wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold: Obertraubling





wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold: Obertraubling

By Big Red Machine
From February 08, 2020

wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold: Obertraubling
OLIVER CARTER & NORMAN HARRAS BACKSTAGE - Good. They address the possibility that they might meet in the tournament finals and each agree that they’ll “let the best man win.” They joke about how they know they will meet in the finals because their semifinal opponents are chumps. Julian Pace heard them making fun of him and bragging about their attack on him last year, so he came over and cut a promo on them, vowing to get revenge on the two of them tonight en route to earning himself a spot in 16 Carat Gold, and then to go on to win the tag titles with Leon vanGasteren from their buddies the Pretty Bastards at the next show to get revenge on them, too.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK A SEMIFINAL MATCH:
Julian Pace vs. Norman Harras - 6.5/10


I F*CKING HATE that spot where the babyface has the fans hold a heel down so he/she can chop them. It’s clearly interference and thus should be a DQ, and is also the babyface putting fans in jeopardy, because a heel shouldn’t have any problem fighting back against fans that grab at him/her.

Other than that one spot, this was solid babyface vs. heel stuff. We had something on the line, a story going on to make us want to see the babyface beat this particular heel, and a well-constructed shine-heat-comeback-falsies-finish layout. Harras, the bigger man, worked over Pace’s back, while Pace, the fiery babyface out for revenge, mostly just tried to punch Harras in the face as much as possible (which also plays into the finish of the Kafigschlacht on the previous show where Harras’ jaw was injured by David Starr putting him in a crossface using a chair… which they made sure to remind us of in the backstage segment they had above).

ZACH COOPER PROMO - Fine babyface stuff, but a little too cliched. It started too feel like he was trying too hard towards the end.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK A SEMIFINAL MATCH:
Oliver Carter vs. Zach Cooper - 5.75/10


They did the “fans hold the heel so the babyface can hit him” spot for the second match in a row. I REALLY hope this doesn’t keep happening all night.

These two had a solid, believable match, although Cooper definitely could have sold his leg better. They used the relatively unique set-up of this venue where the ring is right against the stage (with no ramp of any sort) and the stage floor is actually a little higher than the ring for a very good count-out tease after Cooper took a bump off the top and onto the stage, which looked like it hurt like hell. Carter got the win to set up the match with Julian Pace later on tonight, but Cooper definitely showed me enough to make me want to see a bit more of him.

HEKTOR PROMO - Good stuff. He has left a path of destruction all over Europe, and will continue to do so now that he is back in wXw and on his way to 16 Carat Gold.

THE ROTATION PROMO - Very good babyface stuff. He needs to qualify for 16 Carat Gold to have finally “achieved something” in the ten-year window he had set for himself as a young boy attending his first wXw show.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK B SEMIFINAL MATCH:
The Rotation vs. Hektor - 6.75/10


This was a very good big mean heel vs. underdog flippy babyface match. The Rotation picks up the win here, following up on his win from the previous show, which was his first-ever win on one of wXw’s big annual events. Things are looking up for The Rotation.

ABSOLUTE ANDY PROMO - You know what? Andy’s got a damn good point! For all he has accomplished in wXw, the idea of him being an alternate in a qualifying tournament for 16 Carat Gold is pretty darn disrespectful.

LEVANIEL PROMO - Entertaining, as usual.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK B SEMIFINAL MATCH:
Levaniel vs. Absolute Andy - 5/10


Was the crotch-grabbing spot funny and did it have a good payoff? Yes. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that it should have been a DQ because grabbing your opponent down there is clearly illegal! Other than that one spot, this was good for what it was. As characters there two are the most entertaining in the whole promotion, so getting to see them have a match that allowed them to be their entertaining selves while still not losing the premise that this is supposed to be a serious competition was a nice little treat.

ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. MARIUS AL-ANI vs. JURN SIMMONS - 8/10


Not to put too fine a point on it, but my guess is that because wXw knew that the main event of this show was the biggest singles match of either man’s career so far and neither has proven themselves as a main event level singles wrestler yet, these three were told to go out there and make sure the fans would get at least one match that was worth their money, and these three went out there and did that.

DAVID STARR SIT-DOWN INTERVIEW - GREAT build for his title vs. wXw career match against Bobby Gunns at 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 2.

ANDY JACKSON INTERVIEWS ILJA DRAGUNOV - GREAT! I guess they wanted a bit of storyline separation from WWE in terms of the “Kartsen’s new investor” angle from the 19th Anniversary Show so Ilja revealed here that he is the new business partner. This was a smooth transition (or maybe it was the plan all along and I was reading too much into things, but the idea just feels a little to right for it not to at least be something wXw wants us to subconsciously associate with this storyline), as Ilja bending things to his own benefit makes just as much sense as WWE bending things to their contracted talent’s benefit would have.
Ilja then cut a great promo on David Starr to build up his match Starr in less than two weeks at Dead End XIX, which will be an unsanctioned match. Ilja specifically demanding the chance to put Starr down once and for all in the city where David Starr cost him and WALTER the tag titles last year definitely feels like something Ilja would do. I also appreciated that they had Ilja put over himself over for being smart enough to book this match when he did, as when he surely (in his own mind, anyway) wins, he will not only be getting his revenge on Starr but if Starr beats Bobby Gunns for the title next month, Ilja will then have an outstanding pin on the wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion, getting himself up for a title shot.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK B FINALS:
Absolute Andy vs. The Rotation - 7/10


More great big mean heel vs. flippy underdog babyface stuff. This is definitely the biggest win of The Rotation’s career, and he even got a big post-match show of respect form the heel Andy as well.

ABSOLUTE ANDY SOLIDIFIES HIS BABYFACE TURN BACKSTAGE - Good. Andy arrives backstage where Julian Pace is warming up for his match. Pace gives Andy a “you’ll get ‘em next time” type of line and a nice hug as a show of respect. He then ran into Oliver Carter and Norman Harras, who made fun of him for losing to The Rotation. Pace came over to back Andy up, and Andy challenged one of them (I couldn’t tell which one) to get the Pretty Bastards and face him and VollGasteren in a six-man tag in Bielefeld next week.

I can see some people feeling that this is out of character for Andy, but I actually don’t think it’s out of character at all. This version of heel Absolute Andy we’ve seen over the past year loves affirmation. His insecurities and need for affirmation have been played for comedy over the past year, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t have serious applications as well. I can absolutely (no pun intended) see this Andy latching on the respect Pace just showed him- especially when compared to the disrespect that Carter and Harras showed him, as well as his recent issues with his ally and supposed friend Jay Skillet- and deciding that he is going to stand up for Pace in the face of people who Andy already has reasons to not like.

16 CARAT GOLD QUALIFYING TOURNAMENT BLOCK A FINALS:
Julian Pace vs. Oliver Carter - 7.25/10


A lot more good babyface vs. heel stuff. I really liked the way they did the finish, which saw Andy come out to help Pace overcome interference from Harras. Pace then grabbed a chair that Carter had tried to hit him with and hit Carter with the chair while Andy distracted the referee before hitting his finisher for the win. The babyface gets his revenge but the feud can continue with the heels giving a bullsh*t reason. More importantly, though, I can see a rather interesting story coming out of this where Andy becomes a second mentor to Pace who encourages Pace to use some heelish tactics, much to the consternation of Pace’s current mentor and tag team partner Leon van Gasteren.

Final Thoughts
This was a fun little show from wXw. The wrestling was very good, we got some storyline advancement, and some very good build to both Dead End XIX and to the Unified World Wrestling Title match at 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 2. it was very easy to sit through at just under two hours and twenty minutes, and had fun mix of talent as well. Definitely a recommended show for any fan of wXw.

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