The last two spots in this year’s 16 Carat Gold are up for grabs as wXw returned to Bielefeld.

Quick Results
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group B First Round: Norman Harras pinned Goldenboy Santos in 10:11 (**¾)
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group B First Round: Peter Tihanyi pinned James Runyan in 9:39 (***)
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A First Round: Hektor Invictus pinned Tim Stübing in 10:02 (***)
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A First Round: Dennis Dullnig pinned Anil Marik in 7:34 (***)
Nikita Charisma & Michael Schenkenberg pinned Oskar & Robert Dreissker in 15:36 (***½)
Ava Everett pinned Gaya Glass in 5:00 (**)
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A Final: Peter Tihanyi pinned Norman Harras in 7:07 (**¾)
Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A Final: Dennis Dullnig pinned Hektor Invictus in 9:13 (**¾)
Stephanie Maze & Fast Time Moodo pinned Baby Allison & Maggot in 13:33 (***)

We’re at the Forum in Bielefeld for one final stop before 16 Carat Gold weekend – and we’ve got the return of the Road to 16 Carat Gold tournament. It’s two four-man tournaments, with the winner of each getting into the 16 Carat Gold tournament proper.

Andy Jackson and Sebastian Hollmichel run down through the card for today, with Dave Bradshaw on English feed.

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group B First Round: Goldenboy Santos vs. Norman Harras
A first-time singles match, at least if Cagematch and their new logo are to be believed…

We’ve a measured start as the opening lock-up ended with Harras in the corner, with Santos breaking cleanly. Norman returns the favour, before he tried to use referee Tassilo Jung as a shield from the annoyed Santos. A cheapshot backfires as Santos took Harras down to the mat, leading to a crucifix for a quick one-count from the current Academy Cup holder. Shoulder tackles between the two yield no clear advantage until Santos’ misdirection led to him charging down Harras ahead of a diving uppercut. Santos looks for a death valley driver, but Harras wriggled onto the apron, only to get run into the buckles before he hung up Santos in the ropes.

Back inside, a clothesline to the back of Santos got Norman a two-count, as he tried to wear down Santos with suplexes. That’s followed up with a charging knee at Santos for a two-count, before Santos fought back with a suplex of his own. Some shots at Harras lead to a cannonball in the corner to nearly win it for Santos, before some standing switches led to Norman getting elbowed.

Harras returns with an uppercut for a near-fall, before his gutwrench was powered out into a death valley driver for a near-fall. Santos calls for the Midas Touch lariat, but a big boot and a roll-up with a handful of tights gets the win as Harras snuck his way into the finals. They kept this one short, as I feel we’re going to have the entire night… but Norman gets back on track while Santos’ dream of being part of Carat came to a sudden end. **¾

Post-match, Andy Jackson gets hold of Norman Harras for a few words… Andy reckoned Norman was getting back on track, but Norman wasn’t exactly surprised with it. Fishing for an applause got him nowhere, as Norman predicted that the former “diamond in the rough” would make it to Carat.

We then get a pre-taped interview with Levaniel ahead of his title shot at Carat… he’s still a little sore over how he lost to Axel Tischer at Back to the Roots, namely because Tristan Archer attacked him before the match got going. Levaniel brings up his first Carat – which was his last one – calling it a “beacon of light” in a dark time for him, but he’s no longer the man who was randomly DJ Hyde’s tag partner. He’s gone through changes in the last two years, and wants to go full circle by winning the title… but he doesn’t think it’ll be any pushover, but with belief and love, Levaniel’ll win the unified title.

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group B First Round: James Runyan vs. Peter Tihanyi
This was Runyan’s first match in wXw in over two years, with Cagematch not showing a lot since then for the Canadian.

Runyan pulled Tihanyi to the mat early on from a waistlock, but headscissors from Tihanyi offered a response, only for the Canadian to escape. Tihanyi takes it to the corner for some chops, but an armdrag has Runyan back on top, before Tihany returned with some of his own. A dropkick has Runyan down for a two-count, but he manages to cut off the Hungarian as he springboarded into an uppercut. More uppercuts keep Tihanyi on the back foot, as Runyan proceeded to stomp a mudhole in him in the corner. Runyan keeps him grounded briefly with a chinlock, as an Irish whip took Tihanyi into the corners as he looked to ease his place into Carat.

Tihanyi kicks out at two though, then pushed Runyan out of the corner… only to leap into a knee to the gut, then a DDT. Runyan roughs up the Hungarian in the ropes, but he misses a knee drop as Tihyani began his comeback, beating Runyan to the punches before snatching a near-fall out of a backslide.

A tornado DDT from Tihanyi plants Runyan for a near-fall, as Runyan tried to grab a win with an omoplata out of nowhere… then a crossface, but Tihanyi dragged his way to the ropes to keep the match alive. Runyan heads up for a superplex, but gets shoved down as Tihanyi took his chance with a 450 splash and booked his place in the mini-tournament final. A good win for Tihanyi, who was on the back foot for a lot of this – but he took his chance and now faces Norman Harras later for a spot in Carat. ***

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A First Round: Hektor Invictus vs. Tim Stübing
Tim’s not been around in wXw since their early return in front of crowds, with his tag partner Leon van Gasteren similarly MIA since the Catch Grand Prix…

Stübing’s the underdog going into this, and tried to take the early initiative, only for Hektor to take him down for a toe hold. Getting up, a knuckle lock trips up Stübing for some two-counts, before a series of armdrags put Stübing ahead… right as Dennis Dullnig ran out to play cheerleader for Hektor.

Hektor uses the hair to take Stübing into the corner, before a headlock takedown kept things grounded. Some headscissors from Stübing turn it around, as did a leaping shoulder block, ahead of a running dropkick into the corner… and an Exploder out of it. A swift forearm in the corner has Stübing down though, as Hektor pulled ahead with chips while also ignoring Dullnig’s attempts to cheerlead at ringside.

Referee Tassilo Jung refused to count a pin after Hektor ran Stübing into the corner, which led to some protests from Dullnig at ringside… because of course. Stübing kicks Hektor from the mat, but ends up getting met with an elbow for a two-count. Further elbow drops miss as Stübing rolled outside, but Dullnig’s distraction gets Hektor back in it… only for Stübing to land some forearms of his own.

Stübing floats over Hektor in the corner ahead of a diving kick for a near-fall. A crane kick from Stübing is blocked as Hektor lands an overhead kick, then a Chaos Theory for a near-fall, before an attempt at the Hektor-Knee misses. A small package from Stübing nearly nicks it, before Hektor ate another diving kick… but this time Dullnig distracts the ref to avoid the visual pin. Another kick knocks Dullnig off the apron as Stübing tries an O’Connor roll… Hektor kicks out, allowing Dullnig to crack Stübing in the head with the flag pole, and that’s the easy win for Hektor. The unwitting relationship between Dullnig and Hektor continues here, with Dullnig easing Hektor’s path into the final… where he may well be his opponent! ***

Post-match, Dullnig tries to straighten out Hektor’s flag, as I think that’s at least the second one he’s damaged… and then we moved into the next match, since Dullnig was already here and in the ring, slapping Hektor’s arse for the fun of it.

Backstage, Andy Jackson’s with Anil Mark ahead of his match… but Andy wants to talk about the “crucifixion” at the Käfigschlacht. Anil’s understandably still upset at what happened, and also how he cost Robert Dreissker’s winning streak in the cage… but he sees 16 Carat Gold as the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Andy brings up Anil’s stumbles at the recent academy show, but Marik put it down to post-cage match nerves…

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A First Round: Dennis Dullnig vs. Anil Marik
Hektor stayed at ringside for this one, which eventually got going with Marik grabbing a hammerlock… but Dullnig tries to go for the hair as he eventually counters.

An armdrag from Marik counters a wristlock, sending Dullnig outside before a return to the ring saw Hektor accidentally trip Dullnig for a near-fall. Hektor gets on the apron to distract as Marik got a visual pin from a Codebreaker, which led to Tassilo Jung ejecting Hektor from ringside. Marik pushes on, but trips into the corner as Dullnig ends up shrugging off a Slingblade, before a baseball slide took Marik outside. Dullnig roughs him up from there, and regained control as they returned to the ring, with knee drops from Dullnig leading to him tying up Marik on the mat.

A sitout spinebuster from Dullnig gets him a near-fall, before Marik fought back, landing leaping forearms and a Slingblade before Marik slipped while climbing the ropes. That allowed Dullnig back in with kicks before a FREAKING DOUBLE UNDERHOOK PILEDRIVER gets Dullnig into the finals. A rather clumsy outing for Marik with those slips as Dullnig booked himself a dream/nightmare finals… ***

Backstage, Dennis Dullnig is hyped up after his win, thinking he and Hektor both made it to 16 Carat Gold. Andy Jackson fills him in on the final later on, as Dullnig seemingly wanted to change blocks…

We then get a backstage promo with Jurn Simmons ahead of his shot at the wXw Unified World Wrestling title over Carat weekend. Jurn dismisses Tristan Archer, then brought up how he came up short against Axel Tischer. Things head over to how every friendship Jurn’s had in wXw hasn’t ended well, as Simmons seemed torn between whether he tries to rekindle past glories and be “the old Jurn Simmons,” or let sleeping dogs lie and go wherever the future takes him. It’s going to make for an interesting dynamic in the title match, as Jurn plans to “be the monster that eats other monsters” at Carat.

Rott und Flott (Michael Schenkenberg & Nikita Charisma) vs. Oskar & Robert Dreissker
The Oskar/Dreissker pairing could so easily have been the OSS-siders, but I’d probably get slapped for bad puns. Speaking of names, Charisma’s gotten himself a new nickname for his trunks – the Dropkick Professor – while Schenkenberg’s disobeying the laws of thermodynamics with the “unlimited power” on his trunks.

Oskar chased Rott und Flott away as he hit the ring. In my head he’s chased them from Oberhausen to Bielefeld in the last month. Oskar and Charisma eventually start, but Charisma powders to the outside at the bell as Oskar charged at him. Sensing that nothing would happen while Oskar was snarling, Dreissker tagged himself in, as did Michael Schenkenberg… who got bounced to the mat.

Dreissker sinks in a side headlock, but Schenkenberg eventually pushes free, only to get bounced down with a back suplex for a two-count. A chinlock keeps Schenkenberg down, but a jawbreaker gets him free as Charisma came in… and failed to budge Dreissker with a crossbody off the top. That earns him a splash for a two-count, before Charisma was dragged into the corner as Oskar tagged into the match.

Clubbering forearms from Oskar have Charisma down, before Dreissker returned to work the arm. Charisma’s taken back into the corner as shoulder thrusts lead to Oskar returning, and Charisma cowering as he ended up eventually taking back control with a side headlock. Nevermind, he’s pushed off and charged down by Oskar, who then caught a Thesz press and turned it into a suplex. A splash in the corner from Oskar leads to him dropping down… where a low dropkick from Charisma caught him off guard as Schenkenberg tagged in as Rott und Flott briefly had Oskar cornered. Charisma tries for a charge from the opposite corner, but Dreissker grabbed him and distracted for long enough for Oskar to tag out, as clotheslines and slams got Dreissker ahead.

More double-teaming briefly subdues Dreissker, who returned with a slam and a fallaway slam before Charisma pulled Schenkenberg out of the ring to avoid a Dreissker Bomb. Oskar’s pissed at that, inadvertently distracting the referee in the process as Schenkenberg chokes Dreissker in the ropes. Eventually Dreissker broke free of Charisma, but gets tripped up on his way to make a tag out, as Dreissker again found himself in the wrong corner.

Rott und Flott slowed things down too much though, as Dreissker was able to fight out… but again Oskar’s knocked off the corner as Schenkenberg earned himself a back body drop. Dreissker lays into Schenkenberg as Oskar got back to his feet, before a spear for Schenkenberg resulted in a missile dropkick from Charisma for a near-fall. In the wrong corner again, Dreissker hits the ropes for a springboard crossbody to lay out Schenkenberg. Oskar’s again met with a dropkick on the apron from Charisma, whose attempt at a Dreissker Bomb came up short as Dreissker finally made the tag out. Oskar clears house with big boots, then with corner-to-corner clotheslines as he eventually clotheslines Charisma to the outside.

Schenkenberg eats another big boot before Charisma saves a Michinoku Driver, instead countering with a double-team elevated DDT as Rott und Flott left with the hard-earned win. This was a hoot to watch as Rott und Flott played keepaway early on, then focused on Dreissker – who left afterwards annoyed with how things played out. ***½

Schenkenberg and Charisma celebrate backstage, mocking Oskar… and address Francis Kaspin to the roving cameraman, saying that because they’ve been two guys who’ve been in Japan, they want to be put in the main event of Carat. Of course, Oskar walks up and gets in their faces (or as the subtitles put it, “loud arguing,” because good luck transcribing any of that!), before Dreissker came up and chewed out Oskar for his “pitiful performance.” Nikita Charisma chimes in at the wrong moment and gets the deathiest of stares from Dreissker, who told Oskar he had “no business yelling like that.”

Gaya Glass vs. Ava Everett
Glass substituted for B3CCA, who went back to America after injuring her arm just one week into her tour of Europe… meanwhile, Ava’s taken to the “British holidaymaker” thing of speaking slowly and loudly in a foreign country.

Ava starts with a tie-up into the corner as she looked to rough up Gaya… who replied with a side headlock that ended in the ropes. Glass gets thrown to the mat by her hair, but came back with a side headlock. She’s taken into the ropes, but returns with armdrags and a dropkick into the corner ahead of a handspring clothesline. A wacky bulldog gets Glass a two-count as Everett hit back with a clothesline, then a dropkick in the ropes, before a cartwheel from Ava earned what felt like ironic cheers from the Bielefeld crowd. A second cartwheel’s kicked away by Glass, whose headscissors took Everett down, before some hair-assisted throws left Ava down ahead of a cartwheel splash for a near-fall.

From the kick-out, Ava roughs up Glass in the corner, pulling out her nose ring before a swinging Fisherman suplex led to the win. This was in a rough spot, with both women debuting on the “main roster,” but a definitive win for Ava on her debut looks to push her on for bigger things… **

Post-match, Ava mocked the company’s women’s division, then said that Iva Kolasky wouldn’t be women’s champion for much longer if this was anything to go by. I’d expect that match over Carat weekend…

They air another interview ahead of the wXw Unified World Wrestling title match at Carat. This time it’s Tristan Archer who’s quizzed by Andy Jackson… Tristan explained that he attacked Levaniel at Back to the Roots because Levaniel “took a shortcut” to win the ladder match at the 21st Anniversary show. Archer tries to dismiss it as a “rookie error” for Levaniel, before he said that Carat was the biggest match of his career – and he only cared about the result, not having the match of the night.

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group B Final: Norman Harras vs. Peter Tihanyi
There’s a spot at Carat at stake here, and we start with Norman attacking Tihanyi through the ropes as there’s some brawling around ringside before the bell.

We finally got underway with Tihanyi on the defensive as Harras laid in elbows in the corner, before a dropkick from Tihanyi knocked Harras to the outside. An apron PK’s caught by Harras, who sweeps the Hungarian onto the apron, before some elbow drops back inside just drew a one-count.

Tihanyi elbows Harras aside but couldn’t avoid a Finlay roll nor a running knee as the former Shotgun champion drew a two-count. A shoulder tackle off the ropes keeps Tihanyi down for another two-count, before a knee drop off the middle rope landed squarely on Tihanyi’s shoulder. Eventually Tihanyi mounted a comeback with chops, only to get slapped down as Harras then tried to twist his neck off.

A small package from Tihanyi gets a two-count, as Harras comes right back in with a boot, before a powerbomb’s countered into a sunset flip… then a tornado DDT. A springboard Meteora from Tihanyi’s next for a near-fall, before an inside cradle from Harras nearly won it – as even a handful of tights couldn’t get it done. Instead, Tihanyi hits an Asai DDT… and that’s enough to get the relative upset as Tihanyi became the first Hungarian to qualify for Carat! **¾

After the match, a buoyant Tihanyi predicted he’d win 16 Carat before thanking Bielefeld…

Road To 16 Carat Gold Tournament, Group A Final: Dennis Dullnig vs. Hektor Invictus
If you’ve not been following along, Dullnig spent wXw’s empty set shows wanting to tag with Hektor… but Hektor mostly wanted no part of him. What was borne out of that was an odd-couple pairing, with Dullnig being “an entertaining idiot,” living in his own deluded reality.

Here, Dullnig looked thoroughly pissed that it was either he or Hektor making the tournament – there’d be no shared spot here. The crowd wanted the pair to “hug it out,” except for that one guy who wanted a fight. Dullnig tries to calm things down by heading outside. Of course, the ref starts a count, so Dullnig has to come back in and play keepaway from a Hektor who wouldn’t “chill.”

Dullnig has an idea, and seemingly takes Hektor outside to get a double count-out… so they both get the spot. Hektor wanted none of it, as he pushed Dennis aside and rolled back in, as we continue the slapstick stuff with Hektor swinging and Dullnig ducking. Hektor throws Dullnig over the top, but ends up on the outside as Dullnig then held the ropes open for him…

Hektor wants no help, but ends up running into a back body drop before Dullnig pulled up as he went for a Hektor-Knee. There was no such qualms as Hektor swung with a chop in return, as he proceeded to focus on his sometimes-tag partner. Dullnig begs off, but gets booted in the head for a two-count, before more chops wore down Dullnig. Dullnig keeps kicking out from boots and the like, before a scoop slam from Hektor led to a missed moonsault. A hug/sleeperhold from Dullnig’s turned into headscissors as Hektor tried to swing free, before a german suplex and a big knee from Dullnig led to a uranage. Dennis gets carried away as he pulled down his kneepad for a Hektor-Knee, only for it to be ducked as Hektor hit one of his own for a near-fall.

Hektor heads outside to grab the ring bell – but that just distracts the ref as he instead goes for the flag. Dennis ducks as a tug of war broke out… Hektor ends up hitting himself with the flag pole, and in the ensuing guilt, Dullnig cradled and “accidentally” pinned Hektor to book his ticket for Oberhausen. Not much of a match if you’re looking for starz, but this was exactly the kind of comedy you’d expect from the storyline. Poor Dennis. **¾

After the match Dullnig tried to calm things down as an angry Hektor came to. Seemingly wanting a do over, Dullnig got chased to the back…

We’ve another interview to build up the four-way title match at Carat, and it’s the champion who’s quizzed by Andy Jackson here. Tischer’s a little peeved that his request to face any of them was interpreted as a wish to face them all at the same time, but he’s having to roll with the punches here. Andy brings up the eye poke to Jurn, and how Tischer fought against an injured Levaniel in the past, but Tischer defended against both of those saying that “when you chop wood, you get splinters.” That’s a heck of a saying. Tischer promises to enter Carat as champion – and leave day two as champion. I’m looking way too deep into this, but that feels oddly specific…

Baby Allison & Maggot vs. Fast Time Moodo & Stephanie Maze
A warm-up match of sorts as Moodo and Maze are getting another shot at the tag titles over Carat weekend.

Moodo and Maggot start us off, with the tag title challengers working side headlocks before a boot from Maggot had Maze down. Allison tags in but gets armdragged by Maze before Mooto came in and got pinged between Maze and Moodo in the corner. Moodo tags in and takes some uppercuts before a flurry of strikes and a leg sweep sank Maggot to the mat, ahead of another series of kicks from Maze and Moodo.

A spinning heel kick from Maze drops Maggot, as did a suplex, before a knee strike led to a two-count. After an argument, Maze knocks Allison off the apron, but that just opened the door for a forearm from Maggot and a suplex, before a measured kick from Allison kept Maze on the back foot.

Allison’s Northern Lights suplex lands for a near-fall, before an enziguiri from Maggot led to Maze getting cornered and choked on. Mudhole stomping from Maggot followed, as Allison’s side headlock eventually was elbowed out of… only for Allison to throw Maze back down. Kicks from Allison are eventually blocked by Maze, who hiut a forearm before making the tag out to Moodo. Maggot’s back in, but just runs into a series of kicks, before a missile dropkick-assisted German suplex and a Crossfire-like series of kicks almost got Moodo the win. Allison clings onto Moodo’s leg to prevent a Black Belt Kick, allowing Maggot in with a crucifix bomb for a near-fall before a double spear had Moodo down.

A Muta lock from Allison – elevated with the hello of Maggot – draws Maze in to kick things apart, only to get caught with a splits legdrop after a trip from Maggot. Backfists from Moodo stops some double-teaming as a mid kick from Maze and a superkick-aided Pedigree from Moodo left Allison down, only for Maggot to get rid of Moodo with a cutter as this broke down into sort-of a tornado match.

Maze avoids another Maggot cutter, but dispatches him with a head kick before Allison tried to steal a win with a roll-up. A chop block takes out Maze’s knee as Allison proceeded to try and reinjure her, only for an inside cradle out of nowhere to win it for Maze. This was fine for what it was – I’d have preferred the knee stuff to have been the obvious story of the match, but doing it where they did it plants a seed of doubt ahead of their match at Carat. ***

The show ends with a video package for the four-way match for the wXw Unified World Wrestling title at Carat, with Tristan Archer, Levaniel and Jurn Simmons challenging Axel Tischer on the Saturday night… and that’s all folks!

An entertaining show if only for what played out – with Dullnig and Hektor in particular being a fun enhancement of their ongoing storyline. The final pieces for Carat slotted into place here, as all eyes now descend on Oberhausen next weekend…