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wXw 16 Carat Gold night one results: WALTER vs. David Starr

Day one of the 2019 16 Carat Gold tournament is in the books -- and it was a very strong show with very good to great matches.

Fenix vs. Rey Horus, Timothy Thatcher vs. Lucky Kid, Ilja Dragunov vs. Daisuke Sekimoto, and WALTER vs. David Starr all were tremendous in their own ways, while the rest of the matches were not too far behind. The show was a really strong opener on what promises to be a great tournament and a fun weekend of wrestling.

wXw had about 1,300 fans in the main arena of the Turbinenhalle complex, featuring a number of freshly opened balcony areas. For Saturday, there are 1,500 tickets sold and Sunday should have another 1,300+.

The crowd, a mix of German casual and hardcore fans and a rowdy contingent of hardcore fans from the United Kingdom and Ireland, were lively and loud all night and will probably continue to be for the days to come.

Alternate four-way match: Veit Müller defeated Julian Pace, Kyle Fletcher, and Leon van Gasteren after hitting Pace with a DDT

Fun opener with three young and one experienced (van Gasteren) wrestlers. Pace at first overwhelmed everyone with his speed, but he was then quickly ganged up on.

Müller, who is aligned with RINGKAMPF, was the most over guy and was cheered wildly. They did a tower of doom spot and Müller at one point took a Flair bump but got dropkicked to the floor. Pace hit a Code Red on Fletcher for a near fall, then tried to follow up with a BME-style moonsault but got thwarted.

Müller eventually hit the DDT on Pace for the win.

Karsten Beck was brought out as the director of sports with the 16 Carat trophy and everyone paraded into the ring for a picture.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Axel Dieter Jr. defeated Marius al-Ani with a release Landungsbrücken suplex

It was surprising to see Axel Dieter Jr. (Marcel Barthel in NXT/NXT UK) so early in the card. The crowd was into him a lot, but he didn't get quite the hero's welcome he got back in December and the pops were still a bit low in the beginning.

They worked a very good match with Dieter hitting a lot of his spots, like a number of variations on a European uppercut, the Landungsbrücken suplex, and the headstand to escape from a headlock.

They did a sick-looking spot where Dieter dove through the ropes into the ring from the apron with a spear, while al-Ani did a scissors kick right into his neck with Dieter taking a brutal-looking bump on his head. Dieter went for the Axel Dieter (senior) special submission. al-Ani rolled out of it, only to be caught in the move right again.

al-Ani tried for a frog splash, but Dieter got his knees up. They traded yay/boo punches and Dieter finally hit a release Landungsbrücken suplex to pick up the victory.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Rey Fenix pinned Rey Horus after a sit-out Muscle Buster

This was a crazy lucha match with lots of insane flips, counters, and flying action. Fenix got to show off his incredible sense of balance pretty much right away, as he jumped from the middle to the top rope and back with ridiculous ease to avoid and counter arm drags.

Horus, not to be outdone, then hit a tornillo arm drag. Seconds later, Horus did a tope con giro over the turnbuckle to the outside. This had the crowd going crazy just minutes into the match.

As Horus missed a move and was sitting on the middle of the rope, Fenix jumped on the top turnbuckle and virtually ran along the top rope with a soccer kick to Horus' head. Wow. Fenix ate a DDT and a Spanish Fly for a near fall.

Fenix cleared the ropes 619-style on a whip-in and grazed a fan's head in the process. The fan thankfully took it in stride. Fenix then got the win with a sit-out Muscle Buster.

Amazing match, with some money being thrown into the ring after. BattlArts founder Yuki Ishikawa sat with us in the press section and seemed to have the time of his life watching this.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Shigehiro Irie pinned Chris Brookes after a Beast Bomber

They one-upped one another with playfully adjusting each other's knee pads early on. Brookes offered a handshake, which Irie accepted, then bowed, which Irie also mirrored, only to be slapped into the back of the head. Irie answered by pouncing Brookes halfway across the ring. Brookes avoided a sit-down splash and came back with a senton on a doubled-over Irie.

Irie escaped a brainbuster attempt, felled the bigger man with a headbutt, and hit the sit-down splash for a near fall. Irie removed his elbow pads and went for a Beast Bomber but got rolled up.

Brookes followed with a slingshot cutter and Praying Mantis Bomb for a near fall, then locked in an Octopus hold, countered into a Death Valley Driver, and followed with a cannonball senton into the corner. Irie then hit a Beast Bomber and picked up the win.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Lucky Kid pinned Timothy Thatcher with a roll-up

An excellent video package on Thatcher aired before the match, where he talked about his upcoming AMBITION match against his mentor (Yuki Ishikawa) and also how much wXw and RINGKAMPF had meant to him over the past few years.

Thatcher said that RINGKAMPF being his family wasn't just something he said but something he 100 percent meant. Thatcher said he made two very close friends in WALTER and Axel Dieter Jr., something he usually doesn't do in the wrestling business.

Thatcher said that they made decisions for themselves, as screenshots from Twitter of WALTER joining NXT UK were shown, while he had made decisions for RINGKAMPF. He said that if he met either of his two former RINGKAMPF brethren in the tournament, he wouldn't hold back.

To accentuate Thatcher's emancipation from RINGKAMPF, he also no longer came out to Antonín Dvorák's New World Symphony but rather Lonesome Boatsman by the Dropkick Murphys.

This was a rematch from last year's tournament -- and Thatcher right away showed he was serious about winning as he started to beat the ever-living hell out of Lucky, seemingly also wanting to declare independence from Fight Club: Pro's Schadenfreude stable in addition to RINGKAMPF.

The crowd adored Thatcher, and while they loved themselves some Lucky, they were firmly behind Thatcher on this one. Lucky early on did his leg-hugging spot, but he got slapped and gut-wrenched halfway across the ring for his trouble. Thatcher manhandled Lucky Kid with a chicken wing, butterfly suplex, and cross armbreaker.

Lucky briefly managed to get some offense in, but missed on a missile dropkick and Thatcher locked in a single-leg Boston crab. Lucky made it out and connected on a second missile dropkick, but he got caught in a Fujiwara armbar. Lucky managed a roll-up out of that position but quickly got beaten down again. Thatcher hit a top rope belly-to-belly and got a cross armbreaker -- but Lucky made the ropes.

They traded palm strikes and Lucky managed a small package off a German suplex attempt, then followed up with a roll-up for the upset win.

The crowd briefly was shocked, as was Thatcher, who looked pissed and upset and quickly left the ring, just as Lucky looked shocked at his own victory in the ring. Interesting result, with Thatcher being pushed with that tremendous video package and being considered one of the favorites to win the tournament this year.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round falls count anywhere match: Avalanche defeated Jurn Simmons after a Dreissker Bomb off a balcony barrier onto the ramp

A crazy, brutal brawl that also seemingly served as the blow-off to their feud.

These two had problems starting as far back as last October after Avalanche's partner Julian Nero got hurt and Simmons and partner in crime, Alexander James, mocked Avalanche. They traded wins in tag matches, as Avalanche tried out a number of partners, then segued into singles matches that left no clear winner, once going to a double countout, then a no contest as Simmons sped away in a car in their latest no countout match.

Simmons hit his massive Boot right out of the bat, but Avalanche no sold it and went for a Boulder Dash for a near fall, all in the opening minute. They brawled right to ringside and Avalanche got suplexed into a row of chairs.

They kept brawling and Simmons suplexed Avalanche into a raised metal stand, which left an Avalanche-sized dent in the metal. They brawled towards the stage and then out of the arena, as footage of the continuing brawl in the bowels of the Turbinenhalle aired on the big screen.

They brawled around a storage area, hitting each other with everything under the sun and trading a number of pinfall attempts on various stacks of stuff. Simmons hit Avalanche with a sheet of metal, then went to choke him out, but Avalanche wouldn't quit.

Avalanche found some metal steps backstage and leapt off them, but Simmons moved and he crashed into a pile of stuff. Simmons found a kendo stick, as those just lie around backstage at arenas everywhere. They brawled back into the beginning, with Simmons beating down Avalanche with his stick and even snapping it off Avalanche's back.

They ended up back in the ring, where Simmons had Avalanche down and actually cut a promo on him, telling him he was superior in every way. Simmons said he was about to slay the Monster of a Man, then went for the decapitation-style hit on the back of the neck with the kendo stick, just to have Avalanche come back and wrestle the kendo stick out of Simmons' hands

They brawled back into the crowd and up the stairs, where Simmons tried to climb over the barrier of a flight of stairs, around ten feet off the ground and the metal ramp they brawled on earlier. Avalanche knocked him off, then climbed the barrier himself and hit a Dreissker Bomb off the barrier onto Simmons on the steel ramp for the pin and the victory.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Pentagon Jr. defeated Mark Davis after a leaping Destroyer

Penta offered a hand shake, but just put the Cero Miedo hand gesture in Davis' face. On the second attempt, Davis slapped Pentagon's hand so hard his glove flew off.

A number of punches and leg kicks were ended as Davis hit a sit-down splash on Penta. Davis tried for a superplex but got thrown off and hit with a double foot stomp. Penta went for a piledriver, but it got countered into a Gold Coast Waterslide for a near fall.

Penta hit a springboard backcracker, but the leaping Destroyer got blocked. Davis hit a sliding punch, but Penta then rolled out of a pull-up piledriver and caught Davis' arm. Penta snapped it, then hit the leaping Destroyer for the win. 

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: Ilja Dragunov pinned Daisuke Sekimoto after Torpedo Moscow

Holy crap. This was an all-out, hard-hitting war between these two, as was to be expected and they did not disappoint for even a second. Dragunov, at one point, probably tried to set the record for most strikes thrown in a wXw match, as he just blasted Sekimoto with slaps and palm strikes for probably at least 30 seconds straight.

They locked up and Sekimoto went for a cross armbreaker, but it was countered as they fought on the mat. Sekimoto hit the first chop of the match. Dragunov retaliated with a lariat that missed, then ate a uranage backbreaker as he bounced off the ropes and into the ring.

Another chop dropped the mad Russian, followed by a vertical suplex and a Boston crab, which he eventually escaped. They traded brutal chops and forearms, which Dragunov seemed to revel in, asking for more.

Dragunov hit some clotheslines and lariats that sounded as brutal as they looked. He hit a Saito suplex and went for a back senton off the middle of the ropes but missed. Sekimoto then hit a gutwrench and locked in the Sharpshooter, but Dragunov made the ropes.

Sekimoto hit a big splash for another near fall. Dragunov came back with a swiveling lariat, but Sekimoto avoided it and hit a German suplex and a lariat of his own. Sekimoto followed with an enzuigiri that had Dragunov on his knees, but Dragunov got back up and hit a Death Valley Driver into the corner, followed by another back senton for a two count.

Dragunov then finally hit Torpedo Moscow for the win to advance into the next round.

16 Carat Gold tournament first round match: WALTER beat David Starr by referee stoppage with Gojira clutch

This match was preceded by another great video package, chronicling the history of WALTER and Starr and focusing on Starr never being able to beat WALTER before, no matter where in the world they wrestled.

Starr talked about all the things he had accomplished before -- but the one thing he failed at every time was beating WALTER. He said he was obsessed with beating him, while clips of WALTER aired where he said Starr was an egomaniac who only thought about himself. Starr picked WALTER to be his first round opponent. Words can hardly do this justice, just watch it yourself if you have around four minutes to spare. Starr was a tremendous promo with great emotional range here.

Starr went to attack WALTER right away before any introductions, but the big Austrian clobbered him with a forearm across the face. Starr was not impressed and kept attacking.

They ended up at ringside and Starr drove WALTER into the post. He then badly crashed and burned on a tope as WALTER sidestepped and Starr flew full speed into the first few rows of chairs in a crash that looked horrifying.

Starr was okay to continue and quickly found himself locked in a Boston crab back in the ring. As Starr escaped that, he was hit with a uranage slam for a near fall. WALTER went to the top, but Starr was right there with him and hit a belly-to-belly off the top.

They traded more strikes, then Starr leapt on WALTER's back and tried to apply the big man's own sleeper hold. As WALTER went to reach for the ropes, Starr slapped his hands away and hit a German suplex, which is a sequence WALTER usually does in many of his matches.

They went back and forth for a few minutes and WALTER had Starr down on is knees in the corner, when Starr, whose mouth was bloodied up by that point, defiantly spat a gob of blood on WALTER's chest in a great and disturbing visual. WALTER rubbed the blood off, then proceeded to slap Starr and lock in a sleeper of his own.

Starr got out but was immediately hit with a shotgun dropkick. Starr used a rana to get out of a powerbomb attempt and followed with Han Stansen for near fall. Starr tried lariat after lariat but got chopped down with hard blows to the chest. He managed to hit a Blackheart Buster for a near fall.

Starr hit a superkick, then hit the Product Placement for another close near fall that had the fans at the edges of their seats. Starr hit a number of forearms and WALTER actually begged off, but it was a con as he quickly hit a quick powerbomb and got the Gojira clutch as the crowd started booing.

Starr escaped and tried his own sleeper, but WALTER scaled the turnbuckles and fell back, breaking the hold. Starr, like a terrier, quickly locked in his own Gojira clutch again, then as WALTER escaped, hit a lariat to the back of the head, a German suplex, and another sleeper.

WALTER was down and the hold was locked in tight as the crowd roared for him to tap and Starr to finally beat him. WALTER eventually tapped, getting Starr to release the hold, but before that he had smartly positioned his foot under the rope -- which he quickly pointed out to the referee, so the match continued.

As Starr argued with the referee, WALTER snuck in and locked in another tight Gojira clutch, trapped Starr's arm, sank in the hooks with a bodyscissor, and finally sent Starr to sleep as the referee checked his arm and Starr could not keep it up.

The crowd booed as WALTER celebrated, even snatching a RINGKAMPF scarf from a fan, posing with it on the ramp, then throwing it back into the crowd. Starr looked devastated as he slowly slunk down the ramp and to the back.

Interesting booking here, with both Thatcher and Starr not being able to fulfill their quests or even make it out of round one. As wXw usually are very good at telling stories, it will be intriguing to see where things go from here for those two for the rest of the weekend and the upcoming weeks and months.

Other events -- 

wXw Inner Circle 8 at the wXw Academy (March 7, 2019) -- Attendance: 170 (sold out)

- David Starr defeated Jay Skillet in 7:27 after a powerbreaker

- Chris Brookes defeated Francis Kaspin, Julian Pace, and Avalanche in 5:45 after an underhook piledriver on Kaspin

Avalanche wore a plain black singlet as a tribute to King Kong Bundy here.

- Jurn Simmons defeated Kyle Fletcher in 9:05 after a low blow and a piledriver

- Ilja Dragunov defeated Mark Davis in 12:06 after Torpedo Moscow

Super hard-hitting match.

- Killer Kelly defeated Yuu in 7:55 after Carnation Revolution

- RINGKAMPF (WALTER & Timothy Thatcher) defeated Yuki Ishikawa & Shigehiro Irie in 24:43 when Thatcher submitted Irie in a Fujiwara armbar

This was an amazing match, especially if you enjoy submission-based strong-style matches. Thatcher and Ishikawa meet again on Saturday in the AMBITION super fight, in a UWF-style match.

16 Carat Bowled -- Oberhausen Open II (March 8, 2019)

This was a fun bowling tournament taking place after the action of day one, featuring fans and a big number of current and former wrestlers and wXw officials, officially endorsed by wXw and organized by the two Sarahs of the similarly named podcast.