Florida Championship Wrestling (Gainesville, Fla.)
Report by Ryan Pendry and ProWrestling.net
Before the show, Bo Rotundo took pictures with every fan in the middle of the ring. As a wrestling fan all my life, it was my first time getting to step into a wrestling ring. Bo even let me hold his FCW Championship belt! The belt was so much heavier than I expected it to be.
There was a meet and greet autograph signing with John Morrison, Brett DiBiase, Calvin Raines, Husky Harris, Derrick Bateman, Ricardo Rodriguez, Titus O’Neill, Andy Leavine, Aksana, and Big E Langston. No Melina tonight as was advertised, but seeing so many others definitely made up for that. Leavine, DiBiase, Morrison, Rodriguez, and Harris were especially friendly. Leavine didn’t know whether his weekly vignettes on Raw would continue.
DiBiase is still dealing with his knee problems and doesn’t know when he will be back. He worked as a referee for a few of the matches tonight. Getting the opportunity to meet all of these superstars within a few moments was truly special and I strongly encourage anyone in Florida to see a FCW show during their Summer Slamarama tour, where they will continue to do these meet and greets.
Kaitlyn, Richie Steamboat, Tom Prichard, and Norman Smiley were in attendance. I also got to talk to Eli Cottonwood for a good 20 minutes before the show, where we mostly discussed NXT and WWE’s treatment of new stars over the past few years. I think I kept him in a good mood by not asking him about his mustache. He’s still recovering from an arm injury and doesn’t know when he will return.
1. Richie Steamboat defeated Brad Maddox after a superkick. Huge pops for Richie as his father watched on.
2. Alexander Rusev (w/Raquel Diaz a/k/a Shaul Guerrero) defeated DeSean Bishop after a rolling suplex similar to Doug Williams’ Chaos Theory. Raquel did heel commentary on the live mic throughout the entire match, which drew tons of heat from the crowd.
3. Johnny Curtis defeated Rick Victor after a diving leg drop. Big pop for Johnny.
4. Aksana defeated Naomi and Sonia in a triple threat match. Naomi and Sonia argued and got into a short brawl after the match. Surprised that there weren’t any other divas.
5. Calvin Raines and Big E Langston defeated Donny Marlow and Roman Leakee after Raines and Langston cheated to win via a roll-up.
6. Leo Kruger defeated CJ Parker after a big clothesline. Leo cut a heel promo in the middle of the match, talking about his African heritage.
7. Seth Rollins, Titus O’Neill, and Bo Rotundo defeated Lucky Cannon, Damien Sandow, and Dean Ambrose after a spear by Rotundo. Damien and Lucky did some heel work towards the fans before the match, then John Morrison came out to do some mic work to stick up for us. Rollins was the star performer of the night and seems ready for Monday nights. He did a great dive over the top rope, worked the crowd for the entire match, and seemed very motivated. This was my first time seeing Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley) perform, and he was very impressive. After the match, John Morrison entered the ring to celebrate with Rollins, O’Neill, and Rotundo.
After the excitement of being outside in the rain at the last FCW show I went to in Bradenton, this indoors show had a lot to live up to. With a great night of in-ring action and an amazing meet and greet, FCW once again exceeded my expectations.