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WWE Florida Championship
BRUMMITT'S FCW TV REPORT 4/8: WWE Developmental TV coverage - Claudio vs. Steamboat, Ross & Regal commentary, Regal-Ambrose feud, Hero promo, new gimmicks for O'Brian & Harris

Apr 15, 2012 - 3:31:55 PM
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Florida Championship Wrestling TV Report
Aired April 8, 2012
Taped in Tampa, Fla.
Report by Matt Brummitt, PWTorch contributor

FCWlogosquare_150.jpg

The show starts with FCW announce duo Chris Russo (no relation to Vince or Rene) & William Regal plugging Richie Steamboat’s FCW 15 title defense later that night against Antonio Cesaro (Claudio Castagnoli). The match will differ slightly from the usual FCW 15 match as Cesaro has requested that the match be contested over 20 minutes rather than the usual 15. Regal notes that this will benefit Cesaro as he is accustomed to the European style where longer matches are common.

1 - BYRON SAXTON vs. KENNETH CAMERON

Saxton walks to the ring as they replay his attack on Kenneth Cameron from a few weeks ago while the announcers discuss his recent, legitimate arm injury. Cameron is accompanied to the ring by his fellow Ascension member, the returning Conor O’Brian, to Russo’s surprise. This gothy vampire gimmick is much better than Conor’s rat thing from NXT. Both guys are now in the ring and there’s some trepidation from Saxton as Cameron is coiled up against the ropes.

As the bell rings, Cameron spears Saxton and unleashes a beating on the NXT Legend (future NXT Hall of Famer?). Cameron clotheslines Saxton out of the ring. O’Brian stands beside him, not flinching but looking at Saxton out the corner of his eyes. This is enough to distract Saxton so Cameron can throw him back into the ring.

As the ref’s back is turned, Byron low-blows Kenneth and finally gains the upper hand. Byron has Kenneth Cameron in a chickenwing variation and the camera focuses on O’Brian as he turns around to growl. Suddenly, the arena goes dark and the Ascension music plays. This leads to a commercial break.

WINNER: Mmm...No Contest?.

MATCH REAX: Dropping out of real-time reporting for a second, I have watched this show three times and there is no mention of this match again. Is this supposed to be mysterious or just bad editing? I’m 95 percent it’s the former, but I’ll wait until next week before committing. What a test for my first PWTorch FCW review!

2 - AIDEN ENGLISH & AUDREY MARIE vs. RICK VICTORY & PAIGE (w/Sofia Cortez)

Before the match starts, Russo mentions that English is a "thespian." To which Regal replies, “My sister’s one of those." I love Regal, but that was a Jerry Lawler-level joke. The match starts with the Divas mat wrestling until the young British diva Paige gets her intensity on and hits a shoulder block. Victor tags in and, as WWE mixed tag rules dictate, English comes in, too, and hits a nice dropkick. This guy’s a bit pale and scrawny for WWE. He’s not as pale and scrawny as me, but VKM isn’t my boss, so it’s not as much of an issue. This also isn’t an issue for Rick Victor, who is basically your default developmental guy. Okay build, black trunks, and quite tanned. He’s not bad in the ring and apparently a Hart Dungeon grad. He unleashes some okay European Uppercuts. After a spell of Victor offense, English manages to roll out of the way of a knee drop and makes the tag.

As the Divas return to the ring, Paige is back on the offense. She’s only been in FCW a few weeks and is still a teenager, but she has a lot of promise. Sofia Cortez gets involved while the ref’s back is turned. If she looks familiar, Sofia Cortez is Ivelisse from the most recent Tough Enough series. Rick Victor tags himself in and the gentleman return. Paige gives Victor a slap and stays in the ring to help her partner. Audrey Marie throws her out of the ring, where she is met by Raquel Diaz (the daughter of Eddie & Vickie Guerrero). Cortez & Diaz brawl with Audrey Marie out of the arena, which distracts English so Victor can hit a running, spinning European Uppercut (the announcers are calling it a “Canadian Lifter”). He then hits the move again, which is good enough for the win.

WINNERS: Rick Victor & Paige via pinfall.

MATCH REAX: What a weak finish. What they should have done is have Conor O’Brian growl and turn the lights off. That’s a finish. Seriously, though, solid mixed tag match. English looked a tad green, but wasn’t too bad. Victor is solid and I like his finisher. Paige could be one to watch out for in the future.

The show cut to the new FCW champion Seth Rollins (ROH’s Tyler Black) for a ringside promo. Seth discusses his first title defense last week against the former champ, Leo Kruger. He says that though Mike Dalton deserves a shot he’s part of a long line of competitors because the deck is stacked in FCW. His eye is particularly on the FCW 15 Title match tonight. He plugs the main event a bit before stating that it doesn’t matter who wins because he’s “ready to take on the world."

PROMO REAX: Okay job by Rollins. I like how he hyped the importance of the FCW 15 Title. I think WWE and TNA’s World champs should do the same for the second-tier titles, as it adds value to the belts.

The show cut to Summer Rae’s office. James Bronson enters and she asks if he got her memo about his "tapout" match with Dean Ambrose (DGUSA’s Jon Moxley) next week. He says he did and he has a memo for her – “Next week, Dean Ambrose is gonna tap out. And I’m not stopping there.” Bronson leaves and Regal enters. Ambrose then sneaks up behind Regal, who turns around as Ambrose plays with Regal’s suit jacket. Regal says to him calmly, “Yes, you wouldn’t believe 10,000 silk worms had to perish for this." Awesome line! He follows up by saying that good things come to those who wait. Ambrose did not say anything during the whole segment.

PROMO REAX: This feud is fantastic. Regal’s calm style really sets him apart, and Ambrose is gold. When he’s on the screen, you can’t take your eyes off him, even when he’s not speaking. I hope his Twitter feud with Mick Foley (WCCW’s Cactus Jack Manson) will push him to the big leagues.

Back to the arena, Kassius Ohno (ROH’s Chris Hero) is holding the mic. He says he has a smile on his face because he’s been thinking about the FCW 15 match and how it’s a battle of endurance, and how long you can last. He notes how his opponents don’t last too long and 30 seconds of footage would show you that “Kashes [Kassius] bashes and leaves his opponents with gashes.” The rhyme works better when spoken rather than written. Just. He finishes by saying his opponents will be screaming, “Oh No!” but he will be saying “Oh Yes.” I see what he did there. Clever.

Next – A Husky Harris vignette! Actually, Husky is now “Levi Wyatt." The vignette is shot in low-light with the sound of crickets in distance. Eli Cottonwood stands in the background wearing a wifebeater (looking a lot like DGUSA’s Brodie Lee) while Husky, sorry, Wyatt, is at the forefront with a rather fetching crocodile skin hat and red Hawaiian shirt. In a deep Southern drawl, Levi says his Daddy, who owned a shrimp boat, is a bad man (that is no way to talk about Irwin R. Shyster!) and how he took him out of school at eight-years-old. He told a story of how one day his dad’s boat caught fire, taking his daddy with it. (Wyatt was staring at his lighter – please note the subtext.) He says he went away for a while and taught himself to read, listing children’s books, and then noted how it was “the Good Book mostly after that,” which he punctuated with a dark chuckle. He says he learned a lot of things, including how the world likes to throw out white trash peons. He says he isn’t white trash or a peon and that he’s better than everyone. He says he wouldn’t want to be the first guy that gets in the ring with him as he’s going to take pleasure in watching him burn, just like his daddy. More evil laughter from Wyatt & Cottonwood. The vignette ends with Wyatt singing the Stones’s “Time is On My Side."

VIGNETTE REAX: I know that didn’t read well, but I loved it. Husky was absolutely menacing in the promo and it’s definitely worth checking out. This character has bags of potential.

3 -- FCW 15 champion RICHIE STEAMBOAT vs. ANTONIO CESARO -- FCW Jack Brisco 15 Championship match -- 20-minute time limit

Jim Ross is on commentary, creating a Ross/Regal announce team. This should be great. Richie Steamboat, as you have probably guessed, is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Richie Steamboat. Cesaro is ROH’s Claudio Castagnoli. Regarding an FCW 15 match, it's an Iron Man match with no overtime. Also, the championship is a medal, not a belt. Medals are dope.

The 20:00 clock appears in the bottom corner. Regal and JR start by discussing the history of the title and the nature of this kind of match. This is better than Booker T shouting clichés and Lawler making boob jokes. Cesaro and Steamboat go 90 seconds wrestling with their hands locked together, which is broken by a cradle from Steamboat. Good start. Armdrag by Steamboat, who then works on Cesaro’s arm at the 16-minute mark. Steamboat mixes up his arm-focused offense with a dropkick. Then, a commercial hits at the 15-minute mark.

They return with 13 minutes left and there was a fall during the break. CESARO - 1, STEAMBOAT 0. FCW showed a replay of Cesaro picking up the fall with a Pancake Gotch Piledriver - a top-quality move. Of note, I like how the fall happened during the break, as it adds an element of realism to the proceedings.

Regal discusses Cesaro’s variation of the Gotch piledriver and uses it to bring up Cesaro’s international experience, which was refreshing to hear. Cesaro remains on top at the halfway point. He knocks Steamboat off the turnbuckle to the outside, but Steamboat manages to get back in the ring at 8. A small flurry by Steamboat follows, but Cesaro rams Richie into the middle turnbuckle and follows it up with a neckbreaker for a 2 count. The show goes to the last commercial break at 8:40.

They return with 6:35 to go, and no fall during the break. Cesaro was on top during the break, but Steamboat fights back with some nice-looking chops. Richie follows this up with some good high-flying offense culminating in a top rope chop, which gets him a two count. Cesaro manages to regain control with a forearm to the kidney followed with a high-angle backdrop. JR starts calling Cesaro "Cesar," but I think we can let him off this once.

With just over four minutes remaining, Cesaro hits a top-rope knee drop, but it only gets him a two count. He keeps on the pressure and hits a great inverted vertical suplex, then goes to the top for a second knee drop, but misses! The time on the clock is now 2:36. Cesaro tries to throw Richie out of the ring for a third consecutive time, but Richie skins the cat, traps his legs around Cesaro’s neck, and transitions into a roll-up, which is good for a three count. CESARO 1, STEAMBOAT 1.

Two minutes on the clock now. Cesaro hits a clothesline in the corner, which gets him two. Cesaro hits a series of gutwrench saltos, but it was still only good for a two count with 30 seconds reamining. Steamboat then tries an inside cradle, but two count only. Cesaro hits the Very European Uppercut (a pop-up European Uppercut), but Richie falls to the outside! 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Match over!

WINNER: Draw at 1-1; Richie Steamboat retains the FCW Jack Brisco 15 Championship

Post-match, Richie sells his ribs and is helped up by the ref, who presents him with his dope medal. Claudio then comes off the ropes and hits Steamboat with a running dropkick and picks up Richie’s sweet medal and raises it to the crowd. JR says it’s a tragic way to end FCW and signs off.

MATCH REAX: Great main event. Cesaro plays the dominant heel really well. By dominant, I don’t mean in the Mark Henry way, but how he controls his opponent with superior wrestling. It's not something you see much from the modern pro wrestling heel. At the same time, the cheap shot at the end kept the crowd against him, so all was good. Steamboat plays the underdog role so well that it would be unfair to give all the plaudits to Cesaro, Richie hopefully will get a shot at some point in WWE because he’s a guy the fans could get behind. One interesting dynamic to this feud now is that if this were a standard 15-minute match, there would be a new champion. I’m sure Antonio Cesaro may inform viewers of that in one week's time (if FCW is still on TV). That's it for this week.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to drop it like it’s hot at mvbrummitt@googlemail.com


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