After last week saw us review a pair of… not-so-good episodes of FWA TV, we’re back for more.
We’re still in Harrow for episode 15, but the episode starts in commissioner Victoria’s office. I swear, they just borrowed the headteacher’s office, since they did the show at Harrow High School… in comes a man with two belts, and Victoria doesn’t know who he is. He starts speaking German, and says something about Jonny Storm.
Victoria acts like she understood it all, and that gives her an idea… apparently our unnamed man is going to the ring for a three-way dance. She at least knew some German, as she yelled “Raus! Schnell!” at the mystery man.
We’ve got slightly updated titles here, with new wrestling action like Alex Shane posturing over a snooker table, and Jasmin St Clair shaking her boobs.
After the titles, we’re taken to ringside, where our mystery man is identified as the FWA’s All England Champion: Ahmed Chaer. He’s got two other belts, and they show “fan cam” clips of Ahmed beating Jonny Storm for the title in a three-way dance in Germany. When I say clips, the black and white footage make it look like we’re watching three unidentifiable silhouettes, but I’ll take their word for it… that same match also involved wXw’s Sexy Mike, and seemingly unified the FWA’s All England title with the wXw Highflying Trophy and Ahmed’s ACW International Championship.
FWA All England Championship: Ahmed Chaer (c) vs. Scottie Rock vs. Paul Travell
Scott and Chaer work over Travell in the opening stages, before a standing slam gets Chaer a near-fall as Rock broke it up. Chaer gets a pinning heel kick for a near-fall on Rock, but the tables turned as the German took the brunt of the offence, as Chaer ate a Shane-sation like kick from Travell.
Rock gets a near-fall with a sidewalk slam, before Rock lands a somersault senton to Travell and Chaer on the outside. Travell recovers for another dive off the top rope as he crashes into Rock, then the barriers. Chaer returns with another somersault senton into the ring as he crashes into his challengers – and I’m wondering if that’s the only dive they know! Chaer takes a flapjack from Rock, then a top rope cross body for a near-fall, before Rock misses… yep, a somersault senton off the top rope. Travell takes a bodyslam from Chaer, and another twisting somersault legdrop this time for a two-count, before Rock blocked a wheelbarrow bulldog as we get a double pinning combination as a sunset flip/German suplex got a pair of two-counts.
The action continued as Travell catches Rock with an inverted Michinoku driver, before a ‘rana took down Chaer. A second ‘rana gets turned into a powerbomb, but Chaer takes way too long to follow-up and gets crotched by Rock, who gets a rana off the top himself. Travell rushes in with a big splash off the top onto Chaer, before dumping Rock with a Fisherman’s suplex onto Chaer… Travell then made the cover on the German and won the title. That match seemed a little chaotic at times, with that big splash towards the end almost looking dangerous, but it wasn’t as messy as other three-ways here have been. **¾
We’re flashed back to a segment from three weeks ago where Victoria got her malicious calls, which led her to reach out to Dino Scarlo for help. Another flashback takes us to Scarlo’s on-camera debut, and then his match from last week. I wish I could have forgotten that last part…
There’s another segment with Victoria, and she’s got another malicious call. The camera pans to Dino Scarlo sitting in a chair, who’s trying to convince Victoria to let him handle this his way.
We get a backstage promo from Scott Parker, and apparently his match with Drew McDonald is a falls count anywhere match.
Falls Count Anywhere: Drew McDonald vs. Scott Parker
They start with a lock-up, before McDonald easily shoves Parker into the corner. Wash, rinse, repeat, and then McDonald starts to club away on the back of Parker. A bulldog out of the corner got Parker a near-fall, before he dropkicked McDonald out of the ring, following up with a massive plancha into the aisleway.
Parker brawled with the Scotsman around the ring, before a single forearm decked “Solid Gold”. McDonald whipped Parker so hard into the apron that he hit the side and kept going into the ring, before a staggering headbutt added more pain. We see a Stunner from McDonald, sending Parker into the ropes, before an open hand slap sent him back down to the mat.
Yeah, this is really one-sided.
Parker mounted a brief comeback with leaping forearms that barely registered with the Scotsman, who planted Parker with a sit-out powerbomb as a counter to a dropkick. McDonald went outside for the conveniently-placed table, and brought it into the ring. The table was eventually set up for McDonald to deliver a guillotine legdrop through Parker… but that was never going to happen, as Parker poped up and slammed him off the top rope a la Ric Flair, leading to the win for “Solid Gold”. Totally one sided, but at least it wasn’t horrific. **
To further accentuate the “slip on a banana peel” finish, McDonald popped up and laid into Parker, then referee Steve Lynskey after the match. Dino Scarlo came out with a cricket bat after the match, and used it on a restrained Parker, who took several bat shots in the chest, before ultimately breaking said bat on the ring apron. Judging from how often Mark Priest said it before a McDonald tombstone finished off Parker, I’m guessing Dino and Drew are going by the name of the “Old School”?
The show ended with a sadly inaudible promo from McDonald, so I’m going to skip to episode 16… which emanated from a new location – the Broxbourne Civic Hall in Hoddesdon, and the promotion’s Halloween-themed Trick or Treat show in 2001. We’re shown footage from last week where Victoria had another malicious caller, which somehow linked to Dino Scarlo’s mugging of Scott Parker.
Alex Shane’s in the ring for a promo, and apparently the fans of the FWA are looking to Shane to be a leader against the Old School. Unfortunately, this was 2001, when catchphrase-riddled promos were king, so we got little substance before Guy Thunder made an appearance… and we went to the opening credits.
After we return, the opening segment is a challenge from Thunder to Shane for a Last Man Standing Match. Cue more catchphrases, and the two butt heads as the segment ended.
“Mr Blonde” Flash Barker vs. Justin Richards
Alex Shane’s gone away, but his bodyguards remain as Justin Richards came out to be a lamb to the slaughter against Mr Blonde.
Blonde takes Richards into the corner and kicks away at him, before a headlock leads to a shoulder tackle. Richards makes a comeback with hiptosses and dropkicks, and then uses a baseball slide to knock Blonde and some of his goons out on the floor. Back in the ring, Blonde takes control over the rookie, choking away on him in the ropes.
A standing dropkick from Blonde knocks down Richards, before he drops an elbow precariously close to the family jewels… but Richards mounts a comeback, ramming Blonde’s head into the turnbuckles, before a leg lariat earned him a near-fall. Another two-count comes from a suplex from Richards, before Blonde clotheslines him out of his boots. Blonde hits a mule kick to get out of a Dragon suplex attempt, and a closed first makes it two moves in a row that should have gotten Mr Blonde DQ’d… but he pulled up Richards at the count of two instead. One Michinoku Driver later, aborts another pinfall attempt, before a move that’d later be known as the Cross Rhodes gets him the win. A decent squash match, but after 16 episodes of this show, I’ve little faith that this led to anything… **
After commercial, we’re taken to some make-shift car park where Ashe is supposedly back from holiday. Apparently the guy who interfered for the New Breed last time out is called Kruiz, and Curve’s already agreed to a tag title defence with Kruiz later tonight. Poor Ashe. Shouldn’t have taken that time off, eh?
We’re back in the arena, as Jody Fleisch and Paul Travell are in the ring, calling out their opponents. They show us highlights of the debuting Kruiz from a few weeks back, when he wasn’t given a name or anything.
FWA Tag Team Championship: New Breed (Curve & Kruiz) vs. Paul Travell & Jody Fleisch
The match got going as Curve lit into Kruiz with a jumping back kick, then a moonsault, before landing a series of kicks to get a near-fall.
Kruiz tags in and keeps working on Fleisch’s right knee, before a clothesline flattened him. They worked over Fleisch’s previously-injured shoulder, before a hanging suplex gets Kruiz a near-fall. Curve tags back in and delivers a powerbomb to Fleisch, before Travell broke up the cover. A second powerbomb is turned into ‘rana by Fleisch, who then tagged in Travell for a comeback, which was cut off viciously by a clothesline from Kruiz. Travell’s forced to kick out at two from a savate kick, before Kruiz lands a backbreaker that he turns into a submission attempt.
Throughout the match, they played up a “dissension in the New Breed” storyline, which was impressive given that this was their first official match with the third member of the team! Vince Russo would be proud!
Paul Travell missed a big splash off the top, before Curve tagged out as Curve and Kruiz set up for a tombstone off the middle rope on Travell… who rolled out of the ring almost immediately. Yep, way to sell a massive move! Curve looks to tend to Travell, before rolling him back into the ring, where Kruiz tried for a regular piledriver, only for Jody Fleisch to make a save. Jody Fleisch looked to springboard back in, but he’s cut-off by Dino Scarlo who used a cricket bat to swat down Fleisch. Kruiz went straight onto Fleisch with an armbar, forcing the immediate submission as Curve tried to break it up. Eh, as a match it was okay, but there was way too much needless window-dressing here – why start the break-up angle in a team’s debut match? Why have Dino Scarlo go from “troubleshooter” to a random attacker? **
After the match, Curve took the microphone and declared that he had respect for Fleisch, Travell… but not Kruiz. So why the hell did you agree to tag with him?! Ashe and Curve argue in the ring, with Ashe saying he’s sick of carrying Curve… and this is just straight out of Vince Russo’s playbook. The show ends with Curve saying “two’s company, three’s a crowd”, and there’s the tease for a future match.
Well, it wasn’t the worst pair of FWA shows I’ve seen, as we actually had some storyline progression, but my God, the “converting live shows into TV shows” made for some truly glacial storyline progression – or in the case of the New Breed, a storyline that moved so fast, they pulled the trigger before the gun was even loaded!