Title vs. Career. If David Starr can’t leave Oberhausen with the gold tonight, his time in wXw is over – those are the stakes on mittel Samstag!

The Turbinenhalle is becoming a second home this weekend, and it is jam packed in here! As ever, we’ve a show opening video, this time focusing on the history of the Turbinenhalle for wXw. Katja and crew have done a sterling job all weekend with these…

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Quarter-Final: Cara Noir vs. Jeff Cobb
Noir starts with shoulder tackles. Nothing going.

Kicks to the legs looked to work, but Cobb just bulldozes through Noir… who went back to kickimg the leg as his way through. A slap just angers Cobb, who charged himself into the buckles as Noir had to stick and move. A huge Beele out of the corner stops all that, as did a side elbow as Cara went off the ropes, while some knees to the back had Noir on the deck again.

A hands free overhead belly-to-belly gets Cobb a near-fall, but Cara’s back with Swan Woos before an attempted Athletic Plex got turned into a Rude Awakening for a near-fall. An Athletic Plex got Cobb back in, as did a Superman uppercut into the corner, which led to Noir going onto the apron… as he gets suplexed back into the ring!

The standing moonsault’s next for a near-fall, but Noir’s right back with an up kick as he finally got off Madame Guillotine for a near-fall. A package piledriver’s teased, but Cobb back body drops free before hoisting Noir back up for a German suplex. The Tour of the Islands nearly gets countered with a sunset fliup, before Noir caught Cobb with a Blackout sleeper for the submission. A cracking opener, even if the result was a little unpopular… ***½

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Quarter-Final: Eddie Kingston vs. The Rotation
Good luck Rotation! Kingston pushes him into the corner from the bell, then threw him down with ease.

Kingston laughs off the chants for Rotation, but caught a springboard armdrag and tossed Rotation aside. Oh boy. CHOP! A slam and an elbow drop gets a one-count, so Eddie punches away at Rotation to get himself a two-count, before he took Rotation into the ropes for a little rough-housing. Another slam and a stomp gets Eddie a two-count, before Rotation’s latest bid to fight back ended with him getting caught in the corner with chops and headbutts. A suplex gets Kingston another near-fall, before Rotation hurt his wrist with a chop. Not that Eddie cared… another chop and a suplex has Rotation back on the deck, as this is looking rather easy.

Rotation keeps kicking out though, and ends up heading outside for respite. If you can call it that. Kingston accidentally charges the ring post, as Rotation took him back inside for a ‘rana off the top for a near-fall, before he crashed into Kingston with a kick in the corner. From there, a satellite DDT surprises Kingston, as did a Victory Over Gravity… which gets a near-fall! A second 450 splash lands flush… and Eddie barely gets his shoulder up!

A third one is a bridge too far though as Kingston crotches him on the top rope, bringing him down with an avalanche uranage for a near-fall… before a backfist knocked Rotation out of the tournament. A hell of an effort for Rotation, but in the end, the proverbial “men against boys” was too much for him to overcome. ***½

Post-match, Kingston repeats his promise to win Carat…

Backstage, Daniel Makabe is having his photos taken with the Ambition trophy. He’s interrupted by Marius al-Ani, who fancies a spot of competition.

Marius al-Ani vs. Daniel Makabe
It’s a Belgium night for Makabe, and we star with a grand old scrap on the mat as they looked for a body part.

A terse stand-off led to a roll-up from al-ANi for a one-count, while Makabe had to fight out of an armbar so he could apply one of his own. A self-choking crossface follows from Makabe, then a chop as he trapped the former Shotgun champion in the corner. That just gets him some body blows until Rainer Ringer separated the pair of them.

al-Ani pulls Makabe’s shirt over his head like a hockey shirt, and that sparks a fight back… only for Marius to combine a floatover suplex and a cross armbar attempt. Makabe gets free and looks for a Makabe Lock, but he’s rolled down in an Octopus hold as al-Ani tried to eke out a submission… but nothing was happening there.

Right hands from Marius follow, but he misses a dropkick as Makabe comes back with an Octopus of his own. al-Ani gets free and hits a dropkick of his own for a two-count, before Makabe fakes out a Big Unit punch to hit a German suplex. A dropkick into the corner gets a two-count, before he wrestled his way in with a Makabe Lock on the mat, letting go to turn it into a seatbelt cradle for another near-fall.

After running into an elbow, Makabe’s caught with a leaping ‘rana from al-Ani, but the step-up elbow has Marius land in a rear naked choke that he escaped from, before turning in with an ankle lock. The step-up elbow suceeds at the second attempt for a near-fall, but Makabe’s right back with the Big Unit for a near-fall. al-Ani looks for a Diamond Driver, but can’t get it… so he backflips into another ankle lock attempt. Makabe frees himself and responds with a deathlock STF. Yes, it’s another ankle lock… but Makabe rolls free, only to get caught with a kip-up, Exploder and a Diamond Driver as al-Ani wins. I lost track of the ankle locks in this one… not a popular result this one. ***¼

Another Catch Grand Prix ad reminds us that Laredo Kid and JD Drake’s in the tournament in September…

The new wXw tag team champions, Jay-AA, come out next for a promo. I still need to work on my German… Andy talks about bringing freshness back to the tag team scene, which led to the creation of the Jay-AA Wildcard Gauntlet, made of first-time tag team partners…

Julian Pace & Puma King vs. Lucky Kid & Leon van Gasteren
Poor conflicted Julian…

Pace and van Gasteren start us off, swapping takedowns and escapes before Leon cut-off the rope running with a dropkick. Tags then bring in Lucky and Puma, with Puma turning away from a chop before he pancaked and kicked Lucky. A neck twist from Lucky annoys Puma King, as did a low dropkick, which gets last year’s Carat winner a near-fall.

Van Gasteren returns and tried to ripcord Puma King, but instead Julian Pace comes in and crashes in with a duelling crossbodies. Puma King pushes on with a springboard crossbody to the floor, before the eyeballs on the screen distract Lucky again… leading to some running double knees and a sit-out powerbomb that gets Puma King the win. The eyes had it! **¾

Puma King & Julian Pace vs. Avalanche & Black Taurus
Big lads! Puma King thought he’d found a way through, taking down Taurus with a flying ‘rana only for Taurus to charge through… and get lifted to the outside.

Another springboard crossbody has Taurus down on the floor, before he returned and tagged in Avalanche. Pace is back too, but he’s tossed aside by Avalanche before mounting a brief comeback. A missed back senton lets Pace in for a standing shooting star press for a near-fall, before he’s charged aside. Still, he’s able to land a Final Lap for a near-fall, before Puma King returned with a missile dropkick for a near-fall. A big back body drop from Avalanche hits as Black Taurus returned to tear apart the feline, cracking Puma King with a gamengiri in the corner, only to get hung up in the ropes as a flying ‘rana gets Puma a near-fall. In the end though, a version of Angel Garza’s clipped wings gets the win for the big lads. **¾

Avalanche & Black Taurus vs. Tarik & Norman Harras
This may not go well for “Norbert”…

Taurus and Tarik start us off, but the shoulder tackles don’t work. Tarik’s ‘rana does though! As did Taurus’ clothesline… Avalanche comes in to squash Tarik, before Taurus’ Samoan drop and a body splash from Avalanche gets a near-fall. Avalanche keeps going, Beeling Tarik across the ring, before Tarik gor free to tag in Harras. Norman sidesteps as the big lads went into each other, leading to a slam on Taurus from the “Rohdiamant”. He seemed rather happy with that… Tarik wasn’t, and after he got tagged in, Harras was tossed outside as a sit-out Fisherman buster got Taurus the win. **½

Avalanche & Black Taurus vs. DJ Hyde & Levaniel
OH. MY. WORD. Deej was almost apopleptic with his “lucky draw”. Levaniel’s talking as DJ has to go it alone. Levaniel’s oblivious as a Dreissker bomb put DJ away. Aha!

Avalanche & Black Taurus vs. Chris Ridgeway & Scotty Davis
Ridgeway tries to kick through Avalanche in the corner, but Avalanche overpowered him. Tags bring in Taurus and Davis, but Scotty’s charged into the corner and chopped as the big lads continued to reign. Eventually Scotty gets a boot up, before Taurus accidentally speared away Avalanche… in comes Ridgeway with a head kick… and there’s the elimination! **

Chris Ridgeway & Scotty Davis vs. Young Guns (Luke Jacobs & Ethan Allen)
I guess they’re only counting wXw canon here? All four men have a scrap here, with Jacobs and Ridgeway trading kicks and chops in the ring.

A gut punch from Ridgeway stops Jacobs, but Ethan Allen tags in and clears house. Well, at least until Ridgeway punted Jacobs in the back. That just seemed to fire up the Mancunians though, before a Dragon screw from Ridgeway sent Allen sailing. Jacobs is back to try his luck, as was Davis, who came close with a strait-jacket German suplex on Jacobs.

Luke’s peppered with kicks next, and a Chasing the Dragon for a near-fall as the Young Guns were holding on. Jacobs spikes Davis with a sitout tombstone, before Allen returned and trapped Scotty in a rear naked choke, switching up to the double armbar a la ZSJ until Ridgeway’s German suplex got him free.

Not to worry, Jacobs stops Ridgeway with a clothesline as a mini Parade of Moves broke out… then another scrap, before Ridgeway got clobbered and powerbombed into the corner. A kick-assisted piledriver follows on Davis, and the Young Guns win the gauntlet! They’re next in line for a tag title shot, which is tomorrow as part of the We Love Wrestling event – which could cap a hell of a 48 hours for them in Germany! ***

Post-match, Ridgeway hugged the Young Guns, then got Scotty in on it too. Lieber! Hey, aren’t Ridgeway and the Young Guns trying to float themselves as a unit in the North West…

Alexander James opens the second half to complain about his bad weekend, and tell us how he’s hit rock bottom. He reckons he deserves the world, and shows off some German he’s learned. He’s not exactly happy with this spot on the card, and he wants competition…

Alexander James vs. Alpha Kevin
Kevin had Melanie Gray with him on crutches… and I doubt Alexander James is thrilled at this “competition”. A big boot and some clubbing forearms have Kevin down, but he’s back with some Dusty punches that took too long to wind up… but he gets it off anyway! James tries to fight back, but eats a piledriver for a near-fall, before James stomped away on Kevin… a cobra clutch follows, and there’s your submission. Splat.

Post-match, James keeps on at Kevin until Melanke Gray threatened to whack James with her crutch. Killer Kelly makes the save, but James kicks away Kelly’s crutch. He’s not done yet as he wears out a chair on Kevin, before telling Kelly to “piss off”.

Backstage, Norman Harras and Tarik are arguing over their part in the gauntlet earlier. Tarik’s annoyed at how aloof Harras was, and that led to an eight man tag being announced: SMASH’s Pillars (Tarik, Brent Banks, Sebastian Suave and Tyson Dux) against Norman Harras and three others. I wonder who…

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Quarter-Final: Mike Bailey vs. Bandido
We’ve got a sing-off to start, before the pair charged into each other, as the early stages saw them hit handsprings into a stand-off.

Some headscissors from Bandido have Bailey down, before Speedball recovered to hit a Golden Triangle moonsault to the outside. A leg sweep from Bandido saw Bailey crash down to the floor, before Bandido put him on the apron for a running boot. Back inside, Bandido handstanded his way out of a kick, then proceeded to take down Bailey for a near-fall as Bandido looked to be working over Bailey’s legs.

Driving the knee into the mat, Bandido looked to neutralise Bailey, but Speedball came back with kicks and a standing corkscrew press for a near-fall. A standing moonsault/fallaway slam lands for a near-fall for Bailey, before Bandido returned the favour for another two count. Bailey grabs the ropes to avoid a Gory special, but he’s taken outside for a tope into the front row. He returns the favour… but Bandido adds a tope suicida for good measure. Not one to be outdone, Bailey tops it with a springboard Asai moonsault as we were going mental!

A teased double count-out comes to nought, as the pair beat the count and begin to trade palm strikes, then chops, then kicks. Bailey’s flurry of kicks had Bandido rocked ahead of a pop-up cutter, before a crucifix bomb almost got Bandido the win. Bailey’s back with a ‘rana as the pair trade near-falls, before moonsault knees crush Bandido on the way to another near-fall.

More kicks led to a GODDAMN HANDSPRING REVERSE ‘RANA FROM BAILEY, which still doesn’t end it! A corkscrew roundhouse traps Bandido, but not long enough for Bailey to go up top, as Bandido caught him with a moonsault fallaway slam for a near-fall, before a shooting star press from Bandido landed in the knees. From there, Bailey misses Ultima Weapon, then got put away with a torture rack Go 2 Sleep… but Bailey evades a 21 Plex as a double clothesline left both men down!

Bandido’s back up first but he can’t do the 21 Plex out of the corner, and gets trapped up top for a fisherman’d fallaway moonsault slam… and that’s finally enough to get the win as fans flooded the ring with Euro coins and notes afterwards. Straight out of ECW, but with money, not chairs. Abso-bloody-lutely amazing. *****

By the way, that was TWO BOWLS full of coins. Oberhausen is mad.

Backstage, Killer Kelly’s trying to apologise to Alpha Kevin and Melanie Gray… Kelly says she’s got to support Alexander James, but there’s some seeds being sewn there…

wXw 16 Carat Gold – Quarter-Final: Jurn Simmons vs. Shigehiro Irie
I’m so conflicted… this may have a time following that last one.

The opening lock-up comes up short as they end up charging into each other, but it’s Jurn who scores the first takedown. Irie’s back with a slam and a slingshot splash, getting a near-fall out of it before Jurn took him into the corner. A suplex throw follows for a near-fall, then a slam, as Jurn was taking a slow and steady route here.

Irie’s grounded with a chinlock, before Simmons looked for a powerbomb, he doesn’t get it as Irie threw him outside, then used himself as a flying battering ram into the Dutchman on the outside. Back inside, Irie heads up top for a big splash, landing all of it for a near-fall, before Jurn finally came back with a huge clothesline. An Ultimate Warrior-esque Gorilla press slam and a standing Jurn-sault’s next for a near-fall, as we went back to the big lads clotheslines. Irie busts out some German ahead of a double-clothesline… but he’s back up to hit a Samoan drop and a cannonball in the corner for a near-fall.

Irie calls for a Beast Bomber, but a Massive Boot stops the lariat, only for Irie to respond with a powerbomb and a Beast Bomber for a near-fall. A spear from Simmons puts a stop to Irie though, as a Massive Piledriver ends Shiggy’s Carat. A little flat, but just about anything would have struggled to follow what came before it. ***¼

Don’t be sad – we’re getting Irie vs. WALTER at tomorrow’s lunchtime show!

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: David Starr vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
It’s title vs. career… and while the pre-match video got you amped, you do have to wonder… is the big one a step too far for Starr? Especially with these stakes?

Starr got confetti on his entrance, and PILLAR on his trunks, while Big Match Bobby got lasers and smoke cannons. You know the scores. We’ve got other rules too – if any of Bobby’s Bastards appear during the match, Gunns gets DQ’d and loses his title… AND whomever interferes gets a six month ban.

The main event opens at 11pm, as both men looked to find a body part to work. Gunns looked for the wrist, as Starr instead tried – and failed – to outfox him early on. Starr looks rather pleased at the chants for “Bernie Sanders” here, even if hardly anyone in the room’ll be able to vote for him! A Trailer Hitch from Starr has Gunns in trouble, as did a chinlock, before a double-leg takedown kept Starr on top. Gunns got free and tried to go for the arm again, but the pair scramble as they broke into some ref-trolling near-falls.

Gunns pie-faces Starr in the corner, before Gunns pulled one out of Starr’s old bag of tricks and made him Look At It. That riled up the challenger, who gets booted and kicked at before they went outside, where Gunns went for an apron PK, only to get pulled onto the edge of the ring. The pair brawl around ringside, where Gunns inched ahead as he stomped Starr’s hand into the ring steps before they brawled down the aisle, teasing a piledriver only for Starr to part the crowd and throw Gunns into the audience!

They continue to brawl through the crowd, heading back towards the ring as Gunns got thrown into the ring post, before they returned to the ring – via a trip to the ring steps for Gunns’ knee. Back inside, Gunns begs for mercy, but he’s taken back outside… where he sidesteps a tope suicida as Starr met the front row. The count-out tease ends when Gunns went back for an apron PK, as we reset the count, which Starr barely beat.

Smelling blood, Gunns went for a half crab, then an armbar as they fell into the ropes. Gunns sticks on the arm though, rolling Starr down for a Fujiwara armbar that eventually ended in the ropes. Arm wringers from Gunns end with him taking a German suplex, before a Violence Party of forearms and chops keep Gunns in the corner. A pratfall from Starr gets him a near-fall, but Gunns is back to the arm before Starr went back to the chops.

An Octopus stretch from Gunns has Starr in trouble, but a cartwheel, a back elbow and a low dropkick turns it back around before a body press to the outside kept Starr ahead. Back inside, another crossbody’s caught as Gunns rolled through into an armbar, only for Starr to get free and snap back in with a German suplex. Gunns adds one of his own as a half-nelson suplex left the challenger in a heap.

Going back to the arm with chops, Gunns wears down Starr again, before he countered a powerbomb attempt into a guillotine… only for Starr to get free with a Blackheart Buster. Those always look brutal live. Starr tees up for a Han Stansen, but cartwheels away before hitting a swivelling lariat instead. Despite taking a flying European uppercut, Starr nails a Han Stansen for a near-fall, before getting caught in a triangle armbar… which Starr powerbombed his way free of!

They tee off again with kicks and chops, as Gunns again focuses on the arm, taking Starr into the corner for a running boot before a superplex got countered into an avalanche Blackheart Buster! From there, a big ol’ Han Stansen has the crowd BITING on a near-fall, before Starr set p for a Product Placement, only for Gunns to back into the corner. Referee Tassilo Jung has to duck a Han Stansen, but misses a low blow as Gunns comes close from a German suplex, before he went back to an Octopus hold to try and force a stoppage… with Starr again making the ropes.

Pulling himself up, Starr gets caught with kicks in the corner then taken up top for a superplex before he caught Gunns with a small package on the landing. Both men are looking exhausted as we’ve sailed past the 30 minute mark, which seemed to be the cue for Gunns to go for his belt. Starr grabs it too, but Gunns snaps the arm away before folding Starr in half with a German suplex… then went outside for the timekeeper’s bell hammer.

Tass manages to disarm Gunns, and misses a low blow and a belt shot as Starr comes close, before a Han Stansen and a Trapped Arm Bob Fossil gets us closer! The Republican Remorse is next… but Starr can’t sink it in, and Gunns manages to save his skin via the ropes. Starr looks distraught, thinking his last shot had gone, as both men pulled themselves up to their feet. We’re back to basics with chops, then uppercuts as we breezed by 40 minutes with Gunns cracking Starr with a headbutt. Someone watched Ambition! PKs follow as Gunns comes close with an Emerald Fusion, before a PK to the back and a second Emerald Fusion did it. Stunned silence and some boos – Bobby Gunns retains… David Starr is GONE from wXw. There’s no rice pudding tonight as an epic match left him in tears. We’ll need to rewatch this without tired eyes, but this was a long match that seemed like a fitting last hurrah for “the Product”…  ****¼

The air escaped the room on that three count, as Starr’s left with nothing else to do but accept the crowd’s chants of “thank you, David”. The rod he made for his own back ultimately cost him his wXw career.

Starr closes the show with a promo, telling us this was his fifth year in wXw, thanking them for the part they played in making his career. He reiterates this isn’t an angle or anything. This is his goodbye. He hints that some of his prior comments played into this, as he broke down into tears while putting over Christian Michael Jakobi, Felix Kohlenberg, Dennis Birkendahl… but not WALTER as he left the ring to one final chant of “Ooh Ahh, David Starr”…

Ah man, we’ve got to say goodbye to Timothy Thatcher tomorrow too… it’s going to be an emotional 24 hours now.

Speedball vs. Bandido stole the show. Hands down. I’ll go one further – it’s perhaps the best match I’ve seen live, especially once you add in the crowd reactions throughout and afterwards. That’s obviously excluding the tongue-in-cheek ratings I gave to Gunns/Ilja and the Jay-AA/Anti-Fun Police tags in prior trips to the Turbinenhalle. If a show can remind you of the reasons why you fell in love with wrestling – and why you continue to love it – with great matches and contests that play with your emotions like they were a fiddle, then it’s safe to say… it was a damn good show.

This drops on wXw NOW on Friday 13th. You know what to do…