wXw were cool enough to invite some of the most prolific UK & Irish wrestling journalists (and me, Mr. 74.8k Twitter followers) to their biggest show of the year, the annual 16 Carat Gold three-day tournament. Last year’s Night 3 was one of the most amazing days of wrestling I’ve ever seen featuring Matt Riddle vs. WALTER, Ilja Draganov vs. Bad Bones and the ungodly final of WALTER vs. Ilja, with WALTER doing his best to dig his hand through Ilja’s chest and pull out if heart. It was an unforgettable show so I was glad they remembered to invite me to sunny Oberhausen for another poorly-translated adventure.
I missed the Media Panels and the Inner Circle shows (but you can read about them here, courtesy of Arnold Furious) as I had shoot work and decided to wait to help PROGRESS commentator Callum Leslie around the area as it was his first time in Germany. I then forgot where every fucking thing was because I was using the CentrO as a reference point, which being Germany’s largest shopping mall could mean the destination was anywhere between here and Narnia. Once Callum replaced me with Googlemaps, we headed to the Tryp CentrO to dump our stuff and head to the legendary Turbinhalle.
Every time I see it, I’m amazed something so crappy-looking could be filled with such goodness. It reminds me of myself. Despite resembling the final showdown in Robocop, the venue was absolutely rammed the entire weekend, causing wXw to announce next year’s event would take place in the larger room next door (which was being used for a hardcore techno event this year and due to the black shirts and pale skin it was impossible to tell who was here for what) which is for the best as although the packed capacity made for an amazing atmosphere it meant getting a good view of the ring was as infuriating as Carnival Night Zone Act 2.
16 Carat Gold Night 1
Oh well before we get to the actual action, we were showing the newbies around as they marked out for the beautiful production which has to be the best in Europe (only ICW’s Fear & Loathing shows comes close) only for the mic to die during the warm-up show. No matter what the two hosts did, nothing could make the mic work and the Hype Train was derailed until Dirty Dragan ran out from backstage to dance for the crowd. It was somewhat comforting to see that even the biggest German company suffer from issues that happen in leisure centres around the UK every week. They sauntered on and started the quiz section of the warm-up while I talked to everyone’s favourite cagematch dot de representative, Strigga. While we were talking, the quizmaster asked if any English-speaking fans wanted to join in and Strigga decided I was doing it, volunteering me by getting his mates to chant ”BOTCHAMANIA” until the quizmaster made eye contact. I thought ”ah fuck it, what’s the worst that could happen?” and made my way in to the ring to battle Strigga in a battle of wits. The quizmaster asked a very simple question, a question that everybody in attendance (even those attending their first ever wXw show) knew the answer to, which was ”which wrestler is known as the Ring General?” To put this into language non-wXw fans will understand, this would be like asking a WWE fan”who is known as the Legend Killer?” It was that easy. So naturally, I blanked due to the pressure and didn’t even move.
— 16 CARATCOL (@TheKingofBoom) March 9, 2018
I’ll never criticise anyone on a quiz show for not knowing the answer to something ever again. I absolutely shit it and the crowd responded in kind. And let me tell you, after being in a ring and had an entire crowd laugh at your mistake and cruelly chant ”BOTCHAMANIA” at you, I have to say…it was great. I hope wXw uploads it onto their network so more people can mock me for it. Then maybe someone can tell me who the Ring General is.
I’m not going to go into great detail about the matches as it’d take forever and better reviewers than me will be typing up smoother thoughts anyway.
The show started for real-real with the customary Alternate Four Way Dance, which is usually done to fill up Shotgun TV time but this year the winner was taking Jurn Simmons’ slot as a result of his recent ankle injury. Long-time Abs Man Emil Sitoci defeated RISE member Ivan Kiev, Monster Consulting’s Julian Nero and up-and-comer Julian Pace to wrestle Jurns’ nemesis David Starr later on. Emil’s a good guy now, after spending roughly twenty years as a bad guy and won via Spanish Fly.
Keith Lee vs. Avalanche
Two big men doing their best to break the ring with each other. Lee has a posse due to his sheer coolness and calmness but the overseas fans turned the arena into Monster Consulting’s fan club. Sadly the noise couldn’t stop Lee from eliminating Avalanche from the tourny with the Biggest Powerbomb Of The Weekend. The ring didn’t break which was a good sign for the weekend.
Chris Brookes vs. Alexander James
CCK’s Brookes appears on a big show almost weekly back in the UK & Ireland so he was cheered over the heel-but-respected-because-he-is-smooth James. This was decent but couldn’t follow the Wombo Combo of Lee & Avalanche. James lost after failing to capitalise on Brookes’ shoulder that he’s had taped up for about a year so he should really know better.
Lucky Kid vs. Matt Sydal
OK this was the first special match of the tournament. Despite being a member of bad guy stable RISE, Lucky Kid has been gathering crowd support over the past few months due to the quality of his matches, his Ed from Lion King facial expressions and feeling remorse for hitting his tag partner Tarkan Aslan at Back To The Roots. This meant world-travelled, ex-WWE, 5-Star-Rated-match-at-PWG Sydal got booed to buggery for not being Kid. Matt took it in his stride and playfully worked the crowd while also flying around like a man who thinks he’s a panther (for real). The first Big Damn Pop of the weekend happened when Sydal missed his SSP and Kid rolled him up to get the shock win. Kid has been a tag or team guy for about a year so this win felt like the start of something special. It’s the same as Rusev, he’s a bad guy but damn he’s an adorable bad guy.
David Starr vs. Emil Sitoci
Starr had ”Probably Winning” written all over him as a result of Jurn not being there so this was fine but Emil had as much chance of winning this match as I did. Starr blocked the Spanish Fly and won with a GodoLariat and we got to sing Joan Jett’s Do You Wanna Touch Me yet again.
Mike Bailey & WALTER vs. wXw Shotgun Champion Bobby Gunns & wXw Unified World Champion Bad Bones
Tomorrow, Bailey’s getting a title shot against Gunns and is WALTER’s getting a title shot against Bones so this was very Teddy Long. Gunns would get very cheered over the weekend but he’s against WALTER in this match and he’s higher in the crowd food-chain so the love was still brewing. Gunns feuded with Ringkampf last year after burning a cigarette in Thatcher’s eye which is why WALTER & Bailey beat the shit out of him throughout this match. A WALTER shit-kicking is a fine thing to behold but Bones showed he had the strength and technique to go move-for-move with him to give Gunns a breather. I thought this was going to be a mere preview of tomorrow’s matches but they went seventeen hard minutes, with Gunns surprisingly kicking out of Bailey’s Ultima Weapon finisher but eventually succumbing to his moonsault slam.
Matt Riddle vs. Da Mack
RISE’s resident kiss-arse Da Mack took a knee to the fucking face and got pinned in twelve seconds for the second Big Damn Pop of the night. I approve of the variety and Mack taking a knee to the fucking face.
Travis Banks vs. Mark Haskins
This was another perfectly fine athletic display but neither man had a storyline or feud so this felt a little empty compared to some of the other matches on the card. I know I sound spoilt when a Travis Banks match is classed as filler, but I’m happy being spoilt. Haskins is probably a nice guy but I rarely get into his matches due to them feeling like move diarrhoea with little emotion. He’s a blond Seth Rollins. Top-rope Falcon Arrow ended it.
Timothy Thatcher vs. Jonah Rock
Thatcher is one of the reasons to watch wXw but he’s never been a good promo (prove me wrong). So imagine my surprise when they showed a pre-match video of his best promo ever, talking about how he has a specific style of wrestling, a kind that remembers what this sport is supposed to be that’s dying out. I yelled ”YEAH!!” non-ironically to the giant video screen as he said it and I wasn’t alone as he received a hero’s welcome from the fans. because HE’S RIGHT, DAMMIT. I’m sure Jonah Rock is a nice guy and he feeds his pets when he’s supposed to but he didn’t have many fans here getting in the way of Thatcher’s rise to the top. Thatcher sold his arse off to increase the crowd volume but was able to get his knees up on a Rock Bullfrog Splash and proceed to the next round. Thatcher’s promo alone garnered the third Big Damn Pop of the night.
Absolute Andy vs. Marius Al-Ani
These two were partners until World Tag League last year, when the veteran superkicked his young discipline out of jealousy. wXw fans are like every other wrestling fans though and despite this being a clear case of Andy = Bad and Al-Ani = Good, Al-Ani’s insistence on calling himself a ninja and bragging about how fit he is haven’t turned him into an overwhelmingly accepted favourite yet. Andy’s being getting cheered since the turn and even here in their first proper match, the boos for Al-Ani were audible. It’s tough being likeable in
life wrestling. Andy is a cheating prick who likes to twat people with wrenches but he’s also a tough bastard so despite Al-Ani’s best Ninjutsu, Andy was able to out-smart his opponent and the ref to end Night 1.
No-one knew what to expect from this mini-event occurring in the nearby Hotel Haus Union, but the consensus was ”Wrestlecrap but German.” Despite being ran by Jakobi & Tas, this was a disappointment as wXw’s ”poison cabinet” (rough translation) consisted of matches that included talent like Chuck Taylor and Taiji Ishimori. Or maybe I didn’t understand it because it was in German. I drank whiskey, ate currywurst and left before the end. Next time I’ll demand a preview.
My fingers are probably going to be bleeding by the end of this damn thing so for ease of use and to give a good brother a plug, if you want to read about Ambition 9 (the annual shoot-style tournament) and Wrestling Deutschland, go read Arnold Furious’ write-up.
16 Carat Night 2
There was a Shotgun taping match to start the day, but I doubt Session Moth vs. Veda Scott will make air. It’s not often you have fans and wrestlers coming up to you to tell you how much they dislike someone after a match but that’s the effect Veda Scott has on people. If that match does make it to wXw they’ll need to get Industrial Light & Magic to CGI the finish into something realistic.
RISE (Da Mack & Ivan Kiev) vs. Jay FK (Francis Kaspin & Jay Skillet) vs. Mark Haskins & Matt Sydal vs. Monster Consulting (Avalanche & Julian Nero)
With the UK & Irish fans assembled and rested, the crowd chants for Monster Consulting were looooud. I bloody love Avalanche & Nero, both men are fun in the ring and it’s enjoyable to cheer for Nero as he looks slightly perplexed the louder the cheers are. However, Buddhism tells us that life is suffering so RISE won the match and the number one contendership to Ringkampf’s titles.
Keith Lee vs. Chris Brookes
Giant Lee vs. Tall Brookes made this look like something PRIDE would have booked. The crowd love was split between both guys and I’ve yet to see a bad match involving either man. Lee and his Majin Buu tights powerbombed Brookes so hard he bounced off the mat to advance.
Timothy Thatcher vs. Lucky Kid
At first I wasn’t into this match as I thought it was obvious Thatcher was going to at least the finals. But then Lucky kept on sneaking in near-falls and so I started panicking. Thatcher has absolutely mastered the art of knowing when to get beat up and when to start slapping the life out of his opponent and I was losing my shit near the end when it looked like Lucky would actually beat Thatcher. But as Buddhism tells us, Thatcher ain’t nothing to fuck with and Thatcher put him away with a Butterfly rollover suplex. Big Damn Pop for the last few minutes of the match.
David Starr vs. Travis Banks
A decent match between the two but sandwiched between two story-driven matches meant I don’t remember much aside from Starr’s Han Stansen or whatever he calls that lariat. I don’t know why but Starr’s facial expressions seemed off compared to usual. Or maybe he was trying his best SUPER SERIOUS face, I dunno. He won and Banks got a PLEASE COME BACK chant.
Absolute Andy vs. Matt Riddle
Riddle teased knocking out Andy in mere seconds but the crafty bastard had his foot under the ropes (to further piss off people after the match finish last night) and the match continued. Riddle seemed such an obvious pick for advancing to Night 3 because he’s so frigging good, so you can imagine the shock when Andy punched Riddle in the bollocks after ”accidentally” pushing the ref and defeated the Bro with a top-rope F5.
Alexander James vs. Jonah Rock
No-one told James he was due out so his ring entrance lasted several minutes as he got quickly dressed, earning a ”he was taking a shit” chant. I got a chance to appreciate Jonah during this match rather than during the Thatcher one where I was just waiting for Tim to hurry up and beat him. He’s an impressive-looking large dude but he missed a moonsault to be rolled-up by A.J. so he’s not that impressive. Wouldn’t mind seeing him elsewhere.
wXw Shotgun Title: Bobby Gunns vs. Mike Bailey
The Irish & UK chanting section decided during Ambition that they loved Bobby Gunns, someone who went up a level after his Ringkampf feud last year. His daft way of talking (”bitches and gentlemen, smoking kills but Bobby Gunns is killer!”) and armbar offence have made him enduring. Bailey was part of team Kick The Shit Out Of Bobby last night and Gunn hadn’t forgotten, brutally wrecking Bailey’s fingers. I’ve seen many people borrow Marty Scurll’s Finger-Break spot but I’ve never seen someone break a dude’s actual finger and make it part of the match. I’ll not include any photos but yeeeeesh. Gunns revelled in the dominance, thinking Bailey couldn’t do anything about it but Bailey crunched him with a Shooting Star Press Knee-Drop to the face which somehow wasn’t the end. Neither was the moonsault slam, which Gunns absorbed and turned into an armbreaker for the submission win. Gunns’ progression as a big match guy (Big Gunn?) continues, Big Damn Pop for Gunns’ entrance and win.
wXw Women’s Title: Toni Storm vs. Melanie Gray
Toni is in the Top 5 best women wrestlers in the world so often her challengers are so far beneath her in terms of talent her matches can reach Lesnar-Levels of dominance. Gray wasn’t here to play Cena at Summerslam 2015 however and this was the most competitive singles Toni match I’ve seen in a while as Melanie matched her move-for-move and dive-for-dive, going as far as to hit her with her own Strong Zero finisher. Storm ended the sprint with a Strong Zero finisher, packing a lot of action into ten minutes.
wXw Unified World Wrestling Title: WALTER vs. Bad Bones
Alright at this point this had already been a great show. There’s no way this match doesn’t disappoint as WALTER is German for ”at least four stars” and Bad Bones proved yesterday he can match him blow-for-blow. And if he can’t, there’s always RISE to back him up. Bones had a live band play him to the ring to give this big match an even Bigger Match feeling. Then WALTER reminded us all that he still gets to announce the stipulation and everyone’s expecting I Quit or Last Man Standing but instead he makes it a Three Way Dance. I think ”oh that’ll be nice, Thatcher deserves a shot” but the theme from Red Alert 3 starts playing…
I have been part of some loud, emotion-filled wrestling moments but FUCK ME DEAD was this something else. For context, Ilja lost to Bad Bones at 17th Anniversary Show and hadn’t been mentioned since December. That show ended with a THANKS ILJA graphic and rumours were rampant that Ilja had left the company to look after his family. When talking about 16 Carat, not one person said anything resembling ”oh yeah, Ilja will probably be coming back” so this was a legit surprise and resulted in the crowd utterly losing themselves. Wholesome Mike Kilby was crying, people were hugging, I was trying to sing the theme song…it was special.
wXw Unified World Wrestling Title: WALTER vs. Bad Bones vs. Ilja Dragunov
Oh wow, a match too? RISE tried to interfere immediately, taking full advantage of the now-Three Way Dance rules but Monster Consulting ran out to deal with them and Ilja got a chance to twat Da Mack (the man who turned on him last year) to ensure they would have no input in the decision and Bones would need to out-wrestle both of his rivals to retain his title. There’s no way I can do this match justice without listing every frigging thing that happened, but suffice to say that Ilja showed no sign of rust or deterioration as he gave as well as he took against two of the toughest coffin nails in wrestling.
WALTER choosing to wrestle Ilja during a title match makes sense story-wise as Ringkampf are all about struggle and Ilja beat WALTER last year so this wasn’t just AWESOME GUY RETURNS, it fit right into WALTER’s quest to destroy RISE and Ilja’s revenge on Bones. After numerous teases and chops that would make your dick stiff, Ilja delivered the Moskau Torpedo onto Bones to win the title and turn this show from a Wrestlemania XIX into a Wrestlemania X-7.
One of the craziest moments I’ve witnessed live. I feel bad that there’s no way I can do this justice without typing FUCK IT WAS GOOD FUCK IT WAS GOOD a few dozen more times. Like the commentators said after Buster Douglas beat Mike Tyson ”this made Cinderella look like a sad story.”
16 Carat Night 3
16 Carat Gold 2018 Semi-Final: David Starr vs. Keith Lee
My poor throat was like Ilja’s chest after yesterday but if the wrestlers are working three days then so can my tonsils. Lee was against a smaller guy for the first time this weekend so you’d think he’d have the advantage. Starr and his Gadolariat disagreed, which I was disappointed by as Lee out-shined Starr in the battle of conveying emotion. Maybe it’s the lumberjack beard blocking his smile. Starr vs. Thatcher was the final many had guessed and made the most sense on paper so sure.
16 Carat Gold 2018 Semi-Final: Absolute Andy vs. Timothy Thatcher
Oh. So there’s been a few wrestlers that we’ve been invested in winning the tournament and one of them was Thatcher due to his pre-match promo and overall greatness. Andy had out-smarted Riddle and good for him for getting this far, right? After no-selling a low blow (because he’s tough) Thatcher locked in a sleeper hold, Andy rolled though and pinned him, giving the crowd a low blow. Giant ”BULLSHIT” chants were interrupted by RISE wanting their tag title shot tonight and dared Thatcher & WALTER to accept. Of course they did, they love struggle, iron sharpens iron etc. This was not expected, to say the least.
Emil Sitoci vs. Alexander James vs. Lucky Kid vs. Mark Haskins
The traditional Look At What You Could Have Won (R.I.P. Jim Bowen) four-way with guys who hadn’t made it to Night 3 of the tournament. I moved to go talk to people and lost my place in the crowd so I missed nearly all of this match live. Luckily wXw Now have been working quick so it’s already online. A pure multi-man spot-fest that was a change of pace, Haskins excelled in a match based around flying around like a daft bugger. After some nifty combo-submissions from James, Emil pinned Haskins after a jumping tombstone piledriver. Breezy match with everyone getting time to shine.
wXw Women’s Title: Toni Storm vs. Killer Kelly vs. Session Moth Martina vs. Wesna
Wesna hadn’t been seen since the Femmes Fatale tournament where she won over people by throwing every woman she could find into chairs. Another super-charged spot-fest with Wesna dominating and the other wrestlers trying to get away from her. Toni Storm realised she couldn’t out-muscle Hell For Pleather so she finished off Moth with a Strong Zero instead. The Irish fans (who you’d assume would be all over her like diabetics to insulin) booed Moth after she may or may not have blanked them at the Afterparty the previous night. The boos were so loud (as well as the ”I’d rather be a Brit than a Moth” chants) that Alan4L had to address them on commentary. As I said earlier, it’s tough being likeable.
It’s around this time Bobby Gunns showed up our chanting section and thanked us all for the support. Ireland and UK then started brawling over got to keep him and bring him back home.
wXw Unified World Wrestling Title: Ilja Dragunov vs. Matt Riddle
Only in wXw can someone start an open challenge and have it answered by a World Champ because it’s all about the fight. This first-ever match wasn’t the automatic five star encounter I expect every first-ever Dream Match to be because I’m an idiot but good God did these two pummel each other like two smack-heads fighting over kebab meat.
Ilja’s chest is like Flair’s forehead so it got bust open again, Riddle is always a blast to watch and this really picked up near the end so please don’t think I’m shitting on this match. But after they wrestle each other a few more times it’s going to be Top 10 material. Ilja halted the Mack-Knacker Knee with a Moskau Torpedo to retain.
CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) & Jonah Rock vs. Yoga Ninja Squad (Marius Al-Ani, Matt Sydal & Mike Bailey)
Apparently Rock is Australian AND Samoan so fuck giving him a bad review. Everyone gets chants before the match except Sydal. Even Al-Ani has won the crowd over now there’s no fear of him winning 16 Carat. Alan4L lets us know the names of the teams aren’t officially recognised by each member of the team as someone wanted ”Three Sexy Lads.” Yet another multi-person match where everyone gets a chance to show off their stuff but when everyone involved is all about that spot-life, it’s fine. Honourable mention to Sydal who looked the best he had all weekend, getting a chance to show off his yoga with a low-bridge German Suplex and sit-up. A crazy stretch of dives, splashes and flying knees ended with the CCK guys victorious after a Ki Krusher. ***** because Jonah Rock was in it and he has internet so he may vanity search and read this.
wXw World Tag Team Titles: RISE (Da Mack & John Klinger) vs. Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER)
Moods were sour after seeing Thatcher get eliminated from the tournament he seemed destined to win and having RISE show up immediately afterwards didn’t help. RISE had more issues pre-match as despite Da Mack & Ivan Kiev winning the title shot, Bones took Kiev’s place despite protests from Bouncer. Da Mack agreed because he’s a little shit. Thatcher fought valiantly but was visibly tired from the Andy match earlier, so RISE spent the majority of the match cutting him off from making the tag. WALTER lost his shit and ran in to clean house which only helped RISE as the referee had to deal with him while they double-teamed Thatcher. Mack hit Black Magic and Thatcher kicked out (which was so close the bell rang), only for the ref to assure us the match was still on…and Mack hit an Impaler to win seconds later to stab us twice in the heart. If the bell ringing was deliberate then fair play to them as it only helped the heartbreak at seeing Thatcher lose the tournament and his titles in one night.
Post-match, RISE celebrated with their new titles and Bones was happy because with a title the rest of RISE will listen to him…except for Bouncer who finally turned and DDT’d Bones before leaving. He also opened his shirt which made everyone go ”fuck, I would.” Kiev, Lucky and Aslan thought about it but went back to RISE like battered house-wives.
Post-post match, WALTER thanked Thatcher for being his friend and tag partner. Thatcher said ”Auf Wiedersehen” and left the arena and maybe wXw. Batman villains have had less worse origin stories than Thatcher so this lowered the mood already lowered by his first loss. Hopefully the finals can cheer us up!
16 Carat Gold 2018 Finals: Absolute Andy vs. David Starr
Despite his experience and size, I doubt many would have guessed Andy would make it to the finals. But it didn’t matter as Starr was going to win this as he’s the liked one, right? Well things got interesting during this match. It wasn’t a proper double-turn but bear with me here: People were chanting for Starr during the match with only one section being REALLY pro-Andy which caused everyone else to respond with pro-Starr chants. Andy kept on trying to use his wrench but Al-Ani ran in to stop any shenanigans allowing Starr to nail him with a chair for a close two. Andy was able to counter Starr’s Canadian Destroyer into a F5 for another close near-fall. The near-falls kept on coming and coming and sometimes this is fine, like the recent Gargano vs. Almas match. Other times, the match builds like Greek Music until there’s a crescendo and…the song keeps on going. This was one of those times. After numerous hard clotheslines, lariats and German Suplexes, Andy gave Starr another F5. Starr kicked out. Andy gave him another. Starr kicked out again. Andy dragged Starr to the top rope and gave him a Top Rope F5. Starr kicked out of that and that was the point where many turned on Starr. Not even John Fucking Cena would kick out of a series of moves like that and suddenly Starr had turned the match from serious to ridiculous. You can hear people singing Cena’s theme as soon as that happened and it wasn’t because they’re part of his Chain Gang. Thankfully it didn’t last long and Andy nailed Starr with a Canadian Backbreaker into a Piledriver to end the match and win the tournament. Instantly, fans that turned into critics during the final stretch reverted back to being fans after realising FUCKING ANDY had won. He raised the trophy, called himself the best and then sodded off. The biggest show of the year was over.
If Night Two was a throbbing erection then Night Three was a pair of scissors. wXw aren’t afraid to think ahead and have unpopular things happen to set up future storylines (this is a company that tours every week, they can’t just have WALTER vs. Bones on every show) so this was the same feeling as watching a sad episode knowing the later episodes will be happier. Like The Empire Strikes Back followed by Return Of The Jedi, or Men In Black 2 followed by Men In Black 3. It’s these decisions that make me carry on watching wXw because as top-tier as the match quality is, they make me actually Give A Shit about the wrestlers. Will Al-Ani get his revenge on Andy? Is Thatcher done? How will Bouncer fair against RISE? Will Starr sell something? You get the idea.
edit: actually I’ll add a bit more in case he reads this and flips his lid. You know when you like an actor but you don’t like a role he’s in? Like Keanu Reeves is great in The Matrix but awful in Dracula? I like Starr in competitive matches but dislike him as the Terminator.
That’s enough typing, I’m spent. I don’t even care that the filthy Oberhausen fans gave me and the rest of the UK & Irish fans their disease, it was worth it. We had our usual post-show meal at Alex’s (the waiters now know when wXw is touring and know straight away to pull up extra tables) and after some schnitzel, we parted ways while expressing how weird and wonderful it was that there were a bunch of fans so dedicated to their hobby that they had friends they only saw once a year and it felt normal.
Auf wiedersehen until next year, pets.