wXw Road To 16 Carat 2018 Review

Screw WrestleMania, we’re on the road to 16 Carat Gold now. I assume it’s a different road to the one that goes to ‘Mania. If it’s not, I hope wXw are able to avoid all the obstacles that tend to get in WWE’s way. Otherwise, this is going to be stressful.

Anyway, there is one spot left in the tournament and wXw are tournament crazy, so they’re having a tournament to qualify for the tournament. How many times can I say tournament? TOURNAMENT! Let’s dish out some stars.

We got an angle to kick things off as Dirty Dragan came out to challenge Emil Sitoci. He was interrupted by Jurn Simmons who, unsurprisingly, didn’t have nice things to say. Just as it looked like Dragan was in trouble, Alexander James came out for what seemed to be the save. Then that dirty bastard turned on Dragan! He’s not having a good day. Thankfully, Sitoci made his way out to even the odds.

The long and the short of it is that we are getting Dragan and Sitoci vs James and Simmons later on in the show.

Speedball Mike Bailey defeated Julian Pace and Jay Skillet in a Road to 16 Carat Gold Semi Final

They’re using a song that bears a passing resemblance to the Game of Thrones’ theme for everyone’s entrances tonight.

I wish Mike Bailey would stop missing that damn Shooting Star Knee Drop. I’m no doctor, which you should all be grateful for, but that can’t be good for his knees. He’s coming down hard.

My motherly worries aside, we got a frantic showing with all three guys doing what they could to impress. My favourite moments involved Skillet and Bailey, although that’s probably just because I enjoy watching Speedball kick people. Let him kick everyone!

That shouldn’t take away from Pace, though, and he looked like he had the win in the bag before Mike came flying through the air and, thankfully, connected with the Shooting Star Knee Drop on both men.

An enjoyable opener.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Marius Al-Ani defeated Michael Dante, Francis Kaspin and Veit Muller in a Road to 16 Carat Gold Semi Final

It’s great to see Michael Dante. With Tommy End picking up a beachside property in Orlando his bookings in the UK seem to have dried up. Bring back the big man.

Is it not slightly unfair that these guys have to have a four-way while the other semi only had three men in it? I don’t want to go all Steiner by trying to figure out how it affects your odds. However the more people there, the tougher it should be. I spy corruption at the heart of wXw.

The extra man wasn’t the only thing that made it a very different match. The size of the men had increased, although one Michael Dante was enough to do that on his own. It was interesting to see that he spent a lot of time selling. They were clearly looking to put over Marius Al-Ani over strong, which considering what happened later in the night, made a lot of sense.

It only went around six minutes which with four men in the ring kind of makes it hard for it to be anything above alright. A lot did happen in those six minutes, and they did a decent job anyway.

Verdict: Three Stars

Absolute Andy defeated Tyler Colton

Not much to say about this one. Two big boys going at it with Colton catching Andy off-guard at the start. That didn’t last long, and it turned into a convincing win for the man who is Absolute. Nice bit of rehab work after his loss to Bobby Gunns.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Jurn Simmons and Alexander James defeated Dirty Dragan and Emil Sitoci

Jurn Simmons should consider using the Game Of Thrones rip-off. It suits the hulking bastard.

I really like what they’re doing with Dragan. He’s over with the crowd, but they aren’t afraid to depict him as being a bit useless. It doesn’t matter how much heart and passion he has, he isn’t good enough to compete with Simmons and Alexander James. That came to the fore twice. Firstly, when he got the hot tag and came in only to end up being beaten up and also towards the end when a blind tag could have seen him gain the advantage for his team. Instead, he ended up crotched on the top rope and was pinned.

I’m also taking a second to shout out Emil Sitoci. Never seen the guy before and if I’m honest, I’ve never even heard of him. He was outstanding here. I’ll be making sure to keep an eye out for him in the future.

That aside, the other wrestlers weren’t the story. The only things the fans cared about was Dirty Dragan.

Verdict: Three Stars

John ‘Bad Bones’ Klinger defeated Bobby Gunns in a non-title match

Champion vs champion, very fancy.

Bad Bones came out with the rest of RISE and Bouncer still doesn’t look chuffed.

Unsurprisingly, this was an even contest as the champs collided. Klinger had the power advantage, but Gunns was smarter, and he used those brains to get the upper hand. It looked like he was sauntering to victory when he got cocky. After he lit a cigarette the ref was distracted by taking it from him. Sadly, rather than being able to use that distraction to his advantage, Gunns walked into a low blow.

It was the turning point that Bad Bones needed and we were back to an even footing. Both men were dishing out a lot of damage, and it looked like a case of who would blink first. Gunns got the armbar on, Klinger was able to reverse into the Crossface, then we were back to the armbar before going back to the Crossface again. There was literally nothing between these men.

What a lovely example of how to do this kind of match. Of how to show that while one title might be superior, the wrestlers that hold them are split by a fag paper. In the end, they did the right thing by putting over the World Champ, but they elevated the Shotgun Title rather than damaging it.

Verdict: Four Stars

Melanie Grey defeated Killer Kelly and Veda Scott in a Number One Contenders match

If WWE wants a lesson in how to present Ronda Rousey they could do a lot worse than looking at Killer Kelly. She’s still green and yet she comes across as a badass. That charisma gets over the slight missteps in the ring.

Sadly, the presentation didn’t make up for this being a bit sloppy. Which seems to be a recurring theme with Veda Scott. I want to enjoy her – she’s another one with charisma – but I’m beginning to suspect that she might not be an amazing wrestler. I’m not dismissing her, it just seems she doesn’t always know what she’s going to do next and that hurts the flow of her matches.

Thankfully, Kelly and Melanie did enough to make sure this one didn’t come crashing off the rails, and it ended up being a fun, if slightly short, three-way. wXw doesn’t seem to have the confidence to give their women’s division a prominent spot on the card (the matches I’ve seen have rarely gone over ten minutes) which considering some of the talent they have is a mistake. Hopefully, it’s one they rectify in the future.

Verdict: Three Stars

Ringkampf (WALTER and Timothy Thatcher) defeated RISE (Lucky Kid and Ivan Kiev)

Lucky Kid has the potential to become a new favourite. I’ve also discovered that he wrestled Hiromu in WCPW and I’m definitely watching that later.

Ringkampf are already two of my favourites. Their offence is incredibly simple and yet there is a brutality to it that you can’t argue with. They look like they are trying their hardest to murder their opponents and you get the feeling that they enjoy doing it too.

Which means you have to jump on any opportunity you have to keep them down, and RISE did a decent job of isolating Thatcher. With a few helping hands from their guys on the outside, they were able to keep WALTER on the apron and slowly chip away at Timothy’s manly facade.

The problem with that is that the longer WALTER stands on the apron, the angrier he gets, and you won’t like him when he’s angry. Exploding into the rings, he started dishing out chops to every cunt in his path. Once he was done chopping you, he started kicking you, then lariating you and finally he threw in some suplexes. Quite frankly, RISE probably should have run away after the chops.

Yet, it was hard for even WALTER to keep RISE down. Tarkan Aslan was busying himself on the outside and kept getting in the way. That was until Bouncer decided he’d had enough and put a stop to it allowing Ringkampf to pick up the win. The tag champs continue to look strong going into 16 Carat while Bouncer’s issues with RISE escalate. Nicely done.

Verdict: Four Stars

Marius Al-Ani defeated Speedball Mike Bailey in the Road to 16 Carat Gold Final

I swung wildly back and forth on this match, much like the action. To begin with, I thought it was fantastic. Al-Ani and Speedball seemed to be a perfect fit as they dished out vicious kicks to each other. Al-Ani is a big guy who he is athletic as hell and was a great opponent for someone like Speedball.

Then we got the ref bump followed by Absolute Andy coming down to attack Al-Ani, his former partner. It looked like we were set to end a wonderful contest through the art of shenanigans and I was pissed. Until Mike chose not to take the pin and instead kick Andy in the face because Speedball is a man of honour. So, I was suddenly happy again. Then fucking Bobby Gunns appeared out of nowhere to kick Bailey in the face. At which point Al-Ani returned the favour by catapulting himself onto both Gunns and Andy. Bailey followed up by going fuck it and moonsaulting onto all three of the fuckers.

I guess the point is, the distractions ended up not screwing everything up. Both men took a licking but they were fine to keep going in the end, and we got a few more minutes before we hit the finish. While I’d have still preferred to have none of it. If that’s how it’s got to be it’s the best way to do it.

In the end, Speedball missed one of his Shooting Star Knee Drops (your goddamn knees Mike!) which allowed Al-Ani to hit the Frog Splash for the win. This was another fantastic showing with two talented wrestlers going back and forth. Check it out.

Verdict: Four Stars

Overall Show

Great show. Probably the best one I’ve seen from wXw so far if you’re judging purely on in-ring action. All the big boys turned up and delivered while the tournament was a lot of fun too. I’m really looking forward to 16 Carat now, and you can be sure that you’ll find my review right here when it’s up On Demand.

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