Let’s begin by talking about the false rumor that Florida Championship Wrestling was shutting down immediately. There, we talked about it. On to the show!
Dante Dash is out first to take on Dave Bronson. Chris Russo tries to pry details out of William Regal about Summer Rae, the new FCW General Manager. Bronson dominates with his ground game on Dash to start the match. Regal and Russo spend a lot of time talking about Bronson’s role as the “psychiatrist” for Maxine to dig up dirt on the other FCW competitors. Bronson applies a sleeper hold on Dash and makes him tap out.
^Bronson dominated this match rather quickly. Looks like they’re trying to put him over as the monster heel. I wish we could’ve seen more moves out of Dante Dash. I understand the purpose of a squash match to put someone over, but isn’t developmental more about learning the ins and outs of storytelling in a contest, ie; getting the timing down to certain moves along with learning to set different paces for different types of matches? Oh well, a squash is what we got out of this one.
Leo Kruger cuts a promo on winning back the Florida Heavyweight Championship last week from Mike Dalton. Kruger says I told you so. He says it only took him one week to regain his title. He says Dalton beating him was a fluke and that the reality is that he is the greatest Florida Heavyweight Champion of all time. He says he is the real Rocky story of FCW. He calls himself the walking, talking, living, and breathing main event, and reminds us that he is the Heavyweight Champion.
^Telling us that you won the title back, and then telling us you are the greatest champion is fine. Ending your promo with the fact that you’re the champion when you’ve already said it twice is as pointless as Randy Orton telling us his name on Raw. I’m starting to wonder how many of these promos are written for the competitors as opposed to them coming up with their own stuff.
Kaitlyn and Audrie Marie are out next for a tag team match with Sofia Cortez and Paige. Kaitlyn spanks Cortez as they lock up to start the match. Cortez goes for some sort of on the shoulders maneuver and ends up falling to mat and Kaitlyn gets a two count. Kaitlyn brings Cortez to the corner and tags in Audrie Marie. Cortez goes to the outside to avoid the attack and Paige sneaks in and hits Marie from behind. Cortez and Paige work some dirty double team tactics and Cortez tags in Paige. Paige with a backbreaker on Marie for a two count. Paige applies an inverted sharpshooter on marie and then picks her up behind her arms and pulls. Looks painful. Paige tags Cortez back into the match. Cortez goes for a pin and gets a two count. Marie with a neckbreaker on Cortez. Cortez tags Paige. Audrie tags Kaitlyn and she goes on the offensive. Kaitlyn does a sitdown slam on Paige and then applies pressure with her legs behind her head and back while holding her arms. Paige taps out. Kaitlyn and Marie celebrate but the anti-diva army attacks them. The female ring announcer jumps into the ring to help Audrie and Kaitlyn.
^It’s nice to see a regular length tag team match from divas. Kaitlyn looks like she’s lost a lot of weight from when she last appeared on Smackdown. I thought they were going to book Paige to be more dominant, but I guess she just gets the bitchy vindictive role without winning the match. Audrie and Cortez both have potential as divas, but they need a lot of work on their technical ability overall.
Xavier Woods(formerly Consequences Creed in TNA) is out to take on Kassius Ohno(formerly Chris Hero). They both start out using technical standing and ground moves. Pretty even so far. Woods with a sweeping leg takedown for a one count on Ohno. Ohno gets the upper hand and kicks Woods several times and then attempts a pin for a one count. Ohno stays on offense and controls the match. Woods goes for a rollup for two and then gets poked in the eyes. Ohno continues the beatdown. Ohno stops Woods every time he attempts some offense. Woods hits a standing headscissors out of nowhere and goes for a pin attempt but only gets two. Woods gets two more two count pin attempts after hitting a strong clothesline after rolling out of the corner. Woods dominates to the outside of the ring but then gets dropped face first onto the steel steps by Ohno. Ohno hits the rolling elbow in the ring for the three count.
^Xavier Woods is a talented guy that will go far once he’s developed his skills further. Ohno showed his experience from the independent promotions. The guys has sound ring presence and solid in ring ability. Once you throw in his look and this gimmick develops, he will easily move up to the main roster of WWE. I was very impressed with how these two worked this match so well. I would call it the best match on the show so far.
The Queen of FCW and reigning Divas Champion Raquel Diaz cuts a promo next. She gets mad because there’s no banner that she asked for. She says she is close to making Audrie Marie snap. She makes fun of her for needing Kaitlyn(the big bad WWE muscle) to fight her battles for her. Audrie Marie attacks Raquel as she continues to run her mouth. Refs come down and break them up.
^A legitimate divas feud with an actual storyline behind it? I love this stuff!
Summer Rae is shown backstage in her office, lounging. Maxine comes in and confronts her. She says she isn’t finished with Summer Rae and then slaps her male assistant and walks out. Maxine is going to be a star down the road.
Antonio Cesaro comes out for his Jack Brisco 15 match with Jack Brisco 15 Champion, Richie Steamboat. Very solid back and forth action the first two minutes of the match. Dead even so far, I’d say. Steamboat has one of the nicest arm drag takedowns I’ve seen in a long time. Cesaro uses a german suplex into a bridging pinfall to get the first fall four and a half minutes into the match. It was somewhat sloppy. Cesaro goes for another pin eight minutes into the match and gets a two count. Richie mounts a strong offense after reversing a lifting neckbreaker submission attempt and gets a two count pin attempt. Steamboat gets a sunset flip into a pin off the top ropes eleven minutes into the match to make the score even at one. They both go for pin attempts roughly thirteen minutes into the match but cannot get the three count. They both go for a high number of small package rollups during the final minute but neither can get a pin. Richie Steamboat is announced as remaining the FCW Jack Brisco 15 Champion. Cesaro attacks Steamboat after the match and takes the medal. He turns around and walks into a superkick from Steamboat, who takes his medal back.
^I’m glad I called Woods and Ohno as the best match so far, because this one was even better. First, listening to Regal on commentary as he explains the history of different moves and replies sarcastically to Russo, it’s just music to my ears. The guy should host his own radio show and have people call in with questions. You could get some good humor and learn a lot from an expert. Steamboat and Cesaro both showcased why they are at the top of their class in terms of working a decent fifteen minute contest. Richie clearly has the technical capabilities that his father possessed, and Cesaro has quite the mobility for a bigger looking guy. I really enjoyed watching these two try to take one another down in this match. Perfecting your craft and learning to put on solid performances like this is what FCW is all about.
As we continue to be shown great shows week in and week out, I’m relieved that the recent rumor turned out to be just that. These guys are a great young group of athletes, some of whom possess unlimited potential. I’m excited to see what they’ll bring to the table in the upcoming weeks. Next up I’ll have the NXT and Smackdown columns. Until next time, you’ve been ThunderStruck!