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FCW 11/6 Review

FCW continues to impress me. The shows are consistently good, and perhaps just as importantly, they make sense. I’m yet to see something happen that leaves me scratching my head and wondering whose stupid idea led to a particular decision. Vince should take notes, because he’s left me scratching my head two or three times per Raw for a month now. But I digress.

SPOILERS FOLLOW

The show opens with Byron Saxton on commentary with Matt Matlaro. There’s no William Regal on commentary this week, because he’s competing in the main event. While it’s always a joy to watch Regal wrestle, I still groaned about this development. Swapping out Regal for Saxton seemed like a big fail at the time.

They show us what happened between Regal and Dean Ambrose after last week’s show went off the air. This is quality stuff. Regal attacks Ambrose and really gives him a beating. Once Regal gets pulled away, he cuts a quality promo, as only Regal can. Ambrose attacks Regal, leading to another brawl that gets broken up by the same guys. Good stuff. Regal and Ambrose are made for each other.

Leo Kruger is in Maxine’s office. She asks him what he thinks of his Championship Banner and tells him that he has a title defense next week. She says he can watch tonight’s show with her. This seemed like an easy way to get the Florida Heavyweight Champion on the show, since nothing really happened. Even the title defense announcement was met with a “that’s fine” response from Kruger.

From this point forward, the show gets really match heavy.

Mr. Antonio Cesaro vs CJ Parker (C-)
I still don’t get the buzz about Parker. Sure, he’s a Tag Champion, but I only ever see him on the receiving end of beatings. His selling isn’t even particularly interesting. Until he shows me something else, I’m going to see him as a big haired jobber. This match was a little more contested than Cesaro’s debut, but there still wasn’t a point where I thought he was in danger of losing. Cesaro wins a largely one-sided match with the Swiss Death. I don’t see him getting much out of his time in FCW, so I hope he’s not there for too long.

We jump right into the next match.

Percy Watson and Titus O’Neil vs Brad Maddox and Briley Pierce (D-)
Maddox hand picks Pierce as his partner, going so far as to make him wrestle in his suit. Maddox is funny in an obnoxious way and Pierce is amusing in an “is this guy a lost cause” sort of way. If their antics weren’t so amusing, I’d have given this match an even lower grade, because it barely qualifies. It’s a squash. Pierce offers Titus a handshake and Titus responds by destroying him. Aren’t Titus and Percy supposed to be the good guys? Saxton was right in calling Titus a bully, and that was before Titus took advantage of Briley’s attempt at sportsmanship. At least they didn’t let Percy and Titus speak.

Erick Rowan vs Abraham Washington (C-)
Rowan really does look like a fire giant. I’m sold on him for that reason alone. He also moves fairly well for his size and knows how to use his power. He throws Washington around for a few minutes before Abe rallies with a few less than convincing moves. Abe slaps on a Triangle Hold, I suppose. Not a choke, more of an armbar. Rowan taps in about two seconds. He’s quickly becoming the master of sudden losses. I still don’t see much in Abe. I’ve been more impressed by his opponent in every match thus far.

After the match, James Bronson attacks Abe and locks him into an armbar of his own. Yes, it’s much better looking than Abe’s continuing the streak of guys impressing me more than old Abe. They don’t really explain why Bronson attacked Abe. I can only conclude that he was defending the honor of a fellow big guy with an equally large beard. They’ve got to stick together.

It’s main event time!

Dean Ambrose vs William Regal (A-)
Every wrestling fan should watch this match. Not only are these guys brilliant at portraying their characters, but they put on an absolute clinic here. It’s not a chain wrestling fest type of clinic. It’s a battle of “villains” and they pull out all the stops. Regal does some truly diabolical things, even going so far as to stick Dean’s arm through the turnbuckle pad. Not only was it creative, but it kept Dean trapped so Regal could dish out even more punishment. Regal gives Dean a beating, but Dean keeps fighting back. There’s a fantastic moment where Regal hits an exploder suplex and Dean gets up smiling, so Regal hits a second one, leading to the same response from Dean. Who else takes a beating with a smile on his face? Regal ultimately prevails with the Knee Trembler, but they nearly get into another scuffle when Dean gets up smiling and taunting Regal. Fantastic stuff.

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William Regal and Dean Ambrose put on the best FCW match I’ve seen since I started watching the show. The storytelling was fantastic. The rest of the matches were average to slightly below average. This really was the Dean and Regal show this week, but it worked. They were that good. It would be a crime against wrestling if Dean Ambrose doesn’t go on to huge things in the WWE. Also, Byron Saxton is a skilled commentator. While I still missed Regal, it wasn’t as much as I’d anticipated. In fact, I’d like to see Saxton doing commentary for the show with Regal. I’d even replace a few WWE commentators with Byron Saxton right now.

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