Eight promotions from around the world headed to Oberhausen to join the party over Carat weekend – with the wXwNOW & Friends Showcase kicking off Saturday’s events.

Quick Results
Adam Priest pinned Jaden Newman in 7:59 to retain the ACTION Championship (***¼)
Martn Pain pinned Lucifer Lohan in 6:45 (**½)
Bam Bam Quaade & Jackpot pinned Hunyadi Tamas & Adonis in 8:37 to retain the BODYSLAM! Tag Team Championships (**¾)
Rick Salem pinned Kuro in 5:37 to retain the APC Championship (**½)
Psycho Mike pinned Charles Crowley in 13:28 (***¼)
Gulyas Jr., Bence Toth BT & Maokai pinned Maverick, Corey McRae & Zafar Ameen in 9:29 (***¼)
Leyton Buzzard pinned Vaughn Vertigo in 6:47 to retain the ICW World Heavyweight Championship (***½)
Spike Trivet pinned Danny Black in 9:41 to retain the PROGRESS World Championship (***¼)

— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.de – it’s now been moved over to YouTube after wXw left Vimeo’s platform, so you’ll need to sign-up…

It’s the last of our show reviews from Carat weekend – and it’s the show where friends have been invited along, as eight promotions from around the world put forward a match to show their best to the Oberhausen crowd.

Commentary from the Turbinenhalle comes, as always, from Dave Bradshaw and Mett Dimassi…

The show opened with a ten-bell salute in the memory of Thomas Strauß – promoter of IPW Germany – who’d recently passed away.

ACTION Championship: Jaden Newman vs. Adam Priest (c)
I think this was one of the first matches hyped up for this show, with ACTION relishing at the chance to perhaps make their title a World title. Hey, their pre-match promo also included Adam Priest’s “aaaaah make way for Willie” spot from his title win over Anthony Henry earlier this year!

This was Priest’s first defence of the title, so plenty of reason to scream ROLL TIDE before the bell. Priest backs Newman into the ropes to start, before an exchange on the mat ended with Priest scooching out. A bridging hammerlock on the mat from Priest rolls back the memories of Axel Dieter Jr. as the champion was enjoying the best of the early going here. Newman rolls Priest down for a crucifix for a two-count, as he looked to end this one with a flash pin… but Priest manages to slow the tide and kick Newman in the knee. A lock-up sees the pair roll outside and into the crowd, stopping for Priest to hit a cheapshot before taking things back inside.

A floatover from Newman allows him to hit an armdrag, following up with tiltawhirl headscissors and a springboard armdrag. Newman’s dropkick takes Priest to the outside, but Priest is quickly able to take over with a Figure Four as he began to focus on Newman’s previously-injured leg. The pair roll into the ropes, with Priest nearly log rolling through referee Yuki Lee, who had to separate the pair. An uppercut from Priest drops Newman ahead of a STF, but that ends in the ropes as Newman tried to mount a comeback, booting Priest into the ropes only for a chop block from Priest to take out the knee for a near-fall.

Priest stays on the leg with a toe hold, but Newman kicks free, before he went up top… only to have to fend off Priest ahead of a Meteora. A back elbow from Newman keeps Priest at bay ahead of a swinging DDT, before the Kitchen Sink Power Slam almost led to the title change. A missed running kick into the corner ends it all for Newman though, who’s caught with a German suplex out of the buckles, before Priest took home the win with a DDT. I’d have liked to have seen this go longer, but this was a well-received outing as ACTION made it out of Georgia… ***¼

Lucifer Lohan vs. Martn Pain
Austria’s PWӦ was putting forward this match, with Pain having been involved in the four-way to crown a champion – a match won by Robert Dreissker.

Commentary dig up a gem, telling us Pain trained at New Japan’s LA Dojo a few years ago, but it’s Lohan who pulled ahead as he yanked Pain by the hair. A kick to the arm, then a single-arm DDT has Pain down before Lohan wrapped Pain’s arm around the ropes before he kicked it. Pain returned with a chop, then a pair of dropkicks, while a butterfly suplex led to a sliding clothesline. There’s no pin attempt, as Pain set up Lohan for a running corkscrew press for a two-count, but Lohan’s right back on him with an overhead wristlock. A double legdrop between the legs of Pain keeps Lohan ahead, only for him to run into Pain’s elbow in the corner.

Lohan caught Pain in the ropes for a baseball slide German suplex, following with a slingshot stomp back into the ring that gets a two-count. Pain makes another comeback with clotheslines in the corner, before he caught Lohan’s crossbody and turned it into a brainbuster for the three-count. Pain looked a little caught out at that, but a win’s a win, I guess… **½

BODYSLAM! Tag Team Championship: Easy Loverz (Bam Bam Quaade & Jackpot) (c) vs. Adonis & Hunyadi Tamas
This was slated to be a rematch of randersPagne’s recent title loss – but travel issues meant that Xander missed the show, with Hunyadi Tamas filling in to catch everyone off guard.

Adonis and Jackpot start us off, with Adonis taking Jackpot into the ropes… a jawbreaker from Jackpot led to Adonis confusing everyone so he could blindside Jackpot with a punch. Tamas tags himself in, having enough of the fun and games, as he suplexes Jackpot before he shrugged off Adonis’ desire to get him to floss. A one-armed powerbomb from Tamas took Jackpot down, before Bam Bam Quaade tagged in to trade strikes with Tamas. Quaade’s Bionic Elbow takes down Tamas, before he hit almost a Dominator to throw Jackpot onto Tamas for a two-count. Another wacky double-team sees Quaade wheelbarrow Jackpot into a DDT for a two-count, before Quaade’s armbar was also powerbombed away by Tamas. He loves a good powerbomb, he does.

Adonis tags back in and hits a crossbody off the top onto Quaade, before an Asai DDT landed. Jackpot distracts as Erik Sabel comes in to try and play twin magic… except he and Quaade look nothing alike, and Shooter Schulz wasn’t that off the ball here! In among the distraction, Sabel hits a low blow on Adonis, before Jackpot came in to roll up Adonis for a Wazaap headbutt from Quaade. A reverse Pedigree of sorts from Quaade almost puts Adonis away. Tamas tags in as Quaade and Jackpot were in the corner… Tamas introduces Quaade’s head to Jackpot’s rear for what’s apparently not Easy Loving. This all sets up for an accidental tombstone from Quaade to Jackpot, then a senton from Adonis into the pile for a near-fall.

Tamas is back in to hit what’s called Deep Wounds elsewhere… but Tamas dabs and gets caught with a crucifix for a near-fall before Quaade tagged back in to hit a gutwrench powerbomb on Tamas… then a piledriver for the win. **¾

APC Championship: Kuro vs. Rick Salem (c)
Salem won the APC title back in October – and apparently needed to be told he couldn’t use his crystal ball here.

Salem jumps Kuro before the bell, as the challenger impressively kept his sunglasses on despite hitting a pair of leapfrogs and a dropkick. Off come the sunglasses as Kuro gets lifted onto the apron, but he’s able to return with a crossbody for a two-count, before Salem returned with a back suplex for a two-count. Kuro fights out of a chinlock, elbowing his way free only to run into a front kick as Salem picked up a two-count. A roll-up keeps Kuro in it, as did a dropkick, which led to a cannonball senton into the corner… while a Falcon arrow almost did the deal. Kuro avoids an Alley Oop and returned with a stomp to Salem, only to get met with a headbutt seconds later.

Salem’s able to return with a Mistica for a two-count, before a springboard was countered into a strait-jacket German suplex as Kuro almost snatched the win. Kuro leaps out of the corner, but eats a Codebreaker… before the Coup de Destin – a springboard Codebreaker – put Kuro away. This was fine, but felt way too short as a showcase. **½

Charles Crowley vs. Psycho Mike
These two have had two matches in SMASH in the past year… sharing a win each.

“You’ll never be as over as Psycho Mike in Oberhausen,” was something that many said going into this, as we started with Mike working the hard cam with a wristlock, before Crowley slipped out so he could look into the distance. He wandered back into the hold as they went back-and-forth, taking Crowley down, throwing his arm down to go for a bunch of ones. Crowley hits the ropes for shoulder tackles, which had little effect on Mike, before Mike charged Crowley down after ducking under a leapfrog. Mike’s silenced as he tried to ask the crowd if they wanted to see a bodyslam… as Crowley instead wanted to do some magic. Instead, Crowley slapped Psycho Mike a couple of times, eventually sending him sailing through the ropes to the outside.

Mike’s knocked to the floor, where Crowley stands on his hands before a fan helped free Mike. Back inside, Crowley goes for a cover… but Mike sits up with Crowley in his clutches and rose to bodyslam the man whose nickname you can’t say on TV. A second slam follows, then a third, which wasn’t enough to put Crowley away. A bell clapper from Crowley on the apron led to a springboard cutter back into the ring for a near-fall, before a suplex and a Whirling Dervish elbow drop got him a little closer… Psycho Mike takes offense at the earlier slaps, and began to throw some receipts before the pair fell down in front of the hard camera.

The pair try to steal pins while they were laid out, as Crowley then came back with a leaping knee… only to run into a spinebuster seconds later. Charges into the corner led to Crowley missing a splash in return, before a running crossbody set up Mike for a springboard missile dropkick for a near-fall. The call “it’s time for murder” from Mike led to him getting cradled, but he kicks out, then ate an enziguiri… then a Merry Go Down slam as Crowley again came close. Crowley adds a springboard moonsault out of the corner for another near-fall. Another trip up top for Crowley earns him a leaping kick as Mike brings him down with a top rope ‘rana… before a discus boot and a Fisherman buster earned the crowd-pleasing win. ***¼

Maverick, Corey McRae & Zafar Ameen vs. Gulyas Jr., Bence Toth BT. & Maokai
Passion Pro’s putting up this trios match, with a couple of familiar faces in the mix. Bence Toth BT’s been trying to get Gulyas to let his hair down, apparently…

Ameen and BT start us off, with Ameen going for the throat as he looked to restrain BT early on. A shoulder tackle dumps BT to the mat, but he kips up and grabs a side headlock before scoring a handspring headlock takedown. Ameen goes for the hair again to break free, but Maokai’s able to tag in… as was Maverick. Maverick gets caught with a pair of armdrags, then some headscissors from Maokai, before a springboard armdrag had Maverick in the ropes. Gulyas tags in to charge at Maokai’s red shirt, but Ameen breaks it up before he whipped Gulyas into Zafar Ameen’s boot… while Ameen and Maverick propelled Gulyas with a double-team back body drop.

McRae’s in to dump Gulyas with a discus lariat for a two-count, before tags got us back to Ameen and Maokai. We’ve a ref bump as Ameen knocks down Alex Schneider after a missed charge into the corner, but nothing comes of it as Maverick’s back for a springboard into Maokai for a two-count. A back suplex gets another two-count for Maverick, who then tagged in McRae… who misses a springboard moonsault, before Maokai hit a Destroyer to help get him to his corner for a tag. Gulyas and Maverick tag in from there, with Gulyas running wild as he sent Ameen and Maverick into the corner for a cannonball. BT’s in next, but their double-team falls apart as Maverick hit back with a German suplex. Maokai dishes one out to Maverick as we had a Parade of German Suplexes in a match with no Germans in it…

All six men run into each other afterwards, before Maverick’s knee strike cut off BT. BT Hulks up in response, culminating in a leg drop as Maokai blind-tagged in to hit a double stomp off the top to Maverick. Gulyas is in to charge through the red rag, but again he’s cut off as McRae came in with a rear spin kick, ahead of Ameen’s Mirage kick for a near-fall. The baddies try to do the red rag trick next, but again it’s broken up as we had an accidental DDT from Ameen to Maverick. BT sets up Maokai for a leap off his shoulders into Ameen and McRae on the floor, leaving the red-shirt-wearing Maverick prone for a spear from Gulyas for the win. A fun trios match, as these things invariably are, helped by the red rag story… ***¼

ICW World Heavyweight Championship: Vaughn Vertigo vs. Leyton Buzzard (c)
The fourth of four title matches on the card saw Vaughn Vertigo attempt to be the first Canadian to win Scotland’s ICW title… and given he beat Leyton Buzzard damn near a year ago to the day for a title in PCW in Preston, it wouldn’t be an upset!

Opening with a lock-up, Buzzard grabbed a side headlock that was pushed off as Vertigo manages to trip up the Bristolian. A forearm in return helps Buzzard back in, but he’s pulled down with an Edge-o-Matic out of the corner from Vertigo, who went for a V-Knee, only to get caught with a dropkick instead. A pendulum backbreaker gets Buzzard a two-count, before he chopped Vertigo into the corner. Vertigo fought out, but his tornado DDT’s countered into a suplex by Buzzard, who responded by clotheslining Buzzard out of the ring. A leg lariat catches Leyton as he made it back inside quickly, before a trip sent Vertigo into the ropes for a knee strike, an apron superkick then a missile dropkick.

Vertigo rolls outside to avoid getting pinned, and was joined by Buzzard, who took a swinging DDT with Vertigo rebounding off the ropes. Rushing back inside, Vertigo heads up top for a senton bomb for a near-fall. Taking too long to follow-up, Vertigo’s tripped into the corner as he ate another knee ahead of a Coast to Coast from Buzzard… again for a near-fall. A jack-knife roll-up nearly nicks it for Vertigo, who kicks Buzzard out of the corner before a clothesline and standing moonsault turned it around for the defending champion. Buzzard heads back up for a moonsault, but Vertigo rolled away and dove in with a V-Knee that almost won him the match. Vertigo heads back up top straight away, hitting a Vaughn-ton Bomb to the back of a bent-over Buzzard… who bounced back with a Buzzkill uranage for the swift win. Under seven minutes felt a little short, but they fought at a hell of a pace – and with the “series” 2-2, I’d not be averse to seeing a fifth go around on a wXw show… ***½

PROGRESS World Championship: Danny Black vs. Spike Trivet (c)
I came into this a little non-plussed with Danny as a challenger, given his less-than-sparkling win/loss record, although he does hold a win over Spike in the past…

Opening with a lock-up, Trivet goes after Black’s wrist and arm, manipulating the fingers as he went before Black avoided a stomp to the fingers. Spike goes to bite on Danny’s arm, clearly non-plussed at whatever catering was in Oberhausen, before Black broke free and scored with a cazadora for a two-count. A PK led to a standing moonsault, that Black styled out of… but Trivet goes for the nose out of spike, before he kicked away a handspring attempt from Black. Trivet’s sit-out front suplex adds a two-count, then punched out Black ahead of a headbutt that sent him into the corner.

Black’s whipped corner-to-corner for a running uppercut, then a sit-out butterfly suplex as Spike looked to close the door on this one in a hurry. A slap from Trivet sinks Black, who fought back with forearms… which had Spike ducking and covering, but it’s a ruse as he popped back with a Saito suplex for a two-count. Trivet takes Black down by the wrist, then stomped it into the mat, before black’s handspring swinging DDT manages to buy him some breathing room. A rolling Koppo kick from Black clips Trivet, who goes for the eyes again, only to get caught in the ropes for a springboard cutter through the ropes. Spike falls outside and takes a tope cutter dive as he continued to push on.

More biting from Spike stopped Black in his tracks, but Dannys’ able to block a Birthright… then boot Trivet away. Another attempt in the ropes is stopped as Spike went back to the nose, then drilled Black with a flying Codebreaker for a near-fall. A rolling forearm from Black looked to set up for an Out of the Black springboard cutter, but Spike swats it away, then landed a headbutt. A Corning hold from Spike leads to him going back to Black’s nose, but a rear spin kick gets Danny free for a while… leading to a one-man Spanish Fly out of the corner for a near-fall. Black tries to finish things with a wrist-clutch brainbuster, but Spike kicks out and rolled onto the apron, where he caught a handspring kick, then hit a Heatseeker piledriver onto the apron. From there, the Birthright followed to Danny Black, which wasn’t enough… so Trivet hits the .410 – a Made in Japan mixed with an ushigoroshi – and that’s enough to get the win. ***¼

These showcase cards can be very hit and miss, especially if you’re going in blind to someone who (for the most part) was getting less than ten minutes to showcase themselves. All in all, a decent enough card which whet the appetite in some cases, but left you wanting more from a lot of matches…