Our second day in the Turbinenhalle begins with some shoot style wrestling, as Ambition returned once again!

wXw are making the tenth year of Ambition fights, and we’ve got two non-tournament fights in addition to the usual single-elimination tournament!

Ambition 12 – Quarter-Final: Kevin Lloyd vs. Daniel Makabe
We start with a struggle for a body part as Makabe looked for the leg of Lloyd, before they spun free into a stand-off.

On the mat again, Lloyd looks for the arm, eventually getting a Fujiwara armbar as Makabe forced a break in the ropes. Makabe looks for Lloyd’s guard, but ends up on the defensive as Lloyd again transitioned into a cross armbar, only for Makabe to trap him in an ankle lock that again ended in the ropes.

Lloyd goes for a kick, but ends up taking down Makabe in the hunt for a leg lock… again, ending in the ropes. A trapped-leg German suplex gets Makabe ahead, and almost got him a TKO win, but Lloyd’s right back with a Fujiwara armbar. Another knee bar attempt’s elbowed out of as Makabe switched in neatly for a STF for the submission. Solid and steady stuff to get us going. ***

Ambition 12 – Quarter-Final: Vincent Heisenberg vs. Chris Ridgeway
Heisenberg was a late replacement for Veit Müller…

Ridgeway checks Heisenberg with kicks early, until Vincent catches one and tried to chop him down. Chris sure loves to kick the inner thigh, but Heisenberg also loved his takedowns, looking to go for an ankle lock, only for Heisenberg to switch around as he forced a rope break. Wash, rinse, repeat, as an ankle lock forced another break, before Ridgeway began to pepper Heisenberg with body blows… before a head kick led to the flash KO. Good stuff from Ridgeway, albeit short – which for him is good given the tournament format! **¾

Ambition 12 – Quarter-Final: Rust Taylor vs. Tyson Dux
We’ve some early breaks as Dux and Taylor frustrated each other in the ropes. Rust’s going barefoot here, looking to get himself an edge as the pair scrambled in the opening stages.

Taylor forces an opening as he lifted up Dux in a wristlock, taking Dux down for some Danielson elbows as neither man really was able to make any clear headway. A kick to the shoulder from Rust stings, but Dux comes in with a waistlock takedown before he rolled his way in with a guillotine to try and force a submission. When that didn’t work, things reduced to strikes as Taylor had to beat a standing ten count, pulling himself up in the nick of time.

Another forearm drops Rust, then another, before palm strikes and a clothesline folded Taylor in half. He beats the count, but Dux is getting annoyed… and after some nice back-and-forth on the mat, Taylor snatches the win with a double armbar. Cracking stuff at the end as Dux’s frustration proved to be his undoing. ***¼

Ambition 12 – Quarter-Final: Scotty Davis vs. Mike Bailey
Bailey swings early on with some kicks as his gameplan looked evident… but a missed kick took himself down. He recovers and goes in for a front facelock on Davis, then a waistlock as the Irishman looked to get free.

In the end, the ropes proved to be the escape route for both men, as Davis proceeded to catch a kick and turn it into an Exploder. Bailey’s right back up, but he gets swept down as Davis seemed to have his number… at least for that brief moment. A guillotine from Bailey ends in the ropes, but another leg sweep takes down Bailey the hard way.

Bailey’s back to knock down Davis with knees, then with a roundhouse kick to the head, before Davis tried to roll Bailey down to the mat for a trapped arm armbar… succeeding too as elbows forces the upset win. A little on the short side, but packed full of action as the Irishman gets through to the semis! ***½

Next Generation Ambition Fight: Ethan Allen vs. Luke Jacobs
This will be tasty!

Jacobs looked to dominate early on, but Allen grabs a headlock that ended in the ropes… even if he spun down his tag team partner. A Kimura attempt from Allen’s slammed out of as Jacobs landed hard, and after some exchanged kicks, Allen forces another rope break as he looked for a rear naked choke.

Allen keeps going as he trips Jacobs to the mat, but Luke hits some knees from the bottom that forced Ethan to make the break despite being on top. A palm strike shocks, but Jacobs dumps Allen with another suplex before things broke down into a strike exchange. Another slam forces a standing ten count, as did another kick to the leg from Jacobs.

Luke keeps going with forearms as they go back and forth, with Allen finding a way through with a gutwrench suplex that had the Turbinenhalle cheering. Jacobs caught a roundhouse kick and turns Allen into a single crab, but Ethan’s able to finger-tip his way to the ropes for the break. He’s still got to beat the ten count though, and barely gets back up as he’s met with a head kick and a mounted guillotine from Allen… which he suplexes his way out of!

A rear naked choke is next as Allen had to wait for Jacobs to get back up, following up with a double arm stretch a la ZSJ, before Jacobs countered with a Fire Thunder Driver! Allen just gets up in time, and is right back on the offensive with a rear naked choke before another double armbar stretch and kicks force the submission. Allen dominated from the start, but this was a hell of a break-out performance. Watch these names! ****

Ambition 12 – Semi-Final: Daniel Makabe vs. Scotty Davis
Davis attacked from the off, taking Makabe to the mat as we ended up in the ropes. Good to see Daniel’s brought out the neutral shirts today!

Davis tries for a triangle armbar, but readjusts as Makabe gets to the ropes again. A Gator roll drops Makabe to the mat… but Scotty holds on before they rolled back to their feet. Some body blows end in the ropes, which gave Makabe the idea… but he gets caught with a head kick and a cobra clutch suplex as we almost had a TKO. Makabe gets back up, but more boxing has him stunned as Davis rolls him down for another double armbar, but Makabe rolls free and grabs a heel hook to force Scotty into the ropes.

Makabe kicks the leg, then mounts Davis with some inverted headscissors to force the stoppage. Efficient stuff this as Daniel makes it to back-to-back Ambition finals! ***¼

Ambition 12 – Semi-Final: Chris Ridgeway vs. Rust Taylor
We go to the corners early as Taylor looks to force the issue, but kicking perhaps wasn’t the smartest idea as Ridgeway was more than happy to play that game.

Taylor goes to ground, working the ankle before rolling Ridgeway into a Trailer Hitch, only for both men towards roll to the ropes as they swapped submission attempts. Ridgeway keeps a heel hook on, forcing Taylor to break as he rolled outside, but Ridgeway stays on him with kicks… only to get caught as he went for a heel hook.

Ridgeway slaps Taylor while he was in the mount, and then we upgrade to palm strikes as they slapped the taste out of each other’s mouths. A PK drops Taylor, who took his time getting back up before cracking Ridgeway with a front kick… which almost forced the TKO. A Dragon screw from Ridgeway and a mounted guillotine follows, but Taylor’s back in with a grounded Octopus stretch.

Ridgeway escapes and comes back in with strikes… then a back suplex, before a roundhouse kick forces the stoppage – with Taylor staying down for a while afterwards too. A cracking semi-final, with Taylor’s tactics not quite paying off in the end. ***½

Super Fight: Daisuke Ikeda vs. Yuki Ishikawa
Ikeda took Ishikawa into the corner early as the measuring-out process wasn’t exactly slow. Ikeda’s quickly grounded as Ishikawa threw from the guard, following up with a heel hook attempt as things stayed on the deck.

Ikeda bites his way free, then came back in with forearms as the pair teed off on each other. A headbutt from Ishikawa has Ikeda down… and it seemed like both men needed to be reminded of what the rope breaks meant! A front chancery from Ishikawa ends in the ropes, but of course he held on, only for Ikeda to sneak in a kick as Tassilo Jung was all but giving up on enforcing the finer points of the rules.

Another headbutt from Ikeda earns him a forearm as Ishikawa corners Ikeda with knees, before he rolled out into a Kimura attempt. Ikeda escapes as Ishikawa went for the eyes… then for the wrist as he switched into a heel hook that Ikeda broke with some hair pulling. A Kimura followed from Ikeda, but he can’t quite lock it on as Ishikawa got to the ropes again. There’s some kicks from Ikeda before Ishikawa could get back to his feet, before it’s back to the right hands and headbutts.

Those right hands are designed to get blood, and it worked as Ishikawa started to red up… before another headbutt led to dualling clotheslines and fist-throwing. A Fujiwara armbar follows, before Ishikawa almost forces the stoppage with a chicken wing. Eventually Ikeda gets to the ropes, but he’s quickly down with a Saito suplex before an enziguiri-like head kick led to another TKO tease. He gets back up though, so they go back to the headbutts which left both men in a heap!

Ikeda’s back with a clothesline in the ropes, before head kicks left him down once again… but he refused to go down lightly, only to fail to beat the standing ten count as he narrowly lost out. A fantastic match between two elder statesmen who tried to get cheeky early, but then decided to swing for the fences. The Turbinenhalle, and Timo, lapped this up. ****

Ambition 12 – Final: Daniel Makabe vs. Chris Ridgeway
Tag team partners at Inner Circle on Thursday, Ambition finalists today. This’ll be a cracker.

Makabe got the cheap pop with the popular Ireland football shirt, but had to defend a kick to the inside of the thigh early on from Ridgeway. Ridgeway goes in for the arm, but the pair rolled to the mat as Makabe took the back, only for Ridgeway to escape into a cross armbar. More kicks to the leg follow, but Ridgeway’s caught and taken down… but he slaps his way free before the pair went for duelling heel hooks. At least until Ridgeway forced the rope break.

A rear spin kick catches Makabe, but he’s back with the palm strikes as they looked for the TKO, with Ridgeway knocking down Makabe. Ridgeway tries to tie up Makabe, but it’s right by the ropes as we get another break, before Makabe’s German suplex is replied to with a spinning head kick. Makabe went down like a stone there, but got back up as Ridgeway cut off a Big Unit punch and knocked the Canadian down once again.

Makabe’s back to his feet, but is quickly dragged down as Ridgeway went for a heel hook… another rope break saves Makabe. Some standing switches took us into a brief Makabe lock, but Ridgeway rolls out into another ankle lock. An enziguiri doesn’t break it as Ridgeway reapplies the hold, only for Makabe to transition into a cross armbar. Danielson elbows gets Makabe free as he pushes Ridgeway into the Makabe Lock Pi… and there’s the win! After coming so close in October, Daniel Makabe leaves the Turbinenhalle with the trophy! ***¾

As ever, if you’re into shoot style wrestling, Ambition 12 was a cracking show for you – that Next Generation fight between the Young Guns stood out like a sore thumb, for all the right reasons. If you only watch one thing from this card, make it this one… then follow it up with the other Superfight!