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Hamilton’s wXw We Love Wrestling #56 – Road to 16 Carat Gold 02.10.2024 Review

February 10, 2024 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
wXw We Love Wrestling #56 Image Credit: wXw
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Hamilton’s wXw We Love Wrestling #56 – Road to 16 Carat Gold 02.10.2024 Review  

Quick Results
The Rotation pinned Tatsuya Hanami to retain the wXw Shotgun Championship in 6:37 (**½)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Semi-Final: Maggot pinned Levaniel in 7:55 (**¾)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Semi-Final: Icarus submitted Yuto Nakashima in 7:42 (***)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Semi-Final: Elijah Blum pinned Alex Duke in 9:12 (***)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Semi-Final: Yoichi pinned Norman Harras in 6:23 (**½)
Mike D Vecchio & Aigle Blanc pinned Leyton Buzzard & OSKAR in 14:38 (***¾)
16 Carat Gold Qualifier: Stephanie Maze pinned Baby Allison in 9:20 (**¾)
Anil Marik, Robert Dreissker & Tristan Archer pinned Dennis Dullnig, Shigehiro Irie & Hektor Invictus in 15:31 (***½)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Final: Icarus pinned Maggot in 7:49 (**¾)
16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Final: Elijah Blum pinned Yoichi in 12:18 (***½)

— If you’re on Twitter/X/the bird app, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on BlueSky, Instagram and Threads by that same name, and if you’ve put your chips in on Mastodon, catch me here. One of those has to be the winner, right? And I’ll be hopping around those until they fall off… In the meantime, check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family

— In the next week or so, I’ll be chatting about this show with Mike Kilby on the Auf Die Fresse podcast. Links to stream that episode when it drops, as well as back episodes are available at AufDieFresse.co.uk

— If you want to catch this before it’s uploaded to Peacock/WWE Network, head over to wXwNOW.de

We’re four weeks away from 16 Carat Gold weekend – and a sold-out crowd at the Forum in Bielefeld are on hand. As ever, Mett Dimassi and Robin Christopher Fohrwerk are providing German commentary…

wXw Shotgun Championship: Tatsuya Hanami vs. The Rotation (c)
Rotation goes to ground early on, but Hanami gets up and takes the champion into the corner… only for Rotation to flip over him.

An armdrag from Rotation’s floated out of as Hanami looked to frustrate, only to get caught with a dropkick moments later. Right hands from Hanami earned him a clothesline as Rotation then headed up top for a rope-walk armdrag, while another dropkick almost put away Hanami.

Hanami escapes a suplex and took Rotation into the ropes for chops, while an uppercut coming out of the corner led to a two-count for the challenger. Heading outside, a springboard senton bomb comes up short as Rotation came back with a springboard clothesline, before the pair began to trade right hands. Another dropkick has Rotation ahead though, while an overhand chop sent Hanami down to his knees. Jeez, Rotation…

Another chop follows as Rotation then charged in for a dropkick into the corner, before headscissors took the champion into a gutwrench’d Falcon arrow for a near-fall. A small package from Hanami sees him try his luck, as did a corkscrew brainbuster that almost led to a title change… only for Rotation to come right back with a corkscrew suplex for the win. **½

Onto the main show, which I’m watching “near live” with Dimassi and Fohrwerk on the headsets. We’ve got two mini-tournaments for spots in 16 Carat Gold, and we start with one of them…

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Semi-Final: Maggot vs. Levaniel
Levaniel attacked Maggot before the bell, eschewing his own entrance, and even showing own referee Tassilo Jung.

When we got going, Levaniel charged Maggot into the corner, only for Maggot to return fire with a Thesz Press. Levaniel clubs Maggot in the back for a one-count though, following up with a bodyslam for good measure before Maggot beat Levaniel back into the corner for some mounted punches…

Levaniel escapes and scores a two-count out of a low dropkick. A suplex followed as the crowd tried to get to Levaniel, before Maggot bit on Levaniel’s arm. It’s the start of a comeback for the former Shotgun champion, but Levaniel snuffs it out as he hung up Maggot on the top rope, then press slammed him down for a two-count.

Kicks from Levaniel keep Maggot down, but another fightback sees Maggot take things into the corner with a barrage of strikes, while an Irish whip and a back body drop kept Levaniel in trouble. An enziguiri downs Levaniel, as did a crossbody off the top, before a spear almost ended things.

A spinning heel kick sees Levaniel force his way back in, as did a DDT, which almost put Maggot away, before a Galactic Facecrusher was pushed away. Instead, Levaniel hits a death valley driver and a discus clothesline for a near-fall, before a second Galactic Facecrusher was pushed away and countered with a cutter for the win… even though Levaniel had looked to have his hand under the rope. **¾

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Semi-Final: Icarus vs. Yuto Nakashima
This was a match that wouldn’t have looked too out of place at Ambition next month… of course, the winner faces Maggot for one of the qualification spots.

Icarus gets taken to the corner to start, before he looked to go for the eyes as he returned the favour. Body blows catch Yuto unawares in the corner, but he fired up and charges down Icarus with a shoulder tackle, following up with overhand chops that rocked the “final arrow.”

Yuto’s supply of chops get stopped as Icarus stuffed his hand into the turnbuckle pad, before a German suplex into the buckles, then a low dropkick led to a two-count. Another dropkick takes Yuto down, before Nakashima fought out of a chinlock… only to get caught with a cross-chop in return.

Nakashima finally hits back with a spinning back suplex, following up with kicks in the corner as Icarus had been trying to cover up. Running double knees crash into Icarus in the corner for a two-count, as the pair then traded rights, prompting Nakashima to take his t-shirt off before a lariat spun Icarus down to the mat.

A suplex and a PK gets Yuto another two-count, before he looked to put away Icarus with a guillotine… the ropes almost save Icarus, but he’s pulled away as Yuto switched it up, only for a suplex to be escaped as a springboard enziguiri helped Icarus into the Heart of Europe submission for the tap-out. This had some good flashes, but I do wonder how this would go under a different ruleset… ***

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Semi-Final: Alex Duke vs. Elijah Blum
Blum was hugely over in Bielefeld, having won the Shotgun title last time out here…

A wristlock from Duke silences the early “the Duke must go” chants (in German, naturally) as Duke proceeded to tie up Blum in a cravat, taking things down to the mat before Blum came back with an armdrag. Blum adds a Magistral roll-up for a two-count, before Blum retaliates with a shoulder tackle… only to get caught with a crossbody in return.

Duke’s kick knocks Blum in out of the corner, but Blum stuffs a sunset flip and adds some dropkicks for a two-count. Blum stomps on Duke’s hands as he avoided being hung up in the ropes, before he hit a plancha to join the Posterboy on the outside…

Back inside, Duke hangs up Blum into the buckles, while a front kick off the ropes had the former Shotgun champion in trouble. A Gourdbuster gets Duke a two-count as Duke pushed on, adding a leaping elbow to Blum in the corner for another two-count. Bielefeld got behind Blum, chanting for the moustache, but Duke tries to clamp down… only for a second Gourdbuster to get turned into a neckbreaker by Blum.

Blum begins to beat Duke to the punch from there, adding a leaping Downward Spiral for a near-fall before a crossbody almost got Blum the win. Duke manages to offer some resistance, escaping a Parting Gift, before a corkscrew suplex almost caused the upset. An inside cradle sees Blum counter an attempt at a Duke’s Decree (Regalplex) into the corner, before a shotgun dropkick and the Parting Gift got Blum into the block final. ***

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Semi-Final: Norman Harras vs. Yoichi
This block was entirely unannounced, so this wasn’t exactly a match many had on their bingo cards…

Harras starts with a wristlock on Yoichi as the pair go back-and-forth, ending with Norman seeking a break in the ropes. A Test of Strength tease ends with Harras working into a hammerlock, before a shoulder tackle charged down – and enraged – Yoichi, who fought back with shoulder tackles of his own.

Yoichi’s thrown onto the apron, then kicked down to the floor by Harras… we’ve a side suplex onto the ring apron from Norman as he pushed on, adding a European uppercut for a two-count before he began to stomp on Yoichi in the corner.

A charging knee to the ribs gets a near-fall for Harras, before Yoichi caught him napping and reversed a suplex. Yoichi adds a Stinger splash into the corner, then a back suplex out of it… while a diving elbow and a Muso put the former Shotgun champ away. **½

Leyton Buzzard & OSKAR vs. Mike D Vecchio & Aigle Blanc
THEY BROUGHT BACK THE SCREAM FOR OSKAR! Buzzard was subbing for a still-unwell Peter Tihanyi in this one…

Buzzard and Blanc started us off, shaking hands before a springboard headlock takedown had Leyton on the mat. A lucha exchange leads to Aigle avoiding a dropkick from Buzzard, then a superkick, as we hit a stalemate… prompting tags to bring in Mike D and OSKAR. OH BOY.

The big lads go head-to-head, trading blows as OSKAR’s chop and see-saw shoulder tackles knocked the Belgian down. Mike D returns with a Snake Eyes and a crossbody for a two-count, before Aigle returned and seemingly pissed off OSKAR with chops. A Kitchen sink from OSKAR takes down the Frenchman, as does another chop, before Buzzard tagged in and had a free shot at Aigle’s ribs.

Buzzard adds a backbreaker after an Irish whip into the corner as Aigle was very much on the defensive… and it gets worse for him as OSKAR’s quickly brought back into the fold. A hiptoss gets a two-count, before Aigle elbowed his way out of a side headlock… eventually following up with a springboard crossbody to take OSKAR down.

OSKAR’s able to tag in Buzzard, who loses sight of Aigle after a wild corkscrew suplex… and here comes Mike D! Clotheslines and elbows have Buzzard rocked ahead of a tiltawhirl backbreaker, while Aigle returned to score a kick to the back as Buzzard was finding himself in need of a tag out.

Mike D’s back to light up Buzzard with chops, before he lifted up Buzzard for a Doomsday Blockbuster from Aigle. OSKAR’s quickly in to break up the pin, before Buzzard found a way back in with a missile dropkick to both opponents. A tag brings OSKAR back in to boot away Aigle, before a chop blistered the Frenchman in the corner.

Aigle tries to change up his tactics, but he runs into a spinning slam for a near-fall for OSKAR. A sidewalk slam follows, but Mike D had blind-tagged in… only to get his suplex reversed?! Good God OSKAR! Buzzard’s tagged in next, immediately clearing the apron before Mike D was double-teamed leading to a running shooting star press from Buzzard for a near-fall. I legitimately didn’t know he had that in his locker!

Another blind tag brings Aigle in for a Meteora to the back of OSKAR’s head, sparking a big ol’ Parade of Moves, ending with a top rope rana from Mike D into an Aigle Blanc powerbomb for a near-fall. Dualling Dragon suplexes lay out OSKAR and Buzzard from there, before a Shining Wizard to the back of Buzzard’s head almost got Aigle the win. Instead, Aigle goes for the Desert Eagle, but Buzzard escapes and hits a 2K driver for a near-fall…

Buzzard eats mat on a 450 splash… as does Mike D from a shooting star press… Buzzard’s shocked, and loses track of Aigle, who lands his 450 splash for a near-fall, thanks to a save from OSKAR. We keep going with a slam from OSKAR, who then teases something aerial… but instead wrecks Aigle with a chop before he got low bridged to the outside, with seemingly a bad landing. Mike D has blind tagged in and scores a deadlift Doctor Bomb to Buzzard to get the win… sure, this was a little spotty at times, but this was right up my alley. A wXw future all-star tag that damn well delivered! ***¾

Post-match, there’s a brief staredown between Mike D and OSKAR… and if that’s happening at Carat, then I’m all in!

“Earlier today” we’ve got Dan Mallmann with Robert Dreissker, Anil Marik and Robin Christopher Fohrwerk for an interview… we’ve got a six man tag later on with Hektor Invictus, Dennis Dullnig and Shigehiro Irie, but Dreissker’s not teaming up with his AMBOSS lads, as he’s… rolling back the clock to team up with Anil Marik again? Laurance Roman didn’t travel with wXw after Dead End (he worked in Hanover tonight), and with Icarus in the Carat qualifier tournament, Dreissker needed new partners, and seemed a little annoyed at having to face Irie once more.

16 Carat Gold Qualifier: Baby Allison vs. Stephanie Maze
This was Allison’s “signing bonus” for joining High Performer Ltd. last month – a one-off Carat qualifier. Robin Christopher Fohrwerk hyped up Allison as a TV star – with her documentary having hit RTL the last week or so – and it turned out his new charge had to take on a former tag team champion. Hey, I remember seeing this live in the old wXw academy in Essen…

Opening with a lock-up, Allison took Maze into the corner, before Maze came back with some kicks as Allison was sent off the ropes. A kick to the side of the head had Allison shook up, but things continue as Maze hits a suplex out of the corner for a two-count, before a Fisherman suplex almost put Steffi in Carat.

Maze’s O’Connor roll gets shrugged aside as Allison fought back with clotheslines, before an O’Connor roll of her own and a low dropkick led to some more two-counts. Fohrwerk slides in his cane as Allison was caught in a submission, but Allison threw it aside as she broke free of the hold anyway… following up with a Scorpion kick in the ropes and some right hands.

Allison’s whip into the corner’s reversed, but she’s able to come back with a dropkick off the middle rope for a two-count, before Maze hit back with a superplex. Back to their feet, Maze and Allison trade right hands, only for Allison to duck a Skyfall kick… and hit back with a T-Bone suplex for a near-fall.

Maze responds with a hammerlock’d clothesline for a near-fall of her own, before Maze was tripped up going into a kick, with Allison rolling into a Baby Exorcism that was elbowed away. Shrugging it off, Allison returns with a spear, only for Maze to come right back with a Skyfall kick for the upset! Not a good first outing for Allison, who I suspect will be having a bit of an attitude change under Fohrwerk… but that shouldn’t take away from the headline of Stephanie Maze being the third woman in history to qualify for Carat. **¾

Robert Dreissker & High Performer Ltd. (Tristan Archer & Anil Marik) vs. Shigehiro Irie, Hektor Invictus & Dennis Dullnig
Tellingly, Dreissker didn’t shake Anil Marik’s hand – there’s still some bad blood there… while there was one guy who was super hyped for Irie to be in town!

Irie and Dreissker look to start us off, starting with a tie-up that marched Irie into the corner… with some roughing up on the break, which prompted Irie to start an exchange of forearms. A side headlock from Dreissker stops that though, before a shoulder tackle bounced Irie to the mat… before Dreissker responded to a headbutt with a big ol’ lariat.

Tristan Archer tags in and stays on Irie, landing a discus elbow before an uppercut off the middle rope hit Irie in the back of the head. Anil Marik’s in, but he’s met in the ropes with a forearm before a slam and the Auf Die Fresse splash picked up a two-count. Dennis Dullnig comes in next to patronise Marik with a pat on the head, while a dropkick and a neckbreaker led to Hektor tagging in for a senton atomico to pick up a two-count.

Dullnig’s back as Marik’s double-teamed into the corner with a German suplex, before Dullnig’s attempt at a Twist of Fate was pushed off, leading to a Slingblade from Marik after some interference from Archer on the apron. Archer’s tagged back in from there, with Dreissker berating Marik on the apron as that alliance was only getting uneasier from there.

A short-arm clothesline gets Archer a near-fall over Dullnig, before Dreissker tagged in and hit a suplex. Attempts to antagonise Irie on the apron work as the referee’s distracted by that, and misses Dullnig getting choked in the corner. Archer stays on Dullnig with another suplex, before he tagged in Dreissker over Marik… and that kinda backfired as Dullnig fired up to drop Dreissker with a spinebuster.

Dullnig took his time crawling over for a tag though, and can’t get a tag out as Marik and Archer had pulled both his partners off the apron. Dreissker pounces with a springboard crossbody out of the corner, then a death valley driver for a near-fall, before a suplex from Dullnig finally got him enough time to tag out.

Hektor’s in to clean house on his potential next title contenders, scoring with a DDT to Archer out of the corner for a two-count, before Irie tagged in… and had no freaking idea what 90s WWF move Hektor wanted him to do. Oh dear. Archer capitalises with a shot to the back of the head, but Irie’s right back with a Bossman slam for a near-fall.

Hektor tags in and finally gets his message over to Irie, giving us a moment for the GIF-ers, but Irie’s Twist of Fate goes south as Archer broke free with a side Russian legsweep. A slam drops Hektor ahead of a back senton for a two-count, before Marik tagged in to hit a bulldog out of the corner for a near-fall.

Archer’s back to go for a Coup d’Etat, but Hektor’s DDT stops it… Dreissker sneaks in a tag and quickly goes to work with a slam and a splash for a near-fall, before a chinlock kept things grounded. Hektor got free with a powerslam, before Dreissker was forced to tag in Anil Marik… who ran into headbutts from Irie.

From there, Irie’s heart punch gets him a two-count, before he piledrove Marik onto Archer in a 2-for-1 deal. Dreissker’s squashed in the corner as Irie tagged out… but a cannonball keeps the champion at bay, before Dullnig game in to hit Marik with a gutwrench gutbuster. Marik saves Dreissker as Dullnig’s left alone, with the former tag champions finally combining for a wheelbarrow Codebreaker and a Boulder Dash for the win. In the end, it was the old team that won it, but Dreissker clearly needed a push to temporarily rebuild that bridge as High Performer Ltd. and AMBOSS came out with the W. ***½

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block A Final: Icarus vs. Maggot
Maggot’s looking to go one better than Baby Allison by qualifying for Carat here…

Icarus took things to the corner early as he looked to wear down Maggot, forcing referee Alex Schneider to separate the pair and allow Maggot some space. A cross-chop targets the throat before an uppercut took Maggot down… but the ref refused to count a pin because of Icarus’ tactics thus far.

Maggot fights back with forearms, before he ducked a bunch of clotheslines and charged into Icarus with a spear, taking the Hungarian to the outside… and following him there with a plancha. Clearing the front row, Maggot knocks Icarus into the benches for a running kick, before posting the former Arrow… and taking him back into the front row for another running kick.

More running kicks keep Icarus on the back foot, before Icarus sidestepped a shoulder charge as Maggot was sent into the ring post. A short piledriver sees Icarus get a two-count as he tried to capitalise… following up with a Meltdown senton off the top for a near-fall. Maggot spits in Icarus’ face to rile him up, and it works…

An enziguiri from Maggot clears away Icarus, as did a diving kick, before Levaniel snuck out to interfere. The Rotation’s out to stop him though, much to Maggot’s annoyance, and Icarus steals the win with a roll-up – and some tights as well. **¾

Post-match, Rotation consoled Maggot, but he’s knocked away as a fight breaks out… Levaniel picks his spot, but Rotation’s smart to it… Levaniel takes down Rotation with a clothesline, only for Maggot to spear him out of his boots… and after Rotation hit a moonsault off the top rope to the pair of them on the floor, I suspect this’ll be our Shotgun title match next month.

16 Carat Gold Qualification Tournament, Block B Final: Elijah Blum vs. Yoichi
I must admit, I wasn’t expecting Blum vs. Yoichi to be the main event here… but given the cracker these two had at Back to the Roots, I’m ready!

The pair square off at the bell, with Blum and Yoichi quickly trading blows as Bielefeld roared behind their favourite moustachioed wrestler. A side headlock from Yoichi’s shoved off, but he comes back with a shoulder tackle to Blum for a two-count, before a leapfrog and a dropkick in return took Yoichi into the ropes.

A clubbing shot from Yoichi looked to put him ahead, but Blum avoids an elbow drop as he forced his way back into things. Yoichi slows the pace down though to regain control, getting a two-count from a slam, before Blum’s forearms tried to carve another opening… only for a side Russian legsweep to get stuffed and countered into a delayed back suplex.

Yoichi follows up with a half crab, which was broken via the ropes as Blum again tried to fight his way back in. Blum manages to escape a Samoan drop, finally coming back with a side Russian legsweep, but again Yoichi cuts him off, trading clotheslines before Blum stemmed the tide with a neckbreaker.

Blum heads up top after that, connecting with a froggy crossbody for a two-count, before an attempt at a Parting Gift was blocked by Yoichi, who powered out and charged Blum into the corner. A whip into the opposite corner led to a missed splash, but another Blum crossbody got caught and turned into a spinning slam, ahead of a spinebuster that almost won it for Yoichi.

Yoichi heads up top and squashes Blum with a big splash… but it’s still not quite enough as he then went for a Muso, only for Blum to counter with a sunset flip. It gets Blum a two-count as he proceeded to stay on his man, but Yoichi’s quickest to the shots once more, following with a delayed suplex before a back elbow was ducked. Blum comes right back with a hattrick of clotheslines, but Yoichi stops a fourth… only for Elijah to land it off the ropes before the Parting Gift got the win. GOOD GOD. Blum had to dig deep, but he gets the final spot for Carat with this signature win over Yoichi – and I wouldn’t be that shocked if Blum had a good run in the tournament proper! ***½

The final score: review Good
The 411
wXw packed a LOT into their final taped show ahead of Carat - and while the final spots being filled for Carat may not quite grab wider attention, they’re yet more jigsaw pieces falling into place. We’ve all got our eyes on Dreissker/Irie at Carat, but the slow burn behind Laurance Roman - played on today in his absence - is definitely something to keep at the front of your mind…

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wXw, Ian Hamilton