wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s wXw Says Goodbye to Karsten Beck Review

October 25, 2020 | Posted by Ian Hamilton

The passing of Karsten Beck earlier this month was a sudden shock to all of those in and around the European wrestling scene.

With nothing on the calendar for wXw to hold even a limited tribute in front of fans, the promotion opted to release a compilation of matches and messages in honour of the former two-time Unified World Wrestling Champion – with these being posted on YouTube and the promotion’s wXwNOW VOD service.

Today, I’m going to take a look at the matches posted on YouTube, which came with an unexpected bonus. A lot of these matches were presented with German commentary – but are available in English as part of the full event releases on wXwNOW.

March 03, 2012 – wXw 16 Carat Gold Quarter-Final: Karsten Beck vs. El Generico
This quarter-final gets going with both men throwing their jackets and capes at each other, before we got in with the yay/boo stuff as both men played to the crowd.

They lock-up, as Beck overpowers Generico to the corner… but a switcharound leads to a clean break. Beck takes Generico to the corner, then fakes out a cheapshot, before Generico came in with a waistlock. It’s broken as the pair switch, but Generico gets in with a wristlock before he took Beck to the corner… and didn’t fake out on those chops.

Beck snatches a side headlock, but gets shoved off to the ropes as he bulled down Generico with a shoulder tackle… before Beck hits an Arabian press to avoid Beck en route to a leg lariat as things swung around. They trade chops in the corner, as Generico overpowers Beck before some mounted punches ended with a Manhattan drop out of the corner… only for Beck to get hit with a dropkick for a two-count.

Generico goes for a rope-walk armdrag, but Beck swipes him away, crotching him on the rope before landing a slam and a forearm to the back as the “Würger von Wesel” (Slayer from Wesel) looked to slow the pace. Clubbering forearms keep Generico down as Beck looked to hit a butterfly suplex, landing it for a near-fall. Forearms to the lower back, then an Irish whip into the corner bounced Generico to the mat for a two-count, as a chinlock followed. Generico gets free, only to get hot shot to the outside as he tried to charge at Beck… who followed him out with a baseball slide dropkick.

Generico’s charged into the apron, then the ring post, before he dragged himself back inside for some boo/yay punches… only for Beck to whip him into the corner. Generico bounds back out with clotheslines and a back body drop, before he hit the ropes for a crossbody that almost put Beck away.

A Blue Thunder Bomb from Generico’s next for a near-fall, before an Exploder from Beck turned it back around for a near-fall of his own. Generico looks for a half-and-half suplex, but Beck breaks it up and came back with a gutwrench powerbomb that nearly got the win. Beck tries for a lariat, but Generico kicks it away before he went for the half-and-half again… Beck charges into the corner to try for a mule kick, but Generico avoids that and finally bounced Karsten on his head with the half-and-half for a near-fall.

Generico’s buoyant here, going for a brainbuster, but Beck then charges the masked man into the corner… and fakes out a low blow. He claps his hands and sells the low blow… and the referee waves for the bell! We get the traditional light show at the end of the match as Beck keeps selling… before we jump cut into Beck dancing the Macarena, mocking the low blow… just as head referee Tassilo Jung came out to tell the referee what he’d missed.

So the match is restarted, with Generico blasting Beck with a Helluva kick, before a brainbuster gets the win. My God, the Turbinenhalle blew up for that, as Beck’s chicanery backfired. Shoulda just gone to the back rather than rub it in Generico’s face, eh Karsten?

Result: El Generico pinned Karsten Beck in 12:41

October 05, 2014 – wXw World Triangle League 2014 Final: Karsten Beck vs. Biff Busick vs. Rich Swann
This was the culmination of a four-night event that saw names from wXw, CZW and Big Japan Pro Wrestling compete in Oberhausen for a mini round-robin tournament. The finals were also the same show that had Absolute Andy take on Hiroshi Tanahashi. 2014 was a wild time.

The bell goes as the Oberhausen crowd’s still singing the Bro Hymn for Biff Busick (now Oney Lorcan if you’ve , and basically cheering anyone not called Karsten Beck. So Beck boots Swann and threw him into the corner, before trading uppercuts with Busick.

Some biting stopped Busick, who just low bridges Back to the outside, but he can’t follow up as Karsten threw him onto the apron… before Swann hit a cannonball off the apron. Busick’s thrown back inside, but he comes back out with a senton to the floor, wiping out both Swann and Beck.

Beck’s back up to charge Busick into the apron before he rolled back into the ring… Beck teases a dive, but two leaping uppercuts stop him as Swann heads back in for a frog splash crossbody that got a near-fall. Karsten returns with a missile dropkick that took Swann outside… right as Busick came in to go back-and-forth with European uppercuts.

Swann returns for a handspring double cutter, before he leapt off of Beck’s back for a ‘rana to Biff. Swann keeps going with an axe kick for a near-fall on Beck, who then got low bridged and dropkicked to the floor. A dive’s cut-off by Beck, who dragged Swann onto the apron, only to get caught with a neckbreaker as Swann and Busick went right back at each other.

The pair block hiptosses, before Swann rebounds off the ropes and came back with a dropkick. Busick blocks a top rope ‘rana, then floated over Swann, only to get kicked in the head as Swann went for a handspring and got caught with an uppercut instead.

Busick sets up for a superplex, but Beck breaks it up, only for Biff to return to make it a Tower of Doom instead. Biff and Beck trade uppercuts from there, but Busick’s again low bridged to the outside… except this time he drags out Beck, as Swann came in with a Tumbleweed off the buckles.

All three men stay outside, with Swann chopping Busick onto the entry ramp, while Beck decided to join them, taking the long way around as he caught Busick with a German suplex on the ramp. On the floor, Beck rearranges some furniture, setting up half a dozen chairs seat-by-seat… only to see a powerbomb onto the chairs countered into a ‘rana by Swann.

With Beck out, Swann and Busick returned to the ring, battling on the apron. Swann spits at Biff, then caught him with an enziguiri, only for Biff to bounce him on his head with a release half-and-half suplex. Swann’s pretty much dead weight from that, as Busick struggles to roll him into the ring to get an eventual two-count.

Back inside, Busick tries it again off the top rope, but Swann floats out… right as Karsten Beck returns to the ring to level him with a lariat for a near-fall. A gutwrench powerbomb is next for a near-fall, as Beck then waited for Swann to get back up… but his piledriver’s cut-off by Busick, who tried for that suplex again.

Beck charges into the corner to cover the referee’s line of sight, mule-kicking Busick to boot, before Swann’s attempt to capitalise ended with him being popped up into another mule kick. With both men having sore balls, Beck bounces Swann with a piledriver to win the World Triangle League. A pretty decent trios match, with Beck having to find another way around the styles of Busick and Swann – which turned out to be some good ol’ fashioned cheating as he won the cup… and broke it within minutes, as he wanted the belt instead.

Result: Karsten Beck pinned Rich Swann to win the World Triangle League in 15:05

January 17, 2015 – wXw Back to the Roots XIV
We join this in progress after the end of the advertised main event – which saw the future WALTER & Avalanche team up with Mike Schwarz and Toby Blunt to beat the Keel Holding team of Aaron Insane, Kim Ray, Sasa Keel and Jurn Simmons…

A bloodied Big Daddy Walter’s interrupted by the appearance of Vince Russo, who won points for speaking in German, but then lost them for calling Oberhausen “Obenhauser”. Close. He introduces himself (although one fan very loudly knew him already as the guy who “fucked up WCW, man”), before revealing he was the new investor in wXw.

Felix Kohlenberg (one of the owners of wXw) was shown on camera aghast, as Russo made a move that was “best for wXw”, bringing out Karsten Beck (who’d earlier wrestled in a tag match with Sha Samuels, beating Eugene and Grado – now THAT’S a team!). Someone tried to grab Beck’s towel on the way to the ring, but that doesn’t stop him from getting his hug from Russo. Oh, and the “you sold out” chants. Beck gets the mic and runs his mouth. From my rudimentary German, and from what happened next, he talked his way into a title match…

wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Karsten Beck vs. Big Daddy Walter (c)
Tassilo Jung’s the referee here, and we start with Beck attacking Walter, charging him into the corner with some knees.

Walter cuts him off with a bodyslam, but a boot gets Beck free ahead of a dropkick off the middle rope. A lariat lands for a near-fall, before Beck went for a piledriver… which was countered with a back body drop. Walter’s back with a missile dropkick, before he powerbombed Beck… but Russo pulls out and lays out Tassilo Jung.

The screwjob is on! In comes Sha Samuels, who clocks Walter with the belt, before Russo came into the ring and took off his jacket to reveal a referee’s shirt. Beck makes the cover… AND NEW…

Result: Karsten Beck pinned Big Daddy Walter to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 2:19

The story told afterwards was that Russo had (legitimately) identified Beck as a home-grown star who wXw could build around for years to come. This was just day one of an initial title reign that lasted seven months.

August 29, 2015 – wXw FAN 2015: wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Karsten Beck vs. AJ Styles vs. John Klinger (c)
An instant rematch after Beck lost the title to John Klinger 24 hours previous on the Fans Appreciation Night in Hamburg… and of course, Beck was rather morose on his return to Oberhausen.

AJ’s inclusion came as a part of a working partnership between wXw and New Japan that had been announced a month earlier. Imagine THAT timeline having been the prevailing one. It might have meant a lot more Bullet Club in Germany, mind you…

Oh hey! It’s a pair of familiar voices in Alan Counihan and Jeremy Graves on the call. I miss hearing those guys. Anyway, the match gets going with Beck getting bounced between Bad Bones and AJ Styles before he was tossed outside, as Styles then grounded Klinger with a side headlock. Shoulder tackles follow, before AJ’s leapfrog/dropkick combo sent the new champion into the corner.

Beck’s back to catch AJ with an elbow in the corner, but a spinning heel kick from Styles took care of Karsten, as Klinger comes back to keep AJ at bay. A back body drop from Klinger takes AJ into the sky, before Beck low bridges Bad Bones to the outside so he could pick up the pieces on AJ.

A hair pull drags Styles to the mat, before Beck knocked Klinger off the apron before Styles made a comeback… only to run into Beck’s boot. Klinger’s back with a slingshot spear for a near-fall, but Beck manages to avoid a follow-up missile dropkick and comes right back with knee drops for a lackadaisical two-count.

AJ’s knocked off the apron again as Beck tried to force the issue, keeping Bones on the defensive with some right hands into the corner. Styles eventually returns to lay into Beck with chops, but a stun gun from Beck almost overshoots AJ, who spills back outside again. Klinger gets back in with a small package for a two-count, as Beck then kicked out and booted Bones again.

Klinger makes another comeback, charging Beck into the corner as he then lifted him up top… but AJ returns to complete the Tower of Doom as all three men were left laying. AJ’s back to his feet first, leaping into Beck and Bones before taking down Klinger with suplex/neckbreaker (YOSHI-HASHI’s Bunker Buster)… then Beck with an ushigoroshi.

Beck avoids a Styles Clash, as Klinger runs in to knee Styles ahead of a crucifix bomb into the corner. A superkick followed, as Beck hits a dropkick to Klinger to stop him from making a cover. It’s Klinger and Beck up first, with Karsten hitting an Exploder before a Flatliner spiked Styles onto his head. Another slingshot spear’s blocked with a knee from Beck, which almost ends the match.

Bones hits the ropes, ducking a Beck clothesline before diving into AJ, sending him into the front row. A baseball slide dropkick takes Beck outside too, as he proceeded to roll Klinger back inside… only to throw him onto the apron as Klinger finally lands that missile dropkick. Klinger takes a while to recover, but he’s cut-off with a Phenomenal Forearm, before a Pele kick continued those greatest hits, as a Bloody Sunday DDT almost led to another title change.

Beck tries to pick up AJ, but gets caught with an enziguiri… a 450 splash from Styles misses Klinger, as Beck comes back with a Doctor Bomb for a near-fall. Forearms to the back of Klinger keep Beck ahead, as the pair trade elbows until a piledriver was countered with a back body drop, almost taking Beck into a Styles Clash as Klinger had to superkick the hold apart.

Klinger tries to take advantage again with an over-the-knee brainbuster for a near-fall, as he and AJ then went at it… Styles floats over Klinger into a Styles Clash, but Beck breaks up the cover in the nick of time. He takes AJ up top for a superplex, but Styles slips out before some Wrecking Ball knees from Klinger knocked AJ right to the outside. Beck’s back up and runs into Klinger, hitting him with a piledriver… and that opportunistic moment allowed Beck to regain the title after 24 hours. A cracking three-way, with the three of these meshing really well – as Beck’s bad weekend suddenly got good.

Result: Karsten Beck pinned John Klinger to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 17:12

March 12, 2016 – wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016 Night Two: wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship: Jurn Simmons vs. Absolute Andy vs. John Klinger vs. Karsten Beck (c)
The Saturday night of 16 Carat Gold weekends have become renowned for their big title matches – with the 2016 iteration being no different. The original match – a three-way caused by Andy and Klinger pinning Beck in a “last chance” match – ended up being turned into a four-way, after Beck had argued that the three-way would have been “a handicap match” against him. Enter Jurn Simmons, who had been part of Beck’s group, and was just 18 months on from debuting in wXw.

At the bell, Andy knocked Klinger to the outside, then went after Beck… but the handicap match part of things took control almost instantly, with Beck and Simmons double-teaming Andy with shoulder tackles and suplexes. An Irish whip bounced Andy into the buckles, but a second one sees Andy fire back with clotheslines before he lifted up Beck for an F5… only for John Klinger to come in with Wrecking Ball knees to break it up.

Klinger takes care of Jurn with a dropkick and some knees, before he went after Beck, lifting him to the top rope for a superplex, only for Beck to fight free with a missile dropkick. That gets the champion a two-count, as Beck and Jurn then turned their sights onto “Bad Bones”, taking their turn with slams and such like as Jurn then served Klinger on a proverbial plate to get the pin.

Klinger’s up at two, but he gets whipped into the corner, where he lifted an on-rushing Simmons to the outside, as Beck looked to pick up the pieces. A whip bounces Beck into the corner as he came out into a back body drop, while he then had to avoid a crossface from Klinger… right as Absolute Andy came in to hit a spinebuster, before Beck booted away a Sharpshooter attempt on Bad Bones.

Beck goes back to Klinger with a suplex, but Klinger’s up to hit a second one as he then caught Beck with a crossface in the ropes. That’s not spotted by the ref, as Klinger breaks the hold to dish one out to an oncoming Simmons, before Absolute Andy returned to hit a F5… which is countered into a third crossface! Andy’s able to drag himself to the ropes, but Klinger heads into the apron as he went for a slingshot spear, only to back body drop Andy onto the raised walkway.

Problem was, that left Bones two-on-one… he manages to take care of Jurn with a slingshot spear and a superkick, before Beck’s running knee sent Klinger to the outside, where he followed them as they traded shots around ringside. Andy’s back to surprise Klinger with a plancha, then post Jurn as things boiled down to Andy and Beck.

They trade right hands back inside, with Andy edging ahead with forearms and a bodyslam that set up for his centrepiece of the Absolute knee-drop… but Beck avoids it and hits a Flatliner for a near-fall. Andy’s right back with a back cracker, before he set up for a superkick… but Jurn slide in to take the bullet for Beck, before he got dropped with an A-Klasse for a near-fall, with Klinger pulling out the referee to keep the match alive.

The former tag partners go after each other, with Andy running into Klinger’s boots in the corner… before he dropkicked him on the top rope. An Andy-can-rana is next, but Klinger rolls through and comes back with leaping forearms into the corner, before sidestepping a shoulder charge from Andy, who hits the post… and then capitalised with an elbow drop off the top.

Andy gets back up and surprises Klinger with a superkick, dropping on top of him for a near-fall before he rolled outside… and grabbed his XXL pliers. Klinger ducks a shot and pulled Andy into another crossface, eventually rolling him away from the ropes as it looked like Andy had been bloodied up… but Andy manages to drag himself back to those pliers, only to fade away as Beck had to dive on to save Andy from the arm-drop gimmick.

Beck pulls Andy onto the apron to keep the match going, as Jurn got back up… but he’s pulled into a backdrop suplex by Klinger. A piledriver from Beck’s countered, but a Doctor bomb from Beck followed as a Parade of Moves ended with a DDT from Jurn to Andy. Andy and Klinger are back to their feet, trading blows, but Andy lifts Klinger to the outside, with Bones catching the apron awkwardly on his fall.

Jurn tries to take Andy outside next, with Beck’s clothesline doing the job before Jurn rolled Karsten up out of nowhere for a near-fall. Beck looked shocked at that, as Jurn was done “protecting the king”… and it seemed that the game was up. Beck berates Simmons, which led to Klinger and Andy attacking them together as they looked to eliminate the Dutchman… which a superkick from Andy and a spear from Klinger almost did.

Andy keeps going, dropping Klinger with a F5, before Karsten Beck came in to try a piledriver. Andy escapes and almost wins the match with a superkick, before he lifted Beck up for another F5, planting the champion in the middle of the ring for another near-fall. Heading outside, Andy goes under the ring and pulls out a table, setting it up at ringside as he teases putting the champion through the table with a F5.

Andy changes plans, and instead took Beck to the apron for another go at the F5… Karsten slips out and gets superkicked, before Andy blocked a big boot from Jurn, who then sidestepped as Klinger speared Andy off the apron, putting him through the table!

That leaves us with Simmons and Beck in the ring… Jurn tees up for a Massive Boot, but Beck sidesteps and came in with a piledriver, only for Jurn to kick out! Karsten can’t believe it, and opts to make a willingly-rare trip up top, but he leaps into Jurn’s knees, before a Massive Boot almost led to the shock of all shocks! Simmons gets back up and waits for Beck to get back to his feet, hitting a second boot before he pulled up Beck for his own piledriver… which was enough to finish the match. The last minute addition stabbed the original “König der Catcher” in the back, and leaves Oberhausen with his first gold in wXw – much to the shock of the Carat crowd.

Result: Jurn Simmons pinned Karsten Beck to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in 24:44

Of course, that’s not where the story ends, as Beck was left by himself in the centre of the ring after the match, almost unconsolable, as he undoes his boots, much to the dismay of the crowd. In the end, Beck leaves his boots in the middle of the ring, bowed to the fans, then walked away…

June 04, 2016 – wXw Shortcut to the Top 2016: Shortcut to the Top Match
We join this one in progress, with the countdown for the 30th entry into the match… I think you can guess where this is going.

Cue Seether’s cover of Careless Whisper. Cue delirium. Karsten Beck returned three months after he’d left… and he made a beeline for Jurn Simmons, who’d taken the title from him at 16 Carat Gold (and had planned to win the Shortcut to the Top match so there’d be no top contender).

Jurn booted Beck for a piledriver, but it’s countered out of as Beck returns with clotheslines and elbows. An Exploder out of the corner and another lariat drops Jurn, before a flapjack led to Beck tossing Jurn out of the match. Jurn wasn’t the only one left though, as Tommy End (now Aleister Black) got back up and prepared to go after Beck… but he’s tossed out by Axel Dieter Jr. (Marcel Barthel), as those were our final two, as Axel hadn’t been eliminated earlier it seemed.

The Oberhausen crowd were massively on Beck’s side here, especially since Axel Dieter Jr. had recently split from Da Mack, ending their long-running team of Hot & Spicy. Junior goes for the Hamburgerkreuz (Air Raid Crash), but Beck escaped, only to get caught with a European uppercut. A cross-chop to the throat knocks Beck into the corner, where he’s met with more uppercuts before he hit an Exploder into the corner. The pair trade forearms and chops before an enziguiri left Beck by the ropes… but Junior doesn’t follow-up, and after he ran into some knees, he wangled his way into the Hamburgerkreuz.

Junior picks up Beck and goes to throw him out over the top, but Beck holds onto the ropes… then was taken towards the corner as Junior went to rope-walk… but Beck knocks him onto the apron, before some right hands and a forearm led to a big boot… which Junior low bridges him on!

Beck’s gotta grab onto the rope to avoid elimination, a la Shawn Michaels at the 95 Rumble… and he clings on, recovering enough to clothesline away a flying European uppercut off the middle rope. Back inside, he charges into Junior with a knee, but gets caught with a headlock suplex… then surprised Junior with a flapjack out of nowhere. Down comes a strap as Beck picks up Junior for a second flapjack, but instead he tries to throw him out. Junior’s thrown over, but crawls back in… then gets lariated out as Beck wins the Shortcut to the Top!

Result: Karsten Beck won the Shortcut to the Top match (overall time 52:12)

After the match, Beck gets the mic and for once was lost for words. When he found the words, he told the crowd that for 13 years, he was “one of them”, in the front row for shows every month. My German fails me, but I make out Beck’s surprise that after he lost the title at Carat, he didn’t expect the reaction he had tonight.

…and that was seemingly meant to be the start of a renewed charge for the top prize in wXw, with Beck vs. Simmons being the match that would build off of the turn at 16 Carat Gold, this time with Beck as the hero of the story. Unfortunately, Beck received the diagnosis weeks later that would spell the end of his wrestling career, with a planned comeback the following summer also being shelved as Shortcut to the Top would prove to be Beck’s final match in a wXw ring.

While Beck’s run outside the ring saw him become an on-screen figurehead in wXw, his legacy was set in stone long before that. As was alluded to in the promos shown here (and the 40-minutes of testimonials), Beck was the “kid in the crowd” who came good – when few thought he could make it, he ended up becoming the focal point of the promotion, ultimately joining wXw’s select Hall of Fame in 2017 after becoming an inspiration for many.

As the chant said, du warst der König der Catcher. Rest well Karsten.

article topics :

Karsten Beck, wXw, Ian Hamilton