wXw 16 Carat Gold 2017 Day Two on March 11, 2017
Turbinenhalle – Oberhausen, Germany
Our reviews of (hyperlink on show): Inner Circle; 16 Carat Day One; Ambition
Non-Tournament: Jeff Cobb vs. Donovan Dijak
This show didn’t open with a tournament match(s) and it was for the best. It’s impossible for these two to have a bad match, nor not get the crowd hyped. I also forgot that Cobb wasn’t in 16 Carat, as he’s still made an imprint on the weekend as a whole. The match started hot and stayed fast paced while the two sold with attention to detail. Highlights included a pumphandle throw from Cobb, forearms and a backbreaker, Dijak selling his chest well, a side suplex/two moonsaults combo for a kickout, and something that makes the highlights always. THE SLINGSHOT ELBOW from Dijak. Cobb rolled over in the pin attempt which led to a ridiculous sequence that saw boots and forearms, a spinning bicycle kick and a torture rack Feast Your Eyes, yet that was turned into a suplex; although Dijak got up from that, BUT was finally hit with Tour of the Islands for a Cobb non tournament win. The opener built well with good offense, pacing, and tremendous sequences.
16 Carat Gold Quarter Final: Matt Riddle vs. Speedball Mike Bailey
This wasn’t even the first time this match happened on the day, as these two squared off in the first round of the Ambition tournament. “Heyyyyyy, hey Bailey…” chants filled the air to start as Riddle was in control early with a gutwrench. Speedball would fire back with kicks in the corner as well as reversing the Bro senton but Riddle kicked out of the corkscrew sault. Riddle hit the slide out slap, which is exactly what happened when these two matched up over a year ago in Beyond Wrestling. I can’t help but think how much these two have improved since then. It’s an otherworldly thought + progression, just like the pacing here. Bailey hit the golden triangle moonsault as well as stealing the Brostone piledriver for a kickout. ANOTHER amazing kickout when Riddle hit the Bro to Sleep and a German suplex. The insane pace continued to the very end with knees to the face that clocked Bailey to the point where he missed his shooting star knees and a swing; Riddle tapped him out with the Bromission. This was the best overall match these two have had, as they get better every time with their insane chemistry. One of the better matches of the weekend to this point.
16 Carat Gold Quarter Final: Timothy Thatcher vs. Ilja Dragunov
OH YES. Love this combo on paper. Also in execution. This was Thatcher’s fourth match of the day. Ilja right away shook his head at Thatcher who tried to slap him. Yet Thatcher blocked Ilja’s trademark chops which led to a struggle arch over the entire match. Masterful work from Thatcher who’s the MVP of the tournament by far. Ilja isn’t far behind, being a tremendous face in peril, as Thatcher was once again so nasty, combining that with his smug character to up the ante. Highlights included Ilja being caught with an uppercut in mid air, a knee to gut/gutwrench/work over combo that’s deadly as hell, Ilja still laughing even though he was being stomped over, and Thatcher finally being hit with offense in a backdrop and double underhook suplex. Thatcher grabbed Ilja’s arm off a butterfly suplex kickout which led to a beautiful sequence of putrid hate. Headbutts and the Torpedo Moskau were hit for the win by Dragunov. Thatcher is bounced out and Ilja continues his rise to the top in what was a match worked so well. Great job by both. Thatcher still was protected by the loss and had his fourth great match in a DAY.
16 Carat Gold Quarter Final: Marius Al-Ani vs. WALTER
These are one of those matches where you have zero complaints. I wouldn’t call it an epic, but it was worked so well to the point where I lay back in my chair, soak it all in, then say, “just watch this shit!” Split chants from the start as A4 and Ringkampf members are no strangers to each other. A lot of the match was built around fun cat vs. mouse sequences with the super athletic Ani avoiding WALTER’s sleeper. When it became crunch time though, we got superb back and forth. Side note: WALTER’s Rikishi driver is always mental. Ali got out of the ring before any cover could happen in a brilliant spot. Highlights included gutwrench suplexes, Ani’s corner dive to a huge pop, a sunset flip kip up to t-bone suplex combo, a spinning heel kick caught into an ankle lock converted to a leg trap suplex combo(!!!!), and well paced kickouts between this all. WALTER reached the ropes when Ani had him in a scissor lock. WALTER even pulled out a gutbuster in desperation. He was getting relentless, but he was pissed to the point where he hit a bundle of suplexes then locked in a choke so hard that Ani tapped after just a few seconds. It was yet another heartbreaking finish where you couldn’t do anything but see a hero get bounced in the tournament. Another super match that was one of the longer ones of the weekend.
16 Carat Gold Quarter Final: Bad Bones vs. Cody Rhodes
This was the smartest worked match out of every match to happen so far (before Day Three at least). It was a weird ass match on paper, and hell, it was fantastic, and VERY weird. Cody crowd surfed during his entrance, as the atmosphere was special, but I had no idea how special this match would become. Cody was speared mere seconds into the match for a near fall. The lines were drawn as Bad Bones was the asshole trying to end Cody as fast as possible, and the import WWE release that’s still out to prove himself is over as hell with the fans, now an underdog in the Carat tournament/this match. The rebel lock and figure four were both applied, but then it just got hotter. Bones leading Cody through in control was a perfect dynamic, as Bones would continue to get more and more heat for the things he’d do. A codebreaker counter to the disaster kick happened for a near fall. That wasn’t even the best spot in the match. Commentary lost it for Dusty offense and the bionic elbow. A ref bump occurred and the ref wasn’t there to count 3 on the Cross Rhodes. Cody drank water on the outside, as I didn’t realize what was going to happen next. Bones grabbed Cody but Cody misted him, hit Cross Rhodes, and Bones kicked out. Cody also kicked out of the wrecking ball knees. WHAT THE HELL?! “John Klinger sucks” chants to the tune of Cena’s theme happened as the finishing stretch came about. A huge knee counter to the wrecking ball knees second attempt was landed yet Bones avoided a moonsault, then hitting wrecking ball knees for the win and to advance to the semis. Here’s how else I’ll sell the match to you: It was the best Cody match since leaving WWE. Enough said.
Post-match Cody cut a promo calling the fans just too sweet and promising he’ll be back. Bones put Cody over by shaking his hand and raising it. “Please come back!” chants rang out. Cody better come back because he’s done his best non-WWE work ever here in Germany.
Non-Tournament: Francis Kaspin vs. Koji Kanemoto
This is one of, if not, the biggest test of young Francis Kaspin’s career. He’s already incredibly good in ring and as Quentin said, will likely be one of the top talents in the world in a few years time. Koji went straight to the leg, also smashing Kaspin’s face in with forearms. However I didn’t expect Kaspin to get all the 50/50 offense in as well. It was worked like a perfect young lion vs. veteran match. Kaspin was able to show tons of fire while learning on the fly from Koji f’n Kanemoto. He even MOUNTED Kanemoto as they traded shots in the mount. The face-wash and boot just had to happen, yet Kaspin tripped Kanemoto up on attempt two, then locking in a Muta Lock. Kanemoto hit a falcon arrow for a kickout. More fun with a PK duck into roll-up kickout, a landslide roll-up kickout, and then Kaspin absorbing the Kanemoto kicks but being put into the ankle hold. Kanemoto ducked an enzuigiri attempt and locked it back in, and with the most pressure on possible, made Kaspin tap. This excelled all possible expectations and was one of the best worked matches of the night. Tons of fun for just over 10 minutes.
Bobby Gunns was out post-match, paying off a mini storyline from Day One, where he was lurking post Kanemoto vs. Thatcher, smoking on stage. “ICHIBAN MOTHERFUCKER” was uttered as Gunns blew smoke into Kanemoto’s face as he tried to get the grapplin’ on with Gunns. This was glorious and makes me so hyped to watch their match when it goes down. Everyone needs to see this segment, let alone this tournament.
One more segment saw David Starr in the CM Punk pipebomb position. His dreams were crushed when he was bounced out via WALTER in the Day One main event. That still doesn’t stop him from being the best Shotgun Champ in wXw history (I can confirm). Nothing will stop him from being THE wrestler that everyone talks about when they get home from shows. He’s going to defend it right here tonight.
wXw Shotgun Championship: David Starr (c) vs. Paul London vs. ACH vs. Absolute Andy
If I were to compare this to anything, it’d be akin to a PWG BOLA comedy break tag. Except it doesn’t have the tradition behind it, and is a little more work heavy. This was still boatloads of fun. From the jump ACH made everyone except London eat a piece of banana. Huge pop from the crowd for Andy eating one. Lots of banter were to occur as the crowd erupted in a “play the music” chant for the second time this weekend. Money was thrown in the ring as ACH would only dance for minor income. “You sold out” chants. ACH threw a banana in the ring as Andy eventually slipped on it. I’m not gonna lie, these sequence of events made me laugh so hard. Commentary even did an impression of ACH as if he was Mario. Highlights included a triple superkick on Andy, then the other three superkicking each other at the same time, Andy being hit in the nuts by ACH thanks to the “look there” trick, that being used again on London but London catching ACH between his legs. As you can see, this match is a fucking HOOT. My favorite part of the match saw ACH call for “ABSOLUTE ACH!” but was eventually caught in a triple Absolute knee drop. Everything comes in threes as Starr also hit triple dives. A super F5 was hit on London for a big kickout, ACH and Andy kept tearing it up, and Starr hit a JML driver on London for the victory and to retain his title. David Starr might just be my wrestler of the year. He’s a literal wrestling GOD in wXw. Everyone played their roles so well here, and ACH stole the show along with the Andy interactions.
JT Dunn vs. Avalanche
Avalanche was fresh off of his fresh kill of Adam Polak. Dunn is a good hand for this “oh you poor soul” spot. The match as expected didn’t last long but was fun to watch unwind. The dynamic stayed fun with an avalanche splash kickout, elbow drop kickout, and JT hitting a top rope stomp but Avalanche still not falling. A superkick and rolling elbow didn’t do much as JT was caught in a blue thunder bomb as Avalanche wins in short order. This was a solid showcase match and a good wind-down prior to the chaotic main event that would ensue. Both played their roles well. No complaints.
We get a special video package for the main event. It comes full circle from last year’s 16 Carat Gold where Dieter lost to Sabre Jr. in the finals and when Jurn won the title in the main event of Night Two. About a year later sees him looking to reclaim his throne on the second night of the 2017 16 Carat. Other highlights included wXw’s obvious high profile production adding a lot to it, like showing pictures of Axel Jr. with Axel Sr.
The entrances were nothing short of amazing as well with Simmons getting tons of smoke pyro, gryrating like no tomorrow, and CMJ personally introing Axel. It was main event time.
wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Axel Dieter Jr. (c) vs. Jurn Simmons
It was a big fight feel from the opening bell and the square off, as Axel couldn’t run away anymore. He was continually chucked around the ring, yet still maintained his composure. Rather than 20 minutes in, Ringkampf interfered early on in Axel Dieter tees, being taken out in short order by A4. Great call having that happen so early rather than when everyone is completely into the finishing stretch. It was worked in main event fashion with slow buildup but we got our fair share of nasty spots like Axel being slammed into the ring steps, Axel hitting his beautiful rope hung dropkick, so many counters going down, a torture rack turned into Axel’s submission, and Axel flexing on Jurn by stomping on his hair and head with arms crossed. Jurn’s piledriver was reversed and Axel kicked out of the massive moonsault! Massive boot and a piledriver for ANOTHER kickout. It picked right up into next gear spilling to the ramp, where Axel hit a hanging DDT onto the stage as Jurn rolled off the set. Jurn beat the count and Axel escaped the second rope piledriver which I thought was going to be the finish. Both men are spent after more kickouts. Axel, selling his neck after the piledriver, yelled “STAY DOWN” before delivering uppercuts. A massive boot and one more piledriver earned Jurn Simmons his throne back. A great title match main event that delivered in style. Everything you’d want from the main event and from the feud coming to a halt. To a huge pop Jurn hoisted the belt, with smoke pyro coming down as the show closed.
wXw 16 CARAT GOLD DAY TWO ON MARCH 11, 2017
Fantastic - 9/10
This is the current show of the year. Every tournament match delivered beyond what is expected. Two non tournament matches in Kaspin/Kanemoto and the Shotgun Title were absolutely fabulous in their roles and elevated the shows. The two back to back segments popped me hard with Gunns/Kanemoto banter being paid off further and Starr's great promo. Some guys on this show, especially Thatcher, had worked multiple matches on the weekend and earlier in the day and still came out to deliver great matches as part of the tournament. Then came the feats such as keeping this under three hours, Cody having his best match since WWE, there being no weak link in the show, and the main event delivering a great match while keeping a no bullshit rule. Not only the booking, but the wrestling, roles, characters, crowd, and production came together to create an extra special show on an already special weekend. You can't name a better company than wXw now. You can't name a better show than this so far this year. The only possibility is if Day Three delivers like this show did. Two words: Holy Shit.