Monday, January 2, 2017

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016: Night 3 Review

wXw's 16 Carat Gold Tournament reaches its conclusion!

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016: Night 3
Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany 3/13/16

1.) wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016 - Quarterfinals - Angelico vs. Drew Galloway: ***

The winner of this match is going to have the toughest path to winning the tournament, as they need to wrestle three matches in one night instead of two. This is happening because Galloway was unable to be on Night 2 because he was booked on a show in the UK. This was a relatively good opener, but considering who was involved, it could have definitely been better. The match only went about six minutes or so, and did feature some solid action, but I feel like it could’ve been better if they went for a few more minutes. In the end, Galloway would get the victory.

After the match, Galloway cuts a promo talking about his weekend, saying he hasn’t slept in two or three days, and that he plans to make history tonight. He calls out his opponent in the Semi-Finals, and it looks like we’re getting that match next!

2.) wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016 - Semi-Finals - Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Drew Galloway: ***1/2

This match was definitely a step up compared to the opener. It was a few minutes longer than the opener, and it featured some pretty good stuff from both guys. While wrestling two matches in a row an impressive feat for any wrestler, it’s even more so for Galloway, who wrestles an insane schedule. He deserves a ton of credit here. Axel Dieter Jr. was good here as well. Again, there were points in this match where the complaints about him (mainly that his matches are very John Cene-esque, meaning that he gets beat down for most of the match until he makes a brief comeback at the end to win) stood out, but at the same time, I thought he was mostly fine here. Axel Dieter Jr. would end up getting the win here to advance to the Finals!

3.) wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016 - Semi-Finals - Sami Callihan vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: ***3/4

The winner of this match would face Axel Dieter Jr. in the Finals. These two actually had a very good singles match at Evolve 55 several weeks prior. I thought this match was right on par with their encounter with Evolve. As a whole, I enjoyed it! The match had a good start, slowed down in the middle, but picked back up towards end to end on a high note. These two work very well together, and they produced another strong match in this tournament. Ultimately, Zack Sabre Jr. gets the victory, advancing to the Finals!

This means that the Finals of the 2016 edition of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament will be a Battle of the Jr.’s!!

4.) Six-Man Tag - Silas Young & Die Schilds (Bobby Gunns & Vincent The Beast) vs. Big Daddy Walter, Evolve Champion Timothy Thatcher, & Mike Schwarz: **3/4

Up next we have our first non-tournament match of the evening in the form of a Six-Man Tag. I thought this match was decent. It was cool to see Silas Young interact with people like Big Daddy Walter & Timothy Thatcher. Everyone seemed to work hard, although there appeared to be a few sloppy parts here and there, mainly from Die Schilds. In the end, some miscommunication between Mike Schwarz & Big Daddy Walter leads to Silas Young & Die Schilds getting the win.

After the match, Big Daddy Walter shakes hands with Timothy Thatcher (a fellow member of Ringkampf) but then slaps Schwarz for screwing up in the match.

5.) Aaron Insane & Toni Storm vs. Kevin Roadster & Melanie Gray: **1/4

This match is continuing the ongoing feud we’ve seen on the weekend of shows between Melanie Gray & Toni Storm. I thought this was fine for what it was. We basically got a combination of a more serious feud (Toni Storm vs. Melanie Gray) with the comedy from Aaron Insane & Kevin Roadster. Storm was able get revenge on Melanie Gray here by pinning her to win the match for her team.

6.) wXw World Tag Team Titles - Cerberus (Ilja Dragunov & Julian Nero with Adam Polak) vs. David Starr & Shane Strickland: ***1/4

Following their impressive performance on Night 2, David Starr & Shane Strickland are getting a shot at the wXw World Tag Team Titles. I thought this was a good match. It wasn’t the most spectacular tag team match in the world, but for being in the middle of the card, I thought it was perfectly acceptable. Starr & Strickland really jell well together, and Cerberus do a good job in their roles as wild men. Eventually, Cerberus are able to pick up the victory to retain their wXw World Tag Team Titles.

After the match, The Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) make their way out to the ring. End was on crutches, as he had suffered a minor knee injury around this time. He calls out the manager of Cerberus, Adam Polak, who responds by making fun of The Sumerian Death Squad, and Tommy End’s injury. End then reveals that he’s recovered, and The Sumerian Death Squad take out Cerberus, making it clear that they’re coming for the wXw World Tag Team Titles.

7.) Triple Threat #1 Contender’s Match - Da Mack vs. Kim Ray vs. Emil Sitoci: **3/4

The winner of this match will get a future shot at the wXw Shotgun Title. This was originally scheduled to be a Fatal Four-Way Match, but Emil Sitoci took out The Rotation with a tombstone piledriver on the entranceway before the match even began. Sitoci then cut an angry promo about The Rotation being “disrespectful” to him. This was a relatively fine triple threat match, clocking in at just under eight minutes. It didn’t set the world on fire, but it had its moments. Da Mack would eventually pick up the victory, securing himself a future opportunity at the wXw Shotgun Title.

Jurn Simmons, the new wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion , comes out to cut a promo explaining his betrayal of Karsten Beck the night before. He sings the song “Careless Whisper” (with his own lyrics) and talks about his dominance, mentioning how Absolute Andy & John “Bad Bones” Klinger weren’t there because they both got injured in the big title match the night prior. Simmons then says he needs to get rid of one more “insect” in wXw named Tyler Bate, and calls him out for a title match right now.

8.) wXw Unified World Wrestling Title - Jurn Simmons vs. Tyler Bate: **1/4

It’s pretty clear that there’s a massive size difference in this match. It only lasted about four minutes or so, but it was fun while it lasted. Bate actually put up a really good fight, and had Simmons reeling on a few occasions. I actually wish that the match could’ve been longer than it ended up being, because if it went on for another few minutes, it could’ve been even better. Alas, the match was relatively short, and Jurn Simmons ultimately got the win to retain his title.

9.) Marty Scurll & Trevor Lee vs. Will Ospreay & “Speedball” Mike Bailey: ****1/4

I was really looking forward to watching this match. It continued the famous rivalry between Will Ospreay & Marty Scurll (which has spanned several countries and multiple promotions), but added a unique twist on it with the additions of Mike Bailey & Trevor Lee (respectively). I thought this match was fantastic!! It was easily the Match of the Night, in my opinion. Of course, Ospreay & Scurll worked really well together. At the same time, Mike Bailey & Trevor Lee were great in this match as well. The match featured some awesome back & forth action from start to finish, and the fans were really into it. All four guys had some cool moments throughout, and this match was just a lot of fun to watch. Eventually, Scurll caught Bailey in the Crossface Chickenwing to win the match for his team.

10.) wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016 - Finals - Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: ***3/4

Of course, the winners of this match will be the winner of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament. Both men had tough roads to get to this point, but now they’re in the Finals. I thought this was a really good match. It wasn’t the best match of the tournament (though it was up there), and it wasn’t even the Match of the Night on this show, but both men worked very hard, and they produced an entertaining conclusion to the tournament. Zack Sabre Jr. was great, as he usually is, and Axel Dieter Jr. once again had a (relatively) impressive outing. There could only be one winner, however, and in the end, Zack Sabre Jr. was able to get Axel Dieter Jr. to tap out to win the 2016 edition of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament!! Even though it seemed like the finish came out of nowhere, the reaction of the crowd to finish, and Zack Sabre Jr.’s reaction to winning the tournament, definitely added a lot.

After the match, Zack Sabre Jr. celebrates with the trophy as confetti flies throughout the building. He then shakes hands with Axel Dieter Jr. before cutting a promo saying that he’s amazed at how far wXw has come. He talks about wXw (and Germany in general) being his second home, and mentions how good European Wrestling is right now. Finally, he says that he will be cashing in his tournament victory for a title shot at Jurn Simmons, and continues his celebration as the show came to a close.

Overall: 7.75/10

This was probably the weakest of the three tournament shows, but with that being said, it was still pretty solid. There was, of course, Marty Scurll & Trevor Lee vs. Will Ospreay & “Speedball” Mike Bailey, which was easily the standout Match of the Night. While none of the tournament matches on this show (the finals included) were great, they all ranged from good to very good, and seeing Zack Sabre Jr. win the tournament was a very cool moment. What hurt the show most was a middle portion of the card, which featured a number of non-tournament matches that ranged from ok to decent. If that section of the card had been better, I think this could have been on par with the first two nights. Alas, even with its faults, this was still a pretty solid way to conclude the 2016 edition of the 16 Carat Gold Tournament.

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