With the 16 Carat Gold tournament only a matter of weeks away, wXw went to Munich last weekend to finish off a tournament to find its final entrant.
If you’ve been following wXw’s Shotgun show, they had been holding a mini-tournament on their We Love Wrestling tour, with the winner entering the 16 Carat Gold tournament (and face Cody Rhodes in the first round). We were down to the final four on this feature event (which doesn’t have a snappy title like the London show), as Da Mack, Bobby Gunns, Hakeem Waqur and Chris Colen wrestling twice on the same card for that spot.
This event is up on wXw Now – so here’s our quick takes on the show…
Road To 16 Carat League Semi-Final – Da Mack vs. Bobby Gunns
They went over ten minutes here, which surprised me a little given that one of them’s got a second match later on. Bobby Gunns got quite a few cheers here, which I don’t think was by design… but then again, the knock on Da Mack is that he’s not switched up his character in forever, so I can see that too.
Gunns traps Mack in the ring with a rope-hung armbar whilst Mack was on the apron, before dropping the arm against the top rope once again. Mack’s knocked into the catwalk with a leaping forearm smash, and yes, that bloody “Ten” chant has made it to Germany. Translated, of course. Mack makes a comeback with a Slingblade, but Gunns cuts him off with a kick to the arm before going to work on Mack’s arm. Again Mack makes a comeback with a springboard forearm, then some weak chops with his injured arm, before using that hurt arm for another Slingblade. It’s not quite Mike Bailey levels of selling, but at least Mack’s wincing when he’s using the arm.
An enziguiri and a bicycle knee follow for Mack, whose Ace Crusher attempt is blocked and turned into a cross armbreaker by Gunns. After losing the hold, Gunns tries to leap into Mack in the corner, but he misses and gets taken down for some near-falls, before Mack gets La Mistica for the submission win. A decent opener, and with a little fine tuning, Gunns could become something – but right now he’s firmly in that list of fringe players. **¾
After the match, Gunns cuts a promo on Mack. Unfortunately it’s in German without any subtitles, but it’s not long before he attacks Mack with another armbar in the ropes as the sore loser weakens Da Mack ahead of the finals.
Road To 16 Carat League Semi-Final – Hakeen Waqur vs. Chris Colen
Munich seems to like the bad guys, as the “Arabian Superstar” Waqur had his own section of fans. This started out as your big lads’ match, with the pair trading shoulder tackles – as Colen eventually won that battle.
Waqur gets chopped around ringside, but he takes over when they return inside, scoring a back rake before Colen peppered him with right hands and a big boot. It was pretty much all Colen from there, as he lit into Waqur with a series of right hands in the corner, before he lands a powerslam on an onrushing Waqur for a near-fall. An over-the-shoulder backbreaker almost wins it for Hakeem, as does the cross-legged Michinoku driver, before Colen catches him with a back elbow and a uranage for a two-count for himself.
Colen looks for the Angel Wings for the win, but Waqur breaks out and hits a DDT before going up top… where he misses a swandive headbutt as Colen lands the Angel Wings for the win. He now faces Da Mack in the finals after this decent, albeit unremarkable affair. **¾
Robert Dreissker vs. Günter Schmid
From his entrance clip, Schmid kinda reminds me of Pirate Paul Birchill. Given the relative disparity in level on the card, this should be at the very most, a competitive squash.
Schmid tried to attack Dreissker early, but Avalanche quickly turned things around before missing an elbow drop – which gave Günter a chance to make a comeback of his own. Until he stupidly tried for a slam, which put the brakes on that offensive, somewhat. Another slam attempt sees Schmid fall on his back as Dreissker was too big for him. They brawl into the crowd, where Schmid looked to be getting the upper hand, before Dreissker takes him towards the cheaper seats, but Schmid makes a comeback with some chops, only to get thrown into the ringpost. Dreissker charges at him, as Günter gets squashed against the steel, before Schmid blocks a Dreissker (Vader) bomb by getting his knees up.
More shots from Schmid have Dreissker rocking, and he finally gets that bodyslam in at the third attempt. The Avalanche tries to comeback though, landing a wild Samoan drop for a near-fall, before the Dreissker Bomb gets the win. A competitive squash, which is exactly what this should have been. **¾
wXw Shotgun Championship: Alexander James vs. David Starr (c)
Probably more famous for his work in CZW, James is on a tour with wXw, and he’s in here for a title shot against David Starr.
Starr had the better of the early exchanges, sending James to the outside with a shoulder tackle, before nearly getting the win with a backslide. A springboard clothesline knocks the challenger back outside again, before he returns to take some chops in the corner. James slingshots into a neckbreaker to take down Starr for just a one-count – that neckbreaker looked to be improvised at best – before he grounds the champ with a figure four headscissors. Starr frees himself and makes a comeback with forearms and chops, before a diving cross body into the corner gets a near-fall.
A gutwrench flapjack gets Starr another two-count, but James tried to comeback with a ripcord back elbow, before sending Starr to the outside. James nails a superkick as Starr slingshotted in, then hit the Tower of London for a near-fall. Starr comes back with a forearm, before he takes the ripcord back elbow, only to catch James with a DDT on the apron as the back and forth continued.
A battle of forearms ends with James on top, but he plays to the crowd and gets kicked in the knee as Starr hits a chop block. Starr tries for a Sharpshooter, but he’s rolled through for a near-fall, before an O’Connor roll is kicked out of as James locks in a Dragon Sleeper on the ground. The end comes out of nowhere as Starr gets a tiltawhirl, then lands on his feet before launching into a Destroyer for the win. Great stuff here – and a match I’d like to see again! ***½
Muslim Sultanov vs. Michael Dante
If this is anything other than a squash, I’ll be disappointed, particularly since Sultanov has not appeared for wXw before this. He attacked Dante from behind, then kicked away a back body drop, before Dante hit a shoulder tackle and a slam. Sultanov takes a back body drop for a near-fall as its the debutant who seems to be enjoying a spell of offence. Dante resists an Irish whip and drills Sultanov with a forearm, before he Pounces into him with a pop-up spear of sorts. A butterfly suplex takes down Dante for a near-fall, only for the Dutchman to come back with a half nelson suplex and a spear for the win. Eh, it was what it was, but even for a three-minute match, Dante took too much against a relative nobody on this roster. *¾
Road To 16 Carat League Final – Chris Colen vs. Da Mack
Mack’s shoulder is taped up, but he starts with a Slingblade using the injured arm, and a Rolling Thunder as he tried to end things early.
Colen comes back with a drop toe hold that seemed to send Mack crashing down awkwardly onto his shoulder – and that meant that Mack was pretty much a one-armed aman in a punching contest. The ever sympathetic Munich crowd chanted “break his arm” as Colen used an arm whip to take him down, before a Jim Breaks Special kept the Urban German down.
Colen rolls Mack to the mat with a Kimura, but they’re too close to the ropes as they’re forced to break… which forces Mack back into action with his good arm, but he’s quickly dropped on his head with a release German suplex for a near-fall before Colen goes back to the arm. Another Jim Breaks Special follows, as a Fisherman’s suplex almost gets Colen the win… so he takes Mack into the corner for some running forearms.
Mack avoids a third one and gets a headscissor takedown, then the cannonball senton, before a springboard corkscrew enziguiri off the top rope got him a near-fall. An enziguiri keeps Colen down, but the Austrian comes back with a Rainmaker, then a uranage after catching a springboard from the Urban German. Mack kicked out at two after that uranage, so Colen goes for the Angel Wings, before deciding to settle for a powerslam for another two-count. Colen goes for a Falcon arrow, but Mack turns it into the Mack Magic (Ace crusher) in mid-air, and that’s enough to get his spot against Cody Rhodes in the tournament! This started slowly, but built up pretty well by the end – a good final! ***½
Before the main event, we get a promo from WALTER, which from memory is the same one we’ve had before about three categories of wrestlers. The promo is notable for seeing a new facial expression on Timothy Thatcher’s face: smugness!
RINGKAMPF (Axel Dieter Jr, WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) vs. Jurn Simmons & A4 (Absolute Andy & Marius al-Ani)
Both teams were out with their “cornermen” ahead of their Dead End XVI confrontation – Christian Michael Jakobi for RINGKAMPF, and Karsten Beck with the babyfaces.
Al-Ani and Thatcher grappled at the start, but it’s Marius who sprung up, before Thatcher deadlifted “Mr No Bullshit” into a toe-hold attempt. They stand up as Thatcher gets a cravat, then a wristlock as WALTER gets tagged in to take the other wrist… but Marius powered up, then flipped out before taking a pair of back elbows. Absolute Andy tags in and clashes with WALTER, before a leaping shoulder tackle knocks the big man down, before Thatcher’s interference ends by way of an Al-Ani crossbody.
A double clothesline knocks both WALTER and Andy down, as they tag out to Axel and Jurn respectively for a taste of 16 Carat Gold weekend’s title match. Dieter kicks away from Jurn in the corner, then hits a diving European uppercut, before Jurn hits a massive release suplex and an Avalanche into the corner. Simmons keeps up with a release Northern Lights suplex and a short-arm clothesline, before Andy comes in to keep on suplexing Dieter.
Andy gets a near-fall from a pendulum backbreaker, before Al-Ani returns and takes down Dieter with an armdrag. The champion tags out to WALTER, who makes light work of Marius, before missing a sit-down splash as Al-Ani collects a near-fall. A flying DDT from Marius is thrown off, but at the second attempt he manages to DDT the Austrian WALTER, before bringing Andy back in for some chops.
Timothy Thatcher tags in and works over a grounded Andy with knees and an armbar, but the EVOLVE champion has little joy when Jurn tags in, as that puts the RINGKAMPF crew on the back foot for a spell. Things turn around with Jakobi low-bridges Andy to the outside, which allows WALTER to dump the tag champion on the apron before throwing him back in to see Thatcher collect a near-fall.
A snapmare from Axel Dieter Jr and a kick to the back keeps Andy down for a near-fall, as the wXw champion pulls off a Mr Perfect-esque hamstring snapper. Andy tries to fight back, but he falls back on a bodyslam attempt on WALTER, before those two headed up onto the stage as the other four fought it out in the ring.
Andy and WALTER traded chops on the stage, before Andy went for a Fireman’s carry… but that was blocked as the tag champ was given a back body drop. RINGKAMPF stood tall in the ring as they looked to collect a count-out win, but Absolute Andy rolled under the bottom rope at the count of nine, but he just rolled into the path of more offence as Dieter targeted his knee for a while, wrapping him up in a Figure Four. Andy breaks free and looks to hit some superkicks, only for WALTER to catch one and counter with a German suplex, then a butterfly suplex for a near-fall. More forearms from WALTER rock Andy, but he finally gets some breathing space courtesy of a massive spinebuster, before he finally makes a tag out to Al-Ani.
Al-Ani clears house on Thatcher with dropkicks, but a blind tag brings in Axel Dieter Jr just as Marius hits a death valley driver. Jurn and Axel go head-to-head and windmill punches on each other, and it’s Massive Jurn who comes on top with an attempt at the Oklahoma Stampede, before he’s knocked off the top rope with a DDT by Axel.
Simmons rolls to the outside, as Al-Ani recovers to dump Axel with a T-Bone suplex, and this is falling apart as tags seem to be a novelty. WALTER’s suplex to Absolute Andy is reversed, but Christian Jakobi climbs up on the apron as Andy looked to have had the match won. For some reason that acts like a massive pause on the match, as Andy slowly heads towards Jakobi, who eventually backs into Karsten Beck.
Jakobi crawls across the ring, which gives Dieter the chance to score a schoolboy for a near-fall – despite having a handful of tights – before a big boot and a lariat from WALTER takes down Andy. Simmons’ big boot gets rid of WALTER, before he takes a double underhook suplex from Thatcher, who’s then dropped with a missile dropkick from Al-Ani. An Air Raid Crash from Dieter takes out Al-Ani, but Andy recovers to drop the champion with a back cracker to end that parade of moves… just as Jakobi hops onto the apron again. Karsten Beck comes in and slings Jakobi into the ring as he teases punching him, but instead Beck gets a low blow!
Jakobi celebrates… but he takes a superkick from Andy, who then takes a massive powerbomb from WALTER for a near-fall. Thatcher tags back in to try and finish things off, as he gives Andy a Saito suplex, before Andy throws Thatcher into a WALTER lariat. Simmons tags back in against Dieter, but he lands a Massive Boot and a piledriver to Axel, before WALTER’s finished off with an F5 and a frog splash. Thatcher eats a spinning heel kick from Al-Ani, an Andy spinebuster, then a piledriver from Jurn to seal victory for the babyfaces.
This was something quite special – there’s nothing like a good six-man tag, and this was one of those. Great action back and forth, and whilst I wasn’t keen on the involvement of Beck and Jakobi, at least they kept it short and let the wrestlers do the talking. ****¼
As a “feature event”, this was fine, but it wasn’t as consistently good as the prior month’s show in London. Both tournament semi-finals were just there, and we had two squashes that went longer than needed to, one of which seemed to hurt Michael Dante’s momentum going into Dead End in Hamburg tonight.
If you’ve got access to this on wXw Now, tune in just for the Shotgun title match and the final two matches – and skip the rest!