Names are starting to fall into place, so let’s take a look at the runners and the riders for a rather different-looking 16 Carat Gold!

Running from March 6 through 8 in Oberhausen, this will be the 15th Carat and once again features a mixture of big names from around the world and wXw’s regulars.

16 Carat Gold Entrants
The line-up is now complete, as you’ll see below. With NXT UK taping on the Friday and Saturday of Carat weekend, anyone contracted there is off-limits, so we’ve got a lot of newer names to wXw, making for almost a Battle of Los Angeles-like line-up.

Alexander James
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: First Round (2018)
Chances: Having not gotten the win he’d hoped for at Back to the Roots, Alexander James will be hoping to at least improve on his performance from two years ago, going out in the first round to Chris Brookes.

Bandido
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: The fabled number sixteen, Bandido’s going to be making his delayed debut in wXw, having had to drop out of last year’s World Tag Team Festival due to injury. Perhaps not a favourite for the tournament, but he’s a lock for the flippy match we tend to get on the final night.

Black Taurus
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: Having caught the eye of those who dabble in lucha, Black Taurus is another one who may not go far, but will be looking to impress in front of a new audience. A big lad who can certainly go, he’s also a lock for the flippy Sunday night match.

Cara Noir
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: Having debuted in wXw at Back to the Roots, not much is known about why Cara’s decided to fly to Germany… but having since won the PROGRESS World championship, you can bet he’s looking to ruffle some feathers and make an impression in Oberhausen. Sorry, not sorry.

Chris Ridgeway
Last Year: Did Not Enter; Semi-Finalist at Ambition 10
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: One of the first names announced for Carat, Ridgeway’s between tours of Pro Wrestling NOAH – but appearing in this tournament marks a step up for Ridgeway in wXw. His only prior outings were at Ambition at Carat last year, where he was a semi-finalist – but this year he’s down for Ambition and Carat. Where will the focus lay?

Daniel Makabe
Last Year: Did Not Enter; Finalist in 2019’s Ambition Wildcard Edition tournament
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: Already a favourite of the travelling fans, Makabe came so close in World Tag Team Festival’s Ambition Wildcard tournament, losing in the finals to A-Kid. Like Ridgeway, he’s doing double duty, which could make for quite a logjam…

Eddie Kingston
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: Quarter-Finalist (2013)
Chances: It’s been a long while since the Mad King’s been to Germany, but he’s coming into Carat with a deserved cult-like status on the back of his NWA Powerrr stuff. A new generation of fans are finally getting to see what Eddie can do – and I can only hope that he gets at least a promo or a live mic over the weekend.

Jeff Cobb
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: A late replacement for Lio Rush, Cobb’s got prior experience over Carat weekend – having been involved in AMBITION 8 in 2017. This’ll be his first time in Carat proper – will his late entry be enough to catch people off guard?

Julian Pace
Last Year: Did Not Enter – was involved in the alternate’s four-way
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: After coming close in the qualifier tournament and alternate’s four-way last year, Julian Pace has finally made it into Carat… but after a very troubled year that saw him miss World Tag Team Festival, then engage in a long drawn-out feud with the Pretty Bastards, Norman Harras and Oliver Carter… something tells me that his path to Carat may not quite be complete…

Jurn Simmons
Last Year: First Round (lost to Avalanche)
Best Finish: First Round (2019)
Chances: In a mixed field, Jurn’s got to be one of the favourites from the “home roster” – coming in with some momentum after winning the barbed wire steel cage match at Back to the Roots, Jurn’s on a bit of a winning streak on the way into Carat – a tournament that’s quite dear to him for prior title wins. If I were able to bet on who’d win the tournament, Jurn’d be on my betting slip…

Lucky Kid
Last Year: Winner
Best Finish: Winner (2019)
Chances: Since winning Carat last year, Lucky Kid’s had a turbulent year. The arrival of Schadenfreude at Carat last year perhaps derailed Lucky Kid, who had to deal with a lot of jealousy from RISE that saw him distracted to the point that he lost his title shot to Absolute Andy, then spent the rest of 2019 exiling Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer from wXw. While the turn of the year saw Lucky build up some momentum with wins over Scotty Davis and Kassius Ohno, is two Carats in a row too much to ask for for Lucky?

Marius al-Ani
Last Year: First Round (lost to Marcel Barthel/Axel Dieter Jr.)
Best Finish: Quarter-Finalist (2017)
Chances: Having been forced onto the sidelines towards the end of 2019 through suspension, Marius al-Ani’s got something to prove in wXw. Having gone 50-50 with wins since his return – including making it to the semis of January’s Fight For Paris shows with APC, al-Ani should be looking to go better than last year’s first round exit.

Mike Bailey
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: Quarter-Finalist (2017)
Chances: It’s been a while since Speedball’s been in Carat proper – last time he did Carat weekend, he was having his fingers bent back in an unsuccessful Shotgun championship match against Bobby Gunns. Last in wXw beating Julian Pace at Broken Rules last November, this’ll be Bailey’s first time in Oberhausen since Carat 2018 – but perhaps doing Ambition as well may be a bit too far?

Puma King
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: Nailed on for the Sunday flippy-do match. And a few YouTube vlogs…

Shigehiro Irie
Last Year: Quarter-Finalist (lost to Avalanche); Won Ambition 10
Best Finish: Quarter-Finalist (2019)
Chances: Back for another go at Carat, Irie’s not defending his Ambition title from last year. The current OWE Openweight champion is back in Germany for the first time since he appeared in Shortcut to the Top. A favourite of ours, please don’t make us choose between him and Makabe!

The Rotation
Last Year: Did Not Enter
Best Finish: No prior 16 Carat Gold experience
Chances: “The boyhood dream… has come true!” – after what’s felt like forever on the injured list, this is finally the year that Rotation makes it into Carat proper, having won one of the Road to 16 Carat Gold tournaments. He had to overcome an attempt at his spot at the hands of Rusty Taylor in Bielefeld, and while his character’s “become a man” after taking a beating with Jurn Simmons, I wouldn’t be too shocked if Rotation went far here.

Inner Circle
The Thursday-before-Carat show is already sold out, so if you don’t have a ticket, you’re going to be best served waiting for it to drop on wXw NOW – and if you’re looking for an announced card, well, wXw’s teasing that this will be a mystery show, so expect surprises, because that’s all that’s confirmed!

16 Carat Gold – Night One
Announced tournament matches are:

Jurn Simmons vs. Lucky Kid
Daniel Makabe vs. Eddie Kingston
Shigehiro Irie vs. Black Taurus
Puma King vs. The Rotation
Julian Pace vs. Bandido
Mike Bailey vs. Chris Ridgeway
Marius al-Ani vs. Cara Noir
Jeff Cobb vs. Alexander James

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Jay-AA (Absolute Andy & Jay Skillet) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) (c)

In addition, on the pre-show we’ll have the traditional alternate’s four-way: Scotty Davis vs. Hektor vs. Rust Taylor vs. Levaniel

16 Carat Gold – Night Two
The four quarter-finals take place here, along with several other matches – including a title vs. career main event:

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: David Starr vs. Bobby Gunns (c) – if Starr loses, he leaves wXw.

Ambition 12
wXw’s single-elimination, shoot-style tournament returns for the fourth time in a year, having been seen in wXw’s trip to Toronto last summer and of course as part of World Tag Team Festival last October in Oberhausen. So far the following names have been announced for Ambition:

Mike Bailey
Previous Ambition Experience: Finalist at Ambition 9 (2018)

Scotty Davis
Previous Ambition Experience: Went out in the first round at Ambition: Wild Card Edition (2019)

Tyson Dux
Previous Ambition Experience: No prior tournament entries; lost to Yuki Ishikawa in the Super Fight at Ambition 11 (2019)

Vincent Heisenberg
Previous Ambition Experience: No prior tournament entries. Replacing Veit Müller.

Kevin Lloyd
Previous Ambition Experience: Went out in the first round at Ambition: Wild Card Edition (2019)

Daniel Makabe
Previous Ambition Experience: Finalist at Ambition: Wild Card Edition (2019)

Chris Ridgeway
Previous Ambition Experience: Semi-Finalist at Ambition 10 (2019)

Rust Taylor
Previous Ambition Experience: Semi-Finalist at Ambition: Wild Card Edition (2019)

We’ve got the first round – of course, the semis and final are a blind draw…

Ambition 12 – First Round: Scotty Davis vs. Mike Bailey
Ambition 12 – First Round: Chris Ridgeway vs. Vincent Heisenberg
Ambition 12 – First Round: Kevin Lloyd vs. Daniel Makabe
Ambition 12 – First Round: Tyson Dux vs. Rust Taylor

In addition to the tournament, we’ve got these two fights:

Next Generation Ambition Fight: Ethan Allen vs. Luke Jacobs – these two have been tearing it up around the North West of England as the Young Guns, but their match at Tetsujin last year – refereed by Tassilo Jung – opened a lot of eyes… and so that match is coming to Germany!
Super Fight: Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yuki Ishikawa

wXw NOW Showcase Event
This is exclusively made up of offer matches from Bodyslam! (Denmark), CZW (USA), BEW (UK), Rising Sun (Italy), SMASH (Canada), WrestlingKult (Germany) and WhiteWolf (Spain) – and we have a card too!

SMASH – Brent Banks vs. Tarik vs. Tyson Dux vs. Sebastian Suave
CZW – Joe Gacy vs. Anthony Greene
WhiteWolf – Kaiden vs. Rizo
BEW – Lexa Valo vs. Kat von Kaige
Bodyslam! – Peter Olisander vs. Emeritus vs. Michael Fynne
WrestlingKult – Carnage vs. Mexxberg
Rising Sun – Luca de Pazzi vs. Nicolo Inverardi

wXw We Love Wrestling Feature Event
Sandwiched in on Sunday lunchtime, for those whose heads aren’t quite as sore after the after party, the old Shotgun slot is once again being used to tape a wXw feature event. Given that wXw’s taking part in WrestleMania weekend again, this could well become a Road to Tampa-style event, with no card announced ahead of time. Talent announced for the card so far: WALTER

16 Carat Gold – Night Three
Your semi-finals and finals go here, along with other matches that typically set the table for the remainder of the year.

wXw Shotgun Championship: Ilja Dragunov vs. Avalanche (c)
Timothy Thatcher & Yuki Ishikawa vs. WALTER & Daisuke Ikeda

Aside from Inner Circle, every wXw card on Carat weekend will be taking place within Turbinenhalle 1 – there’s no lap around the building to get into the Steffy this year! Remaining tickets for 16 Carat Gold weekend events are on sale via Eventbrite – for further details and event timings, check out wxw-wrestling.com