A show that left quite a memory, and perhaps not in the good way, it’s time to take a look at #WrestlingDeutschland2.
Like last year, this was part of 16 Carat Gold weekend, but we don’t have the parade of promoters giving us information about their brand. Rather, this is just a series of matches from a variety of promotions. Did it work? Let’s find out. Sebastian Hollmichel and Alan Counihan are on commentary – most of which we had the pleasure of hearing live thanks to where we were stood among a crowd of almost 400 people.
This was a bog standard battle royal, rather than a Rumble. The entryway gets knocked over during the introductions, and there’s some familiar faces in here… including Philip Edwards (aka Psycho Phillips), who was over in wXw training with the academy. Your entrants, then: Alpha Kevin, Askeladd Gormsson, Christoper Anthony, Chris Tyson, Daniel Sparks, Lukas Robinson, Mason Miller, Matt Buckna, Matthias Bernstein, Matt Mayhem, Philipp Edwards, Rick Baxxter, Rick Miranda and Zeritus
The first spell of comic relief came from Matthias Bernstein, who tried to sanitise the ring ropes while Alan excused his partner’s performance in the Oberhausen Open. Yeah, these things are a pain in the rear to call, although Bernstein’s OCD led to his early elimination as we had a spate of those exits in the opening minutes. When the field thinned out, we were left with der Schwinger Club’s Buckna and Baxxter in the lead as Next Step Wrestling seemed to be easing to victory… but Alpha Kevin single-handedly gets rid of them… then helped to eliminate Zeritus as our final three was Kevin, Daniel Sparks and Lukas Robinson. A crossbody from Robinson took down Sparks, before he went after a bloodied-up Kevin, taking him around the world via the turnbuckles. Kevin recovers to dump Sparks with a package piledriver, before throwing him out, only for Lukas to get the win as he upended Kevin seconds later. Decent for a battle royal, but this was way too short. It’ll be a familiar feeling… **
Bailey Matthews, Levaniel & Timo Theiss vs. Norman Harras, The Rotation & Vinny Vortex
This was presented by the wXw Wrestling Academy, which had the aesthetic of Theiss and Levaniel getting annoyed with each other wanting the spotlight, while Bailey Matthews just wanted to get on with it.
We started with Harras and Theiss reigniting their recent feud, with Harras edging ahead with a slam that forced Theiss to tag out. In comes Levaniel and Rotation as we got the long haired lads in next, and Rotation fakes out an early springboard before he lived up to his name with a double jump backflip into the ring. A running dropkick clocks Levaniel in the corner ahead of a springboard dropkick, only for Matthews to trip up Rotation as Theiss came back. An enziguiri from Rotation was enough to bring in Harras again, but a clothesline dropped the soon-to-be-on-excursion Harras for a one-count. Matthews comes in to blast Harras with a knee to the gut as he proceeded to work over the wrist in a rather Regal manner, including using an Axel Dieter Jr.-like bridging wristlock. Elbows from Matthews keep Harras on the mat as Theiss came back in… but Harras clears the ring, only to have to fight out of a Fireman’s carry from Levaniel before his attempt at tagging out ended with his partners getting pulled off the apron.
Eventually Harras got the tag out to Vinny Vortex, with the Academy cup holder clearing the ring easily, as he charged at Levaniel and Theiss in opposite corners. Things turn into a Parade of Moves for a spell as Levaniel hit a Sister Abigail before a lariat from Vortex left Theiss down. A clothesline from Harras sent Levaniel and Theiss outside, only for him to get caught in a Matthews armbar… Harras counters with an Everest German suplex, before Rotation finished off with a 450 splash as Vortex took the win with a side slam. Enjoyable stuff, but way too rushed. **½
Next Step Wrestling Heavyweight Championship: Ronny Kessler vs. Laurance Roman (c)
Look, when you’re against someone whose music is “Hey, wir woll’n die Waschbären seh’n”, you’re in trouble. Sorry Ronny, but people were more into Laurance and his music here, singing it long after the bell went.
Wir haben die Waschbären so gern…
Roman took down Kessler with a dropkick early on, then with a springboard crossbody as Sebastian did his best on commentary to give us a brief rundown of Next Step Wrestling’s pedigree. Kessler rolls outside to avoid a frog splash… but doesn’t have any better luck back inside until he caught Roman with a spin-out side suplex, not unlike John Cena’s old move. The pair trade forearms in the ropes before an atomic drop/facebuster from Roman dropped Kessler in prime place for a frog splash… and that’s enough. A shade over six minutes long, this felt way too short, but good for what it was. **¼
Crowchester vs. Nickolas Kluth vs. Fynn Freyhart
This one’s from the Mad Wrestling Association, and from the off, Nickolas Kluth doesn’t want any part of a tie-up as he looked to lay into Crowchester and Freyhart with strikes.
Crowchester manages to get involved with some headscissors to take Kluth outside, before Freyhart stopped a dive… he’s taken outside with a springboard dropkick, only for Kluth to cut off Crowchester again. Freyhart and Kluth do the ol’ “I want to get the win” deal as they then turned their sights on each other, slapping each other before Crowchester leaps back in with a kick. Freyhart’s sent outside as Crowchester flies in with a tope con giro into the crowd, only for Kluth to come right back with a German suplex, then a springboard stunner out of the corner to Freyhart for a near-fall. Things almost go awry when a suplex/crossbody on Freyhart led to him getting dumped on his head – which drew a disgusted groan out of commentary… Kluth and Crowchester stay on each other, as a dropkick took Kluth into the corner… but he catches a springboard crossbody before he lifted Crowchester into a tombstone.
Freyhart’s back with a running knee to Kluth, before he hoiked him up into Darkness Falls with a floatover pin for the win. Again, decent for the time, but that landing on Freyhart could have made this so much worse. **¼
Bruder Chaos & Xara Grace vs. Chase Jenkins & Keesa The Bambi
When this one was announced, I had a hard time finding info on many of these folks – for this promotion, the GWP, both Grace and Keesa have only had three matches, while Chase Jenkins (dubbed as “Jake Steakhouse” by some afterwards) didn’t have that much more… so it fell to Bruder Chaos to provide the experience, with Cagematch listing him as having had five and a half years in the ring.
Chaos and Jenkins start us off, but it’s Chase who took the upper hand with armdrags and dropkicks as the living embodiment of Woody from Toy Story came to life. An atomic drop turns it around though, as do some chops, as Xara Grace cheated a little before tagging in. She charged into Jenkins, who tried to leap over her in the corner… only to get caught with a powerbomb as Keesa tagged in. She’s immediately taken down as Xara pulls her hair on the mat, then caught with a hip attack in the corner… a second one’s blocked with an elbow as Keesa worked her way into a sunset flip out of the corner.
Grace tags into Chaos, who headbutts Keesa before throwing her into the corner for Jenkins to make the tag. Keesa tries to push Chaos away, but she just gets thrown into the ropes for a tiltawhirl slam before Jenkins hits a Sister Abigail… it’s all falling apart as Grace hits a slam, but of course she’s not legal, as Keesa landed a bulldog to take her down. The referee counts the pin for some reason, despite the women not being legal, and after the kick-out, Keesa took Chaos down with some headscissors before a moonsault from Jenkins got the win. This… wasn’t great. Even aside from the whole “who’s legal?” stuff, this fell apart way too easily as the inexperience showed. ½*
A guy called Alex Wonder comes out holding a Big Gold Belt with the Championship of Wrestling logo on it… he’s here to introduce his man for the next match, coming from Luxembourg… Blackwell! Along with his flag bearer/sidekick… Useless! Yes, that is the bell boy’s name…
Blackwell vs. Jester
Jester gets jumped before the bell as Blackwell pulled him into the ring the hard way to get us going.
Jester makes a comeback with a dropkick, but Useless trips him in the ropes as he went for a dive… and when Jester recovered, he runs into an uppercut from Blackwell. A side suplex dumps Jester on the mat as Alex Wonder took a selfie with him for posterity. Blackwell keeps up with a Samoan drop that almost ended badly. A comeback begins from Jester, who connects with a Slingblade before he headed up top… only to get caught by Useless again. The distraction allowed Blackwell back in, but he’s just shoved down as a senton bomb from Jester drew a one-count… because Alex Wonder pulled out the referee and began to threw a fit.
Useless tries to get involved for a third time, but he’d slid in some brass knuckles that Blackwell picked up and used for the pin. Another short match, and perhaps a little too overdone with interference, but at least they were in and out quick. Even if it did mean I only remembered Useless after the match… *½
GHW Tag Team Championship: Keel Holding (Sadistico & Michael Isotov) vs. Pretty Bastards (Maggot & Prince Ahura) (c)
The Pretty Bastards were the defending champions, as commentary all but told us that Sadistico may have been Sasa Keel…
This was really a glorified handicap match, as the challengers held their own when Isotov was in… but every time Sadistico came in, he acted like a bumbling idiot. Maggot catches Isotov with a back body drop before Sadistico came in and ran the ropes for the heck of it, eventually tripping and falling head-first into the middle strand. Isotov’s back with a clothesline before Sadistico did push-ups on Maggot… albeit not getting a pin on him. Sadistico then moved Maggot as Isotov went for a legdrop, which meant that his man took a bad landing before Isotov recovered and slammed Maggot. Another tag brought the masked Sadistico in, but he slams Isotov onto the mat as Maggot rolled away… twice!
Yep, Sadistico is far from a ringer!
Prince Ahura’s in with chops to Sadistico and Isotov as the challengers again had a Keystone Cops moment. Duelling powerbombs almost got Keel Holding the win, before a missed shotgun dropkick from Sadistico again took out Isotov, before a series of kicks from the Bastards led to a cutter as Ahura took the win. Well, this was more about the story of the bumbling Sadistico, but at least the comedy in the match didn’t outstay its welcome in the five minutes it got. **
WrestlingKULT Championship: Carnage vs. John Klinger (c)
Regularly a team until 2014, we saw the Oberhausen Terror Corps go up against each other after Carnage’s challenge for the WrestlingKULT title ended up being against John Klinger, since the former Bad Bones won the belt hours earlier at the KULT show in a three-way with Kay Jutler and former champion Tristan Archer.
We start with Carnage looking for a waistlock, as Klinger dove into the ropes… all while folks wondered how he’d fallen from the main event of this night of 16 Carat the year before, to “just” the main event on this show. A headlock from Carnage followed, as did a shoulder tackle off the ropes, before a Torpedo Moscau-like diving headbutt sent Klinger to the outside. Frustrated, Klinger headed to the bar to throw a stool into the ring… it provided a distraction, but Carnage shrugged it off as he sent Klinger outside with a back body drop lift, following up with a double stomp off the apron. Back inside, a chop stings Klinger, but the champion rebounds with a running knee before he headed up top for a double axehandle for a near-fall.
Some choking in the ropes keep Carnage on the back foot, but the challenger makes a comeback, taking Klinger into the corner with forearms, before a running knee wrecked Klinger some more. A big boot from Klinger takes him out of the corner, before he leapt out into a punch to the gut as Carnage scores a diving clothesline for a near-fall. Klinger’s back in with rolling German suplexes, flipping the final one as Carnage landed on his head before he rolled outside for respite. Another double sledge from Klinger catches Carnage on the floor… but back inside a superplex finds its mark as Klinger was taken down again as the match then descended into a slugfest.
Another German suplex from Carnage got a two-count, before an enziguiri clocked the champion for another near-fall as the Carnage fans were making a tonne of noise. In the end though, Klinger unsights the ref and punts Carnage low before winning with a low blow. Until the home straight this was okay, but the cheap finish really soured me – especially since I went in not knowing any of their storyline. **
The show ends with Carnage teasing Klinger with the belt as he proceeded to celebrate with the belt in front of a pro-Carnage crowd in Oberhausen.
People putting this as a “worst show of the year” contender may be off the mark, but I doubt such an accolade would be for the want of trying. On VOD, the entire show’s under 90 minutes long, which had some good commentary from the first-time duo of Sebastian and Alan. As for the in-ring, it perhaps showed an experience issue with the wrestlers panicking and having short matches for fear of going long… which in turn meant that the show ran well under time. Whether we get another WrestlingDeutschland next year remains to be seen – as while this was a good palate cleanser of a show on Carat weekend, the quality of wrestling showed what some feared: that away from wXw, there’s a yawning chasm when it comes to quality.