ON June 3rd Finest City Wrestling held what was their biggest show to date, “619.” It featured the debut of Rey Mysterio Jr. to the promotion in what looked to be one of the biggest matches in Southern California independent wrestling (at least in terms of star power) for the year. I’ve mentioned it before in previous reviews, but FCW has really changed the game as far as independent wrestling in San Diego goes, which has lead to everyone in the area stepping up. This show further cemented their position as the current top promotion in San Diego County.
Rather than put up multiple reviews for the show, I have added Andrew’s match thoughts to the review as well.
Human Tornado over Seabass by DQ [6’23]
Seabass came out as the Macho Man and did a really good impression. He kept calling Tornado “Hogan Tornado.” They did some brawling through the crowd, but it was mostly a comedy match. Tornado won by DQ when Seabass hit him with a low blow (that didn’t hurt Tornado).
Andrew: This was really funny. Seabass is really charismatic and probably would’ve been a solid opening comedy match guy in PWG back in 2005. He’s charismatic and genuinely a funny comedy worker. The crowd brawling was ridiculous, yet funny. The teasing of the balcony drop was also pretty entertaining. Steve says Seabass’ “Dirty Ron McDonald” gimmick is great, so I’ll have to check it out soon. Technically this match wasn’t great, but the antics made it a solid comedy match.
Joe Heiken over Corey Jackson, KC Douglas, and Michael Hopkins [12’38]
This was a matchup of wrestlers who have been training at Battle U. Both Jackson and Heiken actually started elsewhere, but have been honing their skills at the school. Corey Jackson is a guy who has really benefitted from the school, as he as improved tremendously over the last few months. I have no doubt Joe Heiken is going to be a star in the area. He has an interesting gimmick and a really impressive move set. KC Douglas and Michael Hopkins have each only had a handful of matches, and have been pretty protected so far, only wrestling people they train with or their trainers, but that is probably the best way to break new wrestlers in and build their confidence up. Hopkins hit a pretty crazy short flip to the outside that looked like he was about to hit his head on the ring apron. Everyone was given a chance to show off on offense and everyone looked solid, though Heiken was the most impressive. The match probably went a couple minutes longer than it should have though. Heiken hit a springboard splash on KC Douglas to get the pin. This was a pretty fun opener.
Rating: ** 1/2
Andrew: I was blown away by this match. KC. Douglas and Michael Hopkins were both impressive. B-Boy is doing a really good job with hose two. Corey Jackson was impressive as well. The star of the match was Joe Heiken though. The guy has a legitimate gimmick that he sticks to, is athletic, and can do some really exciting things in the ring. He needs to get more bookings here in SoCal. I could also really see him getting over in PWG if given the opportunity. This guy is sorta like “Speedball” Mike Bailey with a blindfold, and with Bailey being banned from the US for a few years, Heiken would be a really great replacement for him. I know the crowd would love him there. Everyone in this match did good and the crowd was really into it. Great way to open the show. It’s good to see Battle U producing some promising talent with tons of potential.
SoCal Crazy over Famous B to retain the AWS Lightweight title [9’09]
SoCal Crazy came out and offered to put up his AWS Lightweight title in the match, to which Famous B accepted. Famous B actually held the AWS Lightweight title twice and a win would make him the only person to hold the belt three times. They started out working more of a lucha style with lots of arm drags. This was solid, but just didn’t seem to connect with me. My view was partially blocked right at the finish, but it looked like Crazy hit a cutter to win.
Rating: ** 1/4
Andrew: I thought this was solid at the beginning, but sorta fell off as it went on. Famous B had a really good performance here. He’s one guy who also needs more bookings in the SoCal area. I honestly lost some interest as the match went on. The match wasn’t bad, but it couldn’t follow the match that took place before it, which was really exciting. But like I said, Famous B had a good performance here, and SoCal Crazy wasn’t bad. The match was just lacking.
True Grit (Jesse James & Hoss Hogg) over Adrian Quest & “Uptown” Andy Brown [16’40]
I was really looking forward to how this match would play out. Andy Brown and Adrian Quest were 2016’s SoCal tag-team of the year and True Grit have been really having a great year and have to be one of the front runners for the 2017 award at this very early point. When True Grit came out and were doing the horn gesture with their hands, I heard someone near me say “Stan Hansen is rolling over in his grave right now.” I doubt it, since he’s very much alive! Quest and Brown were using their quickness to counter the power and strength from True Grit. Quest is like a flashier version of a young TJ Perkins. The match was announced as having a 15 minute time limit, but obviously went over. The match could have been condensed and been a little better. Still, I thought it was good. Both teams really work well together and there were a lot of nice sequences in this and while the crowd seemed dead for the match early on, by the end they were pretty hot for the near falls. Jesse James hit a lariat on Quest to get the pin.
Rating: ** 1/2
Andrew: While I had high expectations for this match, I feel like this match could’ve benefited from being shorter. Still, this was a good match. This was my first time seeing True Grit in person, and they were pretty impressive. The sport with Quest going for a 630 on Hoss Hogg and then getting hit with a Lariat by Jesse James was pretty cool.
B-Boy over JT Dunn [14’43]
Everyone has a type of wrestling style that they like more than others. I don’t think it is a secret that I’m more into more of a hard hitting strong style type match. While this might not have been everyone’s favorite match, I thought this was fantastic. There was a lot of teasing for elbow strikes early on and once they finally started connecting this was a very hard hitting match. I doubt most of the crowd had seen Dunn before, and didn’t know what to expect, but by mid match you could start to feel a buzz. If this match would have taken place in front of a PWG crowd people would have been going nuts. I really liked the unique finish to the match where B-Boy had Dunn on the ground and just kept delivering strikes and actually got a KO victory. I thought it helped put across the story of the new angry, aggressive B-Boy who is hunting for his title back as they build to B-Boy versus Bateman. Great match.
Rating: **** 1/4
Andrew: The streamers for B-Boy was pretty cool. JT Dunn was more impressive here than he was in the PWG matches I had seen him in. I expected this to be really good, and it was. Both guys really meshed well with each other, and the finish was really cool. I enjoy unpredictable and realistic finishes like the one B-Boy did to JT Dunn. This match was a testament of how good B-Boy is, and it was a great showcase of what JT Dunn can do.
Jacob Diez over Lio Rush, Douglas James, Donnie Suarez, Rocketboy Wilson, Biagio Crescenzo, Oracle, and Eli Everfly to win the XRT title [30’47]
Everyone expected this match to be pretty crazy, and it definitely was. The XRT title was first awarded in a TLC match in early 2016 with Eli Everfly, Douglas James, Suede Thompson, and the first champion Danny Limelight. That match kind of set the bar for craziness, with multiple dives of the balcony and dives off the basketball hoops. As this match was starting the first thing I noticed was the basketball hoops were nowhere to be seen. Lio Rush and Douglas James were the first two wrestlers out. The way the match was structured is that every minute a new wrestler would enter and it would be an elimination match. When the next entrant, Biagio Crescenzo, was announced James and Lio just stopped wrestling and waited for him to get to the ring. Rocketboy Wilson came out fourth and he and Biagio knocked James and Rush out of the ring and they just stayed laid out for a while. Donnie Suarez came out fifth, XRT champion Eli Everfly was sixth, The Oracle was seventh, and The Vegan Superman Jacob Diez came out eighth. When Diez came out everyone teamed up and attacked him and he took seven superkicks at once. These matches are hard to keep track of as once everyone was out there was stuff going on all over the building as everyone split up. At one point it looked like Lio Rush was hurt and security was helping him to the back and it was announced due to injury Lio Rush was unable to continue. Then Rush started fighting off security and headed back towards the ring. Out of the corner of my eye I see Eli Everfly doing a flip off the balcony onto a group of wrestlers below. Biagio, Donnie, and Rocketboy were all eliminated at the same time by Lio, Douglas, and Oracle. The oracle was eliminated next, then Douglas James. Eli was eliminated sixth, meaning we’d have a new champion in Lio Rush or Jacob Diez. Eventually Jacob Diez got the pin on Rush and won the title. This had some akward moments and things like standing around and waiting for your opponents to enter or standing in groups waiting for dives, but overall it was a really fun, crazy spectacle.
Rating: *** 1/2
Andrew: Man, I really loved this match. Everyone did really well. Eli Everfly is a fucking maniac for doing his balcony dive and is going to be a star someday. Donnie Suarez had a really good showing here, as well as Oracle. Jacob Diez had a standout performance. He’s lost some weight and had a great heel performance by playing up his Vegan lifestyle. Honestly, Vegans are very easy to hate. The crowd really seemed to eat up the false finishes. Steve and I discussed this last night, and he wasn’t as high on this match as I was. I thought this was a well done match. It was supposed to be about insanity, and that’s what it was. It served that purpose, and while there were some flaws, it was still really well structured in my opinion. The closing moments of the match were really well done, as the crowd was dying to see Lio win the match before he was eliminated. The way Diez eliminated him was great too, as three low blows into a small package for the pin might be the most legitimate way to finish a pro wrestling match in 2017. Everyone in this match deserves all the credit in the world for putting on such a fun match.
Tyler Bateman over Brody King to retain the FCW Heavyweight title [12’54]
This was super hard hitting. These guys team in other promotions, but there was no evidence of that here. They were put in a pretty tough spot following the eight-man match, but at the same time any other match would have had a hard time following it. I thought both wrestlers looked really solid and there was a lot of intensity. Brody tossed Bateman through chairs, and then even put him through a wall. The pacing seemed a little off and the crowd seemed to hurt it some, but I still thought this was good. Bateman hit two Death from Aboves (or is Deaths from Above?) to get the win.
Rating: ** 3/4
Andrew: I was really let down by this match. I thought Brody had a very solid performance, but the pacing of the match was just brought it down. It wasn’t the type of match this match for the type of crowd that was at this show. Plus it didn’t help that it just followed an insane match that was all over the place. I missed the wall spot, which I’m pretty bummed out about.
Twisted Sisterz (Thunder Rosa & Holidead) over Killer Baes (Laura James & Heather Monroe) to retain the Sabotage tag-team titles [17’02]
This was a rematch from last July. It was kind of the reverse of that match, where the Killer Baes played super energetic twerking faces while the Twisted Sisterz played more of the heels. This time Twisted Sisterz were the clear faces while The Baes played snobby heels. Laura James was even flipping fans off before the match. I was actually sitting with someone who used to be at practically every show in Southern California, but had stopped going for several years. He commented earlier in the show that he wasn’t looking forward to the match because “women’s matches aren’t usually good.” Despite DJ Chopstix trying to convince him times have changed, he was having none of it. By the end of the match he commented “this has actually been one of the better matches tonight.” I thought this was much better than their previous match, and while their were some awkward moments it was put together well. The Killer Baes didn’t do most of their comedy spots and this was a pretty serious match. Laura James really had a great aura to her in the match and came across like a real bitch. Really solid work for the most part from everyone. I thought Thunder Rosa was wrestling like she was possessed at times. Holidead and Heather Monroe had solid performances. After the match I was talking with SoCal women’s wrestling expert and we both agreed that the match really had a big match feel to it for some reason. I thought this was good.
Andrew: In my preview for this event I said “I’m sure this match will be full of antics, shenanigans, brawling, white girl twerking, yelling, and MOVEZ that’ll win over the average women’s wrestling fan.” Well, most of my predictions came true. There were some decent spots, but overall this match was pretty bad. The face/heel dynamic didn’t work as both teams did face-in-peril spots featuring heel antics. Holidead and Heather Monroe were both solid in this, but the lay out of the match didn’t do them any favors. Honestly, the best part of the match was talking to some friends I hadn’t seen in awhile and having some laughs since the match wasn’t good. I’d like to see Monroe and Holidead have a singles match though.
Rey Mysterio Jr. & Rey Horus over Jeff Cobb & Bestia 666 and Lucha Brothers (Rey Fenix & Penta el Zero M) [9’24]
To no surprise the crowd was insanely hot for this. In my section no one was sitting the entire match. This was a really fun spot fest. They just went all out on hitting spots and the crowd was eating up everything. There was one sequence when everyone was taking turns on dives to the outside, and when it was Penta el Zero M’s turn, Rick Knox stopped him, did the Cero Miedo hand gesture, pushed Penta out of the way, and did a Tope of his own, which got probably the loudest pop of the night outside of Rey Mysterio Jr. hitting the 619. Rey actually hit the 619 twice, both times on Jeff Cobb, the second time leading to the pin. This was really fun.
Rating: *** 3/4
Andrew: I really liked how they just cut the typical opening sequence bullshit and went right to the good stuff. This was a fun 10 minute sprint with all sorts of spots. Everyone looked really good in this. One of the best spots of the match had to be Rey Mysterio Jr. hitting a 619 on Jeff Cobb as they went for double Tope Suicidas. Rey Horus was pretty awesome in this. He’s another guy on this show that I think would do really well in PWG. Rick Knox busting out a Tope Suicida was crazy too. The guy is the best referee in wrestling right now because of shit like that. While the match was short, it was full of excitement. There weren’t any slow or boring moments in this, and everyone went balls out with the spots. Great stuff here.
I thought this was another great show by FCW. From top to bottom the show delivered, and even though it was a long show, it had enough variety that it didn’t seem long at all. FCW finished second to PWG in the SoCal promotion of the year voting last year, and I think so far in 2017 they’ve actually been better than they were last year.
I also want to add that FCW was smart to have flyers on every chair with info on their next show and all of their social media info to take advantage of the larger crowd. This has been an area that other promotions have missed out on when they’ve brought in a big name. I also though allowing, and actively encouraging people to film the show was a good way to really build some buzz to future shows.
Andrew: I really enjoyed going to my first FCW show. The vibe there was really great, and everyone was very kind and respectful. The FCW staff and Battle U Students did a good job at holding things down. Gus Parsons was also a really gracious promoter who was running around doing the best he can to please his customers. People give him a lot of shit for things in the past, but I give him so much credit for putting on a good show.
The XRT match was my favorite match of the show. B-Boy/Dunn was the second best match of the show, with the main event following it and the 4 Way right after it. The only match that I thought was bad was the Sabotage match. Aside from that, everything on this show ranged from average to great. Joe Heiken was the standout performer on the show. He’s got amazing talent and great, marketable gimmick. This guy needs to be in PWG soon, along with Eli Everfly.
The next FCW show is on July 22nd in Imperial Beach and features a six-women TLC match in the main event.
For footage from the show, including the full matches of B-Boy versus JT Dunn and the main event, check out the SCU Focus: FCW 619.