wXw’s 16 Carat Gold is well underway right now, but here’s our take on their go-home episode of Shotgun.

For a change, there’s no spoiler warning before the intro, which is nice, and we’re straight into action too!

“Bad Bones” John Klinger vs. Bobby Gunns vs. Alexander James
Continuing the “we’ll show the Cologne show on Shotgun” trend from the past few weeks, we’re opening with a triple-threat match here.

We start with a quick roll-up as Gunns tried to roll up Klinger early on, before Bad Bones took a kick to the arm as Alexander James started on the outside. A dropkick from Klinger is the cue for James to head in, and eventually knock down Bones with a dropkick. James poses for so long, he gets a hip thrust from Gunns, then an enziguiri, before a Saito suplex took James to the floor.

Bones goes after Gunns with punches in the corner, then blocks a charge with a big boot before cutting off a comeback with a back body drop. James returns and takes a scoop slam from Bones, and also heads to the outside, where the two eviltons take a low-pe from Bad Bones.

Gunns catches Bones with a rope-hung armbar on his way back in, before James catches Klinger with a slingshot Blockbuster as those two decided to team up and go after Bones together. James saves Gunns from a powerslam from Bones, and helps turn it into a reverse DDT before he tried to steal the pin. They separately choke Bones in the corner, before a double superplex attempt fails, as Bones shoved them down.

Another superplex from Gunns also fails as Bones headbutts him, then tries for a sunset bomb, before throwing Gunns into James in the opposite corner with a crucifix powerbomb. Running uppercuts between the corners leads to a double noggin’ knocker, which created tensions between Gunns and James. That allowed Bones to slingshot in with a spear to both men, getting a two-count on both of them at the same time.

Superkicks from Bones takes down James, before a German suplex from Gunns gets him a near-fall. A bridging O’Connor roll gets Gunns a two-count, before he’s caught in a James Dragon sleeper from the kick-out… Bones lands a top rope elbow drop to break that up, before landing a missile dropkick to Gunns. The end came when a pump kick and a half-and-half nelson sent James down, before the Wrecking Ball double knees earned the win. A perfectly acceptable triple-threat, nothing amazing, but not offensive either. ***

We immediately go to a backstage promo with Verena Fischer, who’s with Marius van Beethoven. Marius seems to go all Broken Matt and climax every time he says the word “gold” – which hurts since he calls himself the “Goldjünge”. He reckons that the smaller wrestlers are now getting the paydays, and he’s now able to enjoy the high life. Fortunately, Marius is able to briefly restrain himself when he mentions 16 Carat Gold, before talking about his no-ropes match with Alpha Kevin – a setting that’ll give Marius enough room for his ego.

That leads into a video package of the history of Reich und Schön – the former partnership of Kevin Roadster/Marius van Beethoven – with photos of them in the past. Yep, Marius has always had dodgy-ish gear… they go through the split up of the team, the attack on Kevin and Melanie’s wedding day, all the way up to Dead End’s streetfight, and the announcement last week of the no-ropes match.

A video package of the great A4 vs. CCK match from Dead End follows, and we go to see A4 reliving that match on an iPad as they go over strategy. Absolute Andy’s coaching Marius al-Ani ahead of his 16 Carat Gold match, advising him to come up with a plan. Andy pulls at Marius’ beard… he then replies by taking away Andy’s cereal bar, because “it doesn’t fit in with your diet”.

Andy’s only worried about being left with half of his bar, which was suitably wacky.

Francis Kaspin vs. Chris Colen
Taken again from that Cologne house show, this was actually a Road to 16 Carat Gold League qualifier. Alan Counihan doesn’t acknowledge this on commentary, so as not to give away any results…

Colen takes down Kaspin with a headlock as the Austrian Wolverine Colen edges ahead in the opening stages. Kaspin tries his luck with shoulder tackles, and fails, before he’s shoved off the ropes into a lariat that sends him flying. Suplexes and slams seem to awaken Kaspin, who launches in with some forearms, only to get blasted with a backdrop suplex.

A crossbody off the top gets Kaspin a near-fall, before he goes for a neckbreaker and a series of forearms in the corner. Kaspin brushes off an attempted uranage and takes down Colen with a leaping forearm, only for Colen to come back with a series of forearms of his own in the corner, finishing off with a scoop slam.

Kaspin leaps out of a fireman’s carry, only to fall into a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall, then run into a back elbow from Colen. A missile dropkick from Kaspin gets him back into it, but Colen kicked out at two, before a Colen uranage and an Angels Wings was enough to get the win. An impressive showing by Colen, with Kaspin playing his part well – it’s good that the youngster’s getting extra TV time like this, as sitting on the sidelines helps nobody develop. **¾

We’ve got a pre-taped segment with Donovan Dijak at home now ahead of his 16 Carat Gold outing. Apparently he can’t think clearly about his future, partially because he’s not been in Germany for a year. Dijak’s going to make everyone remember him, no matter what it takes. Sadly, he’s got Matt Riddle in the first round, so his tournament may be over by the time this goes up!

They post the already-known matches for 16 Carat Gold, before we go to a sit-down interview with Sebastian Hollmichel – who’s with Robert Dreissker and Ilja Dragunov ahead of their clash in the first round. Dragunov blamed Adam Polak for not being able to make the Käfigschlacht, then starts talking about being able to see clearly. Whilst only showing one eyeball with a white lens in. Creepy.

Hollmichel throws it to Dreissker, talking about his successes in successive Käfigschlacht, and the time-off he’s had with injury. Dreissker makes it known that he doesn’t like interviews, and he’s longing for Adam Polak to return to take care of these for him. Dreissker says that the Avalanche is back, which seems to rile Dragunov, as does his claim that he’ll end Ilja’s dream of winning 16 Carat Gold. Dragunov says the only thing we’ll see at that tournament is his rise to being wXw Undisputed World Wrestling Champion.

Another Dead End video package follows, and then it’s into another match…

Maggot vs. Hakeem Waqur
Guess where this was taped. Yep, Cologne! Waqur’s got Marius van Beethoven with him for this match against Maggot – face-painted guy with long hair, whose act seems to be “unorthodox”.

Maggot’s crossbody is caught and turned into a fallaway slam, before Waqur stomped away on him. He’s repeatedly sent into the corner for clotheslines, then drilled with a side slam as Waqur mocked some non-existant chants, which prompted a brief fightback. That’s quickly stopped and met with a cross-legged Falcon arrow as Waqur pulled up the count at two to keep adding some punishment.

Waqur pulls up Maggot into a Canadian backbreaker slam, before working into a camel clutch for the win. A total squash to showcase Waqur briefly. *½

A video package for the fantastic Dead End main event comes next, and just like the match itself, it’s long!

We then segue to a video of the ring crew packing up some heaters after a show, I guess. WALTER walks in on them tidying up, and has a go on them for not tidying up, but rather moving stuff from one place to another. WALTER’s tirade is cut-off by David Starr standing up for those guys, before declaring that at 16 Carat Gold, he and Jurn will end RINGKAMPF. Some good promo work here from the bully WALTER.

There’s a recap of last year’s 16 Carat Gold finals, where Zack Sabre Jr beat Axel Dieter Jr in the finals. They show a tweet from Sami Callihan putting over Dieter, then Jurn Simmons beating Karsten Beck for the wXw at the same shows. Jurn’s run as champion is highlighted, mostly by way of piledrivers, before Marty Scurll won the title by beating Adam Cole in a three-way at the anniversary show. Axel Dieter Jr’s subsequent win follows, as do clips of the feud between Axel and Jurn.

The show ends with Karsten Beck pushing 16 Carat Gold one more time, including the sidebar matches like Alpha Kevin vs. Marius van Beethoven and that Dieter/Simmons title match, before wishing the best sporting competition for everyone in attendance. Let the games begin!

Another decent episode of Shotgun, with some nods to the 16 Carat Gold tournament in there, as well as some good matches from the Cologne house show for good measure. Now we can finally move on to another event, hopefully starting next week!