What’s a guy to do when they’ve spent seven weeks watching wrestling every evening, only for it to rudely come to an end? Time to break out the old spreadsheet…
Every match is different – that’s the beauty of wrestling. Some matches are short and dominant, others are more like a war of attrition. No two matches should be the same – and that is never more evident than in a round robin tournament like the Catch Grand Prix. Looking at the match times, and you may well be surprised at who the proverbial iron man is in this tournament. Avalanche.
With each block match set to go to a maximum of 15 minutes, the most you could have wrestled in the block stages is 90 minutes – Avalanche ended up being the only man to crack the hour mark, with his block matches stretching to one hour and nine minutes, for an average of over eleven minutes per match. That’s what two draws will do to you!
Cara Noir (57:04), Tristan Archer (56:14), Prince Ahura (53:14) and Bobby Gunns (50:37) are the only others to go north of fifty minutes – Emil Sitoci would have done, but his final week replacement Ender Kara clocked up the five minutes that would have pushed him over the line. Gunns’ appearance in this list is surprising given that his final week match was a 90-second non-match.
On the other end of the scale, Fast Time Moodo was in and out the quickest throughout, doing his entire tournament in 40:40, while Anil Marik wasn’t too far behind at 41:00 – Moodo’s 17-second squash of Marik helping both men in terms of their ring time. Metehan came next at 41:58 – again, aided by that final night non-match, while Marius al-Ani was the picture of efficiency, as he ran the table in 42:47. To put Marius’ time into context, the final that he won ran 31:10.
When the first week of the Catch Grand Prix saw Vincent Heisenberg defeat Tristan Archer, it was painted as an upset, even though both men’s wXw careers to date had been lacking in wins. Heisenberg, up until that point, had only picked up a win in a pre-show match back in November 2019, while Archer’s only victory to date in wXw – in spite of his myriad of experience elsewhere – was against Anil Marik on Shotgun.
Since then, Archer went on to finish second in the block, while Heisenberg finished bottom… but were there any other upsets? Well, that depends on how you evaluate. For instance, Avalanche’s time-limit draw with Hektor Invictus could be seen as one, given how hard wins have been to come by for Hektor… likewise Ender Kara’s debut win over Prince Ahura, although a lot of that’s being tempered by Ahura not taking the latter stages of the tournament seriously.
Of course, in 42 block matches, you can’t do too many upsets – but the way wXw demonstrated how every finish can realistically happen (rather than just be a theoretical) really kept you on your toes as far as predicting winners and losers.
Now for the disciplinary stuff. The story going in is that everyone paid €500 to get into the tournament, which made for a total prize pot of €7,000. The eventual winner, Marius al-Ani, got 60% of that (€4,200), with the runner up, Cara Noir getting 20% (€1,400). Those who finished as runners up in their block – so in this case, Metehan and Tristan Archer, shared the remainder, getting €700 each. So, just how expensive was this tournament? Not helped by me confusing things during reports, it’s safe to say that block B was generally the most ill-tempered group, drawing eighteen yellow cards and a red, with Prince Ahura picking up €1,220 of fines (both from cards and incidentals). Norman Harras was quickly on his lead with €970 of fines, boosted by that red card in week one.
In spite of only four men getting anything out of the prize pot, it should be noted that only three people left the Catch Grand Prix having made a (kayfabe) profit, with Metehan’s €765 of fines meaning that he found himself down €565 down after you figured in the buy-in. Tristan Archer’s €700 prize was more like €130 after removing his fines and buy-in, while Cara Noir’s relatively clean performances saw him leave €780 in the black. Of course, Marius al-Ani’s so-so disciplinary record did make a dent in his prize winnings, as he left Oberhausen with a trophy and €3,320.
And for those wondering, yes, I screwed up the numbers in the report – it’s my resolution for 2021: figure out a better way to track standings, etc!
Will any of this be brought up in 2021 and beyond? Probably, but it’s always nice to dig behind the surface in tournaments like these – and hopefully compare in the future if/when we get future Catch Grands Prix.