VIP Exclusive Features VIP FREE PREVIEW - PARKS: WWE Developmental Update - Who stands out as main-roster-ready? Moxley, Steamboat, more (#1236)
Jan 15, 2012 - 6:30:29 PM
PLEASE TAKE A MOMENT TO BOOKMARK US & VISIT US DAILY
By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
June was the last time I wrote about WWE developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling, so I figured it’s time for an update. The three shows I’ll be reviewing aired on December 4, 11, and 18 of 2011. The announcers for all three shows were Chris Russo (no relation to Vince or the Mad Dog) and Byron Saxton, whose arm was in a sling. WWE is desperate for competent announcers and they could do much worse than Saxton, who performed well in ECW alongside Josh Mathews.
The ring announcers usually alternate among the Divas, but the first two shows were handled by Caylee Turner (Christina Crawford from Tough Enough, and Alicia Fox’s sister), and the third was handled by an unnamed, bespectacled male.
Right off the bat on show one, the main event was announced as Abraham Washington vs. Leo Kruger, the FCW Heavyweight Champion, for the title. Leading off the program, however, was a tag match featuring Brad Maddox and Briley Pierce teaming up to face the tag champions, C.J. Parker and Donny Marlow, with the titles on the line.
Marlow is the son of former WWE superstar Haku and is currently on the Smackdown roster as Camacho. The FCW announcers emphasized his Samoan heritage (and of course, his hard head), though now, he’s pushed as a Latino alongside Hunico.
Maddox was featured on the previous round of shows I reviewed, but didn’t show as much character this time around. He and Pierce seem to be playing the odd couple tag team who have a love/hate relationship. Pierce is the brother of Dolph Ziggler. Parker has quite the mop for a hairdo. He seemed to be a high-energy, somewhat comedic wrestler.
At about the 7:00 mark, Pierce reversed a Parker roll-up into a roll-up of his own to win the titles. There was a big pop from the small crowd of fans for the title change. Match was pretty rudimentary. Next up was Calvin Raines vs. Kevin Hackman. Hackman is Tough Enough winner Andy Leavine. His Tough Enough win was acknowledged, and the announcers also pushed the “Silent Rage” nickname.
Raines has a non-descript look and sports a back tattoo, which seems to be the latest trend in wrestlers. Raines won by disqualification in about five minutes when, after kicking Hackman low while the ref wasn’t looking, he stuck Hackman’s leg into his groin. The ref of course, saw that, and called for the bell. Seems like a lot of work for a DQ win. It was a rough match and Hackman has a lot of work to do in the ring.
An Antonio Cesaro interview followed that match. Cesaro is Claudio Castagnoli’s WWE moniker. He hyped himself up and said he’d be the first Swiss-born WWE Champion. He also called himself the best European wrestler ever.
The show went backstage, where Maxine was holding court with Bo Rotundo. Rotundo has been working back from injury and told Maxine (the show’s general manager) that he wanted a title shot when he returned. Maxine kissed him on the cheek as he exited and Derrick Bateman came up. For the 99.5% of you not following NXT, Maxine recently dumped Bateman for Johnny Curtis.
Maxine was unhappy Bateman interrupted her powwow, and tried to get a kiss, but Maxine wasn’t thrilled about it (the two hadn’t broken up yet when this show aired). After a dejected Bateman walked away, Richie Steamboat walked up to Maxine and told her he was ready for something they seemed to have planned tonight. Maxine gave him a hug.
A Dean Ambrose interview was next. Ambrose is former DGUSA star Jon Moxley, and he’s been in developmental since May of 2011. Ambrose said he’s healthy and took issue with Damien Sandow. Apparently, Sandow made and open challenge for his FCW 15 Championship (more on that later). Ambrose said he’s indestructible, then put down William Regal, who Ambrose feuded with.
This was a great promo, head-and-shoulders above what I usually see on FCW as far as mic work. There was a little Brian Pillman in there too. The third match on the show featured “Mr. Jacked” Nick Rogers and Big E. Langston teaming up to face Jiro and Sakamoto, two Japanese wrestlers making their FCW television debut.
Langston was billed as a powerlifting champion. Rogers played the part of a poor man’s...
This is a VIP excluisive article from this week's PWTorch Newsletter #1237. To read the rest of the article, and also gain access to the Greg Parks VIP Library to read prior feature-length columns, go VIP! Click here: www.pwtorch.com/govip.
THE TORCH REACHES MORE COMBAT ENTERTAINMENT FANS THAN ANY OTHER SOURCE
PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.
He has conducted "Torch Talk" insider interviews with Hulk Hogan, The Rock, Steve Austin, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Eric Bischoff, Jesse Ventura, Lou Thesz, Jerry Lawler, Mick Foley, Jim Ross, Paul Heyman, Bruno Sammartino, Goldberg, more.
He has interviewed big-name players in person incluiding Vince McMahon (at WWE Headquarters), Dana White (in Las Vegas), Eric Bischoff (at the first Nitro at Mall of America), Brock Lesnar (after his first UFC win).
He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)
REACHING 1 MILLION+ UNIQUE USERS PER MONTH
500 MILLION CLICKS & LISTENS PER YEAR
MILLIONS OF PWTORCH NEWSLETTERS SOLD
PWTorch offers a VIP membership for $10 a month (or less with an annual sub). It includes nearly 25 years worth of archives from our coverage of pro wrestling dating back to PWTorch Newsletters from the late-'80s filled with insider secrets from every era that are available to VIPers in digital PDF format and Keller's radio show from the early 1990s.
Also, new exclusive top-shelf content every day including a new VIP-exclusive weekly 16 page digital magazine-style (PC and iPad compatible) PDF newsletter packed with exclusive articles and news.
The following features come with a VIP membership which tens of thousands of fans worldwide have enjoyed for many years...
-New Digital PWTorch Newsletter every week
-3 New Digital PDF Back Issues from 5, 10, 20 years ago
-Over 60 new VIP Audio Shows each week
-Ad-free access to all PWTorch.com free articles
-VIP Forum access with daily interaction with PWTorch staff and well-informed fellow wrestling fans
-Tons of archived audio and text articles
-Decades of Torch Talk insider interviews in transcript and audio formats with big name stars. **SIGN UP FOR VIP ACCESS HERE**