wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold live review
January 26 2019
As my dreadful January comes careening to an end it was time for show three of the year; wXw Road to 16 Carat Gold in London. The wXw London shows are traditionally good and I’ve never been disappointed by them. Historically the venue, the Dome in Tufnell Park, is somewhat of a jinx as I’ve never left there sober. It would be time to rectify that and create a whole new set of problems for myself!
SHOW #3: wXw ROAD TO 16 CARAT GOLD
Poor choices. Let’s examine them, shall we? Bad planning will result in a bad experience (sometimes). My poor planning here was a) forgetting I’d already bought train tickets and literally purchasing the same ticket on the same train twice. B) Booking the hotel late and going for a cheaper option that usual in the hope that a cheap hotel in London would be ok.
So on Saturday morning, January 26th, I headed off to the train station to pick up my multiple train tickets. Luckily the second booking was for a later train home, which would become important later. Your basic train journey into London followed. I’m ploughing through the Jack Reacher books so I had “The Visitor” to tuck into and that took up most of my journey into the big smoke.
Then it was a short walk to, what I thought at the time, was an inspired hotel choice; the King’s Hotel in Kings Cross. 15 minutes from Euston, allowing a quick arrival, chance to freshen up and an easy out in the morning. Great right?
I honestly can't wait to review this hotel pic.twitter.com/YqE1soBXty
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) January 26, 2019
As it turns out…
I get into the hotel in the middle of the afternoon. Traditionally if I’m at a hotel I like to grab a shower, maybe a coffee and settle down. That option wasn’t really available to me. The communal shower was on a different floor and I didn’t feel entirely safe using the room to take a piss let alone get naked in. So the shower was a pass. As was the coffee because the room was tiny and riddled with issues. Oh look; a list!
- As seen above the power sockets were literally falling out of the wall. This would actually freak me out later on.
- I could also see wires hanging down outside the window. The dodgy wiring may have been on an adjacent building but it didn’t fill me with confidence that I wasn’t going to die in a fire.
- The manufacturers stamp was still on the sink. They’d tried to remove it but had failed.
- There was a brown stain on the curtain around waist level that did not look good.
- There was some sort of damp on the ceiling.
All in all my hotel experience was quite bad. Yeah, it was only £60, which is London cheap but honestly I felt very uncomfortable in the room and I’m a pretty relaxed kinda guy. I’ve had worse hotels in London but not many. Then when I headed to the venue it rained on me. You ever get that sinking feeling?
A short, 45 minutes or so, stroll later and I was in Aces and Eights, the bar opposite the Dome in Tufnell Park. I’ve never been in there before and figured it was worth a go. I usually drink in the Boston Arms, which is an Irish pub full of old people next door to the Dome but honestly, I’ve never had a good beer in there and it being cheap is the only positive. £2.50 a pint in there compared to £6.10 (!!!) in Aces and Eights. The fact that I still prefer Aces and Eights should speak volumes. Further good news though; many of my friends had also opted to go in there and it was a lively pre-show atmosphere combined with a bar with good ambience that has pizza ovens. I have a new favourite pre-show drinking establishment in Tufnell Park.
6pm and I was queuing outside the venue with Mark Ashford and once again it was raining. The one positive of the Boston Arms is they show the football so I was squinting through the glass at Millwall vs. Everton. The queue moved reasonably quickly and the building was fairly full. If you wanted to get close to the ring every opportunity was there. Ian Hamilton and Mike Kilby had gone in earlier and were both on the apron. I found myself a few rows back with birthday boy Joao. I could see around 50% of the canvas and didn’t really miss anything.
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) January 26, 2019
Mark Davis def. Oliver Carter
Francis Kaspin def. Ivan Kiev
Shigehiro Irie def. Julian Pace
Kyle Fletcher def. Jay Skillet
Bobby Gunns def. Ilja Dragunov, Tim Thatcher, Chris Brookes, Lucky Kid
Mark Davis def. Francis Kaspin (Dunkzilla qualifies for 16 Carat Gold)
Shigehiro Irie def. Kyle Fletcher (Irie qualifies for 16 Carat Gold
Absolute Andy def. David Starr
wXw in London is always a good show and this was no exception. The five-way was downright excellent and the main event delivered in a big way. Also the two mini-tournaments gave the show decent shape and Mark Davis looked great. His chop heavy arsenal drove him into Carat and he deserved it. Oliver Carter also looked very good (he did a hands free quebrada that I loved) but Dunky was definitely the preferred choice. An ongoing theme was Jay FK interfering in each other’s matches but eventually being outdone by their Australian rivals. I see an Aussie Open vs. Jay FK match in their future.
Irie was also great and totally deserves to be at 16 Carat. He’s so wholesome and yet devastating in the ring. His pounce on Julian Pace was incredible, nearly sending the shoot car through the ropes. Loads of guys were really over on the show too, creating a stellar atmosphere. Especially during Aussie Open matches, during the main event and for the five way that just totally killed it. Bobby Gunns, mega babyface, getting the biggest reactions with the “Gunns. Bobby Gunns” chant. The UK smoking ban did hurt his act a little bit but he was so over it almost didn’t matter.
The in-ring was consistently good and this was easily the most consistently good show I’ve been to so far this year. No offence to GOOD or Attack! but wXw was really different class here. There have been a few wXw London shows that have made my shortlist for show of the year. I don’t think this will make it but it was a great night out.
The show was over and we headed back over to Aces and Eights. I’d only had two beers in the venue and left the Dome sober for the first time ever. I felt quite proud of my accomplishment! Another couple in Aces and Eights before we headed back to some guy’s (I am bad with names, sorry…Ross?) apartment to watch Takeover Phoenix. This was a good show but I needed to rewatch it as there was so much chatter. Not a complaint, as it was good company.
Then. Then. We headed back over to Kings Cross and my god that electrical socket hanging over the wall suddenly hit me with a massive wave of paranoia. I was absolutely convinced the building was going to burn down and didn’t even attempt to go to bed. It got so bad I had to go for a walk, keeping in mind it was still raining. So I ended up covering about nine miles of ground. Somehow ended up at Tower Bridge, then took a stroll to St Pauls. Where I snapped this picture at 6am.
So I ended up getting zero sleep, eating breakfast in London and then getting a train back into the world where I finally got some sleep at 3pm. Still, it was a great show!