Essen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, DE – March 7-9, 2008
2008 wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament First Round Match
Mike Quackenbush vs. Bryan Danielson
Danielson grounds Quackenbush in a headscissors. Quackenbush pops out. He goes for a side headlock but Danielson quickly maneuvers into a chinlock. Quackenbush transitions into a wristlock. Danielson rolls his way free and forearms Quackenbush to the corner. Quackenbush armdrags him to the corner to even the playing field. Danielson baits Quackenbush into a kick to the stomach and an uppercut. He then takes Quackenbush to the mat in a waistlock. Quackenbush ties up Danielson’s legs and tries hooking his arms. Danielson gets the ropes before that can happen. Quackenbush picks up the pace and armdrags Danielson to the floor. He follows out with a tope con hilo. Danielson’s right knee seems to have been damaged as he tries re-aligning it before coming back into the ring. Naturally, Quackenbush smartly targets that very leg putting on a figure seven and twisting his foot. Danielson gets the ropes. Quackenbush ties up Danielsons’ legs around his own. After shoving each other, Quackenbush steps on Danielson’s right foot while twisting the left leg and knee. Danielson grabs the ropes. He kicks Quackenbush’s left shoulder away. Danielson then begins focusing his offense on Quackenbush’s left shoulder and arm. He delivers an uppercut before continuing his attack on the mat. The fans have been jeering Danielson the entire match but have gone even more firmly into the Quackenbush camp. This passion allows Quackenbush to dropkick Danielson’s leg out and roll him into a Magistral Cradle for two. Danielson drives Quackenbush’s arm into the canvas. He puts him up in the Romero Special, then grabs onto his shoulder and pulls back while still locking his legs. Quackenbush rolls back pinning Danielson’s shoulders to the mat for a two count. Danielson suplexes him and heads to the top rope. He misses a diving headbutt. Quackenbush chops up Danielson in the corner. He connects with a running elbow smash before hitting the Black Tornado Slam. Danielson kicks out. He knees Quackenbush in the gut and goes for the Cattle Mutilation. Quackenbush escapes and schoolboys Danielson into a crucifix pin for two. Danielson kicks him in the shoulder twice. He puts on the triangle choke. Quackenbush’s arm only drops twice. He rolls Danielson into a pin but Danielson gets his foot on the ropes. Quackenbush ducks a kick and delivers a dragonscrew leg whip. He then puts on a modified ankle lock. Danielson again gets the ropes. Quackenbush comes off the top rope with double knees to the chest. He goes after Danielson’s leg. Danielson counters into a Fujiwara armbar. Quackenbush escapes. Both guys roll around in a small package trading pins. Quackenbush delivers a palm strike for two. Danielson throws him off the top rope but Quackenbush rolls through. He schoolboys Danielson. Danielson rolls him over into the Cattle Mutilation! Quackenbush taps out at 24:57. As one would expect, the wrestling was exceptional. The crowd, however, is what really made this match. Outside of CHIKARA, you might be hard pressed to find another company where the fans are happy to favor him over Bryan Danielson. Both guys played their roles perfectly and always focused on the story of Danielson’s knee/leg and Quackenbush’s shoulder/arm. It was really fun to watch and the fluidity in the ending was terrific. ***¾
World of Sport Rules
Mike Quackenbush vs. Johnny Saint
The match will be contested in six five-minute rounds.
Round One: Saint takes Quackenbush to the mat in a hammerlock, transitioning into a full body stretch and then a pin attempt. Saint allows Quackenbush to stand after a successful kick out. Saint reverses a wristlock and takes Quackenbush down in a half crab. From the mat, Quackenbush is able to get on a wristlock and take things back to his feet. Saint turns that into a full nelson. Quackenbush escapes that and puts on an arm wringer. Saint tries to escape, but Quackenbush flips him to the mat. Saint puts on a headscissors to escape. Quackenbush ties his legs in a figure seven and tries forcing his arm to the mat for a pin. Saint rolls back to reverse the pressure in a double knuckle lock. He releases when the bell signifying the first round’s conclusion rings.
Round Two: Quackenbush twists Saint’s left foot. Saint hops up to his feet and monkey flips his way free. He puts Quackenbush in an abdominal stretch. Quackenbush turns that into a front facelock, but Saint grabs his wrist and takes him to the mat where he traps Quackenbush’s arm in between his legs. Saint mercifully releases the hold after a failed pin attempt. Quackenbush forcefully holds onto a wristlock. Saint eventually reverses, bringing Quackenbush back to the mat. He brings Quackenbush back up in a double knuckle lock. Saint turns that into a sunset flip. Quackenbush rolls through but finds himself back in a wristlock. Quackenbush puts on a bodyscissors. Saint picks him up into a cradle and slams him as the bell rings to end the second round.
Round Three: Saint stretches Quackenbush’s back across his knee. Quackenbush fights up and puts on a modified Octopus Stretch. He tries a pinning combo, then a crucifix pin that sees Saint roll into the ropes. Saint leapfrogs over Quackenbush. He uses the Lady of the Lake to bait Quackenbush into a schoolboy for a pin at 1:32. He leads the match 1 fall to 0.
Round Four: Quackenbush puts on a chickenwing. Saint turns that into a hammerlock, then a wristlock takedown. He snaps Quackenbush’s leg. Quackenbush goes after Saint’s leg after that. Saint takes his other leg and slams it across the bridge of his nose. Quackenbush la courting hold. Saint steps on the back of Quackenbush’s leg to get him to the mat. He puts on a double nerve hold and stretches his back across his knees. Quackenbush rolls out of it and into a seat belt pin for two. He also gets two with a lateral press. He puts Saint in a full nelson. Saint repositions his feet so he can push Quackenbush down. Saint has on a wristlock when the bell rings.
Round Five: Quackenbush again tries the full nelson. Saint reverses into a wristlock, which Quackenbush reverses. Saint takes to the mat to reverse it back. He whips Quackenbush to the corner and snapmares him into a neck and arm crank. Saint rolls and forcefully releases Quackenbush’s arm. Quackenbush gets whipped to the corner again. This time he’s able to hop over Saint and catch him in the Alligator Clutch at 1:49 (20:49 total). Since each man scored one fall, the match is considered a draw. Not sure where Round Six went.
I love watching Johnny Saint. Obviously he’s a great technical wrestler, but he’s so nuanced that little things can go over your head. He had Quackenbush’s number the entire time, was more aggressive, got an early pin and was thwarted by an inescapable clutch to “lose” the match in a draw. On the other hand, Quackenbush never seemed to learn his lesson, going back to old tricks that Saint clearly showed he knew counters or reversals to. It was a fun match to watch between two technical masters. ***½
Mike Quackenbush vs. Naomichi Marufuji
After trading wristlocks, Quackenbush tries a crucifix pin. Marufuji counters into a nearfall and the two men stand off. Marufuji twists Quackenbush’s ankle. Quackenbush turns it into a half crab, which Marufjui then turns into a leg scissors. Quackenbush applies pressure to Marufuji’s other leg. Marufuji eventually puts on a figure four. Quackenbush gets the ropes. After fighting for control, Marufuji trips Quackenbush and dropkicks him in the face. They each snap off an armdrag. Quackenbush pops onto Marufuji’s shoulders and armdrags him to the floor. He feigns a dive. Back in the ring, Marufuji avoids a hip toss but gets taken down into a Liontamer. Marufuji gets the ropes. He uses his feet to send Quackenbush face first into the second turnbuckle. He locks his legs around Quackenbush’s leg and applies a courting hold. Quackenbush schoolboys out of it for a two count. He sunset flips Marufuji for two. Marufuji rakes his feet across his face multiple times. He twists up Quackenbush’s neck with his feet twice. He puts on a crossface. Quackenbush escapes. Marufuji misses a leaping elbow in the corner. Quackenbush brings him out with a bulldog. He clotheslines Marufuji into a facebreaker across his knee. He gets two with the Black Tornado Slam. He puts on the Lightning Lock Omega. Marufuji gets the ropes. He catches Quackenbush with a clothesline for two. Marufuji hits an enzuigiri in the corner. He turns a Tiger Suplex into a neckbreaker for two. He goes for the Shiranui. Quackenbush blocks it. From the apron he kicks Marufuji in the chest and comes back in with the Tail of the Dragon for two. He follows up with the Quackendriver III, yielding the same result. Marufuji blocks the second attempt and tries the Shiranui again. Quackenbush blocks that with an O’Conner Roll. Marufuji hits a superkick. He hits a second to block a palm strike. He finally pulls off the Shiranui for the win at 15:47. The story was sound and the wrestling was on point, but when you see these two names attached to a match you expect something more. It’s cool that this match even happened to be honest but I wonder how much better it would have been if they really took to the skies instead of keeping it more grounded. ***