JURN SIMMONS & MARIUS AL-ANI HAVE A BACKSTAGE CONFRONTATION BEFORE JURN’S MATCH - Fine. Al-Ani is wearing the same outfit for the 3rd day in a row. He says that no one thinks Jurn has a shot- not even Jurn himself. Al-Ani says he will be watching and waiting to celebrate Jurn’s failure. Jurn says he will shut Al-Ani up.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL MATCH:
Jurn Simmons vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey - 7/10
Holy sh*t Jurn lost to Speedball. Did not see that coming. This was a great action match, but I am still utterly stunned at the finish here. I figured that on the off chance Jurn would lose, it would be because of Al-Ani, and he lost clean here.
ALEXANDER JAMES & KILLER KELLY BACKSTAGE - Good. Did I miss a graphic or something? AJ is talking about what he “just did,” but they seem to be talking about last night’s segment where he attacked Alpha Kevin after their match and kicked Melanie Gray’s crutch away from her. AJ goes on about how he is “sending a message” and how sometimes the weak need to be culled for the good of the herd.
AJ then changes the subject to Kelly’s wXw Women’s Title match tonight but Kelly says she won’t take the match as a replacement because if she is going to get a title shot, she wants to earn it (she had won her first championship as a replacement for the injured Toni Storm). AJ lectures her about life not being fair and how she is passing up an opportunity he would kill for just because it’s being handed to her.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT SEMIFINAL MATCH:
Eddie Kingston vs. Cara Noir - 6.75/10
Another match where Cara Noir gets beat up for most of it, then gets the rear naked choke locked in and gets the win.
MUCH TALKING HAPPENS BEFORE WE GET A WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH - Good segment. First Amale makes her entrance. Then Levaniel comes out and does his whole shtick, before finally noting that is in German, a language which the woman he is trying to seduce doesn’t speak. He passes the mic off to Amale who cuts a promo calling the injured Melanie Gray (her originally scheduled opponent) too weak, and Killer Kelly (Melanie’s replacement, who pulled out for the reasons noted above) afraid to lose to her again.
Killer Kelly, Alpha Kevin, and the injured Melanie Gray all came out to Kelly’s music. Kelly cut a promo explaining to the fans why she isn’t taking the title shot, but then announcing that she has found herself a replacement, and asking the fans to show this wonderful young woman their support (which they did). So the end result of this was us getting…
wXw WOMEN’S TITLE MATCH:
Amale(c) vs. Stephanie Maze - 5.75/10
Maze was allowed to look competitive against the champion before losing cleanly.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very good. Fans through heart-shaped balloons at Amale. She caught one and popped it. Amale left, at which point Levaniel began to taunt Maze, who was being tended to by Killer Kelly, Melanie Gray, and Alpha Kevin. Kevin and Melanie got up to confront Levaniel. Meanwhile, Alexander James made his way down to ringside and shoved the hobbled Melanie Gray down so that he could get a running start and clothesline Levaniel and Alpha Kevin at the same time.
AJ began putting the boots to both of them until Killer Kelly yelled at him to stop. AJ yelled back at Kelly and told her “this is for you!” He then addressed the crowd, who was chanting “F*CK HIM UP, KELLY, F*CK HIM UP!” AJ said that Kelly wouldn’t do anything because she’s weak, and it’s seeking the approval of the crowd that has made her weak. He asks Kelly “do you want them to love you, or do you want me to love you?” What a f*cking fantastic douchebag question!
AJ grabbed Levaniel and gave him a brainbuster (which the announcers noted was “completely unnecessary). Kelly responded by walking off. AJ tells the crowd that this means that Kelly loves him. As she is at the entranceway, he says “good idea. Get to the back!” and then heads off to join her… but not before grabbing one of those heart-shaped balloons.
YUKI ISHIKAWA & TIMOTHY THATCHER vs. DAISUKE IKEDA & WALTER - 8/10
I could watch this type of stuff for hours.
TIMOTHY THATCHER FAREWELL - The lack of a speech was very Timothy Thatcher. This was nice for what it was, but when you consider that this match involved WALTER, the next match will involve both Axel Tischer and Ilja Dragunov, and we’ve seen guys like Danny Burch/Martin Stone, and Axel Dieter several times since they signed with WWE, I just don’t buy that this will be Thatcher’s last match in wXw.
wXw SHOTGUN TITLE MATCH:
“The Avalanche” Robert Dreissker(c) vs. Ilja Dragunov vs. Axel Tischer - 8/10
This was originally supposed to be a singles match but someone ran down to ringside and handed the ring announcer a card saying that it had now been made a three-way, with Tischer being added. They did a lot of great three-way stuff and power stuff. Tischer won, which was extremely shocking.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Axel Tischer cut a promo vowing to stay in Germany until he lost the title, which was nice to hear after he teased having to vacate it because he wouldn’t be able to defend it. Damn near gave me an aneurysm. As he went to leave, that weird eye graphic that has been showing up to distract Lucky Kid appeared on the screen. Tischer was then jumped from behind by two unknown assailants dressed in black. No one seemed to know who they were. Security was nowhere to be found, but the commentators at least called that out, so there might be an explanation coming.
Lucky Kid came out to make the save… but then turned and slapped Axel. And you know I’ve been watching way too much pro wrestling when I saw the turn coming the moment Lucky didn’t immediately start attacking the mystery men. Damn you, Vince Russo, for running swerves for everyone forever!
Lucky then stood there with a blank expression on his face while the other two beat up Axel. Lucky then cut a passionate promo about how “Lucky Kid” always wound up getting put into uncomfortable positions between his friends and everyone let Lucky Kid down, and he began to lose his honor, pride, and identity, so now he is taking charge of things. He will now be known by his birth name, Metehan. His buddies here are Aytac and Abdul, and together they are known as Ezel. He then laid Axel out with a flipping CrossRhodes, then posed with the Shotgun Title.
Okay… so… that was an odd turn for Lucky to take, but he had definitely been floundering recently and did kind of have stink of failure on him, and I think this turn (including dumping the Lucky Kid name) will be good for him.
They have an “Ezel” graphic all ready to go… and not only that, but it matches the t-shirts that Aytac and Abdul were wearing under their dress shirts. What a coincidence!
BLACK TAURUS, PUMA KING, & HEKTOR vs. BANDIDO, JULIAN PACE, & JEFF COBB - 7.75/10
This was an awesome PWG-style six-man tag, but it definitely started to hit that point at the end where things got a little too contrived for my liking.
16 CARAT GOLD TOURNAMENT FINALS:
Cara Noir vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey - 4.5/10
I don’t blame Speedball for going nuts on Cara Noir in the beginning. That silly mind games crap or whatever Cara Noir was going for by not letting up on the handshake for so long is the sort of thing that makes someone deserve to get punched in the face.
I did not like this match very much. I get that they were trying to work in callbacks and set up a motif with the idea of grabbing each other’s hands, but way too much of what they did came across like an attempt at an artistic performance rather than what it’s supposed to come across as, which is as a fight. There was way too much preening and WAY too much forcing the hand-holding and manufactured drama (included the bullsh*t NJPW-style count-out enforcement), and you get a match that grated me from the beginning and rarely stopped doing so until the minute.
As much as I hate to say it, I have to call this show disappointing. There was some great wrestling and some good storyline advancement, but this is 16 Carat Gold and that tournament final main event has to deliver. On this show, it didn’t. I’m also a little worried about young Cara Noir, as he really comes across like someone who needs an editor, and based on tonight, I don’t think he’s going to get one. If he is going to be a big part of wXw going forward (and I can’t imagine they’d give him this win if he wasn’t), I really hope he learns how to be an artistic without coming across like he’s trying really hard to be an artist, or else it’s going to be a very long year for me.