by Patrick and Markus Gronemann
Day three of the wXw/CZ/BJW World Triangle League is in the books. As anticipated, this show was even better than the one the day before and was on par with some of the best 16 Carat Gold shows the company ever had. The card saw the final decisions in the three World Triangle League blocks and featured a few surprises in the way things turned out.
The one (minor) piece of criticism one could direct on the company is the lack of explaining/decoding the ramifications of the various tournament matches. Block A, for example, had all four participants tied at three points each, so depending on the previous days’ results and depending on who beat who on this card, not only in their own match but the other remaining match of the block on the card, then winner of the block would be decided. I’m not sure if New Japan does this for the G-1 in match announcing, but I would have liked some explanations about what ramifications a certain result would harvest. That being said, they might do this on commentary for the DVDs and it wasn’t a deal breaker. This also was the first major round-robin tournament they did (they do one every year for a spot in the 16 Carat tournament), so they could improve on this specific point in the future.
The show again took place in the new wXw Arena in the Turbinenhalle complex in Oberhausen, Germany. Again, no crowd numbers announced, but I’d guess about 350 or a little more.
1.) WTL Block A: Drew Gulak (6) beat AR Fox (3)
Really great opener. They started with a bit of mat wrestling. Fox hit a flying elbow on Gulak in the corner and later went for a 10-punch in the opposite corner. They went to the outside and Gulak slammed him face first on the apron. Back in the ring, Fox was in an arm-lock and wanted to kip up, while Gulak kicked away his upper body in mid-move. Ouch! Fox did go for his multi-jump arm-drag, but Gulak yanked him down from the ropes. Fox threw him to ringside and followed up with three(!) different topes and planchas, to a huge pop. Missile dropkick by Fox for a near fall, followed by a spinning dead valley driver for another one. Gulak came back with a bridging suplex for another near-fall. He went to the top, only to get kicked in the face by Fox for his troubles. As he went to the top rope, Gulak hit an uranage from the top rope and followed up with a lariat. He eventually locked in the University Stretch (dragon sleeper) and Fox was out after a few seconds.
Gulak, at six points would go on to the finals, if Ricochet (who he had a win over) would beat Zack Sabre Jr. (who he had lost to) in the other A block match. Of course, if Ricochet lost, Zack would be in. Pretty sure this went over the head of most people, so they should have talked about it.
2.) WTL Block B: Robert Dreissker (3) beat Yuko Miyamoto (3)
Dreissker went in at 0 points, so this was more a match to save his honor than to really move forward in the tournament. Mean guy match. Miyamoto out in a shiny white Japanese robe. Dreissker dominated early on with slams, then they went into test-of-strength-mode and started shoulder-blocking one another. Dreissker won and hit an elbow drop. Miyamoto started working the left arm to weaken the giant. He went for a body slam but couldn’t do it at first. He got it on the second try and went for the arm again, eventually locking in an arm-bar but Dreissker eventually slammed out of it. Dreissker with a slam of his own and a big splash for a near-fall. Back and forth action, until Miyamoto managed a second body-slam on Dreissker. The big man managed to come back, hit a huge power slam, followed by a Vader bomb from the corner and got the win.
So Bad Bones, who had beaten both guys in this match and Jonathan Gresham, who beat Dreissker but lost to Miyamoto would be the decider of the block.
3.) The Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) beat The Winning Combination (DJ Hyde & Karsten Beck) and Axel Dieter Jr./Freddy Stahl
The SDS, which of course features the current wXw World Unified champion Tommy End came out first. He first responded to the crowd calling Dante his waterboy by explaining Dante was just always thirsty because he had a dry mouth from going down on our mothers all the time. Poor Dante! He then cut a promo on the guys in the tournament, talking about how they only fought to find out who was the second best, since he wasn’t in and how CZW and Big Japan were only second-rate companies, compared to wXw. This brought out DJ Hyde and Beck. DJ, who must be one of the most underrated promo guys in the business today, cut an awesome promo on End. The fans with the “DJ Hyde Fuck counter” got their money’s worth again. We were in the two-digits within a minute and the end result was somewhere in the 37-range. He talked about Tommy begin a joke, how he’d screw his mother, how he’d make him his bitch, etc. SDS stole Karsten Beck’s traditional towel and wanted to also get DJ Hyde’s CZW scarf. He nonchalantly told them it would be 10 euros at the merch table. Third team out was Dieter and Stahl, since Hyde had attacked Stahl the day before.
I went to throw Hyde’s CZW scarf, which he had put over the turnbuckles on our corner to the SDS and Dante put it on. A bit later, as Hyde proceeded to choke him with it, he decided that “that was not a good idea”. It basically broke down into a wild brawl at ringside, with Hyde and Tommy going at it on one side and everybody else on the other side. Back in the ring, Tommy hit some hard kicks on Hyde. Some cool double-team moves by SDS on everybody. SDS eventually won when Tommy gave Axel Dieter Jr. a German, Dante proceeded to deadlift Dieter up for a powerbomb and slammed him onto Tommy’s knees.
After the match, Stahl still wanted to go after DJ Hyde for what had happened the day before. Hyde cut a promo on him and told him he’d face him, but only if it was under CZW Ultraviolent Death Match rules.
4.) CZW Ultraviolent Death Match: Freddy Stahl beat DJ Hyde
Stahl went to chop him. DJ smiled, pulled his singlet down and told him to have a go. He no-sold it. Then, as a birthday present to poor Fredd (he turned 22) he made a nice, rare steak out of poor Freddy’s chest and slapped it all colors of the rainbow. They brawled to ringside and Hyde worked him over on the ramp. He got a Generico mask from the merch table, put it on Stahl and beat him up some more. Hyde got some chairs from under the ring and threw them in the ring. He piled them onto Stahl and hit a running Senton for a near-fall. He went for the lariat, but Stahl grabbed him and hit a high German suplex onto the pile of chairs. Hyde got some wooden constructions and wooden boards from under the ring and proceeded to build a “table”. He also had the ref help him. He wanted to hit a lariat on Stahl through the table, but Stahl escaped and they ended up fighting on the ropes in the corner. Stahl eventually slipped under Hyde, picked him up on his shoulders and hit a running powerbomb on Hyde through the table for the win. Fun brawl and the rise of Stahl continues.
5.) WTL Block A: Zack Sabre Jr. (6) beat Ricochet (3)
Awesome match! These two worked a few times in the UK the week before, so they knew each other pretty well and had a great, dramatic and very smooth match. Ricochet had no chance to still make the finals, but he’d be the deciding factor on if Gulak or Zack would go on to the finals. Sadly they never mentioned that, but Gulak took matters into his own hands and was great. First, he was at the wrestler’s lounge behind the merch tables, watched the match and started chanting and clapping for Ricochet, chanting advice at him, berating Zack and shouting at the ref at various points. Later in the match he came down to ringside to cheer Ricochet on. At one point he yelled at Ricochet and told him to “use the muscles, you idiot”. They started with mat-based wrestling, trading holds and throws. Eventually they brawled to ringside, stood on the elevated ramp for the fans and traded kicks, eventually hitting a simultaneous kick and both falling down. Ricochet ran down the ramp and gave Zack, who was on the floor a flying headscissors. He then climbed the structure surrounding the wrestler’s lounge and hit a moonsault onto Zack. Back in the ring, they traded offense with nobody really coming out on top for a few minutes. Zack went for a guillotine, Ricochet slammed him into the corner, but Zack still held on. Ricochet then hit a northern lights suplex, but Zack still wouldn’t let go. Ricochet then hit another high suplex to finally get out. They tried a backslide but Zack flipped over and hit a beautiful dragon suplex for a near-fall. Ricochet went for the 630° but Zack rolled out of the way. Zack with the armbar, but Ricochet managed to reach the ropes. They traded roll-ups and bridging combinations and Zack eventually got the pin with a Brookside Closing Hold.
Gulak at ringside went absolutely crazy and threw a huge fit. He got on the apron and started screaming at Ricochet and repeatedly slapped him in the face and spit on him. Ricochet eventually had enough and hit an enzuigiri on Gulak. So Zack is in the finals of the World Triangle League, representing wXw.
6.) wXw Shotgun Championship: Ilja Dragunov (w/ Svetlana Kalashnikova) beat Carnage by DQ
Dragunov and Svetlana are so great and have this gimmick down pat. They are just an awesome item. Ilja is this really babyface looking but mean Soviet-style heel, complete with Soviet flag and CCCP gym jacket. Svetlana is the hot Russian babe in full military gear, including an aviator hat and aviator sunglasses, military jacket and camouflage hot pants with an ammunition belt, a complete crazy woman, screaming at everybody, kicking at the ropes and screaming for her man. She’s everything that was great about all the heel valets back in the 80s and reminds me a bit of how Sherri Martel would act around Randy Savage or later Ric Flair in WCW. She also sang the Soviet anthem to MASSIVE boos. Carnage came out and cut a borderline neo-nazi promo, talking about victory, honor, a three-front-war (the referee Markus Weiss has the hots for Svetlana, an angle they mostly did on their internet show Shotgun, which is also the show all the Shotgun title matches are being shown at), how today, they would take Stalingrad, etc. The way he talked and also his voice came across very Hitler-like. He also told Svetlana if she got involved, he’d yank her down to her knees on her pigtails and stuff her mouth. She got very, very mad at this. Since his gimmick is also that of a totally ripped crazy man, he got away with it and was ridiculously over with the fans. Oh well, whatever. People started singing the German national anthem.
Carnage rag-dolled Ilja around, beat him up, slammed him, threw him from one corner into another and totally dominated him. The ref repeatedly tried to stop his onslaught. At one point, Carnage went after Svetlana at ringside, ripped her jacket off and tried to go after her sports bra. Of course, the fans loved that. Svetlana got on the apron on the other side of the ring, behind Ilja. Carnage stormed towards him and wanted to give him a giant slap on the chest, but Ilja moved and carnage slapped Svetlana instead, who bumped to ringside into a pile of chairs. Referee Markus Weiss, mad with love and concern then proceeded to disqualify Carnage. The fans went crazy. Carnage went crazy (even more crazy in his case). He wanted to attack the ref, but all the other refs (co-owner Tassilo Jung, Rainer Ringer and even BJW referee Yuki Lee) came running out to calm Carnage down and stop the attack. They then all began to shout at Markus Weiss for being such an idiot with Tas repeatedly shoving him into the corner. So this will probably something that will play out on the Shotgun internet show and might eventually end up with Markus Weiss losing his job as a referee.
7.) WTL Block C: Drake Younger (3) beat Kim Ray (0)
As with Dreissker before, this was all about honor for both guys, as they went in at 0 points. Kim Ray starting off with kicks. Fans heckled Kim and yelled at him that all he’s good at is throwing kicks. He wasn’t amused. Drake with a northern lights suplex and Kim Ray shortly after with a back suplex of his own. Ray choked him on the ropes with his boots. Drake with a backslide for a near-fall, 10 punches in the corner, a German suplex and a sit-out powerbomb for a bunch of near-falls. Kim Ray with some hard chops, at one point he told Drake “look what I learned yesterday”, referring to the beatdown Walter had given him. Drake with a lariat and then a top-rope Michinoku driver. Kim Ray got a final near-fall with an enzuigiri before Drake hit the Drake’s Landing for the win. Fans love themselves some Drake Younger and he is a pretty good wrestler too, now that he stopped the death match stuff.
8.) WTL Block B: Jonathan Gresham (6) beat Bad Bones (6)
This was to decide block B and Bad Bones was the big favorite here. Hell of a match and Gresham is probably the best little guy in the business. If WWE really want an underdog kid’s hero à la Rey Mysterio, they should just sign Gresham and let him do his thing. Bones started off with shoulder blocks and repeatedly threw Gresham down. Gresham came back with kicks, punches and elbow until Bones shut him down with a side slam. Gresham came back with a back suplex, then twice thwarted a boot by Bad Bones when charging him in the corner. Bones with a huge missile dropkick that nearly took Gresham’s head off. Bones signaled for the end and wanted to hit a German. In one of the most incredible spots of the night, both guys channeled their inner Road Warrior and traded six(!!!) release German suplexes, popping up after each one they took to hit one of their own. The crowd got louder and wilder with each! Gresham finished the sequence with an amazing deadlift backdrop driver. Bad Bones hit a huge sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall and proceeded to stomp Gresham’s head into the mat with a hard running curb stomp. Gresham came back with a running dropkick into Bad Bones who was sitting in the corner – I labeled it “fuck this, I’m a tree”. Gresham with a German, a huricanrana and another deadlift German, prying Bones free from the ropes. Gresham went to the top for a shooting star and a near-fall and followed up with a soccer kick of doom to Bad Bones’ arm and another shooting star on said arm for the pin, then win and the B block spot in the finals. Really great performance by both guys.
9.) WTL Block C: Daisuke Sekimoto (7) and Big van Walter (7) went to a time-limit draw
WOW! These two again delivered in what is the World-Triangle (wXW/CZ/BJW) version of Tanahashi/Okada in NJPW, Misawa/Kobashi in AJPW or Steamboat/Flair in the NWA. They just don’t know how to have a bad match with one another and their styles just complement each other so well. It was one of these matches that would start slow and you’d think OK, good match but not great and turn into a classic where in the end you are just blown away and couldn’t really say how you got there.
As for stats, this was their fifth singles match since March 2010 and their first one since March 2012, with Walter leading the series 3-1 (Walter beat Daisuke in an early round of the Carat 2010 tournament, Daisuke beat him for the wXw Unified title in January of 2011 in Germany, Walter regained the title in Japan in May of the same year and they again faced off for the title during the 2012 Carat, when Walter was able to successfully defend it). They also faced off in tag- and six-men matches in Germany and Japan over the years with Walter’s teams also having a 3-1 edge. They also teamed twice in the past and were successful together in these instances.
Power moves and tests of strength early, lock-ups, shoulder blocks, which eventually Walter won. Chops, kicks, slams, strong-style heaven. Eventually, Daisuke started attacking Walter’s leg, the same one that Kim Ray had tortured with repeated leg kicks the day before (plus, Kim Ray had been training at the Big Japan dojo in the past, so there might have been a master plan in the works). Walter, always wanting to protect the business, decided that he wanted his right leg worked over instead of the usual left leg, to make it seem more real. Daisuke eventually ripped Walter’s knee brace and the bandages beneath off and went to work on the leg with kicks, stomps, punches and eventually a figure-four. Walter turned it around so the pain was on Daisuke, but Daisuke rolled back once more and Walter made the ropes. He limped hard by that point. More chops, kicks, lariats. Daisuke at that point just violently kicked the leg out from under him time and time again. Walter eventually hit a huge sit-out tombstone piledriver out of nowhere for a near-fall. He then went for his power bomb finish but Daisuke back-dropped out of it. Back suplex and a Deadlift German by Daisuke. Sasori-gatame (scorpion deathlock) by Daisuke with 20 seconds left. Walter in tremendous pain but not tapping. Time runs out!
They announced that since both would have seven points now, and this was the deciding match against one another, they’d decide the winner by coin toss. Both guys and the fans were mad as hell! Co-owner Jakobi tosses the coin, Daisuke says “fuck you”, catches it in mid-air and throws it into the crowd. They announced that “since the coin-toss was also unable to decide a winner, the match would go into over-time”. YAY!!! The coin toss was a great idea to get the crowd really hot and steaming mad. Fine work from the office there.
9a.) WTL Block C: Daisuke Sekimoto (9) beat Big van Walter (6) via submission
Guess points for both were reset to 6 since they ignored he draw and went into overtime. Walter on offense. He went to the top for a big splash. Daisuke got to him first, picked him up and actually military pressed the big man to the mat. Deadlift German suplex by Daisuke for near-fall! Daisuke with a frog splash onto Walter’s leg, followed by another Sasori-gatame. He had it locked in tight and after a hard struggle, Walter had no choice but to tap! Daisuke goes to the finals!!! Walter grudgingly went back into the ring and shook the hand of his arch-nemesis.
World Triangle League Finals:
Zack Sabre Jr. (wXw, block A winner) vs. Jonathan Gresham (CZW, block B winner) vs. Daisuke Sekimoto (BJW, block C winner)
1. Zack Sabre Jr. (6)
2. Drew Gulak (6)
3. Ricochet (3)
-. AR Fox (3)
1. Jonathan Gresham (6)
2. Bad Bones (6)
3. Yuko Miyamoto (3)
-. Robert Dreissker (3)
1. Daisuke Sekimoto (9)
2. Big Van Walter (6)
3. Drake Younger (3)
4. Kim Ray (0)
At 10.00 pm, there was an after-show party with most of the wrestlers at the same Three-Sixty sports bar that also had the Q&A the day before. Fun for what it was, also the rather unspectacular Klitschko heavyweight boxing fight was on. Most of the wrestlers left after the fight was over. DJ Hyde walked around and slapped a fan on his bare chest to the puzzlement and horror of the staff and other patrons at the bar. Bad Bones hung around for a while and talked to some fans. We left shortly before midnight, so no idea if any other shenanigans went on. Some office people posted on Facebook as late as 5 a.m., so I guess they stuck around for a bit longer. A Westside Dojo show, scheduled for the Oberhausen sports festival on 10/6 was canceled on short notice in the morning, but I don’t think one got anything to do with the other.
We’ll be back with the results of the final show, which starts in about 90 minutes. Besides the three-way final match, there is also a TLC match scheduled with some/all(?) of the remaining guys from the World Triangle League – Ricochet, AR Fox, Drew Gulak, Bad Bones, Walter, Gulak along with tables, ladders and chairs, this sounds like a terrible, wonderful idea!
Patrick & Markus Gronemann
Dark Mat EU