We’ve got one foot out of the door on our way to 16 Carat Gold this weekend… but first, we’ve the small matter of an excellent go-home episode of Shotgun!

We open with a clip from Road to 16 Carat Gold, where Marius al Ani put Absolute Andy through a table. That bleeds into an interview with Andy, who’s mad at just about everyone, Marius especially. It seemed Andy was happier in the days when he was able to beat up al-Ani… and he promises to give Marius a new nickname – “bye bye”, because he won’t need too long to beat him in the first round at Carat.

A retort follows from Marius, who’s still Mr. No Bullshit, happily. Training footage follows of Marius, along with shots of him in the ring. They recap the A4 run, covering Batmandy and Robinani at World Tag Team League, and the disintegration. Marius vows to kick Andy back… kick him out of Carat! It’s a marvelous video package that touched on the entire story, which is pretty much a lock to replace Starr/Simmons in the main event of night one at Carat.

Absolute Andy vs. Leon van Gasteren
The crowd in Weyhe are behind Leon, while Andy shrugs off their likeness and takes van Gasteren into the corner for some early chops.

There’s an instant retort though as Leon flips over Andy for some armdrags, taking the Eagle of wXw to the outside, but Andy takes over there and throws Leon back in to keep up the chops. More of the crowd started to get behind Andy as he went for the F5, but Leon escapes and makes a comeback with forearms and dropkicks, forcing Andy to powder outside again.

When Andy returns, Leon tried to charge at him… but earns himself a backbreaker and another clothesline to the outside, as the veteran started to wear down on van Gasteren’s back. Commentary drops in the Andy’s facing his former tag partner in the first round of Carat, right as Andy continued to wrench away on Leon, this time using an abdominal stretch with some more cheating via the ropes.

Tassilo Jung falls for Andy’s excuses for using the top rope, as apparently a very strong gust of wind hit the venue, but he eventually catches him in the act! Except this time, when Tass kicks the arm away, Andy keeps hold of it… so Tass stamps on his foot! Leon takes advantage of that to make another comeback, sending Andy flying with a back body drop and a missile dropkick, but it’s not enough!

Andy comes right back in with a back cracker for a near-fall, but he takes too long to go up top and gets brought down with a belly-to-belly superplex instead. Back-and-forth strikes left both men wobbly, but Leon edges ahead, dropkicking Andy into the ropes, and then scoring with a tiltawhirl headscissor takedown to send Andy to the outside. A tope from van Gasteren follows, as does a springboard clothesline back in the ring, but he can’t get the win with a Northern Lights. Another springboard clothesline goes badly wrong for Leon, as he ends up on Andy’s back before he’s dumped with the F5… but Andy has words for Marius, before hitting another F5… but he again goes for the camera rather than the pin, as Andy has toys?

He pulls out his wrench from under the ring, but as he measured up for a wrench shot, Marius al-Ani rushes out to disarm him… and in the ensuing distraction van Gasteren rolls up Andy for the upset! That’s twice now Andy’s fallen like that, with Leon van Gasteren joining Juvenile X in the list of folks who’ve beaten Andy with some help from Marius al-Ani. A really good opening match, and I’d not complain if we got something like this between Andy and Marius at Carat! ***¼

A recap follows from Shotgun last week, where WALTER made Ivan Kiev tap in the trios match… and now we get to see what stipulation WALTER has picked for his title shot on Saturday. Bad Bones wants to know too, and he approaches Christian Jakobi in his office… but it turns out WALTER’s not going to tell us until bell time. Sneaky! Jakobi says it can’t be a cage match because there’s too many people in the venue… and Bones is even more angry now.

Speaking of John Klinger, he gets a promo package next, recapping his history in wXw, featuring his 16 Carat Gold win in 2008 and Shortcut to the Top wins. He reckons the 1,000 people in Oberhausen this weekend have bought their ticket to see him wrestle – and as such, his reputation and wXw’s will be on the line.

After that, we’ve an interview with Killer Kelly. Sebastian Hollmichel asks her about her issues with Veda Scott, and it seems that Kelly’s not too pleased on folks talking about her being a rookie. Talk turns to the Toni Storm/Melanie Gray match… and Kelly hopes she’ll be able to get a title shot again in the not too distant future. Cue a video package for Saturday’s Toni Storm vs. Melanie Gray title match, which features a wacky shot at the wXw academy with Toni alongside David Starr and Tyler Bate. Melanie Gray reckons this will be the weekend she’ll make history, but of course Toni isn’t so sure of that.

Another video from Road to 16 Carat, where Emil Sitoci saved Dirty Dragan from the Singapore cane shot… and now we’ve got a tag match!

Dirty Dragan & Emil Sitoci vs. Jay FK (Jay Skillet & Francis Kaspin)
Dragan starts us off with Skillet, but Jay’s quickly going for the arm as commentary brings us up to speed on the whole Dragan/Sitoci situation that bled over from 2017 into 2018, before painting this match as a new start for Jay FK after coming up short in their tag title match at Dead End.

Dragan negotiates his way out of a caught boot from Skillet, and it’s actually a clean break before Skillet slapped the taste out of Dragan’s mouth. Nope, Weyhe did not like that, as Dragan’s dragged into the Jay FK corner as Kaspin comes in. More counter-wrestling follows around the arm, eventually ending with a headlock takedown and a dropkick from Kaspin as we get a near-fall.

Dragan tries to break free by threatening to tickle Kaspin’s nether regions… and it works, with Dragan escaping before landing an elbow drop… and he’s still pretty hesitant to tag out. It backfires too as Kaspin scores a suplex for a near-fall, before a blind tag kept Jay FK in it, with Dragan getting double-teamed for a spell with Sitoci having been knocked off the apron.

Eventually Sitoci rushes into the ring as he tries to put on the brakes, only for Jay FK to keep control courtesy of a spear from Skillet. Dragan mounts another punch-heavy comeback, but he’s taken down with a double-handed chop as he tried to charge at Skillet, and those near-falls keep coming as Dragan must be forgetting what it’s like to tag. Finally the tag comes after Sitoci low bridges Skillet to the outside… and the fiery-hot tag from Emil sees him clear house on both Kaspin and Skillet by himself. A jawbreaker to Kaspin, then a back body drop leaves Skillet prone for a side Russian legsweep and a split-legged moonsault as Emil almost won it with that burst. Sitoci’s springboard elbow keeps Kaspin down, before Skillet runs into a superkick… only for Kaspin to come back and lift Sitoci up for a Doomsday Device, which is avoided.

Instead, Jay FK tries for the Magic Bullet Theory neckbreaker stomp, but Sitoci avoids it and nails a Snapmare Driver to Kaspin before pulling Skillet into an over-the-knee gutbuster! Dragan gets the tag back in, and he gets pulled down off of Sitoci’s back into a splash for a near-fall on Skillet… while Kaspin wiped out Sitoci on the apron. With no help, Dragan misses a Shining Wizard, and gets pulled into a double team flapjack and the Jay FK wheelbarrow lungblower/double stomp combo for the win. I swear another tag team that may be free this weekend uses something very similar… Weyhe did not like Jay FK’s aggressive side, but this was a sound performance from Kaspin and Skillet, who look back on track after they came up short in Hamburg. As to what they’ll be doing at Carat weekend remains to be seen… ***½

After the match, Sitoci has to calm down Dragan, before they shook hands… and all is well again.

We’re suddenly backstage with those two… and Dragan is in a bad mood after that loss. He’s still job scared, while Sitoci throws up that he “lost to Rotation, but look at him now. Dragan doesn’t want the pity likes, and he’s told to “go out there and prove a point”. Oh no. I’m now scared that Dragan is going to go the way of Da Mack…

They run down the card for Ambition 9 on Saturday lunchtime:

Heddi Karaoui vs. David Starr
Bobby Gunns vs. RAFA
Mike Bailey vs. Jonah Rock
Alexander James vs. Timothy Thatcher

WALTER vs. Matt Riddle in a Super Fight… plus the semi-finals and finals of Ambition.

A promo from Timothy Thatcher comes next, who’s doing Ambition and 16 Carat Gold. Thatcher calls wXw his home for professional wrestling, because he’s the kind of person wXw fans want back because they respect him, not because of his flashiness. He calls being accepted as part of RINGKAMPF a proud moment, as talk then turns to Thatcher’s goal – he wants to win the tournament… and now they’re flat out teasing that Thatcher’s going to kill himself again if WALTER wins the world title.

Lucky Kid and Tarkan Aslan are backstage next… Kid’s still shocked he’s in Carat, while Aslan’s telling him to not worry about RISE as this weekend’s is big for both of them. There’s an ominous line there as Tarkan says that “without him, you’re not going to the ring”…

Footage of Mike Bailey at Road to 16 Carat Gold comes next, and more specifically, how Bobby Gunns interrupted his final. An interview with Mike Bailey and a cup of tea follows, as he’s asked about said interference… and with Bailey out of 16 Carat Gold, his goal is now to take the Shotgun title off of Bobby Gunns. Bobby says he’s going to be like Mr Miyagi, before stubbing out his cigarette in Mike’s tea. That doesn’t seem to unsettle Bailey, who says he’ll break through Gunn’s “bad boy” facade and leave with the belt. Please don’t drink the tea…

More with RISE now, as John Klinger’s got his usual rallying call to try and have his guys help him keep his title. WALTER and Timothy Thatcher walk in to spoil the party, but WALTER just wants to see the look in Klinger’s defeated eyes as he vows that after Carat, everything’ll be back to normal.

WALTER gets a promo piece too, putting over how much of a privilege it’ll be to main event in front of 1,000 people. 11 years ago WALTER debuted at Carat, and he’s a far cry from the kid he was then… the wXw title stands for everything he’s worked for, and “no matter how exciting things are elsewhere, this is my home and I am THE wrestler at wXw.” WALTER takes Klinger being champion as an embarrassment, along with the whole journey RISE have been on… and he vows that after Carat, wXw will be with a deserving champion once again.

They run down the Carat matches once more – check out our big preview for the line ups here and for the rest of the weekend…

Saturday – wXw Women’s Championship: Melanie Gray vs. Toni Storm (c)
Saturday – wXw Shotgun Championship: Mike Bailey vs. Bobby Gunns (c)
Saturday – wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: WALTER vs. John Klinger (c)

Friday’s warm-up – Alternate Four-Way: Julian Nero vs. Ivan Kiev vs. Emil Sitoci vs. Julian Pace… with the winner facing David Starr in the first round in place of Jurn Simmons’ silhouette.

Elsewhere in the first round:

Travis Banks vs. Mark Haskins
Avalanche vs. Keith Lee
Chris Brookes vs. Alexander James
Da Mack vs. Matt Riddle
Jonah Rock vs. Timothy Thatcher
Matt Sydal vs. Lucky Kid
Absolute Andy vs. Marius al-Ani

16 Carat Gold is just days away – we’ll have live reports, but if you’re waiting for this on wXw NOW, it’ll be up from March 12th (with a staggered release). It’s going to be a huge weekend, and after this fantastic go-home episode, we’re more excited than ever. We will see you in Oberhausen!