The History wXw 16 Carat Gold: 12 Years in the Making

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Photo: wXw

In less than three weeks, the biggest wXw show of the first half of the year is happening: the 16 Carat Gold tournament. So let’s take a look at the history of the 3-day spectacle, Europe’s most prestigious wrestling tournament, before the first rounds of the 2018 edition will be drawn.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2006

Photo: wXw

The first ever 16 Carat Gold tournament happened 12 years ago, where the competitor list read like this: Rocky Romero, Tengkwa, Murat Bosporus, Vries Kastelein, Adam Polak, HATE, Ian Rotten, Ares, Tommy End, Bad Bones, Steve Douglas, Steve Allison, Doug Williams, Bernard Vandamme, Baron von Hagen, and Iceman. As you can see, the concept of having 16 participants was there from the start. Some names might not be known too much, but wrestlers like Tommy End ( aka Aleister Black) and Rocky Romero (now in NJPW) are widely known nowadays. The winner of the inaugural tournament was Baron von Hagen who had to end his career due to neck problems after only 3 years of competing.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2007

Photo: Sarah Hollywood

Go Shiozaki, Davey Richards, Nigel Mcguiness, Doug Williams, Ares, Tommy End, El Generico, Pac, Ryo Saito, Matt Sydal, Bad Bones, Emil Sitoci, Murat Bosporus, Steve Douglas, Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli – this line-up is star-filled from a 2018 perspective. Claudio Castagnoli (Cesaro) had a classic with Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno) who also was the eventual winner. The NXT commentator Nigel Mcguinness visited wXw shortly after his King of Europe Cup victory and a man with a VERY similar moveset to Sami Zayn named El Generico wrestled on this show. And the former Cruiserweight Champion and King of 205 Live Neville (Pac) left gravity at home when he flew to Germany.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2008

Photo: wXw

The third installment of the three-day festival was won by Bad Bones who is the current wXw Unified World Champion and will be defending it at Night two of the 2018 edition against WALTER. The competitor list from 10 years ago: Ares, Big Van Walter, Tommy End, Jimmy Jacobs, Chris Hero, Absolute Andy, El Generico, Taiji Ishimori, Bad Bones, PCO, Emil Sitochi, Chuck Taylor, Bryan Danielson, Mike Quackenbush, Naomichi Marufuji and Doug Williams. The man who headlined Wrestlemania 30, Daniel Bryan (Bryan Danielson) was a regular member of the wXw roster ten years ago. The current PWG champion Chuck Taylor was a guest and the international legend Naomichi Marufuji as well.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2009

Photo: Dragon Gate

As you might noticed, every year some ROH stars flew to Germany for this show, and 2009 was not an exception: Daisuke Sekimoto, Martin Stone, Drake Younger, Adam Polak, Steve Douglas, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, Bryan Danielson, Doug Williams, Zack Sabre Jr., Terry Frazier, Big Van Walter, Erick Stevens, SHINGO, Absolute Andy, Tyler Black and Chris Sabin entered this year’s edition. During Night Two, Bryan Danielson won the wXw World Heavyweight Title from Bad Bones and retained one night later in a 30-minute title defence against Absolute Andy, Adam Polak and Tyler Black (Seth Rollins). In the finals, the Dragon Gate wrestler SHINGO defeated Drake Younger for the victory in the fourth 16 Carat Gold tournament.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2010

The year the Young Bucks squared off against each other in a wXw ring and 17 men competed for the trophy: Ares, Matt Jackson, Munenori Sawa, Paul Tracey, Martin Stone, Yuji Okabayashi, Claudio Castagnoli, Johnny Kidd, KAGETORA, Nick Jackson, Tommy End, Erick Stevens, Adam Polak, Big Van Walter, Daisuke Sekimoto, Chris Hero and Bad Bones. In the finals, a young WALTER in his early 20´s ( fka Big Van Walter) defeated Chris Hero to win his first 16 Carat Gold.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2011

Photo: wXw

The wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion Daisuke Sekimoto defended his title during all 3 days of the weekend and came out victorious every time. The tournament was won by Sami Callihan (fka Solomon Crowe) when he defeated the winner of the 2010 edition, Big Van Walter, in the Main Event. The other participants were: Yoshihito Sasaki, Carnage, Zack Sabre Jr., Colt Cabana, Mark Haskins, Adam Cole, Go Shiozaki, Johnny Moss, Rico Bushido, Davey Richards, Jon Ryan, Tommy End, Kotaro Suzuki and El Generico.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2012

Photo: wXw

Yoshihito Sasaki, Bad Bones, Karsten Beck, Drake Younger, Ricky Marvin, Axeman, Johnny Moss, Doug Williams, Tommy End, Emil Sitochi, Zack Sabre Jr., Jon Ryan, El Generico, Marty Scurll, Fit Finlay and Sami Callihan. If you ask the wXw head office about the most influential fly-ins they had, one of the names coming up every time is Fit Finlay who gave advice and tips that helped wXw become what they are today. And he only came to wXw on two occasions, which shows the value of his input into the quality of the product. El Generico defeated Tommy End in the finals to secure his first and only 16 Carat Gold victory.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2013

Photo: wXw

2013 marked the first of two times where Tommy End was victorious. End and Chris Hero are the only wrestlers who won the Carat two times in its 12-year history. NXT star Axel Tischer (aka Alexander Wolfe) was the wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion at the time and defended against Big Van Walter during Night two. The other competitors were: Shinobu, Bad Bones, Karsten Beck, Paul Tracey, Robert Dreissker, Yuji Okabayashi, Ricochet, Eddie Kingston, Chuck Taylor, Super Crazy, MASADA, Jonathan Grasham, Ricky Marvin, Zack Sabre Jr., Johnny Moss.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2014

Photo: wXw

So this was the second victory for Chris Hero. He defeated Axel Tischer in the finals. From today´s point of view a Match between two NXT stars. The other competitors were: Bad Bones, Tommaso Ciampa, Robert Dreissker, Ryuichi Kawakami, Big Daddy Walter, Sasa Keel, Johnny Gargano, Toby Blunt, KUSHIDA, Karsten Beck, Matt Striker, Adam Cole, Trent, and Freddy Stahl. You have multiple current WWE stars here: Chris Hero ( Kassius Ohno), Axel Tischer (Alexander Wolfe), Adam Cole, Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano. On the other side, you have two NJPW performers in KUSHIDA and Trent. This was a really stacked line up.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2015

Photo: wXw

The second win for Tommy End was achieved here when he defeated Axel Dieter Jr. (Marcel Barthel). Again, this is a pure NXT match from a 2018 perspective. The other men were: Marty Scurll, Cedric Alexander, Absolute Andy, Sha Samuels, Timothy Thatcher, Chris Sabin, Sasa Keel, Uhaa Nation (Apollo Crews), Daisuke Harada, Kim Ray, Andrew Everett, Robert Dreissker, Zack Sabre Jr. and Axel Tischer.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2016

Photo: wXw

Two years ago Suzuki-Gun´s very own technical Wizard, Zack Sabre Jr., won the 16 Carat Gold tournament when he defeated the two-time in a row finalist Axel Dieter Jr. In the Main Event of Night Two, Jurn Simmons captured the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship in a four-way Main Event against Bad Bones John Klinger, Absolute Andy and the defending Champion Karsten Beck, who left his boots in the ring after his loss. The Carat participants were: Big Daddy Walter, Timothy Thatcher, Sasa Keel, Ilja Dragunov, Mike Bailey, Will Ospreay, Shane Strickland, Angelico, Trevor Lee, Drew Galloway, Silas Young, Sami Callihan, Kim Ray and Marty Scurll.

2wXw 16 Carat Gold 2017

Photo: wXw

Last years final featured some of the most brutal Chop Battles you’ll see in a Pro Wrestling ring. Both men´s chests were busted open from the amount of open hand brutality. One of the finalists, WALTER, is known for having one of the most devastating chops in wrestling and his opponent and eventual winner, Ilja Dragunov, is known for not backing down from any competition. Definitely check it out on wXwnow. The 14 other wrestlers were: Cody Rhodes, Da Mack, Marius Al-Ani, JT Dunn, Timothy Thatcher, Koji Kanemoto, Avalanche (Robert Dreissker), Matt Riddle, Donovan Dijak, Bad Bones John Klinger, Paul London, Mike Bailey, ACH and David Starr.

wXw 16 Carat Gold 2018

Photo: wXw

In three weeks the 13th 16 Carat Gold tournament will be held in Oberhausen, so stay tuned for our preview of this year’s edition, right here at Last Word on Pro Wrestling!

 

 

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