Anil Marik looks to score his first points of the tournament – and ruin his coach’s chances of making the finals – in today’s outing.

After Cara Noir’s win yesterday, Avalanche can usurp him at the top (on tie-breakers) with a win here… but Metehan can beat them all to the top with a win tomorrow. Again, Dään and Nico are joined by Fast Time Moodo on the preview panel. As usual, they run down block A, then talk about the permutations: a win for Avalanche has him winning the block, unless Metehan wins tomorrow.

As for today, Moodo reckons Anil Marik has nothing to lose, but he doesn’t expect the upset.

Backstage, Andy Jackson notes that Marik’s tournament isn’t ending easy given his opponent. Of course, Anil’s done tape study and has analysed his past mistakes, but he’s going to take today’s opportunity to not make things easy for Avalanche. As for Avalanche, Andy tells him he’s got a pretty good shot of the finals, but he needs to beat Marik today. Avalanche comments on the “reports about Anil” from the last few weeks. Was it something I said? He’s very complimentary with just how well Anil’s kept up with his opponents, save for the quick loss to Moodo.

There’s an awful lot of time left on the VOD… something’s telling me this may be longer than the five-minutes-and-change I saw in Marik’s debut a year ago.

Catch Grand Prix 2020 – Block A: Anil Marik vs. Avalanche
Round 1: We open with a handshake, before a lock-up saw Marik try to block a wristlock, only for Avalanche to wrestle him down for a two-count. A side headlock from Avalanche is pushed off, but Avalanche clings on, then took down Marik. They fight back to their feet, with Marik shoving off Avalanche, who rolls through him before a shoulder tackle knocked down the rookie, as a hammerlock wound down the remaining seconds.

Round 2: It’s a similarly tentative start as Marik walks into a waistlock and gets thrown down, but he gets back up and manages to catch Avalanche in a wristlock, which is easily countered out of as Avalanche spins him to the mat. Another side headlock from Avalanche is pushed off, but this time Marik leaps over Avalanche… then eventually landed an armdrag. A second one’s avoided, as Avalanche goes back in for Marik’s left arm, but again ran out of time.

Round 3: Marik’s a little pacier to start this time, going for a waistlock, faking it out as he instead takes a side headlock… but the takedown comes to nought as he instead has to hit some dropkicks to take Avalanche into the corner. Forearms land, but a bulldog out of the corner’s countered with a back suplex. A Beele throw tosses Anil across the ring for a two-count, before a clubbing forearm knocked him back down to the mat. An Irish whip bounced Marik into the corner for a two-count, following up with a slam and a splash for yet another two-count, as Marik was proving annoyingly hardy. A right hand from Avalanche knocks Marik back down, as the third round expired.

Round 4: Avalanche could do with upping the ante here… except he puts on the brakes and doesn’t crash into Marik with a splash in the corner. Instead he slams him again and again, as referee Tassilo Jung looked to deliver a standing ten-count to Marik, but Marik keeps getting up. When he escaped a slam, Avalanche just crashes into him with a clothesline, before a running Samoan drop flattened him for another two-count. Avalanche just can’t get that three, and it’s starting to irritate as his place in the final is slipping away. A fightback from Marik’s stopped with a knee to the gut, but he kicks out at two again as we end up having to go into the fifth round.

Round 5: This time, Avalanche charges at Marik in the corner, but his splash misses… as does the back senton! Uh-oh… Marik reverses an Irish whip and… what-the? Back body drop from Marik?! That’s not how the script’s meant to go! He followed in with a forearm in the corner, then a bulldog for a two-count, as Avalanche almost suffered the mother of all upsets, before Marik had to steady himself on the top rope… but he bounced off Avalanche with a crossbody. From there, Avalanche scoops him up for a fallaway slam, before a Dreissker Bomb missed! Time’s still ticking away as Marik gets back up for a suplex, but Avalanche dumps him with another slam as we hit the final minute. The crowd’s getting behind Marik, but he gets squashed with a hattrick of back sentons, before a half crab from Avalanche looked to be a tough choice… even more so when Marik hung on to claim the draw! Avalanche perhaps showed Marik too much respect here, but this made for a phenomenal story – with Marik toughing it out to get his first point, and the respect of the Oberhausen crowd. As for Avalanche, failing to get the win means he’ll finish behind Cara Noir – and could finish as low as fourth place.

Result: Avalanche and Anil Marik went to a draw after five rounds at 15:00 (***¾)

Post-match, Avalanche congratulates Marik for his showing, while appearing a little annoyed at the result. Andy Jackson’s on the scene to tell Avalanche that “he won” because that result showed what a good coach he was, but Avalanche just called the result a “natural disaster.” He lets Anil get a few words in, with Marik saying that “this is just the beginning.”

Standings

Block A
Cara Noir (4-1-1; 9pts)
Metehan (4-1; 8pts)
Avalanche (3-1-2; 8pts) * eliminated
Bobby Gunns (3-1-1; 7pts)
Fast Time Moodo (2-4; 4pts) * eliminated
Hektor Invictus (1-4-1; 3pts) * eliminated
Anil Marik (0-5-1; 1pt) * eliminated

Block B
Marius al-Ani (5-0; 10pts)
Tristan Archer (4-1; 8pts)
Senza Volto (4-2; 8pts) * eliminated
Prince Ahura (2-3; 4pts) * eliminated
Norman Harras; Vincent Heisenberg; Emil Sitoci (1-4; 2pts) * eliminated

Disciplinary: €4155 of fines; thirty yellow cards and one red card.

We’ve another Big Match Wednesday as block A is decided, with Metehan taking on Bobby Gunns – a win or a draw for Metehan gives him the block, whereas a win for Gunns means we’ll have both Cara Noir and Gunns in the final.