David Starr vs. Aaron Insane vs. Mike Schwarz vs. Tyler Bate
This was a pre-show match of sorts to get the crowd warmed up before the actual show started and to get whoever was left of the card, on. I’ve been following David Starr for some time now and it’s safe to say that his tour of Germany really opened the eyes of a lot of people who may have never seen him or never thought much of him. He proved himself and showed that he is indeed a star in the making. Give him a few more years and he’ll be one of the best wrestlers out there. I thought he was the best guy here though Tyler Bate was also good. Short, but fun match in which Starr won. ***
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Big Daddy Walter
These guys have great chemistry together. Walter is a huge guy who can move around very well and never ceases to amaze me. The match was only 13 minutes long but told a great story and was worked in a very smart, thought-out manner. Sabre got the win, but both came out looking great. ***½
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Timothy Thatcher vs. Sasa Keel
I’m not huge on Thatcher. I enjoy some of his matches but he’s very much a guy who needs to wrestle someone better than him to make him look good. Sasa Keel may not have been the better wrestler, but the match ended up being good. My only gripe is that Thatcher did a lot of his basic grappling and such throughout and none of that mattered in the end when Thatcher headbutt. Not that I was real bothered, just thought “Oh, that’s weird.” Enjoyable match nonetheless. ***
Toni Storm vs. Leva Bates
Toni Storm is no older than 20 and improves more and more every time I see her. Leva Bates on the other hand is absolute abysmal and always looks lost when in the ring. Some argue that being awful is a part of her charm, but I say she’s just no good and lacks any sort of athleticism or wrestling skill. Storm sold very well throughout the match though Bates’ offense was completely unbelievable, so much so that the crowd even booed her for being so bad. Storm carried the match on her back and put on a solid performance, but that’s all there was to this. Nothing to see. **¼
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Ilja Dragunov vs. Mike Bailey
I guess the biggest story surrounding Mike Bailey would be him no longer being able to compete on US soil for the next five years. I was never as big on Bailey as most, but he’s certainly grown on me this year, so I’m extremely let down by this. He’s had a few matches in the UK as well that have really impressed me, so should these issues not be resolved, I would not mind seeing him over in Germany or the UK more often. I’m not huge on Dragunov but these two clicked perfectly and put on a real fast paced, fun match. I understand the logic in a wXw guy over instead of an outsider, but I really thought Bailey would win here so was genuinely surprised when he lost, which I guess you could say is a good thing. Great match. ***¾
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Will Ospreay vs. Shane Strickland
Shane Strickland is one of the more underrated indie wrestlers in out there and has been for some time. He mostly takes bookings in the UK or in Lucha Underground where he’s known as Killshot. He’s a guy I thought would break out after his run in EVOLVE and DGUSA, and though he takes a lot of bookings in various places, he’s never really stood out. He has his share fair of fans and supporters, he’s doing alright for himself, I just feel he should have gotten a lot bigger than he did. He still has time, so we’ll see what happens. Ospreay on the other hand is one of the hottest prospects and best highflyers in the world. As I’m sure everyone knows, he’s now signed to NJPW and will start there in April to challenge KUSHIDA for the IWGP Junior Championship.
This was one of the better matches of the tourney and one of the better matches I’ve seen in a while in general. The story of the match saw two great athletes trying to one-up each other throughout and that came across perfectly. Every spot, sequence, and reversal connected well and received huge pop. The last few minutes were absolutely insane, Ospreay ultimately getting the win and advancing to the quarter-finals, where he’d take on Zack Sabre Jr. Tremendous match here. ****½
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Angelico vs. Trevor Lee
I’m a huge Angelico guy, and Trevor Lee has certainly become a standout on the US indy scene over the past two years. This was fun but never really got going and was not anything worth note. I’m not sure Lee working as a US bad guy worked for this audience, but both guys looked good. Angelico got the win. ***
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Drew Galloway vs. Silas Young
I’ve never seen the appeal in Silas Young. He’s just a guy to me and I find a lot of his matches to be mediocre unless he’s wrestling someone better than him, like a Drew Galloway, who is arguably the hardest working man in professional wrestling today. The two brawled around the outside of the ring for a few minutes before heading inside where Galloway would ultimately get the win following a Future Shock DDT. Nothing TOO memorable, but a pretty good match. ***¼
16 Carat Gold First Round Match: Marty Scurll vs. Axel Dieter Jr.
These two have been feuding for some time now. Dieter is being built as the top babyface of wXw and needed to defeat Scurll once and for all before taking that moniker. The story here was absolutely perfect but suffered slightly because of the crowd not taking to Dieter as the top babyface like wXw expects them to. It’s not necessarily a Roman Reigns type thing, because he does have his fair share of fans. It’s more of a John Cena thing where he’s rejected by a lot of the crowd, which is not good considering how young Dieter is and how wXw is building him as the top babyface. Scurll was pretty over here, the two told a great story, both looked strong, both did everything perfectly, the only problem for me was that Dieter was not as over as a babyface as he should have been. If you’ve followed this feud all the way through, then Dieter’s win probably felt special. If you’re a newer wXw fan and you skipped through the video packages and such on the show, then his win probably felt less special to you. Nonetheless, great match, great story. ****¼
This was a very good show. Only one match was what I would call skippable, the rest was good to great, the best match being Ospreay vs. Shane Strickland. Give wXw a few bucks and check the show out. Worth the money for sure.