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FCW 10/23 Review

FCW has a formula that I prefer to the WWE, in that there’s more of a focus on matches, and on spreading the wealth. You don’t see the same handful of guys taking up the majority of every single show. They actually use their depth. Sure, I’ve only been watching for a few weeks, but I’ve seen an assortment of talent during that time. My only regret is that I didn’t start watching a long time ago. Give FCW a chance and see if you feel the same way, especially if you’re at all tired of the status quo common in bigger promotions.

Spoilers FOLLOW

Ricardo Rodriguez vs Leakee (B-): Howard Finkel is the ring announcer this week. People could watch the show just for that. Finkel is almost immediately interrupted by Ricardo Rodriguez, who is brilliant in every way. Ricardo calls the Fink old, and says there’s only one person worthy of calling Ricardo’s name and that’s Ricardo, so Ricardo brilliantly announces himself for the match. Ricardo’s opponent is Leakee, who has a good look and comes from a fantastic wrestling bloodline. This was a good match, with Leakee using his impressive combination of size and athleticism and Ricardo countering with ring savvy and a bunch of really cool counter kicks. This was a really good opener which Leakee pulls off, but it truly felt like it could have gone either way. This is what a pro wrestling match should feel like at the end.

Diva’s Tag Team Match: Naomi and Cameron Lynn w/ Byron Saxton vs Kaitlyn and Caylee Turner. (C-): We jump right into the second match of the evening. Naomi is wearing what might just be the worst body suit in history. I can’t believe how awful this group’s gimmick and look is right now. When they speak, I want to hit mute. Surely, Saxton deserves better than this. You can literally see fans covering their ears. Naomi is really athletic, but she doesn’t seem to have developed all that much since NXT. I don’t really see anything about Cameron that makes her worthwhile. Kaitlyn looks good, and she’s improving in the ring. Caylee is Alicia Fox’s little sister. She moves pretty well, and probably has a future on the main roster. Pretty standard tag match, which is a compliment in this case. Diva matches in FCW actually look like wrestling matches, unlike whatever it is they do on other shows. Naomi and Cameron pick up the win here, which is no surprise, since they’re the actual “team.” They’re a brain hemorrhage waiting to happen, but they’re still a team.

Next, Briley Pierce (Dolph Ziggler’s brother) interviews Richie Steamboat. They talk about Steamboat’s recent habit of kicking Husky Harris in the face. Steamboat isn’t apologetic this week, since he’s concluded that Harris deserved the second kick. After all, Steamboat was raised to respect women, and it kind of looked like Husky was attacking Aksana last week. Aksana shows up, looking hot like she always does. She doesn’t say anything, but she does walk off with Steamboat.

There’s a promo for the Ascension here. I’m digging this group early. They’ve got a great look, a supernatural sort of vibe, and really nice promo videos. I’d like to see a lot more of them.

Erick Rowan vs Big E Langston (C+):Rowan has a huge red beard and actually looks like a fire giant. I still can’t decide whether that’s good or bad, but I’ll say good for now. Big E is another really large guy. While Rowan is big, Big E is one of those seriously muscled individuals. I was expecting a slow, plodding match that bored me to tears. I actually got a physical match with a lot of impressive displays of power from both guys. The ending was so abrupt that it took a little away from the match, but this was solid, big man wrestling.

In the next segment, Briley Pierce is having a laugh at some footage of Brad Maddox getting knocked out on a previous show. This brings out the costumed character who had knocked out Brad. Actually, he removes his head to reveal none other than Brad Maddox. Since Brad couldn’t have been in two places at once, he’s obviously not the original guy in the costume. Brad reveals that he found the costume in Briley’s bag. Then he announces that Briley has been booked for his first match, against Brad Maddox. Not a bad way to set up a debut match, especially since these two have been going back and forth for a while now.

Mike Dalton vs Antonio Cesaro (C-): Don’t get me wrong. I like Antonio Cesaro, but this was less of a wrestling match and more of a prolonged squash in order to showcase Antonio’s style and moves. Dalton doesn’t do a lot other than get tossed around from bell to bell. The highlights were Antonio’s toss into an European Uppercut (previously known as the Swiss Death) and the match ending Ricola Bomb. I look forward to seeing Antonio in an actual feud, or at least a match with a little tension.

Next we’re subjected to Percy Watson and Titus O’Neill. I don’t particularly like this duo. They work well enough together during tag matches though. Percy is solid on the mic and a tremendous athlete. My issue is that Titus can not talk. He stumbles over every sentence, which is clear during this segment. Titus can’t even say what tag titles they’re after on the first try. He’s a big, athletic guy with an annoying dog bark as a catchphrase. Sorry, I’m not interested in listening to him speak.

Florida Heavyweight Championship Match: Leo Kruger vs Husky Harris (B-): Husky has vowed to destroy Kruger for being disrespectful to Husky’s injured brother, Bo Rotundo. Husky comes out of the blocks quickly, looking to put Kruger away early, while still dishing out some serious punishment. Husky controls the early part of the match. He’s a big guy, who can really throw his weight his around, and that’s exactly what he should be doing, especially against a much smaller opponent. Kruger has a lot of trouble even moving Husky, but this match still works. It’s just backward from what you usually see in a match. Husky throws Kruger around, but Kruger is crafty and keeps rallying. I knew going into the match that Husky wasn’t going to take the title in Leo’s first defense. Not only that, I also expected Richie Steamboat to play a role in the ending, since a Steamboat/Husky feud seems on tap. That being said, I still found the ending of this match rather creative. I won’t spoil it by giving away the details.

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Better show than last week, which is impressive considering there was no Dean Ambrose to be seen. It’s a testament to the roster’s depth and the fact that somebody knows what they’re doing with these shows. I’m enjoying FCW more than Raw right now, and it hasn’t really been close.

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