FCW “Protect Ya Neck” April 14, 2017 – review

There’s no question the FCW has been a game changer for independent wrestling in the San Diego area. Over the last year and a half they’ve upped the bar for everyone in the region and April 14th looked to be the start of new epoch with the first students from their Battle U school hitting their cards and a show stealing coming out party for two others.

With SoCal Pro holding their big 10th anniversary show the next night, and The Crash originally thinking about doing a show in Tijuana on that Saturday as well, this was a rare Friday show for FCW. The move to Friday didn’t seem to hurt the draw any as it seemed to be about the same as the last show at the same venue.

Douglas James won a battle royal. [4’49]

This was actually a pre-show match, taking place about 30 minutes before the scheduled bell time. It was a standard over the top rope battle royal with the winner getting a match for any title they choose. Before it began Douglas James, who was relinquished the FCW heavyweight title due to injury announced that he was back and ready to reclaim what was his. Koto Hiro was eliminated first, the Aaron Garvey took a really bad fall when he was eliminated hitting his back on the ring apron then flipping to the floor. He had to be assisted to the back. Next C-Love, Alonzo Alvarez, and Seabass were eliminated. These were all pretty much one right after the other. I mean the entire match was less than five minutes. Maldecito went out next, and he was on the other side so I didn’t see how he landed but he got hurt too and had to be helped to the back. This left both members of True Grit, Veinom, and Douglas James. Veinom and James teamed to get Hoss Hogg out, then Veinom went out. James and James battled on the ring apron, but Douglas James was able to knock Jesse James off for the win. Douglas James got on the mic and said he wants the heavyweight title.

Michael Hopkins over KC Douglas [11’12]

This was both wrestlers’ first match, both having graduated from FCW’s Battle U wrestling school that day. I was actually talking with someone prior to the show and they talked about how they were worried about FCW using students bringing down the quality of their shows. That wasn’t really a concern to me, as B-Boy, who is the head trainer for the school has a lot of pride in both the school and the promotion, and I don’t think he is putting students on a show until he thinks they are ready because if they go out and have a bad match it will reflect on him.

Neither wrestler had any sort of gimmick, and they both worked the match straight for the most part, though there was one sequence where they were going to do a test of strength where Douglas played more as the heel. Overall the match was basic, but really solid. Both wrestlers looked good in most of their movements, though Hopkins’ lucha arm drags weren’t as crisp as they could have been. Douglas hit a nice tope during the match. There was another nice sequence where Douglas went for a elbow from the ropes and Hopkins’ caught him and turned it into a release suplex. Hopkins won with a modified crucifix pin. This was a good job by both wrestlers and a really solid debut.
Rating: ** 1/2

After the match FCW promoter Gus parsons came out to the ring and announced that FCW is publicly traded and that someone bought 51% of the company. No explanation as to why he’d even offer up 51% of the stock was given. Anyway, Gus’ long time nemesis Captain Comic Con had purchased the stock and is now the GM. I’m of the opinion that these type of angles have run its course, but we’ll see where it goes. The only change Captain Comic Con made that night was that he would be the ring announcer for the night. He played it straight and actually did a good job as the ring announcer.

Corey Jackson over Joe Hieken [15’32]

Both wrestlers have been wrestling for awhile, but have been training at the Battle U school. Joe Hieken made a few previous appearances in FCW wrestling as Sean Rafferty but is now under a new gimmick where he is a kung fu warrior that wears a blindfold throughout the match. When the ref checked Hieken to start the match he found throwing stars on him. Right after the match started Hieken pulled out a fan and started using it until the ref took it away. Despite starting with some humor, the match intensified quickly. Hieken had Jackson up against the ropes and started doing different animal strikes on him that you would see in a kung fu movie, like tiger, jaguar, etc. he then got to butterfly and did a really nice butterfly suplex on Jackson. Both guys seemed to be working really stiff and their moves were coming off really impactful. Jackson hit a devastating looking drop kick from the top rope to Hieken’s head. There was a crazy spot where Jackson was laid out on the outside and Hieken did a running 450 to the ground from the ring apron. The crowd was going nuts and banging on the ring apron for this match. Jackson eventually hit a Spicoli Driver to get the pin. This was a great match. They really built it up and it came across that these guys were going all out to kill each other.
Rating: *** 3/4

Adrian Quest & Andy Brown over Biagio Crescenzo & Donnie Suarez [18’30]

Early on in the match Adrian Quest connected with a kick the busted Biagio’s nose which caused a lot of blood. Biagio actually took a ton of punishment in the match from both Quest and Brown. Donnie Suarez and Andy Brown had some really nice sequences in this too. Quest hit a drop kick on Biagio into an Andy Brown package piledriver to get the win. This was really good.
Rating: ***

B-Boy over Jesse James [18’28]

This was an open challenge by B-Boy and Jesse James answered the call. Early in the match James hit his right arm on the ring poll and would sell it throughout the rest of the match. Late there was a nice spot where B-Boy hit a destroyer on James and immediately hit a Shinning Wizard when James popped up. B-Boy and referee Rick Knox got into it again, with B-Boy spitting on Knox, Knox spitting back, then Knox superkicking B-Boy. Knox then gave James some tape so he was able to tape up his arm and hit B-Boy with his lariat finisher. B-Boy managed to roll away and James was too beaten to get the immediate pin so by the time he did go for it B-Boy was able to get out. B-Boy rolled James up in a school boy to win. This was good but there were a few parts where nothing was going on that took away from the match. If they would have cut five minutes out and removed those down periods it would have been a lot better.
Rating: ** 3/4

Brody King over SoCal Crazy [9’23]

This was a big man versus small man match where Crazy was trying to use speed and high flying to overcome King’s size. It was working at first but then Crazy went for a lucha arm drag and King was able to power out of it and toss Crazy. Once King took over he was really overpowering Crazy. There was a fun sequence where King had Crazy in the corner and was delivering some hard lariats then did a release suplex on him. There was some stuff that didn’t come off great but overall it was a good match. King won with a jumping piledriver.
Rating: ** 1/2

Terex over Jake Atlas, Jacob Diez, and Human Tornado [14’59]

Jake Atlas and Jacob Diez started off the match then it switched to Terex and Human Tornado. The crowd was dead for this match for the most part. There was some nice stuff in the match, but a lot of sloppiness too. Diez tried a dropkick on Atlas that missed by a mile but he still slapped his leg so even though it missed by at least 3 feet and was completely no sold it sounded like it connected. Later Diez was on the ropes and was going to go for a Huracanrana on Atlas but Atlas was too far away so Diez very visibly waves him closer so he can do the move. Tornado looked really good in the match and hit a nice tope con giro. Terex also looked solid for the most part. Terex hit a standing moonsault on Tornado to get the win.
Rating: * 3/4

Eli Everfly over The Oracle and Rocketboy D’Marco Wilson to retain the XRT and Lightweight titles [12’55]

This started out really good. The Oracle is really good and it’s good to see him getting more and more local bookings. Over the last year D’Marco Wilson has really come of his own too. When he is matched up with good wrestlers like Everfly and Oracle he has really risen to the occasion. There was a spot early where he hit his foot on the rope during a tope but a good save was made to stop him from taking a bad fall. This was on pace to be something special but it looked like Everfly went for a Frankensteiner on Oracle and Oracle’s mask came off which caused Everfly to land weird. Since the mask came off there was some confusion then Everfly made a quick pin to get the win. The match was pretty good up to the abrupt ending.
Rating: ***

After the match Oracle cut an emotional promo putting over D’Marco and Eli and the other young talent in the area.

Tyler Bateman over Jeff Cobb, Willie Mack, and Douglas James to retain the FCW Heavyweight title [10’48]

This was supposed to be a three way with Bateman, Cobb, and Mack but James came out and cashed in his title shot to make it a four way. As you’d expect with these four wrestlers it started out really good. Cobb was tossing Bateman around like he was nothing. He actually got a Tour of the Islands in but the pinfall was broken up. Douglas James and Willie Mack had some really fun sequences together. Unfortunately the crowd wasn’t as hot for this as a lot of the earlier matches as it came at the end of a long night. Still this was really good. The ending came across out of nowhere and really abrupt however instead of being built up to. Bateman pinned Douglas James, who was the former champ who never lost the title in the ring.
Rating: *** 1/4

Overall this was another Finest City Wrestling show that was filled with some really good matches. If there was one negative to the show it was the way it was structured with a bunch of long matches early, then ending with a four-way, a three-way, then another four-way. The long matches and then similar matches really hurt the crowd in the second half. Anytime you have four matches that are three stars or better on a show it’s hard to complain too much. FCW continues to be the standard in San Diego when it comes to top to bottom shows as far as match quality goes.

The next big FCW show is on June 3rd and will feature Rey Mysterio Jr. The venue has not been announced yet, but it will either be at Eastlake High School or the Imperial Beach Boys & Girls Club. They will also be doing a benefit show on May 20th in San Marcos as part of the 15th annual May Ride. Keep checking the SCU events page for more info on both FCW shows.

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