It’s Championship Saturday in Oberhausen – and we’re taking a look at a stacked card, featuring the four-way for Axel Tischer’s wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship.

Quick Results
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Shigehiro Irie pinned Hektor Invictus in 7:15 (***¼)
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Jonathan Gresham pinned Peter Tihanyi in 7:01 (***½)
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: LuFisto pinned Maggot in 11:49 (**¾)
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Robert Dreissker pinned Cara Noir in 9:09 (***¼)
Bobby Gunns & Michael Knight won a tag team gauntlet match in 23:43 (***)
Ninja Mack pinned Ace Romero in 11:42 to win the wXw Shotgun Championship (**½)
Stephanie Maze & Fast Time Moodo pinned Dover & Icarus in 11:53 to win the wXw World Tag Team Championship (***½)
Ava Everett pinned Iva Kolasky in 8:49 to win the wXw Women’s Championship (**½)
Tristan Archer pinned Levaniel, Axel Tischer & Jurn Simmons in 17:02 to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (***½)

Once again we’re catching up with the near-live stream for this portion of 16 Carat Gold weekend, as we’re back inside the Turbinenhalle, with Dave Bradshaw and Andy Jackson on English commentary.

16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Shigehiro Irie vs. Hektor Invictus
Hektor came in as the alternate for an injured Marius al-Ani, having won the five-way in night one’s pre-show. Dennis Dullnig came out to try and rally Hektor, but got sent to the back as the crowd booed Hektor’s choice.

There’s early back and forth between Hektor and Irie, which led to the slingshot splash for an early one-count for Irie. Hektor ducks a brainbuster, then took Irie into the corner as he looked to work over the same leg that Irie’d taken a beating on during Ambition earlier in the day. A chinlock keeps Irie down, but he’s able to suplex his way free, sending Hektor onto the apron.

Irie puts on the brakes amid a cannonball attempt, but instead he followed Hektor outside for a cannonball off the apron. Back inside, Hektor finds a way back in with a Chaos Theory for a near-fall, before the pair traded elbows back-and-forth, only for an Irie headbutt and a Bossman Slam to send things his way again.

Hektor replies by flipping Irie for a knee strike, but Irie avoids it and hits a Saito suplex, taking Hektor into the corner for the cannonball. A powerslam and a springboard moonsault keeps things finely poised as Hektor came close, before a powerbomb from Hektor was countered as Irie LIFTED UP HEKTOR BEHIND HIS NECK and into a powerbomb of his own. My neck hurt just watching that back, but that is impressive strength.

From there, Irie goes for a Beast Bomber, but had to avoid a Hektor Knee before LAUNCHING himself into the ropes to hit the lariat for the win. That’s Shigehiro into day three, and it’s a popular result for the Oberhausen faithful… ***¼

Backstage, Dan Mallman’s getting pestered by Dennis Dullnig, who’s got the contract for Rott und Flott’s invitational gauntlet later tonight. Dennis hadn’t heard about it, then wanted to enter himself into the gauntlet. Alongside Hektor. Oh boy.

16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Peter Tihanyi vs. Jonathan Gresham
I had one slight nitpick on the live stream – they threw up the graphic for this match when Tihanyi made his entrance, although I thought Carat was all blind draws after the first round…

Commentary surmised that Gresham may be more fatigued after main eventing yesterday – although getting kicked a lot in Ambition earlier in the day might not have helped either! Headlock takedowns and escapes start us off amid dualling chants, before leapfrogs from both men ended up with some springboard headscissors from Gresham.

A faked-out dropkick from Gresham led to a kick to the shin, then a dropkick, before Gresham eventually was taken down with a drop toe hold. He instantly spun out and grabbed a hammerlock, but Tihanyi manages to escape by sweeping the leg, before he looked to stop in the ropes with an arm problem.

Recovering quickly, Tihanyi nails a tornado DDT, then a Magic Screw off the ropes for a near-fall, as Gresham looked to trade chops… aiming for the chest, then the leg, before he was taken onto the apron and dropkicked off of it. Gresham races outside for a tope, then came back with a springboard crossbody that Tihanyi rolled through for a near-fall as the tempo picked up, with pinning attempts exchanged.

A missed leapfrog looked to aggravate Tihanyi’s knee, but he’s able to block a sunset flip… only for the SummerSlam ‘92 finish to end with a kick-out as Gresham stayed alive… before Gresham snatched the win with a headscissor-aided roll-up out of nowhere. This was a lovely sprint of a match, packing a lot in in their seven minutes – and while few would have given Tihanyi a real shot, his first Carat can’t go down as anything other than a success. Keep your eyes on that name – Tihanyi’s one for the very near future! ***½

16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Maggot vs. LuFisto
If Maggot’s the devil, then the Turbinenhalle was a willing audience of his cult members if the reaction to his music was anything to go by…

The early skirmishes saw LuFisto target Maggot’s arm, only to get an instant response ahead of a drop toe hold that forced Maggot into the ropes. Going for the leg again sees Maggot scramble to the ropes, before a scrap on the apron ended with him getting booted to the floor.

Around ringside, LuFisto chopped Maggot, but he gave as good as he got, eventually responding as he reversed a whip and posted the Canadian. Back inside, Maggot stomps a mudhole in LuFisto, then targeted her upper back with forearms as things went to the mat. A Thesz press from Maggot keeps things there, as did an enziguiri, before a front facelock looked to force a submission.

LuFisto fought back with an elevated suplex, then a discus elbow as Maggot was taken into the corner… where a low dropkick met him for a near-fall. Kicks to Maggot’s knee, then a grounded leg whip keeps him on the deck, before an ankle lock ended in the ropes. Out of nowhere, Maggot returns with a spear for a near-fall, before an Alabama Slam countered Maggot’s offence ahead of a Trailer Hitch that almost got the submission.

A teardrop suplex from Maggot drew a swear auf Deutsch, before LuFisto teased a Tiger Driver ‘80. It’s blocked and eventually turned into a crucifix bomb for a near-fall, before LuFisto came back with the Tiger Driver for a near-fall. Composing herself from the kick-out, LuFisto booted Maggot ahead of a Burning Hammer… and that’s enough to book her spot in the semis. **¾

16 Carat Gold Tournament 2022 Quarter-Final: Robert Dreissker vs. Cara Noir
Our final quarter-final then, and we had Anil Marik out with Robert Dreissker – complete with his shoulder in a sling after picking up a training injury. An injury that was nearly worsened when Marik lost grip of the rope while trying to get into the ring…

Dreissker stopped Cara from entering the ring… so Cara just did his unveiling at ringside instead. Cara dragged Dreissker to the outside and clubbed on him before the bell, before we finally started in the ring with a shotgun dropkick from Cara. Running Dreissker into the buckles allowed Cara to follow up with chops, before Dreissker took a corner a la Bret Hart.

Dreissker kicks Noir out of the ring, then charged him off the apron as things spilled to the floor. Anil Marik’s watching perhaps a little too closely, prompting Dreissker to tell him to back off. Back inside, a shoulder block bounced Cara to the mat, before Dreissker hit some standing backbreakers by the ropes, driving his knees into Cara ahead of a fallaway slam for a two-count.

Bouncing Cara out of the corners leads to a back body drop for a near-fall, while a chinlock was fought out of as Cara chopped the former tag team champion into the corner… only for Dreissker to bound out with a springboard crossbody for a two-count. An up-kick stops Dreissker’s big splash as Cara mounted a comeback, following with a rebound German suplex and a superkick, before a Rude Awakening landed for a near-fall.

Cara Noir muscled Dreissker up into a Madame Guillotine next for another two-count. Dreissker rolled outside, but rather than regroup he ordered Anil Marik to go backstage – perhaps in his own mind, sensing that presence was a needless distraction. So much so that Dreissker nearly got himself countered out as he frogmarched Marik to the back… and ran back into a Cara headbutt.

Marik’s still on the stage as Cara hits a stunning powerbomb on Dreissker for a near-fall, before Cara went out and dragged Marik back to ringside so he could watch. Dreissker’s audibly annoyed at that, but backs into the corner to break up a Blackout sleeper… so Cara head up top and tried to get it again, this time leaping onto Dreissker for extra momentum. Except this time, Dreissker heads to the corner for the break, then caught a downed Cara with a Dreissker Bomb out of nowhere for the win. A battle of the big guns saw the reigning Carat holder exit in the quarter-finals, as Dreissker’s temper against his students almost cost him dear. ***¼

Post-match, Dreissker’s interviewed by Dan Mallmann, and bragged about how “easy” it was to beat Cara Noir, before rather patronisingly saying that he’d brought Anil out to give him his “16 Carat Gold” moment. Even if you don’t speak German, Dreissker’s demeanour here was more than enough to tell you that a switch had flipped inside him here…

Up next, the Rott und Flott tag team invitational – with the winners getting a shot at the wXw tag team titles. But first, Nikita Charisma and Michael Schenkenberg come out ringing a bell, like ye olde town crier, teaching the non-German speakers their new favourite word this weekend: SCHANDE! (“shame on you”)

Charisma decries SCHANDE on wXw for how Rott und Flott had been mistreated in their time in the promotion. Andy Jackson gives a potted translation of all of this for the English audience, saying that Rott und Flott want to win their own gauntlet to prove the rest of the division are “phoneys.” Mind you, Rott und Flott booking themselves to go first in their own match perhaps wasn’t the best idea… “Still, at least they got to ring a bell and complain a lot.” “For some, that is the key to life.” Deadpan humour is sometimes the best humour on commentary.

Gauntlet Match: Rott Und Flott (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma) vs. Sebastian Suave & Norman Harras vs. Dennis Dullnig & Hektor vs. Baby Allison & Heisenberg vs. Senza Volto & Aigle Blanc vs. Michael Knight & Bobby Gunns
Suave and Harras were the first pairing to answer the call, rekindling their pairing from Inner Circle.

Schenkenberg and Suave start us off, with Suave on the defensive… being taken into the corner as Charisma yanked the arm over his shoulder. Rott und Flott repeat the trick and I’m sure you can guess where that heads… Suave pulls a switcheroo and gives Charisma Schenkenberg’s arm to work over.

That leads to an argument and some shoving before they made up. Right as Suave and Harras tried to squash them, but they crash into each other as Harras took a beating. A Finlay roll from Harras, then a charging knee to the ribs gets a near-fall, while Suave grabbed a hanging armbar in the ropes on Charisma.

A big boot from Harras drops Charisma for a two-count, before Suave came in and took a little too long to jump on Charisma… and instead opted to kick Charisma while he was in the full nelson. A distraction from Suave allowed Harras to choke Charisma with some wrist tape, before a redux from Thursday saw Harras slam Suave… except Charisma rolled away.

Suave gets the same result with his own bodyslam, before Harras accidentally booted Suave… that allowed Rott und Flott to hit an elevated double-team DDT as Schenkenberg pinned Harras to progress. Out next? Dennis Dullnig! Hektor’s not out with him, so Dullnig had to run to the back and bait Hektor with his flag and, err, his boot?!

So Hektor’s pulling double duty here, putting his boot on as Rott und Flott attack him. Hektor’s pinned into the corner with shoulder charges, before Charisma stomped on the socked-foot of Hektor, bellowing that he was “unprofessional” because he’d not had his boot on. That foot remained a prime target before Dullnig got the tag in and cleared house with clotheslines.

A flapjack drops Charisma as Hektor was busy lacing up his boot on the outside. Problem was, that left Dullnig on his own as he’s taken to the wrong corner. That led to the return of the “ohne Hektor, hast du keine Chance” chants ahead of a dropkick-assisted side Russian legsweep for a near-fall on Dullnig.

Dullnig’s run into the corner as a backbreaker and a powerslam nearly put him away. Charisma tries to pull an Eddie Guerrero, feigning an attack from Hektor behind the ref’s back before he and Schenkenberg pulled Dullnig into the ring post. The double-team DDT’s escaped by Dullnig as Hektor tagged in and cleared house again, but Dullnig tagged himself back in as Hektor went for the knee…

Cue more arguments as Schenkenberg dropped them both with a clothesline, before that elevated DDT put Dullnig down. Charisma’s legal… but wandered into an inside cradle, and that’s Rott und Flott out of here! Baby Allison and Heisenberg enter the fray next, with Allison spearing Dullnig into the corner ahead of a Northern Lights suplex… she rolled back into the corner and tagged in Heisenberg, who shrugged off a clothesline from Dullnig and hit one of his own.

A powerslam from Heisenberg accidentally wipes out Allison as he swung Dullnig around, before an inside cradle nearly pinned him. We’ve another back body drop as Heisenberg rolled out to check on Allison… then returned with rage as he hit a chokeslam, then choked out Dullnig, leading to the DQ as he refused to break.

Next out were the pairing of Senza Volto and Aigle Blanc. A superkick from Aigle to Hektor set the tone, as Senza Volto came in to hit a flip senton on Hektor after a suplex. It gets the French pairing a near-fall, before a back senton to Hektor across the top rope gave Aigle a near-fall.

Senza’s back with a Code Red for another two-count, then a Meteora-assisted sunset flip as Hektor remained on the defensive… at least until he hit a powerslam on Senza. Dullnig tags in to hit a flapjack on Senza, before an errant charge into Aigle from Senza set up for a pair of German suplexes from Dullnig. A wacky slam on Senza sent him into Aigle, before Rott und Flott ran out and attacked Senza and Aigle… causing a disqualification to eliminate Dullnig and Hektor. Those four brawl to the back…

That leaves us with Senza Volto & Aigle Blanc against the final team – the new combination of Bobby Gunns and Michael Knight! A pair of somersault planchas to the outside caught Knight and Gunns on the outside, before dualling gamengiri in the corner missed as Knight avoided them. A double ‘rana from Knight allowed him to bring in Gunns, who followed up with a lariat for a two-count, before Gunns got caught up top with the original version of the Spanish Fly – the two-man move!

Aigle gets a two-count on Gunns for that, before clotheslines left pretty much everyone laying. Some Sliced Bread from Michael Knight starts a big ol’ Parade of Moves, including a handspring cutter from Volto to Gunns, before an Indy-taker to Michael Knight on the floor led to a springboard moonsault from Volto for a near-fall. Gunns makes the save from that, before Knight held Blanc to allow Gunns to hit a boot… then hit a springboard dropkick to Volto.

Aigle’s double-teamed ahead of a clothesline from Gunns, before a Knight ushigoroshi and a PK from Gunns proved to be enough for the win – as Knight and Gunns booked their shot at the wXw tag team titles! The longest match of the weekend, the gauntlet threw in a few surprises and did more than just crown new contenders as the show went to an interval… ***

wXw Shotgun Championship: Ninja Mack vs. Ace Romero
Absolute Andy dropped out of the weekend due to illness – so under the Shotgun title rules, the belt was vacated, and a new champion was crowned in this mystery match.

We’ve got a David vs. Goliath outing here, as we start with dualling chants before Romero took Mack into the corner. A back body drop takes Mack into the air, forcing him to roll outside to compose himself. He returned with a side headlock, trying to get the win with a “Ninja Headlock,” but Romero pushed free before Mack flipped over him and came back with the side headlock.

A side suplex frees Romero, but Mack goes back to the hold… and got thrown to the outside. Mack lands on his feet though, then dove under the ring to avoid a dive from the big man. Mack comes out the other side and dropkicks Romero to the floor for a tope, before a leap to Ace’s back… only to get thrown onto the ramp in the aisle.

Mack recovers to charge Romero towards the ring with forearms, but had to break the count-out before he ran into an uppercut instead. A back senton on the floor flattens Mack, before things returned to the ring as Mack again went back to a sleeperhold on Romero. Mack’s splatted again as Ace fell back on him to break the hold… but Mack rolls away from a back senton and followed in with a corkscrew solace.

Mack aborts a Phoenix Splash – dubbed the Ninja 630 – then went back in with a chinlock. A superkick to the jaw followed, then some chops to the downed Romero before Romero POUNCED him into the ropes. Ace heads up the ropes for something, but Mack kicks out the back of the knees to bring the big boy down, before the Ninja 630 landed for the win. **½

We get a video package showing Fast Time Moodo and Stephanie Maze winning the wXw tag team titles during Shotgun 2020… but they weren’t able to defend them after Maze picked up an injury. Since then, the Arrows won the tag titles, and although they’ve lost to the former champions, they’ve also successfully defended them against Moodo and Maze – albeit with a big asterisk next to that result due to an injury…

wXw World Tag Team Championship: Fast Time Moodo & Stephanie Maze vs. Arrows Of Hungary (Dover & Icarus) (c)
Commentary posed the obvious question about Maze’s knee, as we had support from the crowd for both teams.

Maze and Icarus started this one off, as Maze had Icarus backing off with an early spin kick attempt as she looked to neutralise Icarus’ grappling. Dover comes in and charges Maze into the corner as Icarus’ gamengiri caught Maze in the corner… throwing himself with such force he fell into the ring, landing on Maze’s leg ahead of an assisted cannonball.

A German suplex gets Icarus a two-count, while a uranage onto Icarus’ knees gives Dover a similar result. Shoulder charges keep Maze in the corner ahead of Dover’s standing fallaway slam, as a suplex/neckbreaker double-team keeps the Arrows ahead. Eventually Maze fights out of the corner, but had to DDT the Arrows in order to make it to an amped up Moodo for the tag.

Moodo blasts Icarus and Dover with kicks, before he butterfly suplexed Icarus into his own man in the corner. A Coast to Coast followed for a near-fall, but Moodo’s next trip up top was stopped by Icarus… while Maze’s save led to her getting thrown in so Dover could slam both challengers at once.

An attempt at Crossfire’s stopped by Stephanie Maze kicking Icarus in the quad, as Dover became the target of a double-team, leading to a Black Belt Kick from Moodo that’s broken up by Icarus’ senton bomb. More double-teams from the Arrows focus on Maze as Kronik’s old High Times dumped her ahead of the Crossfire… but Moodo breaks up the pin in the nick of time.

Dover ups the aggression as he slammed Maze into the ropes, then continued to target the knee with a Stretch Muffler… Maze makes the ropes, but was promptly booted in the head by Dover, who proceeded to head to the top rope with her. Moodo makes another save, hitting a neckbreaker to Icarus while Maze caught over with a powerbomb out of the corner. A Sky Fall kick staggers Dover… while a second one takes him down, and that’s enough to get the win! As far as crowd reactions, both teams being “good guys” maybe hurt it a little, but this was more about the former champions regaining the belts they were never beaten for – and getting their moment in the sun afterwards. ***½

Post-match, the Arrows returned to the ring to raise the new champions’ hands…

wXw Women’s Championship: Ava Everett vs. Iva Kolasky (c)
Everett called her shot in Bielefeld last month, and finally got her title match here. She marched up to Kolasky to start, shoving her into the ropes before a shoulder tackle took down the Hungarian early.

A trip from Kolasky stops that momentum, as did a headlock takedown, before Everett dropkicked the champion to the outside. Clubbing forearms from Everett have Kolasky down on the outside, before Iva’s rolled back in… only for her to return out with a tope.

Back inside, Kolasky’s suplexed into the turnbuckles, before an exchange of strikes had Kolasky down. A chinlock’s next from Ava, before Iva tried to fight back… and got knocked down amid a clothesline effort. Everett gets caught with a splits stunner through the ropes as Everett tried to push on…

Back inside, more clotheslines keep Everett down ahead of a springboard crossbody off the top… a discus clothesline gets Kolasky a two-count, before she got caught up top, but Everett rolled through a Victory roll attempt for a near-fall. A Code Red took Everett into the ropes, before she booted her way out of the corner… then climbed the ropes and threw herself backwards for a springboard cutter. That landing looked as painful as the move picturesque…

Kolasky kicked out at two from that, as things headed back into the ropes, with Kolasky looking for a superplex. Instead, a heel kick catches Everett on the top rope ahead of the superplex, but Kolasky couldn’t make the cover after the landing. Both women get back to their feet and trade strikes, but it’s a superkick from Everett that turned the tide, before a kick to the midsection dropped Everett.

A moonsault off the top nearly wins it for Iva… so she goes back up top for a second one, only to get caught with an Electric Chair as the Tunnel Vision – the swinging Fisherman neckbreaker – gets the win. A bit of a surprise result, given Ava’s on tour over here, but her character work in her short time in wXw was getting reactions… **½

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Levaniel vs. Tristan Archer vs. Jurn Simmons vs. Axel Tischer (c)
We had the big time entrances on hand here – Levaniel was showered with heart-shaped balloons… Jurn brought back the steam cannons from back in the day… Archer had a guard of honour and flag wavers for him… while Tischer had his theme sung live on the way to the ring. Big fight feel, and the liebe? They’re both here!

Levaniel launches into Archer at the bell, booting him out of the ring in anger while Tischer and Simmons paired off to start. Levaniel tries to nick a quick win with a roll-up on Jurn, but to no avail as Archer proceeded to post Levaniel…

Simmons grabs Archer for a swinging side slam, before he suplexed Archer into Tischer like he were nothing. Tischer returned with a neckbreaker on Jurn, then a Dragon screw to Archer, who then ate a Twister for a near-fall as the pace remained high. Levaniel’s back with a spinning heel kick to the Axeman as we keep going… leading to him suplexing Tischer for a near-fall.

Archer picks up with an Exploder to Tischer as he then focused on Levaniel, hitting a back suplex before he poked Levaniel’s eyes. Archer tries to keep the ring clear of everyone but Levaniel so he could go to work, hitting a side Russian legsweep and… err… the French Tickler?!

Levaniel’s chucked outside into Tischer as a tope from Archer knocked the pair into the front row… before a second one aimed at Jurn was caught and turned into a slam into the side of the ring. Jurn takes over back inside with a clothesline to Archer, following with a reverse bodyslam to dump Tischer onto the Frenchman. A press slam followed on Tischer, then a back body drop to throw Archer onto Tischer… with a standing moonsault following for a near-fall.

Jurn decks Levaniel with a clothesline from there, before Tischer booted his way back in, then went up for a flying clothesline to Archer. Tischer sets up Archer for an accidental slam from Jurn, then hit a German suplex to Simmons as Levaniel again broke up the covers – and this time he was able to build from that, leading to a suplex to Tischer for barely a one-count.

Simmons stops Levaniel from hitting an Intergalactic Face Crusher, then dumped Tischer with a piledriver… but Archer’s the one to break up the pin. Archer manages to hit La Terreur to Simmons, then a Coup d’Etat… but STILL Levaniel’s breaking up the pins, before a Ligerbomb from Tischer nearly won it for the champion. Tischer heads up top, but got crotched into the ropes by Archer, as things looked to build up to a Tower of Doom.

Levaniel’s in to break it up, which pisses off Simmons, who opted to throw Levaniel aside so he could powerbomb Archer aside. Tischer’s still up top, and hits a flying legdrop to break up a pin, before a double clothesline took Simmons and Archer over the ropes to the floor.

We’re left with Tischer and Levaniel trading punches, but it’s Tischer who pulls ahead as he went for another Ligerbomb… but this time Levaniel gets free to hit a discus clothesline. The Intergalactic Facecrusher from Levaniel NEARLY wins it, and drew shrieks from the crowd. Composing himself, Levaniel takes Tischer up top… only to get stopped by Archer’s German suplex. The Frenchman targets Tischer, but Jurn’s back to try for another powerbomb, as Archer instead hit an avalanche Angle Slam on Tischer.

Jurn capitalises with a frog splash off the top, but yet again Levaniel’s breaking the pin… Simmons and Levaniel argue, allowing Archer to come in. Archer sidesteps a spear from Jurn, which took out Levaniel… a low blow wipes out Simmons, which wouldn’t have been a DQ anyway in a four-way. All that’s left is for Archer to scoop up Levaniel for the Coup d’Etat… and with nobody else to break up the cover, Archer gets the three count to leave Oberhausen with the gold. A really well-worked four-way, with Levaniel constantly being the one to break up the pins – but in the end it was Levaniel who took the fall as Archer became the first Frenchman to win the gold. ***½

wXw pressed the proverbial reset button in the second half of “Championship Saturday,” switching all four of their titles in the process. It’s a move that makes sense, and gave some of the spotlight to wrestlers who the company started to build up during the empty set shows – further rewarding those fans who’d been watching since the last Carat weekend. Just the fact that Levaniel went from “being a guy who told stories” two years ago to being in the main event – and not feeling completely out of place with his near falls – should tell you all you need to know about character progressions here. This was a big statement of intent for wXw, and one that was about as far removed as the feeling some had of that “guiding hand over them,” from two years ago…