Coming hot on the heels of a rather surprising opening night of 16 Carat Gold, was the annual Ambition tournament, where Timothy Thatcher had a chance to atone for last night’s shock exit.
We’re inside the Turbinenhalle again, and there’ll be no commentary for this show. The opening video recapped the Ambition format for those who may have been unfamiliar with the shoot-style rules.
Ambition 10 – Quarter-Final: Rico Bushido vs. Veit Müller
Bushido, a former Ambition winner, was perhaps overshadowed by Müller in terms of crowd reactions going in here.
Rico catches Müller off guard with a leaping kick at the bell, before he began to test Veit with kicks to the ribs. After getting taken to the corner, Müller responds with a Judo-style throw as he begins to throw from above, setting up for a leg lock on Bushido, who managed to kick his way free.
Bushido’s back in with knees to the midsection as he trapped Müller in a headlock, before Veit pushed away… only to get caught with a running knee as die Keiler looked to be in big trouble. Veit returns with a front facelock, but Bushido falls back into the ropes to force a break, only to get trapped on the mat as Müller’s hammer elbows looked to get him closer to victory.
Somehow, Bushido slips out and traps Müller in a rear naked choke, but the pair swap positions as Rico’s forced to grab the ropes again to get him to freedom. Müller tried to charge at Bushido in the corner, but he gets caught with a big boot before an back brain kick proved to be one too many as Veit went out in the first round. In any other kind of match this’d be an upset, but Ambition is Rico’s home turf here…
Ambition 10 – Quarter-Final: Punch Drunk Istria vs. Danny Jones
I remember when Danny used to be a raver…
He starts by shooting for the legs, eventually taking down Istria as the Australian caught him in some body scissors… but Danny tries to stand up, only to get taken back down in a cross armbreaker. Jones escapes and gets the mount, as he locked in a cross armbreaker, only for Istria to make it to the ropes.
Jones slips out of the bottom, but Istria’s straight in the ropes again, this time rebounding with a takedown as he looked for a cross armbreaker, but yet again Jones slips out, this time pulling Istria into a triangle armbar… again ending in the ropes. Istria switches things up, looking for kicks, only for Danny to swivel out and catch him with a rear naked choke, dragging him into the middle of the ring.
Istria countered that by grabbing a toe hold to force his way out, as he went back to the kicks… but Danny again weathers the storm and keeps Istria on the mat in a side headlock, only to get caught in another cross armbreaker as the ropes once again saved the day. Jones rushes back in with a series of palm strikes to the back of the head, only for Istria to respond in kind before another cross armbreaker finally forced the Welshman to tap. A heck of a fun finishing straight as Jones tried to switch up his game plan, only for Istria to be one step ahead. Better luck next time, Danny.
Ambition 10 – Quarter-Final: Laurance Roman vs. Shigehiro Irie
Irie-san is a very busy man this weekend… wrestling, bowling, grappling… he’s doing it all!
Irie takes Roman into the corner early on, as we got the obligatory rope break, before Laurance threw a kick, climbed on his back… and got thrown down. Roman stings Irie with a kick to the shoulder, before a spear-like takedown trapped Roman on the mat. An armbar attempt from Roman’s stuffed as he tries to force a stoppage with elbows from the mat as Irie went for the legs once more.
Roman slips out and tries a rear naked choke, but Irie just stands up and squashes him with a flat back bump. Another belly-to-belly takedown throws Roman to the mat, before a rear naked choke forced the stoppage as Tassilo Jung called it off. Relatively brief, but you got the sense the crowd are behind Irie to win the whole thing.
Ambition 10 – Quarter-Final: A-Kid vs. Chris Ridgeway
Ridgeway had the louder following, but he didn’t come shooting out of the blocks as A-Kid looked for a takedown early, only to end up in Ridgeway’s guard… which came to nought.
A rope break’s called as Ridgeway came back in with a cross armbreaker, which A-Kid tried to block, only for Ridgeway to switch out into a knee bar… except they were right by the ropes as A-Kid got an instant break. A-Kid manages to get on top of Ridgeway, but again, Ridgeway slipped free and tried to grab a leglock… forcing A-Kid to scramble for the ropes again.
Some leg scissors bring A-Kid to the mat as Ridgeway again goes for the legs, this time drawing in A-Kid as duelling leg locks ended up with Ridgeway throwing some more kicks from the ground, as A-Kid swivelled out on top once more. A-Kid stands up and calls for a restart, opting not to take on Ridgeway on the mat, and from the restart… we’re back in the ropes as A-Kid grabbed a rear naked choke.
From there, a barrage of kicks knock A-Kid down to the mat, with one catching him in the mouth… but he beats the standing ten count, only to get caught with a series of knees. He rolls Ridgeway into a crossface, but Ridgeway’s foot is dangling by the rope for a break. A series of armbar reversals is quickly stopped as Ridgeway boots A-Kid in the gut repeatedly, leading to a Fujiwara armbar for the quick tap. A valiant effort from A-Kid, but in the end his grappling was undone by Ridgeway’s strikes.
Ambition 10 – Semi-Final: Rico Bushido vs. Punch Drunk Istria
Bushdio’s out of the gates with a kick and a big takedown here, before the search for an armbar quickly ended in the ropes.
Another armbar attempt saw Rico get pushed to the outside, landing on his knees on the concrete floor. Bushido wasn’t thrilled with that, and when he got back to the ring he’s clinging onto Istria’s leg, eventually getting free to throw some punches and body blows en route to a side headlock on the mat.
Istria breaks that up with a foot on the ropes, and manages to avoid another side headlock as it’s Bushido who this time needs the break to escape a cross armbreaker. Rico’s back with strikes, but Istria lands one of his own to catch Rico all unawares. After beating the standing ten count, Bushido’s back up and trips Istria once more, only for the Australian to escape and get on top, throwing punches from above as he ended up getting caught in a leg lock.
Yep, a rope break stops that, as Rico clings onto the legs after the break was called for – possibly a receipt for earlier – but Istria’s right im with a wristlock, only for Bushido to land an overhead belly-to-belly throw… then catch Istria in the midsection with a kick as the ref stoppage was called for. Rico’s in the final after a somewhat contentious match that left Istria writhing in agony on the mat.
Ambition 10 – Semi-Final: Shigehiro Irie vs. Chris Ridgeway
Ridgeway comes in looking to throw early on, but we’ve a rope break called as the Barrow native looked to trip Irie and work over his foot.
Irie takes Ridgeway’s guard, then his back, as they rolled towards the ropes, only for Ridgeway to get free and go for the leg again as they ended up in the ropes. A belly-to-belly takedown out of the corner has Irie back on top, as it’s the former DDT star who needs those ropes to escape a leg grapevine.
Ridgeway comes back with some strikes, but Irie’s more than happy to throw elbows before a back suplex dumped him onto the mat. Kicks await Irie as he gets back up, but he catches one and comes back with a headbutt. A series of lariats knocked Ridgeway after he’s absorbed a series of punches… with Irie sneaking in a cheeky punch from above as he went for the kill.
Ridgeway gets back up from the standing ten count though, but another series of shots sees him taken down as Irie has the back, forcing the stoppage as a series of hammer blocks to the back of the neck left Ridgeway with no defence.
Super Fight: Timothy Thatcher vs. Yuki Ishikawa
After last night’s shock exit in the 16 Carat Gold tournament, this was a shot at redemption for Timothy Thatcher, who was beloved as usual in the Turbinenhalle.
They start out on the mat, as you’d expect, with Ishikawa going for Thatcher’s head and arm until a rope break was called for. From the restart, Thatcher grabs a leglock, with Ishikawa getting dragged away from the ropes as Thatcher ended up landing an uppercut to knock the veteran back to the mat. Ishikawa throws a palm strike, and gets one back in return, as a butterfly suplex allowed Thatcher to go back to the mat with a double wristlock… only for Ishikawa to roll free as his headlock effort forces Thatcher to scramble into the ropes. Both men looked to grab a heel hook on each other, but it was Thatcher who eked ahead, before scoring with some forearms from the mount as Thatcher ended up getting caught in some body scissors.
Those are escaped as Thatcher looked for a half crab, with Ishikawa getting to the ropes, firing right back in with a cross armbar effort that took Thatcher… into the ropes. Timothy hits back with European uppercuts, before a ripcord into a palm strike left Thatcher back in trouble as Ishikawa looked for a hold on the mat… only for Thatcher to get back into them there ropes.
A keylock attempt from Thatcher ends in the ropes as Ishikawa has to take a standing ten count, before a cobra clutch-like hold has Ishikawa back on the mat, fighting to an escape… which led to Ishikawa trapping Thatcher’s arm as he went to work on the shoulder, pulling him into a leg-and-arm submission, with Thatcher just about reaching that rope as the crowd roared behind him.
Thatcher’s back with the RINGKAMPF belly-to-belly, before a cross armbar gets turned into a triangle armbar from Thatcher, forcing Ishikawa into the ropes for another break. Instantly, Thatcher demands a standing ten-count, which Ishikawa gets up from as he walked into some forearms and elbows, before countering with a Deathlock that forces Thatcher back into the ropes.
A knee from Thatcher stops Ishikawa… as does a palm strike… but Ishikawa hits back with a back suplex, then a headlock on the mat. Thatcher slips out and tries his luck with forearms, only to get caught in a STF, before an attempt to roll out of an armbar ended up with him deeper in Ishikawa’s clutches, as a leg lock and a crossface forces Thatcher to give it up. A hell of a technical contest that earned a standing ovation from the Turbinenhalle… but Thatcher’s dream weekend is quickly turning into a nightmare.
Ambition 10 – Final: Rico Bushido vs. Shigehiro Irie
Bushido, who was giving up some size here, tries to stick and run here, kicking Irie in the quads early on, before rolling him into a leg lock as we got a quick rope break.
Bushido shoots for the leg from the restart, but Irie stuffs him as he managed to get Bushido’s back – albeit right by the ropes. Rico tries to surprise Irie with a kick, before the search for a takedown just had Irie sit on him. Hey, if it works… it works!
Irie goes for the arm, as Bushido scampered into the ropes… and ends up taking another delayed double-leg takedown as Irie began to impose his size difference on the match. A leg grapevine ended with Bushido getting the ropes, before Rico resumed with the whole sticking-and-moving malarkey, forcing Irie into the corner with some kicks to the legs. Rico’s back with a barrage of body blows, and a leaping spin kick to take Irie down once more… but another takedown from Rico’s stuffed as Irie gets the back, and begins with those hammer fists again.
Irie rolls with Bushido to the mat, looking for a choke, but Rico spins out and into the guard, only for Irie to come right back out, forcing Rico back into the ropes. Another feinted kick looked to catch Irie out, but he stands his ground and catches Rico with a piledriver, almost leading to the finish by TKO… but Rico beats the ten-count and manages to haul up Irie with a double-leg takedown!
A running knee is next as Rico tries to outstrike Irie, following up with a rear naked choke… but a cannonball into the corner stops that before Irie locked on the katahajime for the submission! So close, yet so far for Rico… but Shigehiro Irie is your winner, as he leaves 16 Carat Gold weekend with some silverware.
As ever, a solid matinee show from wXw that flew by as we ended up with some results that you’d fully expect to play into some wider storylines – especially with Timothy Thatcher. An excellent palate cleanser that gave us the perfect break between the first two nights of Carat – and definitely a show you should keep an eye on if you have any kind of love of shoot style wrestling.