Friday, July 20, 2012
Dean Ambrose vs William Regal
Florida Championship Wrestling is the developmental territory for WWE. If you sign a contract with the promotion, they send you to FCW for a few months or a year. Basically, it's to get a wrestler acquainted with the "WWE style" of wrestling. WWE is different than Ring of Honor or Japan or the independents, and they make sure their wrestlers are adept at performing for WWE. There are also little things, like wrestling in a bigger ring (WWE's is 20x20) and learning to wrestle in front of cameras.
The previous developmental territory was Ohio Valley Wrestling. The biggest success stories to come out of that are John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Batista, and Randy Orton. All four were essentially trained from scratch there. CM Punk had a stop at OVW before going on to WWE.
A few years ago they got rid of OVW and relocated to Florida. The biggest success to come out of FCW has been Sheamus. FCW has gotten a lot of criticism lately because he's pretty much the only wrestler to become a huge star in WWE.
That may soon change. Right now, the FCW locker room looks a lot like the Ring of Honor locker room, circa 3-5 years ago. Tyler Black and Cassius Ohno are better known as former ROH Champion Seth Rollins and former ROH Tag Champ Chris Hero. Antonio Cesar, better known as former ROH Tag Champ Claudio Castognoli recently made his SmackDown debut after a stretch in FCW.
One of the top stars there right now is Dean Ambrose. He wrestled for Evolve, Dragon Gate USA, and Chikara, to name a few. You may remember him as Jon Moxley. He is 26-years-old and looks to have the most potential as a WWE-style "character" of anybody currently in FCW. To top it off, he's also a great wrestler.
William Regal, a long-time WCW and WWE wrestler, who among other things was one of the wrestlers to train Daniel Bryan, is winding down his career in FCW and NXT as an announcer and part-time wrestler.
For the last year, he has been feuding with Ambrose. It has been a nice thing to watch develop - Ambrose was the cocky upstart who got put in his place by the evil villian (who the crowd cheers despite that fact, as they respect Regal), then he developed a vicious streak and Regal began to appreciate that, and now the feud looks to have ended with this most recent match.
When you hear things like "old school," that's what this match is. It is an exhibition in old school. It is realistic, hard-hitting, and shows two men treating this form of entertainment like it is a sport. Great stuff.
Pay attention to the name of Dean Ambrose. He will be causing waves on Raw or SmackDown sooner rather than later.
As a sidenote: Jim Ross on commentary is golden. He is missed by all wrestling fans.