We have Evolve 40 live coverage coming from the Santa Clara Fairgrounds.
With five shows down and eight still to come, I felt it was time to check in on the FGB with some thoughts on my “Epic ProWres Voyage 2013”. For those not aware, which is probably most of you reading, I am currently embarking on a 13 show wrestling viewing tour spanning five weeks and three countries. It wasn’t my intention to do something like this, things just kinda fell into place this way and when they did I asked myself if I was insane enough to take on such a schedule and the answer was a definitive YES!
First up I boarded a lovely Aer Lingus plane and made my way to not-so-scenic Oberhausen, Germany to take in the greatness of Europe’s most presitigious wrestling tournament, the 16 Carat Gold presented by wXw Germany. I had been to Carat in 2009 and 2011 and had witnessed some incredible stuff with some of the best performers in the world. So I knew what I had to expect this year, and I got it in abundance. The three day event, attended by arguably the most enthusiastic fans in the world, was off the charts. There was one great bout after another all capped off by the tournament final on Night Three between Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Zack Sabre Jr. and Holland’s Tommy End. It was a magical match that I consider among the three best I’ve ever seen live. If you’re into star ratings, I didn’t bat an eyelid giving this five stars and it’s definitely my working Match Of The Year. Continue reading
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.
Woke up before the other guys on Saturday so I decided to head off on my own into Centr-o to do a bit of exploring and ALOT of eating. There’s so many cool shops in that place and a ridiculous amount of hot women strolling around. There were shops for everything, but the coolest thing I saw in the whole place was this:
A 3D image of a tiger, in a solid crystal cube. Dunno how the fuck you create one of those but it’s amazing.
Before I went back to the hotel, it was eating time and I knew there was only one place I needed to be. The VAUNTED Pagoda Chinese Buffet. It’s out on it’s own little island on the side of Centr-o, and with a bridge set up to walk to it, it has a pretty cool look.
GETTIN’ MY 16 CARAT ON IN GERMANY: Part 1
I have no plans for what I’m gonna write here, how long it’ll be or anything. I’m just gonna roll with it and see what comes of it.
An early ass flight accompanied by several old PPH’s on my mp3 player, saw me arrive in Deutschland on Friday morning with the first night of the tourney that evening. Found our hotel which was really really nice and in a perfect location. Myself, AdamJ and his two buddies made our first trip into the GIGANTIC Centr-o mall in Oberhausen where we were basically just overwhelmed by the freaking size of the place and the ridiculous amount of restaurants at our disposal. After some food, it was off to NIGHT 1 of WXW 16 Carat 2009!!!
The venue was this cool little bar that you could tell was gonna have an awesome atmosphere just by entering.
1. Sami Callihan vs. Dan Paysan vs. Tommy End vs. Sha Samuels
Really fun 4 way and a perfect opener for a live show. Paysan looked way better than I was expecting and had tons of charisma. Sami is waaaay more enjoyable in person than on tape…. when you hear his strikes live it’s unreal. Tommy is bigtime over with the German fans, who MOSH during his entrance and Sha is basically just an awesome English lout who wrestles in a QPR scarf. Sami got the win over Paysan to be the official alternate for the tourney.
2. 16 Carat Gold 2009 Opening Round Match: Daisuke Sekimoto over Martin Stone via No Touch German Suplex