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411’s FCW TV Report 01.04.09

January 6, 2009 | Posted by Michael Melchor

The views and opinions expressed herein are those solely of the author and may not necessarily reflect those of the rest of the human race.

Good honkin’ grief. Hey there and thanks again for stopping in. It’s been a few weeks and I honestly wouldn’t doubt if you’d forgotten about this report altogether.

Sorry about the absence, but it’s been…well, let’s call a spade a spade – a lousy Holiday season. Let’s see…illegal dealings at work to put a stop to? Check. Working more hours than I’d care to on top of it? Check. PC hard drive took a steaming dump? Check. Family in town (one of the few bright spots)? Check. So, yeah, been a hell of a time. One I’m honestly glad is over so I can get back to normal.

But enough about me, let’s get to why you’re here, shall we?

FCW – 01.04.09

Okay, a bit of a disclaimer. You saw the list of crap I dealt with the past few weeks. You noticed one of those things was not watching FCW. Saw the most recent one so I could get back to doing the report, but I’m missing the last few weeks of storylines because of that. If I seem a little lost, please bear with me. I’ll probably go back and watch them and do some sort of encapsulated recap by next week. Maybe even as I go along here, assuming the craziness was kept to a minimum whilst I was away.

Opening clips (no retro) bring us to the FCW Arena where TONIGHT: Sheamus O’Shaunessey defends the FCW Title in a Fatal Four-Way against, Eric Escobar, Drew McIntyre and Joe Hennig. (Wonder if Hennig ever got his solo rematch?) We’ll also learn more about the “Queen of FCW” Tournament.

Josh Matthews and Dusty Rhodes welcome us to the show proper and take us to:

Johnny Curtis and Tyler Recks vs. DH Smith and TJ Wilson (c) – FCW Tag Team Championship Match

No Natalya Neidhart. Again. Dammit.

Two weeks ago, Curtis defeated Wilson 1-on-1. Last week, Curtis and Recks beat the Bulldogs in a non-title match. They go for the lucky 3-in-a-row here, this time for the titles. Although what happened to Goldman and Oakley? Last I remember, they won a non-title as well; wonder if I should assume the lost their title bid and were subsequently passed by…

Wilson and Recks start and Recks falls for Smith’s distraction on the outside so the champs can immediately get to work. No real strategy at the outset other than taking out some frustration over losing two weeks in a row. Recks gets the snot beaten out of him for a minute before Wilson starts in on the neck in-between strikes. Smith tags in and elevates the impact game with some power (including a gorgeous overhead belly-to-belly) and Wilson back in to keep it up, substituting power with speed. Wilson slows things down and goes back to the neck vise and makes a mistake picking up the pace again from there. Switching things up is good from a strategic standpoint, but Recks is resourceful in evading another dropkick and tagging in Curtis.

Curtis gets to out-wrestling but the ‘Dogs show their experience as a team as Wilson gets the blind tag to Smith who lets his strength do the rest of the talking. Curtis escapes a pin attempt thanks to his partner, but not a long-range elbow drop (!) from Wilson. Curtis recovers and takes control once again. Seems to me that, if one of your opponents can overcome you but not your partner, then you’d let your partner have his way with him a little longer. That mistake costs Wilson dearly…

Finish comes when Curtis hits a Super Falcon Arrow (~!) on Wilson (as Recks occupies Smith on the outside) for the pinfall victory and the FCW Tag Team Titles. Not a bad match by any means, but it felt a little anti-climactic thanks to the brevity of it. Saving this for a main event of another show and giving it a little more time would have made this great.

Post-match, Recks and Curtis celebrate before having some promo time on the outside. Curtis says that he and Recks just wanted to stand out, and now they do – as Champions. Wish they’d ditch the surfer music.

“Best of FCW” clip (a New Year’s thing, I assume) shows us The FCW Divas Twist-Off from 10.12.08. Bleh.

Commercial.

Back to

DJ Gabriel (w/Alicia Fox) vs. John Cutler

Apparently, Santino Marella and Beth Phoenix last week and had a grand ol’ time with Gabriel and Fox. That actually sounds entertaining even if Gabriel does need to drop the Alex Wright 2.0 schtick. (Hell, at least Wright had a signature dance move.) Fun fact: This is the first time I’ve actually seen Gabriel. Ever.

Gabriel goes for psyching Cutler out early before wrestling circles around the kid. Gabriel mixes in a little impact, which serves as an error since it gives Cutler an opportunity to introduce his own offense. Gabriel quickly recovers and continues to tie Cutler up eight ways to Sunday. This one’s damn-near academic…

Finish comes when Gabriel hits a European Uppercut from the 2nd rope for the pinfall victory. Gabriel impressed me here. He looks like he could be another William Regal – now he just needs to ditch that stupid dancing gimmick (although it did provide one entertaining moment of mocking Cutler).

Post-match, Gabriel dances (sigh) as we go to commercial.

Back to “Best of FCW” Clip from 11.15.08 showing us the Stampede Bulldogs winning the FCW Tag Titles. IN the match I missed. Went back and saw it, though…that was excellent stuff.

Yamamoto vs. Hade Vansen

Hade Vansen (the subject of some controversy, I understand) has music that sounds like “Trip Like I Do” by The Crystal Method. I approve.

Yamamoto goes for the martial arts early and Vansen evades, opting instead for the catch-as-catch-can style to confound Yamamoto. Yamamoto escapes and finds out that Vansen can throw some strikes of his own, but Yamamoto finally works in the kicks and sends Vansen outside. Vansen outwits Yamamoto on the outside and, as a result, takes control back in the ring. Vansen mixes his wrestling skill with some striking to keep control of Yamamoto. Vansen takes a little too much time with a corner charge, letting Yamamoto regain control for a bit. Yamamoto, unfortunately, can’t maintain it…

Finish comes when Vansen counters the big kick from Yamamoto and turns it into the South City Killa (Implant DDT) for the pinfall victory. If I had a little more time, I’d find Larry’s picture of squash, because that’s what this was. Vansen looks decent, but there’s not really enough here to get a good look at him. Vansen’s spooky stare takes us to commercial.

Back to a “Best of FCW” clip featuring the knock-down-drag-out post-match brawl between O’Shaunessey and Hennig on 11.29.08. I have to go back and watch the December shows and see if they ever capitalized on that angle. I’m guessing, by Hennig’s inclusion in this week’s main event, that the feud is still going on.

“The All-American” Jack Swagger, Dolph Ziggler & Gavin Spears vs. Ricky Ortiz, Scotty Goldman & Kizarny

An all-star lineup, by FCW standards. This looks to be pretty interesting on paper…

Goldman and Spears start and Goldman takes a few shots before stunning Spears long enough to bring in Kizarny. (Josh Matthews brings up Goldman’s “journeyman” past, including his ties to CM Punk. Good man.) Goldman and Kizarny double-airplane spin Spears to dizzy him before charging, but Swagger pushes Spears out of the way. Swagger in proper now and uses his strength to overpower Kizarny before tagging in Ziggler for the double-team. Ziggler keeps the impact on Kizarny before bringing Swagger back in for more of the same. Quick tags + high impact + smallest man on the opposing team = sound strategy. Kizarny escapes, though, and brings in Ortiz, who runs right over Swagger for a second or two. Swagger maneuvers Ortiz to the outside so he can hit a neckbreaker using the 2nd rope and gain a 2-count. Spears in to keep the heat on, including a stomp to Ortiz’s afro. (reasons like that are why I dig Gavin Spears.) The heels resume the “quick tag + impact” attack on Ortiz for a bit with the added bonus of Spears working in a shot on Goldman to keep him, Kizarny, and the referee busy for some more double-teaming. Ortiz finally makes his way back to his corner and brings in Goldman in to play the proverbial house afire! The match soon breaks down but not so much that Goldman doesn’t heed his surroundings (must be that “journeyman” experience)…

Finish comes when Goldman sends Spears (the legal man after making a blind tag) into Ziggler before hitting Eat The Feet for the pinfall victory. Harmless, star-studded fun.

“Best of FCW Clip” – reliving the FU that John Cena gave Byron Saxton on 11.29.08 – takes us to commercial.

Back to another “Best of FCW” clip from 12.06.08 (yet another show I missed) of Johnny Curtis wiping out three other guys during a Fatal-Four Way with one hell of a somersault.

Drew McIntyre vs. Eric Escobar vs. Joe Hennig vs. Sheamus O’Shaunessey (c) – Fatal Four-Way Match for the FCW Heavyweight Championship

Matthews recaps the history of Hennig and O’Shaunessey, letting me know the feud is still going on. Nice.

Donnybrook to start as O’Shaunessey and Hennig pair off as well as McIntyre and Escobar. McIntyre dispatches Escobar and helps O’Shaunessey beat down Hennig but Escobar rushes back in to get him some of the heels. There’s no strategy right off the bat at all – just beat the snot out of the guy you don’t like until things settle down. O’Shaunessey and McIntyre keep up on Hennig on the outside and Escobar hits a dive on the heels to take us to commercial.

Back to Escobar and Hennig clearing the ring – and Hennig goes for the schoolboy on Escobar for 2. Nice. Escobar takes exception to that and the two come to blows while McIntyre and O’Shaunessey watch from the outside. Hennig and Escobar both go down and McIntyre slides in to cover Escobar for 2. O’Shaunessey is back in and takes exception to that and soon…this sounds so familiar… O’Shaunessey and McIntyre go at it before O’Shaunessey covers for 2. The heels keep fighting on and McIntyre takes a chance by going up top, but Hennig takes advantage of the chaos, dropkicking O’Shaunessey into McIntyre but only getting 2 on O’Shaunessey. Escobar goes after the (kinda) fallen McIntyre up top, hitting the Superplex on McIntyre and getting 2 before O’Shaunessey breaks up the count to protect his belt. O’Shaunessey takes Escobar back outside as Matthews makes a great point – “One of these four men need to get into the next gear in this match-up.” The brawling is all good and fine, but somebody needs to put together a winning combination.

Back inside, McIntyre wears down Hennig some and gets only 2. Hennig trades suplexes with McIntyre to do the same. O’Shaunessey is walking a fine line between taking out a competitor on the outside, but letting the match – and possibly his title – be decided inside. O’Shaunessey, possibly realizing this, makes his way to the apron only to be nailed (inadvertently) by McIntyre. McIntyre recovers and hits another suplex on Hennig for 2. McIntyre is picking up that pace now, as is Hennig, but Escobar is back in to stake his claim as well and try to leave the bedlam as FCW Champion. Escobar almost makes it, but is stopped by O’Shaunessey before he and Hennig resume their rivalry. O’Shaunessey goes for a submission while Escobar and McIntyre are down and Escobar join the submission party. McIntyre back in, and he opts for his usual brute power but still only gets 2 on the champ. Quite a few covers and near-falls are made before O’Shaunessey targets his foe and McIntyre follows suit. A series of near-finishers follows before O’Shaunessey ‘s temper finally gets the better of him and Escobar finds his opening.

Finish comes when Hennig spears McIntyre before being taken outside by O’Shaunessey, leaving Escobar to cover McIntyre for the pinfall victory and…o, dear God…the FCW Championship. I understand that Fatal Four-Ways are chaotic by nature, especially when no tags are needed, but this was just a bit much. And, personally, I’m not a big fan of the outcome. At least the door is open for O’Shaunessey to stay in the title picture since he was never pinned, but can his feud with Hennig get in the way?

Post-match, Escobar celebrates as O’Shaunessey looks on in disbelief as the show ends.

Pretty good show overall. The matches were entertaining (even the squash), but, again, not a big fan of the end of the show. I’ll say this much, though – the status quo of the whole show has changed now heading into 2009.

L8. Thanks again for reading.

For more interesting (?) reading/listening, click here. Quoth Larry The Cable Guy, “I don’t care who ya are, that’s funny right there!”

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Michael Melchor
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