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This time I’ll try a less opinionated section reviewing each segment, with a why it is better than RAW at the end.

Opening montage: generic music plays. Wrestlers are shown doing things.

Why this is better than RAW?

I had this pointed out to me by someone who read the first report. Unlike every RAW opening montage ending with “The Champ Is Here” and John Cena, the last image that hits our eyes is the world champion. Novel concept. I know.

Byron Saxton and Chris Russo are back again. For note whose only exposure to FCW is this report: at times Jim Ross and/or William Regal join commentary and are awesome. When/if FCW gets combined with NXT Jim Ross, will be a full time announcer.

They put over the number one contender tournament. They also put over the tag team champions.

Why is this better than RAW?

No Michael Cole. No 15 minute promo to open up the show. You probably have been reading this longer than it takes the show to get to their first WRESTLING match.

Corey Graves and Jake Carter (champions) vs. Connor O’Brien and Kennth Cameron (Ascension)

Abraham Washington out first. Again this guy does not ooze the charisma to be a star, but I believe he believes he is one. And therefore I believe he believes his tag team champions are as well. Love the nicknames as well. Worth a watch just for his announcing the tag team champion’s arrival.

AW called Graves/Carter the futuristic sadistic duo. I buy that for a tag team name. O’Brien and Cameron (Ascension) look like they could be part of Taker’s ministry, and have the most elaborate entrance one may see in FCW. I do know O’Brien from his time in NXT and was a fan of his since he is one of those that knows how live a gimmick in and out of a ring. Hopefully he can pull it off without being a rat.

Match reviews are not my strong point so just a few things of note. Jake Carter knows he has a generic forgettable name so he has it written on his tights so you don’t mistake him for his partner. Smart. Some ok stuff during the match. Some of it was FCW rookie green poo. Finish sees AW distract the ref while the champs hit a weak looking finisher.

Why is this better than RAW?

I have not seen some of the new tag teams breaking out on the WWE scene. I can only presume they wrestle better than this. Big fan of managers though and AW is being misused on WWE TV but not managing a team or a stable. Also I’m a fan of people living out a gimmick in the ring. While some ring work was poo, there is something about Ascension. I don’t take my eyes off of them. That said, there was not enough to this match where any of the guys are breaking into the top 5 to WWE list, other than a note to use AW better. You also allow your tag team champs to win on TV. Novel concept I know.

Promo FCW Divas Champion Raquel Diaz

Raquel is trying to pull off a LayCool latina gimmick that succeeds in catching all the annoying parts of being a valley girl without being believable at all. Paige and Sofia (Rick Victor’s duo) come out to thankfully interrupt. I dig Paige’s accent. In terms of line delivery though she fails as well. Paige vs. Raquel is set for next week.

Why this is better than RAW?

In the interest of fairness, don’t call these women up if you wish for them to talk at all. Why is it better than RAW? Well, with these three it would give some variety in body types for WWE programming. Outside of Stephanie, I can’t think of someone I’d like to hear less than Raquel. May mean she is due up to be next on the roster. Also, some, not I, may miss LayCool on their TV. Raquel will feed that obsession for you in spades!

Big E Langston vs. Seth Rollins (champion)

Not a big fan of a number one contender tournament going on and the champion appearing on TV out of the blue. Note that Seth Rollins is Tyler Black from ROH. It however is not the show opener, the tournament is the main event, and with it not being RAW, I fully expect the champion to win. I suppose it is a little fair as well to have your champion fight a match where his opponent is fighting two weeks straight for the right to face him.

If you’ve seen Ice Train in WCW, you have seen Big E Langston. Rollins has a lil’ bit of a crazy man gimmick. Better than the announcer feller from last week, Maddox. As for the match, it was a good technician vs. big man match. I didn’t expect much out of Langston but as a strong buff guy gimmick goes, he is far superior to Ryback in almost every conceivable way. Actually, if he was moved up to WWE, that is what I would do. Team him with Ryback to hide Ryback’s selling. Match ends with a weak looking finisher from Rollins called the curb stomp. Story is told that Big E took more than a lil’ out of the champion leading into next week.

Why is this better than RAW?

First off, your world champion was not on the first match on the card. I wrote a long piece on it if you’d like to read it here. As I said, I believe Big E is a superior product to Ryback. Champion in a non title match up won. And all in all it was a pretty inoffensive match. Big E was not buried by the loss really either.

Antonio Cesaro promo

Before this goes on, I bet he is actually going to care that he lost to Ohno. He is going to care that this leads to him not getting a title match. He is going to want a rematch and this time be angry. Darn, no title mention. Can’t have it all. Promos are also not Antonio’s strong suit. I had a smile on my face though with his broken English. He did mention that he was screwed out of a win. That this is not how you treat a guest. He said he was leaving FCW and going to Smackdown for good. Seems like this may lead to his interfering in the tournament or in a title match if Ohno wins. We will see.

Why this is better than RAW?

Antonio as mentioned is not the best promo in the industry. He is still finding this rugby player character he is supposed to be portraying. He tries. He does his own material. It is slightly more believable because of that. He is given time to continue a story and let us know where it going from here. In other words, it is not simply dropped. If he does not appear on FCW again after a grudge, we now know why. Something RAW at times utterly fails to do.

Brad Maddox vs. Richie Steamboat (15 champion)

A Jack Briscoe challenge is pretty much a 15 minute or longer match with iron man rules. Tie goes to the champion. Big surprise that Maddox looks less like an announcer with ring gear on than when he has a suit on him. Richie comes out pissed at last week. Maddox may not pull off mad and all-out insane that well, but as far as being “slightly off”, he does that quite well and consistently.

During the match, we get part of the history. Maddox apparently at some point, some where beat Steamboat. I’m not sure if he was champion at the time or not. With about 11:30 left, Maddox hits a pretty sound finisher called the deal breaker. He goes up 1-0. These two have nice move sets. Sound psychology. Just need some rough edges taken off the sides. Steamboat hits a savante kick at 8 minutes left to tie it 1-1. Lots and lots of good psychology here. Lots and lots of edges I’d shave off before these guys get called up. I’m not sure if the finish is botched or not. A few seconds left and Richie hits his finisher into a chair Maddox tries to bring into the ring. However time runs out. Richie leaves looking strong so why not pick up the win? Suppose they think this match must go on. Not the worst use for these two but there is better.

Why is this better than WWE?

Young guys being given the chance to go. Ring psychology in a match. A sweet Maddox finisher. I suppose the commercial is something I should be thankful for so the match didn’t get boring. It was just solid ring work from two men that are learning the craft. You will see worse on RAW than this.

Bo Rotundo vs. Kassius Ohno: Number One Contender Finals

Introduced these two last week. Not much more to say about either one. Much better match than we have seen thus far on the show. A whole lot less amount of edges to shave off these two if any at all. Very solid match. The finish was called and makes sense. Antonio Cesaro, the heel, lied about leaving and hit Kassius Ohno at the last minute, setting up a Bo win.

Why is this better than RAW?

Feuds continue that make sense. The swerves are the normal kind that make sense, because you see, heels lie. Good ring work. Nobody seemed out of place. People winning their way to a title shot. Go figure.

Top 5 to go to WWE

1. Kassius Ohno
2. Bray Wyatt
3. Seth Rollins
4. Rick Victor
5. Bo Rotundo

Richie goes off the list with another less than stellar performance. AW is still being misused by WWE. And while Leo comes off as a star he loses a 2 match to 1 battle with a perfectly acceptable and sound worker like Bo.

Till next time Dammit Out.

You can watch the full show below.

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