Florida Championship Wrestling
4 March 2012
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Recap: Leo Kruger vs. Mike Dalton from a recent edition of FCW TV. Leo Kruger stated he was so dominant a champion that he was issuing a challenge to the locker room, for anyone to fight him. He stated that should they beat him they would earn an opportunity to wrestle him for the FCW Heavyweight Championship. Mike Dalton, a young challenger from Lance Storms wrestling academy, accepted the challenge and we were shown highlights from their encounter. As the champion left the ring, seemingly to bail on the contest, former WWE star Road Dogg would leave his place on the commentary desk and throw Kruger back into the ring, leading to Dalton getting a shock victory and an opportunity to wrestle him once more and this time with the title on the line.
The commentary team of Chris Russo, Byron Saxton and William Regal stand ringside at the very top of the show and tell us that tonight is a night of championships. We are reminded of two title matches on the show as the Queen of FCW puts her FCW Divas Championship on the line against two Divas in a triple threat match and FCW Heavyweight Champion Leo Kruger defends against Mike Dalton. The very first match of the night will also be for a championship.
FCW Tag Team Championships
Antonio Cesaro & Alexander Rusev vs. Husky Harris & Bo Rotundo (c)
Antonio Cesaro, known to many wrestling fans as Claudio Castagnoli, teamed with Alexander Rusev for the very first time and took on the brothers Huskly Harris (real name Windham Rotunda) and Bo Rotundo (real name Taylor Rotunda), the reigning FCW Tag Team Champions. Rusev & Harris would start the match in a display of power as they fought for position, attempting to push or knock one another down unsuccessfully. Their partners would both be tagged in and Bo would get the better of the Swiss-born Antonio Cesaro and get a one count off a series of clothlines. Hanging on as he was then thrown into the ropes, Rotundo landed a back elbow to an advancing Cesaro but would fall victim to a cheap shot from Rusev as the referees back was turned. The distraction would allow Cesaro to gain the upper hand off a big dropkick and tag in the powerhouse.
Weaking Rotundo further with elbows in the corner and a nasty headbutt the challengers would take firm control of the contest. Keeping Bo grounded, the inexperienced team would make frequent tags and keep Bo from his corner, not allowing him to tag his brother into the match. His opportunity finally came as Cesaro missed an elbow drop and Rotundo scrambled to his corner. Initially thwarted by the Swiss challenger, as he took a handful of hair and desperately tried to stop him, he was able to fight the bigger man off and both men tagged in their partners.
The pace of the match quickened as Husky Harris hit a succession of knock-downs to his opponent followed by a senton splash. Cesaro entered the ring and broke up the count. With the referree distracted in his attempt to remove Cesaro from the ring, Husky Harris pushed Alexander Rusev towards Bo Rotundo, lying in wait to hit a big spear. Harris, the legal man, picked up the win by pinfall and the brothers, sons of former WWF/E star “I.R.S” Mike Rotunda retained the titles.
We were then taken ringside where Dean Ambrose, mic in hand, explained that he didn’t feel like talking but “they” wanted him to come out and say something. The confident Ambrose said that in wrestling, to say you’re the best in the world is a gimmick but he is no gimmick. Ambrose explained that he believes himself to be improving every day and that he is as good as everyone else pretends to be. He goes on to say that despite this he hates being ignored, especially when he screams and begs for a match that will never happen. Never naming his desired opponent, he does however look to the commentary desk and state that a certain “someone” can “just sit there every week” while knowing that he could not beat him again.Obviously referring to William Regal, the Englishman stares back at Ambrose silently as he says he continues to get better every week and that he continues to get better than Regal ever was. When asked for comment by play-by-play commentator Chris Russo, Regal remained silent.
Seth Rollins vs. Brad Maddox (w/ Summer Rae)
In recent weeks we have seen the glamorous blond scout FCW for talent and this week we finally learned the identity of the woman leading Brad Maddox to the ring. Named as Summer Rae, she took her place at ringside as Maddox took on one of the most popular wrestlers in the company in arguably the match of the night. Seth Rollins cut a brief promo before the match began stating that he never wished to be anyone else, be pigeon holed or fit any mould and thanked the fans for their support as he carves his own path in FCW. Rollins stated that whatever he does and wherver he goes, the FCW fans would always have a place in his heart.
As the bell rang Maddox made an offensive start and beat down his opponent in the corner before snapping him over and applying a stranglehold. Rollins was able to fight out with a back suplex but Maddox avoided a dropkick and briefly turned his attention to the crowd. As he showboated, Rollins hit a beautiful dropkick at the second attempt out of a forward roll to his feet before missing a splash to the corner and was thrown out of the ring to the floor. Regrouping, Brad Maddox rolled him back into the ring and scored a two count before again applying a stranglehold, switching to a front facelock and then an armbar. Maddox hit a russian leg sweep and floated over beautifully into a cover for a two count before going back to the stranglehold a third time. Rollins, spurred on by the crowd, fought to his feet and the two men exhanged punches.
Attempting yet again to build momentum, Rollins whipped Maddox to the ropes but his opponent caught him with a kick. Straight back on the offensive however, Rollins hit a right hand before going to the ropes. Maybe for looking for the facestomp, Maddox again asserted his dominance as he lunged toward the advancing Rollins, tripping him and lay in wait, hitting a running jawbreaker. Rollins was able to again kick out at two. Frustrated, Maddox threw Rollins to the floor and as he pulled himself back up onto the apron advanced. Rollins however was waiting with a big kick before climbing the turnbuckle and landing a cross-body off the top. As Summer Rae shouted encouragement to her new client, Rollins clothleslined him out over the top and connected with a suicide dive to the outside.
Back in the ring Rollins went for another splash in the corner and this time connected with it. Hitting a back-kick to the gut to Maddox he again looked for the facestomp as he went to the ropes – only for Summer Rae to grab the heel of Rollins. The match would take a surprise turn as a mystery woman we have seen in recent weeks taking an interest in Seth Rollins and observing his matches, appeared at ringside and shoved Summer to the floor. Turning his attention back to Maddox, Rollins hit the facestomp and picked up the three count in a well worked, well paced encounter.
Kenneth Cameron v Jiro
The English Kenneth Cameron, a part of the FCWs ‘Ascension’ stable who debuted on FCW TV recently took on the Japanese Jiro in a short match-up. Cameron landed a few punches, knees and kicks in an aggressive start before whipping his man to the turnbuckle. Reversing out, Jiro chopped Cameron in the corner and landed a big kick to the face. Jiros attempted to whip Cameron to the ropes, was reversed, but then was able to reverse again and connect with an enzuigiri.
In what proved to be a game-changer, Cameron again reversed Jiro and whipped him hard to the turnuckle. The impact of which put Jiro to the mat. Cameron aggressively ground his forearm into the face of his grounded opponent. Hitting an elbow off the ropes, Cameron then hooked Jiro into a fisherman suplex position and dumped him on his head, picking up a three count.
As the lights in the arena went down and the strobe lighting came up, as is usually the case with the Ascensions entrances and exits in FCW, Russo alerted viewers to the fact that Byron Saxton had left the commentary position. Now in the ring, the celebration was cut short as Saxton knocked him out with the roll of quarters before taking his place back at the commentary desk. William Regal would later mock Saxtons use of the roll of quarters, stating that when he did it he used good quality brass knuckles.
Triple Threat Match for the FCW Divas Championship
Sofia Cortez vs. Audrey Marie vs. Raquel Diaz (c)
Audrey Marie took an early advantage in this Divas contest with a series of dropkicks and a a cover. The champion kicked out. Cortez then whipped Marrie towards Diaz, who took her down. The rookie, contestant on the last season of WWEs Tough Enough, and the daughter of Eddie and Vicky Guerrero then began to team up and as one held Marie, the other hit the former champion with chops. The solid looking team were able to fend off any potential comeback at this stage and beat down Marie as she attempted to fight out of the predicament with slaps to both Divas. It wasn’t until Marie fought out with a series of elbows and hit a double dropkick, just to be grounded once more that cracks in the alliance began to appear. Taking the former champion down with a double drop toe hold that sent their opponent head and neck first into the ropes, Cortex and Diaz began to start fighting over who would claim the pinfall. As the two women argued, the beaten down Marie was nearly able to sneak a victory off a roll-up before banging the heads of the aggressors together. As Diaz was thrown out onto the apron, Cortex attempted a dropkick on Marie just to miss and inadvertedly knock the champion off the apron to the floor.
Cortez, known by her real name Ivelisse Vélez in the WWE reality show Tough Enough, ascended the turnbuckle and hit a cross body to Marie off the top rope and scored a near fall of her own. Battling back to her feet however, Marie hit a devestating sidewalk slam on the rookie but the champion, rolling back into the ring, was able to break up the cover in time. Taking back control of the contest, Diaz rolled up Marie off a waistlock and, using her leg strength, Marie was able to push Diaz off at two. However the former Divas Champion was only able to look on as she pushed the current champion straight into a cover on the fallen Cortez and the champion retained after an eventful, solid Divas match up. Something certainly missing from both Raw and Smackdown shows that aired this week, I might add.
We were then taken backstage into FCW general manager Maxines office where she is explaining to her newly appointed assistant Abraham Washington that the ratings have been skyrocketing recently. At this moment the former WCW Tag Team Champion Norman Smiley, now an on-screen figure of authority in FCW, informed Maxine that the President of FCW Steve Keirn had requested to speak to her immediately. After first explaining to Norman that she was busy Maxine obliged and left with Norman. Now with the office to himself Abraham Washington looked around for a moment before settling himself into the General managers chair.
Main Event for the FCW Heavyweight Championship
Mike Dalton vs. Leo Kruger (c)
Trained by fomer WWE, WCW and ECW star Lance Storm, Mike Dalton had earned his opportunity to face Kruger for the champion a few weeks previously by defeating the champion in a non-title match, albeit with an assist from The Road Dogg. The rookie locked up with the larger champion in the early goings as the two fought for position, the challenger being forced back into the corner as Kruger then refused the clean break and raked the eyes. Dalton reponded with a double leg take down and the two continued to roll through and reverse one another as the match went to an aggressive ground and pound.As Kruger rolled out of the ring to break, Dalton hit him with a baseball slide before Kruger turned the tables and connected with an emphatic clothesline on the outside and threw his challenger to the steel ring steps as the show went to its final commercial break.
As the show continued Kruger suplexed Dalton back into the ring from the apron and, as he fought back to his feet, removed the padding from the turnbuckle. Both men then unsuccessfully attempted to use the exposed steel before Kruger, hooking the arm, rested his boot up underneath the chin of the underdog and fell backwards, dragging Dalton with him by the arm and driving the boot into the jaw. Only earning a two count, Kruger then applied a full nelson to a seated Dalton and grounded him with a front facelock. Battling to his feet Dalton pushed the champion back to the corner, driving his elbow to the midsection. Kruger reversed a whip to the opposite corner but as he advanced Dalton was able to get his boots up and attempt to take control. However, as Dalton ran toward the champion he was grounded again. This time with a huge spinebuster. The champion clearly frustrated by his resilient challenger as he only picked up a count of two. Refusing to stay down Dalton hit a dropkick and both men took a referees count to return to their feet.
Picking uop the pace Dalton hit a series of running clothlines before missing a spinning heel kick. The champion attempted again to slow the match down with a sleeper hold. The challenger initially snapped Kruger over to break but after a brutal fishermans suplex and a two count, Kruger went back to the hold again. The resourceful Dalton lunged towards the turnbuckle, Krugers throat colliding with the steel he had exposed earlier in the match and was able to kick out at two. Fearing the match may be slipping from him, kruger rolled from the ring and, grabbing his title, again appeared to be looking to get out of a dodge, Just like the last time these two met, he was then surprised by an interfering Road Dogg who threw the champion back into the ring where Dalton was able to capatilise. With Kruger clutching the championship to his chest, Dalton him up and pinned his shoulders for three.
Dalton celebrated in the ring with the cheering FCW Universe and had his hand raised by the Road Dogg. The five month reign of Leo Kruger as FCW Champion has come to end, pinned by the ultimate underdog for the second time. Leo Kruger fell to the floor at the entrance way, head in hands as the title was prised from the grasp of the dejected former champion and handed to the victor and the show came to an end.
A relatively short main event and I know I would have loved to have seen Dalton go over cleanly but this had a real sense of David vs. Goliath and the assist from the Road Dogg, I feel, was justified. Mike Dalton, it seems, could have a very bright future ahead of himself in the WWE.
Thanks to @thefcwuniverse for the wonderful photos from the show!