY HORUS- 4.75/10
A nice little four-way building to one big tower of doom spot where they were actually stacked four-high rather than one-two-one. Thankfully everyone landed in a safe manner. Pace got the big upset win via small package, which didn’t quite get the level of pop that I expected.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- fine, I guess
Emil Sitoci made his return after a few months off, and attacked Julian Pace for seemingly no reason, turning himself heel. I don’t know what Julian Pace did to this crowd, but they were shockingly happy to see him get tombstoned. This segment was fine for what it was, but I would like to find out the reasons behind Sitoci’s behavior relatively soon. I have a guess (he feels like he wasted a year of his career trying to help Dirty Dragan and has nothing to show for it, then tried to help Avalanche against The Crown but had nothing to show for it, so he’s striking out on his own from now on, and he sees the needy rookie Julian Pace as being like Dragan and Avalanche so he wanted to make an example out of him- which also sets him up as a foil for fellow Dutch veteran Leon Van Gasteren, who recently seemed to strike up a friendship with Pace), but I’d like them to just come out and give us a reason soon rather than dragging this out for months at a time by just having him silently attack people.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Rey Fenix vs. WALTER- 8/10
This was a really exciting match with lots of great spots and the expected big-man vs. little-man vibe. Once again, though, WALTER’s match had quite the interesting finish... but unlike with David Starr last night, I didn’t really like this one. Basically what happened is that WALTER had the Gojira Clutch locked in, but then he pulled Fenix’s mask off and Fenix immediately tapped to preserve his identity. This fully turned WALTER heel, so maybe his thought process last night was more devious than I thought, but the problem here is how close to the referee they were and how purposeful it looked. WALTER very clearly pulled Fenix’s mask off on purpose as opposed to the mask somehow coming off in the struggle. The referee made a point of yelling at WALTER in an accusatory manner after the match, so he clearly suspects something, but I just found it to be a little hard to believe that given the referee’s positioning he wouldn’t have seen WALTER pulling the mask off in so blatant a manner.
Part this might be due something that happened earlier in the match, where Fenix had gone for a springboard uppercut but his mask came off when he landed. He tried to put it back on but it wouldn’t stay right so a fan tossed him one from the crowd that he put on. There was an earlier spot where it looked like WALTER was going for the mask, but he was doing a good enough job hiding it that I wasn’t sure if he was going for the laces or just grinding Fenix’s head into the ground. My guess is either during this spot or on Fenix’s landing, something in the mask broke or popped lose, causing it to fall off early, and they weren’t quite able to figure out a point in the match where they could repeat the spot to get this mask loose enough for it to come off easy so WALTER just blatantly had to pull it off instead of it being loose enough to easily slip off on the struggle.
I’m not sure I like this WALTER heel turn, Starr being the crazy rather than being right is more interesting to me, and something as serious as what they did here now creates an issue between Fenix and WALTER that needs to be resolved, kicking Starr to the back burner (and the more people WALTER cheats to beat this weekend, the more people there are in the line, cluttering a story that I think works best when focused purely on Starr and WALTER.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Lucky Kid- 6.75/10
After last night’s match against Timothy Thatcher, they based pretty much this whole match around the idea of Lucky Kid as the underdog who had the ability to pull off a victory out of nowhere. Axel dominated the match except for Lucky’s few spurts of offense, but when any time Lucky got that roll-up or locked in his version of La Mistica out of nowhere, it was completely believable as a false finish.
TORNADO TAG TEAM MATCH FOR THE wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: RISE(c) vs. Jay FK vs. Aussie Open- 6.25/10
Jay FK jumped the bell on the babyfaces to get things started off. They got some offense in but eventually the babyfaces banded together to temporarily dispose of them, then started to go at it themselves. Form there we basically cycled between the teams for a while. It all build up to a big spot where Jay FK resorted to their usually dirty tactics and seemed to have the match won but Chris Brookes yanked the referee out of the ring. This created an opening for Aussie Open to hit their finisher on Skillet and win the titles.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- good
Francis Kaspin tried to attack Aussie Open but Brookes helped them dispatch of him. The fans all chanted “SCHADENFREUDE!” which is the name of the stable they are all a part of in Fight Club Pro, and Brookes pulled out a Schadenfreude banner which they all posed with. RISE was unhappy with this and a minor confrontation started. Lucky Kid, who is a member of both groups, ran out and managed to successfully separate them after just a bit of shoving.
MARIUS AL-ANI PROMO- I don’t speak German and that’s the feed that was out first, but I assume he did a bunch of bragging. wXw Hall of Famer Karsten Beck, who is here this weekend to present the trophy to the 16 Carat Gold winner, but was also still wXw’s Director of Sport the last time we saw him, cut a promo announcing a surprise title defense for Al-Ani, so we got a…
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH: Marius Al-Ani(c) vs. Axel Tischer- 6.5/10
Axel Tischer, A.K.A. Alexander Wolfe from SAnitY, got a huge pop. I believe that this is also the first time in the “modern” era of WWE cooperation with (certain) indies that a member of the main roster was allowed to appear on an indy show for any reason other than fulfilling an already in place contractual obligation.
They brawled on the outside for WAY too long without getting counted out, and I didn’t think Tischer sold his leg very well. The match was fun and had some good babyface vs. heel stuff, but ultimately it was brought down by the fact that no one believed that Tischer had a shot of winning the title due to his status on the WWE main roster.
wXw UNIFIED WORLD WRESTLING TITLE MATCH: Absolute Andy(c) vs. Bobby Gunns- 9/10
Someone has definitely decided to try to make the fans chanting non-stop throughout the match Bobby Gunns’ thing. It’s one of those chants that, while definitely more of a chant than a song, is still melodic enough that it’s kind of weird, as it’s like the match has its own soundtrack in addition to the reactions of the fans who aren’t busy chanting. In the match that started all of this (the dueling chants match with Ilja Dragunov), the crowds chants seemed to ebb and flow with the pace of the action. In this one people were chanting pretty much the whole time unless there was a false finish going on unless Andy was cheating to cut Bobby off, in which case they ceased chanting and responded appropriately, but keeping up the energy they had with their chanting. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a crowd chant “TAP! TAP! TAP!” so loudly or passionately.
The match itself told two stories. The first was the expected “Gunns works the arm, Andy works the head” story, and the second was big culmination to Andy’s heel reign of terror that has been the main storyline for the past seven months. All of his attempts to cheat were either foiled or failed to earn him the victory, his attempt to run away was foiled by Vinny Vortex and his own use of referee distractions was turned against him so that Vinny could force him back into the ring, his attempt to get himself disqualified was rebuffed by the referee, his super-finisher Dominator was kicked out of, and he was eventually forced to tap out.
There were two spots in this match that I thought were missteps, but for the most ironic of reasons, I’m not going to hold them against the match. The first was the “finger break” spot, which Bobby did to Andy, then Andy never really sold it after that. The reason I have no problem with this is that their execution was so sloppy that it looked to me that Bobby kayfabe failed to perform the finger-breaking technique correctly.
The other one was on the finish. I’m pretty sure the idea was that the referee saw Andy going for a kick to the groin which Gunns was able to avoid and that Gunns got angry and responded with one of his own, and when Andy appealed to the referee for Gunns to be disqualified, the referee- as poetic justice (although in my opinion this is not truly just) for all of the times Andy had done similar things behind his back, put his hands over his eyes and pretended he didn’t see it, after which Gunns took Andy down and locked in the armbar for the victory. Once again, though, these two were saved by sloppy execution (or perhaps by less than ideal camera positioning) as it seemed completely clear to me that Gunns’ kick had landed on Andy’s inner thigh, and that Andy was faking having been hit in the nuts. Not giving Andy the benefit of the doubt would also be a fitting payoff to all of his cheating, so I am fine with this having gone down the way it did in that we don’t have a situation where I think the babyface should have been disqualified and the title should not have changed hands… though I still don’t like the idea of a referee thinning something the babyface does should have warranted a DQ but not calling for one simply because the heel has often cheated.
This was another great show from wXw. While most of the action in the eponymous tournament was underwhelming, the rest of the show (as well as Fenix vs. WALTER) was full of MAJOR storyline moments, and we got a fantastic main event paying off seven months’ worth of heel shenanigans with a happy ending. Hopefully the tournament action picks up for the final night.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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Hold #712: ARM BAR!
FIP in 2005
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FIP in 2005
PWG All-Star Weekend V: Night 2
DGUSA Open the Northern Gate
CHIKARA Hot Off the Griddle
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