Ahhhh Sunday. This was quite the day my friends.
Saturday was a late-ish night so I didn’t wake up until 11:30 or so. With only 4 hours until the show, I didn’t bother going into Centr-o so I just chilled at the hotel, had a small workout, listened to some shows and did a little reading. EXCITING STUFF….. or not.
1. 16 Carat Gold SF: Shingo Takagi over Zack Sabre Jr by ELBOW/CHOKE DEATH COMBO.
Holy fuck did this ever rule!!! This is the sleeper match of the weekend. Zack was extremely aggressive here. He came right out of the gates swinging. And of course Shingo was happy to go toe to toe with him. Zack got the advantage by injuring Shingo’s arm (which he sold like Ricky Steamboat in his prime). However Shingo struck back, taking out Zack’s leg and then going to work with some of the most awesome leg attacks I’ve ever seen. He was switching from one leg lock variation to another and it was soooo smooth. I was just in awe. And I think it was this match that saw Shingo do A FIST DROP TO THE KNEE!!!! Awesome! But Zack fought back, like he had been doing all weekend. Shingo once again had to break out a more severe finisher, as that little story continued on. This time it was the elbow/choke combo that I’ve only ever seen him use once before.
2. 16 Carat Gold SF: Drake Younger over Steve Douglas via Drake’s Landing
The second semi final delivered in spades too. If you’ve read my prior reports you know the deal with these guys. The crowd loves one of them and they HATE one of them. Thus we had yet another match with insane heat. Drake was on fire and Douglas probably put in his best performance of the weekend here. The nearfalls were EPIC and when Drake pulled out the win with the Landing the place exploded.
3. Streetfight: The Kartel (Sha Samuels & Terry Frazier) over Martin Stone & Erick Stevens pinning Stevens.
Oh this was soooo much fun. I dunno what it’d be like for a DVD viewer but this is the type of match that a live crowd adores. They brawled everywhere. I followed around Erick and Terry Frazier and was witness to them destorying the merch table, the Subway sandwich stand and even THE WALL:
Erick’s excitement is so contagious. You just can’t help but go crazy and cheer when he’s beating up some dude. Oh and PRO-TIP, do not high five Erick Stevens! He will break your hand! I can’t imagine what a chop is like. As disappointed as I was that Stone (who was also great) and Stevens lost, the finish was hilarious. The Kartel had pretty much not had one offensive manouvre all match, but when Stone fell out of the ring they both rolled up Stevens and piled on for the quick pin. They then proceeded to roll out of the ring, completely dead but with their hands raised.
4. Sternau over Dan Paysan via Ace Crusher
Apparantly this was Sternau’s debut on a main show. And he did a good job. I imagine Paysan is a great guy for a rookie to wrestle, because he’s so damn smooth in the ring and just makes everything so easy. The one scary point was Sternau going for a standing moonsault and not getting all the way over but credit to him, he put it behind him and didn’t let it effect him afterwards. Thankfully he didn’t seem hurt. Fine little match.
5. wXw LW Title: Tommy End (c) over Tatsuhito Takaiwa via submission
This was the big Takaiwa match of the weekend. He and Tommy went at it hard and had a very good match. The last few minutes were killer. Takaiwa busted out his double Powerbomb/DVD combo and a sick sick Michinoku Driver. I don’t think I’ve mentioned End’s finisher in any of the reports but it’s really cool. He hits an RKO and then rolls back into a cool looking submission. He put down Takaiwa with that to keep the belt.
6. wXw WH Title: Bryan Danielson (c) over Absolute Andy, Adam Polak & Tyler Black
– Danielson succeeds in V1 pinning Black with The Peruvian Necktie
By far the best of the three 4-ways we saw during 16 Carat. The schtick at the start with Polak and Bryan being BFF’s was hilarious. The Krakow Butcher was the first man out, pinned by Tyler Black. But upon leaving he busted him open with his spike. Danielson jumped all over that and proceeded to lay a beating on Black for the next while. Andy got the hot tag and ran wild. He had Danielson beat with the Sharpshooter, until we saw what I seriously considered one of the most CREATIVE spots I’ve seen in a long time. Toilet paper started flooding the ring, and everyone was like WHAT THE FUCK, pissed off that some fan was doing this. But it was not a fan, it was Steve Douglas up on the balcony! So so awesome. Andy let it distract him and Danielson small packaged him for the pin. Then we got about 10 minutes of Danielson/Tyler. It was great. Up there with their ROH matches for sure. Bryan’s training at Xtreme Couture in Vegas paid off, as he busted out A PERUVIAN NECKTIE to make Tyler submit/pass out.
Post match Danielson challenged Paul London to come and try to take his belt.
8. Doug Williams over Chris Sabin via Chaos Theory
I expected this to be good….. but nowhere near as good as it turned out to be! Some of the best exchanges of the entire weekend were right here in this match. Sabin is seriously just a pleasure to watch. The guy does everything seemingly so effortlessly. He’s one of the most athletically co-ordinated dudes I’ve ever seen. The highlight of the match for me was a sweet sweet tornado DDT off the ropes. Loads of teases of the Chaos Theory and when Doug finally hit it, the place exploded. Sabin who for the third night running worked heel, got a standing ovation post match and “made up” with the fans and shook hands with Doug.
9. Big van Walter & Sami Callihan over Bad Bones & Daisuke Sekimoto when Walter pinned Bones with a GIANT POWERBOMB
This match… OH THIS MATCH!!!! One of my favourite tags this year for sure. These guys all brought it 110% So many incredible exchanges, so many great SHEEEER POWAAAH spots, so much hard hitting and it was all structured really well. Amazing when you consider most of these guys had never wrestled each other, and heck, we had one guy that speaks Japanese, one who speaks English and two who speak German. But THE INTERNATIONAL LANGUAGE OF PROWRES made this click perfectly and gave us one of the best, most memorable matches of the whole weekend.
10. 16 Carat Gold 2009 Final: Shingo Takagi over Drake Younger via The Last Falconry winning the 2009 16 Carat Gold Tournament
I don’t really know what I can say about this match. Much like Shingo/Tyler from night 2, words don’t do it justice. The intensity and drama was off the page. I was flipping out like you seriously can’t imagine, all through this match. I may have burnt several thousand calories as someone said! Both guys bled, chairs came into play, Drake busted out an insane, INSANE dive and we got some killer killer nearfalls. Probably the match of the weekend. Either this or Tyler/Shingo. You can’t split them. The story of Shingo’s finishers concluded so beautifully in this. Drake survived all the things that put previous opponents away. The Bloodfall didn’t work, MADE IN JAPAN didn’t work, and the choke didn’t work. So for the first time all weekend we saw The Last Falconry and that was not to be kicked out of.
Shingo was presented with the trophy and announced that he was coming back in November AND WAS BRINGING FRIENDS (Dragon Gate ahoy!). You could see this meant the world to him and that was confirmed by reading his blog today. This is a guy that lives to be a pro wrestler, and he was able to experience a true classic pro wrestling adventure in Germany. It didn’t matter that there wasn’t 60,000 people there. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t in the Tokyo Dome, or Madison Square Garden. This was as real and as awesome as it gets, and every fan and wrestler there knew it. Especially Shingo Takagi.
Like I said in a prior report, all the people I met at these shows were soooo nice. Adam, Jonas, verbec, Evan, Andrew and countless countless others. At a time when so many wrestling crowds are filled with total jerks, it was so refreshing to see a crowd that literally had NOT ONE asshole that I noticed. And everyone was so helpful and accomodating too, which comes in handy when you don’t speak the language.
And then the next morning it was time to go home, after a great great trip.
I had been bumping into Big Daisuke all weekend to the point where everytime I turned around he was seemingly behind me. I said to myself as I walked into the airport “I wonder if any of the wrestlers will be in here”. Of course the first person I notice amongst the thousands roaming the departure terminal, as I walk through the doors was the Japanese man built like a tank, no doubt getting ready to German Suplex something. I should have known he’d be there. Heck I was surprised he wasn’t sitting beside me on the plane to Ireland.
Some pics from Show 3.
Myself and verbec:
Myself and Jonas/ddevil
Myself and some guy with a trophy
Myself and DICE-K
Oh and to while the trip was great, it left me tired as heck and certainly NOT IN THE MOOD for a graduation the next day. As evidenced from this picture where I clearly look less than energetic and like someone who wants nothing more than to go to bed.