Zack Sabre Jr vs Axel Dieter Jr
16 Carat Gold Tournament 2016 Finals
Turbinenhalle, Oberhausen, Germany
(reviewed 11/28/2016) Outside of a small handful of tag matches, I’ve been really unimpressed with Dieter for the most part, but I’ve heard good things about him this year, so let’s give this a look. Both men are heated at the beginning, shoving and slapping each other before going to town with strikes, and it’s pretty good stuff. Dieter, with a bit of a size advantage I don’t recall him having, is able to muscle ZSJ around a little, but ZSJ’s speed and “technical wizardry” ensures that he won’t be kept down long. There’s not a real swing of momentum back and forth, as they sort of just do moves to each other a few spots at a time with no story and less meaning. ZSJ goes after Dieter’s arm and the young German sells it poorly and hamfistedly, though it’s not entirely bad. A trio of penalty kicks each get ZSJ a nearfall in a dumb spot. Afterward, Dieter is up in ZSJ’s face, and they sit cross-legged, knee to knee, and slap each other a bunch for a brief double down. Dieter no sells a European uppercut and hits one of his own for a two count, but a blockbuster attempt off the top ends poorly for him, as ZSJ yanks him down to the mat and slaps on the Jim Breaks armbar before the young man is able to get to the ropes. As the commentary team cheers him on, Dieter gets more and more dramatic with his facials and movements, stringing together a bunch of supposed finishers and staring shocked, mouth agape, at the crowd when somehow it isn’t enough to put his opponent away. A European clutch attempt from ZSJ is turned into a double arm submission of some kind, and I think the commentary team states that Dieter won an I Quit match with this move. ZSJ simply wriggles his way free after the requisite amount of selling and slips right into another European clutch for two. Dieter goes for an uppercut and finds it reversed into an armbar, and when he rolls ZSJ over into a pin attempt to escape, the veteran traps him in the Jim Breaks armbar along with a leg hold, really burying a few elbows and fists into the kid’s jaw and neck for good measure, and Dieter has no choice but to tap, losing in the finals of the tournament two years in a row. An aimless match with no story other than “two dudes hit each other with their spots”, but on a technical, move-based level, it was fine, if a little repetitive. Dieter continues to disappoint as a singles competitor, and ZSJ continues to fail to elevate lesser workers.