German wrestling promotion wXw is set to hold its annual 16 Carat Gold tournament over the weekend, and those in attendance can catch stars like Bandido, David Starr, WALTER, and Cara Noir in action. One wrestler who will miss out on the tournament is WWE Superstar Lio Rush, as the company pulled The Man Of The Hour from the event earlier this week. Fans weren't left disappointed, however, as wXw announced Rush would be replaced by Jeff Cobb.
The German promotion's working relationship with WWE has led to criticism from some independent wrestling fans who are unhappy about the wrestling behemoth's encroachment into European independent wrestling in recent years. Particularly as some fans feel wXw's product has been diluted as a result of their relationship with WWE.
Despite this criticism, wXw seemingly value their relationship with WWE, as Dave Meltzer revealed in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that they refuse to book wrestlers signed with All Elite Wrestling and won't even mention AEW by name as they are worried it will cause them to have heat with WWE.
For the avoidance of doubt, Meltzer penned: "Because of its business with WWE, the promotion has refused to book any talent associated with AEW and while Jeff Cobb, who they got as a last minute replacement, is not an AEW wrestler he was just on the AEW show. They won't even mention AEW by name for fear of it causing heat with WWE."