The first week of the Catch Grand Prix wraps up with a battle of former Shotgun champions!
It’s back to the Steffy in Oberhausen with Dään Jokisch, Nico Schmidt and Prince Ahura on the panel… Dään’s questions today focused on the eventual match between Ahura and Emil Sitoci, looking it as “revenge” for the Pretty Bastard’s attack during Shotgun. Ahura quickly changes the subject, before he gives his prediction, throwing a lot of shade at Sitoci in the process. He reckons Sitoci has “no qualities” therefore al-Ani will coast this.
Backstage, Andy Jackson tells Emil that this is his first tournament since last year’s Carat. Sitoci reckons his first match against a familiar foe won’t be easy for either of them… before Dään interviews Marius al-Ani, who had plans to extend his winning streak into the end of the Catch Grand Prix and beyond.
Catch Grand Prix 2020 – Block B: Marius al-Ani vs. Emil Sitoci
Round 1: Sitoci stops to pose at the bell, as he offered Marius a similar opportunity. Unsurprisingly, the crowd weren’t so keen on his pose. When they finally lock-up, Sitoci took al-Ani to the mat for a pin that quickly got broken up in the ropes. Marius works an overhead wristlock, keeping hold of it when Sitoci tripped him to the mat, turning it into a cross armbar in the ropes. Sitoci shoots for al-Ani’s leg, going for a toe hold… but loses it as the pair continue to scramble for a hold, with Sitoci countering out of a chinbar, rolling free ahead of a roll-up that got a two-count, only for al-Ani to take him to the mat as a search for an armbar wound down the remaining seconds.
Round 2: al-Ani starts by booting Sitoci into the corner, before an Irish whip led to Sitoci getting a foot up as he came back with armdrags a-plenty. Marius counters blocks a superkick, but got taken into the ropes and clotheslined to the outside, where he’s eventually met with a plancha… but he throws Sitoci back in, then blocked a charge so he could slingshot in and find his way back with an Exploder for a near-fall. Kicks and punches knock Sitoci down, but a Superman punch misses as Sitoci flipped into a sunset flip for a near-fall. The pace gets slowed with a side headlock before a battle over a suplex drew out the remaining time.
Except al-Ani sucker-punched Sitoci with a Superman Punch after the bell, which led to a yellow card between rounds.
Round 3: Sitoci barely got to his feet at the bell, and was charged at by Marius, who took him down for an elbow drop and a face rake. That drew a €20 fine, as al-Ani stayed on Sitoci with a scissored armbar that ended in the ropes. Emil floats free and hits a side Russian legsweep, but a split-legged moonsault lands in the knees as al-Ani hit back with an elbow drop for a two-count. An attempted grounded Octopus quickly ends in the ropes, before Emil tried to take al-Ani into the corner… only for Marius to roll through and hit an up-kick, and a Superman punch… but he escapes a Diamond driver to hit his own Snapmare driver. Emil can’t make the cover, and by the time he dragged his way to al-Ani time ran out – with the ref’s standing ten count being considerably slower than one count-per-second!
Round 4: Both men were unable to get to their feet for the bell, but the match continues with the pair trading blows. A wheelbarrow armdrag from Sitoci looks to get him ahead, but he springboards into a knee from al-Ani, before he recovered with a nasty Fireman’s carry gutbuster… Marius shrugs it off though, and quickly catches Sitoci with a pop-up powerbomb that just about squeaked out a three-count. A solid match, with al-Ani doing something akin to the British Government to help him win – by breaking the rules in a limited and specific way…
Result: Marius al-Ani pinned Emil Sitoci in 0:54 of Round 4 (***¼)
After the match, Marius got offended at Andy Jackson noting his first match here went better than his first match at 16 Carat Gold. Low blow. He’s also mad that everyone’s getting interviewed – stealing his gimmick, brother. Still, Marius vows to keep the streak going and win Catch Grand Prix…
Meanwhile, Dään asked Emil backstage what went wrong – it seemed the one slip at the wrong moment did it. Sitoci thought he’d kicked out in time, but it wasn’t to be.
Avalanche, Hektor Invictus, Cara Noir (1-0; 2pts)
Bobby Gunns (0-0; 0pts)
Anil Marik, Metehan, Fast Time Moodo (0-1; 0pts)
Marius al-Ani, Vincent Heisenberg, Senza Volto (1-0; 2pts)
Prince Ahura (0-0; 0pts)
Tristan Archer, Norman Harras, Emil Sitoci (0-1; 0pts)
As for the running totals see us at €970 of fines, six yellow cards and one red thus far in the tournament… and we’re not done yet, as Norman Harras meets Metehan in EZEL’s curtained-off area. Metehan mentions his match with Bobby Gunns in week seven, and seems to want Bobby to throw the match so he can win the tournament – or rather the cash prize behind it. Norman goes off to try and wheel and deal… This’ll be brewing over the next few weeks…
The Catch Grand Prix takes a day off – unless you want to watch the omnibus on Sunday – and returns on Monday evening with Avalanche facing Hektor Invictus from block A.