16 Carat Gold tournament final report 3-16 Oberhausen

By Markus Gronemann

here are the results of the final day of the wXw 16 Carat Gold
Tournament. Results courtesy of cagematch.net, analysis by Dark Mat EU.
This was a somewhat strange year as all three nights had good to great
matches, but for some reason it didn't feel like the Carats in past
years (we've gone every year since 2010). Some of the booking of day 3
was questionable and the fans reacted accordingly. While they came back
towards the end, some of the middle of the card lacked because the crowd
was puzzled and mad at some of the decisions. I can mostly see why they
did what they did, but logic would have demanded that some things be
booked differently. It almost felt like they wanted to surprise fans
more than actually book what makes the most sense. Also, with their
improved touring schedule, some decisions make a little more sense, as
they can set up multiple matches from the results here. Let's get to it:
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2014 Semi Final Match
Chris Hero defeats Adam Cole
Very good match with great heat and crowd involvement. Since the Inner
City Machine Guns match on Friday, soccer-style chants/singing of "All
Night Long" were omnipresent. Since another chant at Adam Cole was "You
Suck Dick", it begged to be followed by "All Night Long". Cole had a
blast with this and reacted like any true heel should. After the match,
when people chanted "please come back" at him, he looked like he
appreciated it before quickly screaming "you all suck dick" and leaving.
Six Way Match
Miguel Ramirez defeats Da Mack and John Klinger and Johnny Gargano and
Karsten Beck and Tommaso Ciampa
This was also very good, but may have been a waste of Gargano and
Ciampa. Mack being in the match was a red herring as people thought we
wouldn't get a rematch for the titles later. This started with Ramirez
and Beck in the ring, when Beck suddenly attacked Ramirez as the
entrances were still going on. Ramirez earned a spot in the match by
impressing the office during a seminar with Matt Striker over the
weekend. Mack was taken out with a piledriver on the apron by Beck and
helped to the back. Lots of crazy spots and everybody hitting their
finisher on everyone. Ramirez eventually pinned Beck.
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2014 Semi Final Match
Axel Tischer (w/Svetlana Kalashnikova) defeats Big Daddy Walter by DQ
Walter goes by Bog Daddy Walter instead of Big van Walter now, probably
because they have Vader coming in for a Legends Show in April. This was
one big clusterfuck of a match, totally overbooked and in the end, the
fans crapped all over it. This was sad, as the match up to the point a
million people ran in was great and the two had a built-in storyline as
they faced each other in the big title match on Saturday last year, when
Axeman was world champion and successfully defended against Walter.
Markus Weiss was the ref, the one who has the hots for Svetlana and
actually proposed to her mid-ring on Saturday, which she kinda accepted.
The downfall started with Keel Holding (Sasa Keel, Aaron Insane, Michae
Isotov and Kim Ray) running in. They also did that on Saturday and
Walter kicked and punched them and through all of them to ringside,
where they stayed around. Referee Markus Weiss just looked on. Then
Svetlana got involved and started punching and kicking Walter and jumped
on his back. He threw her off which she sold big and Markus Weiss
completely lost it. He screamed at Walter and carried Svetlana to the
back. Keel Holding came back in and together with Axeman they all beat
down Walter. Keel's guys held Walter so Axeman could kick him in the
nuts. Then they all hoisted Walter up like for the Shild triple
powerbomb, only it was a five-guy Liger driver. Referee Tassilo Jung
came running down and counted, but Walter kicked out. Up to this point,
the people went crazy, as they still thought Walter would beat the odds.
By that point, Robert Dreissker, Mike Schwarz and Ryuchi Kawakami came
down to beat on Keel Holding. Then world champion Tommy End and his
partner Michael Dante (Sumerian Death Squad) came down. Dante got on the
apron and distracted both Walter and the referee, Tassilo Jung. Tommy
snuck in the ring with the belt (I thought his own world title belt, but
probably it was Axeman's ShotGun! belt), went to clock Walter but
actually clocked Axeman. People cheered and thought Tommy came out to
stop all the bullshit with Keel's guys, especially as he cut a promo on
them on a special episode of ShotGun! that just went up the morning of
the show. He then kind of did the old Eddie Guerrero thing as he threw
the belt to Walter just as the ref turned around. Walter swore he didn't
do it, but the ref disqualified him with a smirking Tommy End waving
bye-bye to Walter at ringside. The fans kind of were dead and in shock
at that point and a massive chant of "bullshit" started.
Now I kind of get why they did what they did here. Walter can go through
all the Keel Holding guys until facing Sasa Keel in the end. Even a big
cage match as the blow off between them would make sense, even though
with the recent involvement of Svetlana in the latest cage match the
promotion did we've established that the cage can't keep people out.
Also Walter and Dreissker and Walter/Dreissker/Schwarz or
Walter/Dreissker/Stahl can face various permutation of the Keel Holding
guys. With their touring schedule, that makes sense and if booked
smartly, they can get 2-3 matches with a built-in storyline on those cards.
Yet people really don't care all that much against Axeman and a
Hero/Walter final just would have felt more adequate for the Carat,
which in the past has been pretty much devoid of screwjob finishes that
far in. It would have been a rematch from the 2010 finals, it would have
guaranteed a second-time winner as both had won before and the fans
would have gone crazy for both guys. Maybe even save the clusterfuck
with a million guys running in for the finals and have Hero and Walter
teaming up to get rid of them before continuing their match.
I guess they thought most fans expected that match for the finals though
and decided to give them something different, but as we say with WWE and
at time TNA time after time again: sometimes it's best to give fans what
they actually want instead of swerving them just for the sake of the
swerve. I don't want to say that this is something Russo would have
booked, but in a way, this was just the kind of overbooked thing with a
million swerves that you would see in TNA a few years ago.
Finally, it made no sense from a storyline perspective either: Why have
Markus Weiss ref a match when the Svetlana thing is one of their major
storylines and the officials know how biased he is? Why is there no DQ
when four guys are getting in the ring and try to attack one of the
guys? Why are they allowed to stay around ringside after already
interfering? Why don't any of the other referees, the ring announcer or
the head booker watching on from ringside alert the referee on what
happened with the belt shot, especially if the same ref DQ'ed Sasa Keel
on Night 1 just for dropping the chain he used to KO Walter post-match?
This was just bad and left the crowd flat for the next couple of
matches. Everybody I spoke to after the match just shook their head at it.
Six Man Tag Team Match
Keel Holding (Aaron Insane, Kim Ray & Sasa Keel) (w/Michael Isotov)
defeat Mike Schwarz, Robert Dreissker & Ryuichi Kawakami
Resulting from the previous match, this was set up. Story here was that
Kim, who fucked up Keel's victory on night 1 (he was the one who raised
Keel's hand, prompting him to drop the chain and get DQ'ed) and lost the
tag team match along with "bought henchman" Kawakami on night 2, had to
prove himself. He got beat down by all three faces, when he wanted to
tag out Keel and Insane dropped to ringside and told him to finish it up
on his own. They did eventually tag in and then refused to tag in Kim
Ray. Finish was Dreissker picking up Keel for a slam, Isotov and Insane
pulling his feet away from outside and holding them down. As expected
another fuck finish after that last match didn't improve the crowd's
mood at all.
Singles Match
Jon Ryan defeats Jonathan Gresham
This was a decent surprise and a god match that could have gone a few
minutes longer to become really great. Very mat-wrestling based with
lots of holds and counterholds. Finish was Ryan knocking Gresham out
with a stiff forearm to the face for the pin.
Tag Team Match
The Sumerian Death Squad (Michael Dante & Tommy End) defeat KUSHIDA &
Toby Blunt
This was good as the SDS are just great and KUSHIDa and Blunt teamed
well. Still kind of a waste of KUSHIDA, who didn't click with Axeman on
night 1 and teamed with Blunt on night 2 against Kim Ray and Kawakami in
a match thick with the Keel storyline as well. I'd rather have seen him
in a singles match against Bad Bones (who also is great with the puro
guys), against Gresham or in a tag with Gresham against Hot & Spicy. But
not to take anything away from this match, which was very good too, but
the crowd still was in recovery from the last two matches.
wXw World Tag Team Title Match
Hot And Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. & Da Mack) defeat Matt Striker & Trent
(c) - TITLE CHANGE !!!
This was the match that got the crowd back in a big way. It wasn't that
all-out crazy semi-main tag on night 3 as in former years (in a perfect
world, the Hot & Spicy vs. Inner City Machine Guns match from Friday
should have been in that spot, and a tag against Kushida/Gresham could
have been on that level too) but it was a really, really great match
with lots of heat and drama, Striker & Trent being hilarious and Axel
Dieter being the ultimate face in peril. Striker and Trent came out,
bickered about their team name, then said they were fighting champions,
would give Hot & Spicy a rematch when "they were at their best" (knowing
Mack was out injured) and after they won, would take the tag belts back
to the U.S. "forever". Axel Dieter Jr. came out and accepted, saying
he's face them on his own as Mack's old back injury was acting up again.
Striker made fun of him and got dropkicked for his troubles and it was
on. Axel held his own for a while but was overwhelmed. Striker and
Baretta just were awesome with their antics and interactions. At one
point they openly discussed strategy and Stiker did what Trent wanted,
loudly proclaiming "I will now do this thing which you asked of me",
then slammed Axel Dieter Jr. and proclaimed "wow, I'm strong!". Striker
also went to Dieter's corner and urged him tot ag him in. Eventually, Da
Mack came limping down mid-match. After a few minutes, Dieter managed to
tag him in and the place was on fire. Mack, while selling his back, took
care of business and they had a good last few minutes. They eventually
hit their double enzuigiri to win the gold back and the place exploded.
Striker put both guys over huge afterwards and even sugested that WWE
could use a team like them.
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2014 Final Match
Chris Hero defeats Axel Tischer
This had more drama than I thought it would, but I guess nobody really
gave Axeman a chance here. They brawled all around ringside early on.
Svetlana interfered and got pulled into the ring and almost ate a move
for her troubles but Axeman saved. They did lots of near falls and near
submissions, both kicking out of each others big moves and escaping each
others big submissions. Hero eventually won after a series of spinning
elbows. At one point, Axeman kicked out at about 2.99999999 or maybe
even 3.0000001 - Hero and referee Tassilo Jung both looked a bit
puzzled, so either this was supposed to be the finish or Axeman didn't
kick out in time, or it was just timed very, very well. He ate two more
big spinning elbows and then it was over.
Hero accepted the trophy and dedicated it to the fans, leaving it in the
ring for them. He also proclaimed he'd win the belt to chants of "next
world champ".
Overall a good but not great show, with the clusterfuck in the Walter
match, the somewhat wasted fly-ins in the six-way and the tag title
match not being all out crazy as in previous years. I guess they set
such a high standard that people are a bit disappointed if the not at
least hold it and expect them to even top it.
I would have had Dreissker eliminate Cole on night 2 and have done a
mentor/protege match with Walter and Dreissker as well as Hero/Axeman in
the semi-finals and Walter/Hero in the finals. That would have freed up
Cole to team with Gargano, who had great chemistry at the Q&A and could
have pitted to big world champions in a team. Them facing Hot & Spicy or
Trent & Striker would have been great.
I would still recommend everybody get the DVDs or video-on-demand when
its up in about two weeks, as it was great weekend and overall one of
the better set of indy shows you will see all year.

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