A home-grown final four battled to see who would leave Oberhausen as the 2019 winner of 16 Carat Gold.

Lucky Kid, Avalanche, Ilja Dragunov and WALTER were the last men standing going into today, on a night that also saw Killer Kelly challenge Toni Storm in a bid to regain her wXw Women’s Championship – and potentially some developments within RINGKAMPF, RISE and the newly-arrived Schadenfreude.

As a side note, Storm Eberhart was causing issues outside of the Turbinenhalle, with strong winds causing trains to be cancelled (with wXw helping co-ordinate fans who may be have been able to help each other with transport after the show).

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Semi-Final: Lucky Kid vs. Ilja Dragunov
Well then, if Lucky Kid’s going to be the “RINGKAMPF Killer” he’ll need to make it to the final and hope things work his way.

Both men shoot out of the gates as they try to end this one quickly, with Ilja dumping Lucky with a Saito suplex in the opening minute, before Lucky replied by trying to throw Ilja outside… only to have to make do with a handspring back elbow as Dragunov brought himself back in quickly.

An enziguiri from Dragunov cuts off a dive, sending Lucky outside himself as Ilja did the ol’ misdirection tope, taking Lucky into the front row. Ilja takes too long to gloat and gets knocked back outside by Lucky, who flies with a tope con giro as we were keeping this one hot. An attempt at the crossface sees Lucky force Dragunov into the ropes… so Lucky stamps on Ilja’s forearm as he began a new way to wear him down, by cranking Dragunov’s neck.

Ilja’s attempt to escape just allowed Lucky to float over into a side chinlock. Ilja gets free, and ends a double-goozle by landing a backhanded chop to Lucky, which seemed to spark some loud duelling “Unbesiegbar/Lucky Kid” chants. Another spinning back chop catches Lucky in the corner as more chops leave Lucky on his backside, only for Lucky to find a way free… and get chopped on the top rope instead. A superplex brings Lucky down, but Ilja rolled through… and took a Ligerbomb, only to pop right back up as duelling clotheslines left both men down. When they got back to their feet, Lucky tries his hand at chops, only to have to cover up as Ilja fought back, cracking Lucky with a knee to the head before he landed a swivel-in-the-ropes lariat for another near-fall.

Lucky manages to land a satellite facebuster as he seemed to be going for the La Mistica/crossface finish, instead following back up top with a missile dropkick to the back of Dragunov. Ilja’s right back with a death valley driver into the corner as Lucky continued to go for that crossface, and found himself with no escape as Ilja went Coast to Coast for another two-count. A Burning Hammer’s next, but Lucky’s still able to kick out, prompting Ilja to go for a Torpedo Moscau… only for Lucky to roll up Ilja for a near-fall!

Lucky follows that up with a handspring, but a Torpedo Moscau cuts that off for a near-fall, as Dragunov began to rain down the Danielson elbows on Lucky Kid, before a punt to the face left him face down on the mat. Referee Felix Schulz doesn’t call for a stoppage though, and instead Lucky… falls to his face again as Ilja prepared for a Torpedo Moscau. That seemed to enrage Dragunov, who went for it one more time, and got sent into the turnbuckles as Lucky went up top for a 450 splash, connecting it beautifully to book his place in the final! This picked up really well towards the end, with Lucky Kid being, ahem, lucky as he collapsed to avoid two Torpedos Moscau. Is this the year of the BLAAAH? ****¼

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Semi-Final: WALTER vs. Avalanche
The AUTsiders Collide!

David Starr’s “big daddy sell-out” chants made an appearance here, as WALTER conned Avalanche into looking at the sign, prompting a big boot from the Ring General. Avalanche is back with a big back body drop and a slam as he took WALTER in for a Dreissker Bomb… but WALTER got a hand to the ropes to save his skin at the last moment!

Rolling onto the apron, WALTER boots Avalanche through the ropes before he headed up top… and got brought down a la Ric Flair! A big splash off the ropes is next as Avalanche scored a two-count, before a fireman’s carry attempt led to WALTER slipping out and grabbing a Gojira clutch, sending Avalanche into the ropes for some crossface punches.

Another boot through the ropes takes Avalanche to the outside, before another trip up top led to Avalanche being knocked onto the apron, with a nasty spill onto the walkway to boot. The pair head into the crowd, where WALTER whips Avalanche into some of the guard rails by the walkway, but Avalanche manages to make it back in despite the elbow injury he seemed to pick up colliding with the walkway. WALTER picks up on that, throwing Avalanche arm-first into the turnbuckles before he put the boots to him. It’s worth noting that David Starr was watching this one from the stair way, intensely scouting WALTER “just in case”…

A series of forearms from Avalanche end when WALTER goes back to the arm, pulling his former tag partner to the mat in a Fujiwara armbar, before a crossface gets applied. Luckily, Avalanche was pretty close to the ropes and manages to get himself to freedom. Sadly, that freedom quickly ended as WALTER grabbed an arm and threw some chops, before an elbow took him into the corner… from where he returned with a shotgun dropkick!

WALTER looked for a powerbomb, but Avalanche is able to slip out and catch him with a Samoan drop. We’re back to forearms and chops before WALTER aimed a palm strike at the injured arm, allowing him to go for – and land – a German suplex that seemed to aggravate the injury some more. Another powerbomb followed for a near-fall, but Avalanche had plenty left in him to land almost a Rainmaker-like clothesline, taking WALTER into the corner for an avalanche body splash.

From there, Avalanche goes for a powerbomb, but sinks to his knees as he was dropping WALTER for a near-fall, before he’s back to the corner for a Dreissker bomb. Despite hitting it, WALTER grabs hold of Avalanche’s arm in a Kimura, and the former Monster Consulting leader has no choice but to tap. That’s setting up a tasty final, but my word, I can only wonder how different it would have been had Avalanche not had that awkward landing on the apron/walkway early on. ***¾

Alexander Wolfe, Veit Müller & Timothy Thatcher vs. Daisuke Sekimoto, Shigehiro Irie & Yuki Ishikawa
A sorta-RINGKAMPF reunion here as we’ve got a monster of a trios match on this line-up.

Ishikawa and Müller start us off, with Thatcher nicely providing some coaching for Veit from the apron as he traded holds with Ishikawa. Müller slams the veteran for a near-fall, but quickly gets caught in a Fujiwara armbar as he’s forced to swivel his way towards the ropes for a break. A tag brings in Thatcher to renew his weekend rivalry with Ishikawa, before Daisuke Sekimoto came in and ate a RINGKAMPF belly-to-belly off the ropes.

A back elbow frok Sekimoto’s caught as Thatcher drags him into the corner, allowing Wolfe to come in and grind his knuckles into Sekimoto’s shoulder blade in a submission attempt. Sekimoto gets free and retaliates with a dropkick, before Irie tagged in and charged into the corner.

Wolfe’s back with a German suplex to restore some order, as Thatcher tagged to try and work over Irie’s arm. Müller gets the quick tag as Sekimoto and Ishikawa distract the ref to stop him from counting a pin on Irie, so Wolfe just returned and slammed Irie as the Ambition 10 winner needed to kick out yet again.

More distractions from Sekimoto and Ishikawa mask the beating that Thatcher’s giving Irie on the outside… but eventually Irie’s able to fight back, blocking a Müller sunset flip before piledriving Thatcher onto him. Nice! A tag’s made to Sekimoto, who charges into Müller in the corner before he racks Müller… an Octopus hold from Ishikawa on Thatcher is brief as Wolfe breaks up both submissions, before Thatcher and Wolfe ate a duelling lariat from Daisuke!

Müller tries his luck with Sekimoto, picking him up for an airplane spin, leaving both men dizzy ahead of a double clothesline that left everyone down. Irie’s back in to lay into Thatcher in the corner, setting him up for a huge cannonball before Thatcher blocks a Beast Bomber and instead nails an enziguiri. Thatcher keeps up the pace with a butterfly suplex for a near-fall, as interference from Ishikawa’s stopped by a flying Wolfe clothesline.

The match settles back down into Sekimoto German suplexing Thatcher to break up a rear naked choke on Thatcher, before Irie put away Thatcher with a Beast Bomber. That’s yet another loss for the out-of-sorts Thatcher this weekend, as Irie perhaps leaves Oberhausen as the surprise package from these shows. ***½

Post-match, all six men exchange hugs as the winning trio left the ring… leaving Thatcher, Müller and Wolfe behind to try and console Timothy after his horror show of a weekend. Out come WALTER and Axel Dieter Jr. on the stage as RINGKAMPF past, present (and maybe future) were in the ring at the same time… and it led to Müller getting his stripes! Veit Müller ist RINGKAMPF!

Alexander Wolfe walks off, leaving “RINGKAMPF present behind”… with Timothy Thatcher offering a handshake to Müller… before he thumbed his nose at the “contracted” RINGKAMPF and left the ring as Veit Müller had his moment in the sun.

wXw Women’s Championship: Killer Kelly vs. Toni Storm (c)
We’ve a big match feel for this one, thanks in no small part to the pre-match video… and Toni Storm’s already rubbing the title in Kelly’s face during the intros.

There’s no “shooting out of the gates” here, as Kelly and Toni rather calmly stared at each other at the bell, before they unloaded on each other like it were a hockey fight. Corner-to-corner strikes follow as Storm misses a hip attack, before she found more luck with a headbutt as Kelly fires back with a pump kick.

The cravat knees follow, only for Kelly to miss an enziguiri as Toni hit with a curb stomp – albeit with handfuls of Kelly’s pigtails on the way. Toni uses her feet to boot Kelly to the outside, and the front row parts like the Black Sea as Toni set up for a hip attack… missing as Kelly got out of dodge.

The Cristiano apron PK catches Toni as she got back to her feet, before she found a way through by throwing Kelly into the third row. Toni demanded that referee Rainer Ringer count out Kelly, but the challenger’s back in at the count of five, only for Toni to continue the beating as she was caught in a STF. Kelly’s able to make it to the ropes though, forcing a break as Toni seemed rather scornful of her former friend.

Some slaps to the face keep Kelly on the back foot, before Toni stood on the pigtails again, only for Kelly to fire back with some capture headbutts and a trapped arm suplex. Toni quickly turns it back around with rolling German suplexes, taking Kelly into the corner for a hip attack, before the challenger fought back, catching Toni on the top rope and trapping her there with a spider Dragon sleeper.

From there, Toni’s pulled into a Tree of Woe for a Shibata-ish dropkick, before Storm tried to run away. Kelly joins her as they fought onto the stage, eventually taking a Storm Zero piledriver as Toni ran back to the ring as she demanded the count-out start. The crowd got behind Kelly as she dragged her way back down the aisle… Toni further mocks Kelly by pulling out her mouthguard – and put it in herself – before she took Kelly to the corner for her own Shibata-ish dropkick. Angry Kelly rises and clocks Toni with a head kick, before regaining her gumshield and landing another Shibata-ish dropkick, before she fell to a German suplex… then a Strong Zero piledriver… only to kick out at two!

The Turbinenhalle began to believe with that kick-out, as Toni began to go for another Storm Zero, only for the pair to trade more right hands. From there, Toni runs into a death valley bomb for a near-fall, before a flurry of Shibata-ish dropkicks ended when Toni slipped by and rolled up Kelly for the win. The crowd HATED that one as it really felt like Toni had gotten away with it – despite absorbing the challenger’s biggest moves. Could this be the women’s division’s own Starr/WALTER storyline? ***¼

Despite the loss, Killer Kelly got an ovation after the match as she left the ring, distraught.

The second half starts with Thommy Giesen getting everyone to cheer for the VOD team… only for Jay-FK to ruin it all! They try to cancel the show because they’re not on it, and replace it with a Jay-FK Meet and Greet… except Karsten Beck (who’s appearing quite a bit as an authority figure this weekend) interrupts them to announce a match… and it’s another big surprise.


Jay-FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin) vs. Hot & Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. & Da Mack)
Yeah, leave it to Jay-FK to ruin everyone’s fun, jumping Hot & Spicy as the crowd were too busy rocking out…

When the bell rang, Jay Skillet was putting the boots to Axel Dieter Jr., before Francis Kaspin came in to give a flavour of Junior’s final match before he left. Da Mack’s in next, as Hot & Spicy ran through Jay-FK, with Junior now going back to Skillet with a series of uppercuts. Mack and Junior exchange frequent tags, which kept Skillet guessing as a diving European uppercut led to a near-fall.

Kaspin interferes as he dragged Da Mack by the dreadlocks, distracting him for long enough for Skillet to attack him from behind. Mack’s kept in the corner as Jay-FK were winding up Junior, bringing him into the ring to distract the ref further as the methodical double-teaming continued.

The crowd begins to wind up Skillet – with the usual Schürlle references – as he took Da Mack up top… only for an elbow to send him crashing to the mat ahead of a flying Mack roundhouse kick! Mack makes a tag out to Junior, who went up against Kaspin, sending him flying with an uppercut, before a gamengiri caught Skillet flush in the corner.

A springboard double Blockbuster takes Jay-FK down as Junior was rolling back the clock, before duelling enziguiri took down Jay-FK for the win. Simple stuff once the initial assault wore off, as Hot & Spicy got a crowd-pleasing win. You can take the boys out of Hamburg, but you can never take the Hamburg out of the boys! ***

So that’s Hot & Spicy, all-generations of RINGKAMPF and the AUTsiders in the same ting as each other tonight. Can we fit any more reunions into one show?!

Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Rey Fenix) & Rey Horus vs. Schadenfreude (Chris Brookes, Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
We’ve got a nice, insane lucha rules tag match to keep us going here, as Aussie Open luckily packed their Schadenfreude jackets…

Cue dualling “Schadenfreude”/”Cero Miedo” chants as the Turbinenhalle stayed electric, and it started with Mark Davis shoving away Reys Fenix and Horus so he could… get superkicked. There’s an insane tope as Fenix soared into the crowd as Pentagon prepped for a double spike package piledriver on Dunkzilla… but Fletcher and Brookes make a save as things turn around.

Davis catches a Horus ‘rana and joins in with Fletcher for a double-team Go to Sleep before double superkicks catch Fenix flush. The assisted Iconoclasm/tope spot leaves Fenix down for a two-count, with Pentagon making the save… and guys, I’m struggling to keep up here! The referee’s distracted as a dual low blow sends Pentagon flying, before the Reys got sent onto the entry way…

Pentagon joins them, but he catches Davis and Fletcher with gamengiri on the apron before he popped up Fenix from the runway into Brookes with a dropkick. Rey Horus gets the same treatment, taking out Fletcher, before superkicks dropped Davis ahead of a Parade of top rope stuff, with a Horus 450 splash nearly ending it. Just… wow.

Things calm down as Fenix runs into a Michinoku driver, getting Fletcher a near-fall, only for Horus to come back with a standing Spanish fly to Fletcher. Brookes quickly cuts that off with a slingshot cutter, but Pentagon superkicks away the pin as the crowd stayed on their feet. Metaphorically speaking! Chops from Pentagon have Brookes reeling, as does a Del Rio double-stomp before Pentagon wandered into Davis’ Gold Coast Waterslide… with Fenix flying in to break up a pin before it could get going. A rebound hook kick from Fenix catches Davis, as the Mexiking was all over Dunkzilla, nearly picking up the win with a crossbody off the top!

The Reys combine for a double-team satellite DDT to Davis, before Fletcher and Brookes get thrown into each othr ahead of duelling superkicks from the Lucha Bros… who then prepare for a huge pop-up tope con giro on Horus into the crowd. Throw in a senton from Fenix, and a tope con giro from Pentagon, and this is freaking nuts!

From there, Fenix gets thrown into an accidenal Destroyer by Pentagon, before Kyle hits an intended Destroyer on Penta. Triple superkicks lay out Horus, who then takes an Aussie Arrow, a pull-up piledriver and a Praying Mantis Bomb… and that’s a win for Schadenfreude. This was freaking nuts – carve time out to watch this slice of madness. You will not ever regret it! ****½

Now, to get my breath back…

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Final: Lucky Kid vs. WALTER
A rather tense atmosphere filled the Turbinenhalle as we ended the tournament on a match that had two clear sides: a once-again beloved Lucky Kid, against a WALTER who was more than starting to show his disdain for others.

Right now, in this moment… especially Lucky Kid.

WALTER tries to charge at Lucky at the bell, but the RISE member was smart to it. Sadly, inciting a chopping battle wasn’t smart, as he gets caught in a rear naked choke before WALTER proceeded to leapfrog and boot the head off of the former tag team champion. Yep, WALTER’s in full-on bully mode here, grinding Lucky’s face into the mat with the sole of his boot, before throwing a knee that sent Lucky sailing to the outside.

Back in the ring, a Gojira clutch led to a German suplex… but Lucky flipped out and instead took down WALTER with a low dropkick, sending him outside as Lucky… BLAAAH! WALTER tries to charge back in, but he’s met with a springboard dropkick, sending him outside for a tope con giro as Lucky seemed to come down hard on the landing. When they got back to their feet, WALTER cleared the front row so he could drop Lucky on some seats with a back suplex… a landing that had even less give than the usual ring apron. Lucky gets up, but he’s booted back into the seats as he tried to return to the ring, leading to the crowd booing WALTER for being the bully.

Lucky Kid, to his credit, didn’t give up, and managed to catch WALTER with a Dragon screw in the ropes, only for his follow-up missile dropkick to get caught as WALTER rolls him into a Boston crab. A cravat crossface followed from WALTER, who was seemingly trying to bend Lucky in half, as the crowd’s attempts to chant for WALTER got shot down big time. Overhand chops from Lucky just served to irritate WALTER, who pulls him down into a Fujiwara armbar, before he punched away on Lucky’s elbow – echoing the arm work that WALTER did to put away Avalanche in the semis.

More crossface punches and a nasty kick from WALTER has Lucky writhing on the mat ahead of a two-count. Lucky manages to get up and fire back until… CHOP!  More attempts at fighting back just saw Lucky take a palm strike to the head, but he has no remorse as he continued to fight back, before a small package nearly caused the huge upset. An attempted La Mistica’s blocked with WALTER going for a Gojira, letting go so he could turn it into a powerbomb (almost like Minoru Suzuki), but Lucky’s got life left in him as he kicked out at two.

WALTER heads up top, but Lucky catches him, then stays persistent as he managed to ‘rana away from a top rope powerbomb! That’s one better than Rey Fenix as the callbacks to WALTER’s prior opponents here continued. The chopping game resumed, with Lucky able to switch things up into an Asai DDT for a near-fall, before he instantly rolled WALTER into a crossface in the middle of the ring. WALTER just stands up and swivels Lucky into a tombstone for a near-fall… and the Turbinenhalle still believes in Lucky!

A big splash from WALTER did little to change their mind, as WALTER’s aerial assault only got him a two-count, before he just resorted to chops once more. WALTER takes Lucky up top for an avalanche butterfly suplex, but somehow Lucky fought free and eventually powerbombed WALTER out of the corner for a near-fall. He keeps up the pressure with a missile crossface before a La Mistica into a crossface has WALTER down and out in the middle of the ring, only for WALTER to power back up and dump Lucky with a uranage slam to almost end the match.

The Lucky Kid chants intensify as they seemed to spur him on… but another swipe and a Gojira clutch from WALTER puts him back into an oh-too-familiar spot, having to survive from the ground. Again, Lucky stands up, but he’s caught again… this time rolling back in the Gojira for a near-fall, before he spammed WALTER with double stomps, before a 450 to the back lands its mark. Rather than go for the pin, Lucky goes up again, and with WALTER having rolled over, he lands a second one… but it’s still not enough! Lucky quickly goes to the crossface, and rolls WALTER back into the middle of the ring… and in a finish straight out of WrestleMania 20, Lucky Kid gets the victory! 2019 is the Year of the underdog… the year of the BLAAAH! ****½

Post-match, Ivan Kiev and Pete Bouncer join Lucky to celebrate, while WALTER hung back in the ring to give a begrudging handshake as Kiev and Bouncer paraded Lucky on their shoulders – trophy in hand…

… and then out come Schadenfreude on the stage. A tense staredown for the love of Lucky Kid ensued, with Lucky flashing the peace sign to Brookes from the ring, as RISE celebrated with the trophy.

It may have been stormy outside, but night three of 16 Carat Gold was an absolute belter. From the return of Hot & Spicy, to the RINGKAMPF induction of Veit Müller, to the lucha rules tag, and the way the Lucky Kid story played out… this was everything you want in a wXw show and then some. Is 16 Carat Gold 2019 the best tournament wXw has had? That’s something to reflect on away from the moment – but the three tournament nights were a work of art – and a trio of shows that will live long in the memory.

If you weren’t lucky enough to be in Oberhausen, sign up for wXwNOW.de and make sure you watch these shows as they start dropping on the service during the week. You shall not regret it!