wXw 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 1





wXw 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 1

By Big Red Machine
From March 06, 2020

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2020: Night 1

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
“Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Ridgeway - 6/10


There was some good action, but I can’t give it any higher a rating than this because Speedball suffered form his usual problem of not selling while he was on offense. The moment it was time for Speedball to get his sh*t in, the damage done to his knee just disappeared.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Lucky Kid vs. Jurn Simmons - 4/10


Lucky Kid was distracted by a weird eye graphic appearing on the Tron, which almost allowed Jurn to put Lucky away in mere seconds. The match did wind up being short, but it was full of action, including Jurn pulling out a standing moonsault. Jurn won, and the announcers made big deal out of last year’s winner being eliminated in the first round.

RUST TAYLOR & THE ROTATION BACKSTAGE - Ominous. Rust gives The Rotation a big pep talk, but then also tells Lucky (and us) that he won the alternates match earlier tonight, so if it comes down to him and Lucky, “I’m going to take that spot from you.” Obviously Rust’s line can be interpreted as him hinting that he might try to take The Rotation out, but I’m actually more interested in the less insidious interpretation, just because I don’t think wXw would have teased this if it wasn’t going to matter later, so now I’m interested to see who winds up not making it to day 2 so that Rust can step in.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Puma King vs. The Rotation - 6/10


They did some cool stuff, but really this was about the story of whether The Rotation could actually pick up a win on this big stage. He did so, and the crowd went nuts for it.

JURN SIMMONS & MARIUS AL-ANI TALK SOME TRASH AT EACH OTHER BACKSTAGE - More teasing of a confrontation in this budding rivalry.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Eddie Kingston vs. Daniel Makabe - 6.5/10


Their styles meshed in a very interesting way. Kingston cut a GREAT promo after the match.

JULIAN PACE GOES TO THE BATHROOM BACKSTAGE - And doesn’t get attacked this time. Good for him, I guess? This was a very odd thing to show us.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Bandido vs. Julian Pace - 7.25/10


After all of the time they’ve put into Pace over the past year, it was good to see them give him the time (and the opponent) to have a quality singles match. The last few minutes of this were particularly great.

THE FIRST TWO PARTICIPANTS NAMED FOR CATCH GRAND PRIX ARE - J.D. Drake and Laredo Kid. Huh. Both are great wrestlers, but when you call something the “Catch Grand Prix” I think more along the lines of an Anthony Henry or Veit Muller or Munenori Sawa.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Black Taurus vs. Shigehiro Irie - 7.75/10


Black Taurus appears to be Mantaur with a 21st century aesthetic. These two had a heck of a hoss fight.

ALEXANDER JAMES PROMO - I’m sorry, but that “royal cape” thing he’s wearing looks way too goofy.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Alexander James vs. Jeff Cobb - 6.5/10


James hit Cobb with a Tower of London off the apron onto the concrete floor, which looked like it sucked for both guys. This led to a count-out tease that I only bring up because it so startled me that the referee was counting at normal speed rather than the usual very slow cadence thart wXw uses for count-outs so as to give the wrestlers as much time as possible on the outside while still feeling consistent. This one was inconsistent with the rest, and thus problematic. Just like you can’t ignore a count-out while the wrestlers fight on the outside until they’re ready to do the count-out tease, you also can’t speed up your usual enforcement of a rule just because you want to set up a count-out tease.

During a double-down, Killer Kelly came out to cheer for Alexander James. I don’t know if that’s her way of saying she is ready to get back together with him after wanting a cooldown period after he… well… pushed her and tried to hit her with a kendo stick because she tried to beg him to show Jurn Simmons some mercy and end his power trip after he won the right to cane Jurn ten times back in December and James accused her of trying to “ruin my moment.”

James spotted her and ordered her to the back. They argued, but Kelly eventually went. This arguing gave Cobb time to recover and take control of the match. AJ took control of the match back, but Cobb won soon after.

16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Marius Al-Ani vs. Cara Noir - 6.75/10


Al-Ani took about 90% of the match, but they used that fact to establish Cara Noir’s sleeper as lethal. I’d love to see these two get time to have a longer match.

ABSOLUTE ANDY & JAY SKILLET PROMO - Entertaining. Andy flat out told Skillet that “Jay Skillet sounds stupid” and is trying to get him to change his name to “Andre Schurrle.” Skillet seems to be taking this shockingly well, but I just can’t imagine that he doesn’t turn on Andy.

wXw WORLD TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Pretty Bastards(c) vs. Jay-AA (Jay Skillet & Absolute Andy) - 7.5/10


This was a great babyface vs. heel tag team match, even though Skillet still feels like a heel to me. Jay-AA overcame the heels’ dirty tricks and then turned the tables on them to win the titles. I’m apprehensive on this title change because, as I’ve said many times over the next few months, I think Skillet turning heel on Andy is a much better way to take their story, and it feels very weird that Pretty Bastards vs. VollGasteren was built up for so long and so much work put into Julian Pace only to have him fail to win the titles in what felt like it was sure to be his first really big moment, only for this other team to then win them a few weeks later.

JAY-AA INTERVIEW - Meh. I guess this was fine for a “deliriously happy babyfaces who have just won the titles” promo, but I wasn’t into it. Skillet teases that they have a big announcement for tomorrow night.

Final Thoughts
This was a decent show from wXw. Nothing was bad and everything was solid, but at the same time, nothing was particularly memorable or awesome, either. And in a lot of cases that’s fine (so long as it moves the story along), but considering that this is the first night of “Europe’s biggest wrestling weekend,” it’s a little disappointing. Hopefully thing will pick up with tomorrow’s show.

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