FCW Pow! Boom! Smack! Night 1 – July 22, 2016 review

Reprinted with permission from SoCalUNCENSORED.com and credit to Steve Bryant for the review!

FCW Pow! Boom! Smack! Night 1

FCW held night one of their huge Pow! Boom! Smack! show that is taking place during San Diego Comic Con week on July 22nd and it was probably FCW’s best single show to date, and certainly their best show of the year.

Doors opened at 6:00 pm for a 7:00 pm bell time, with the first hour open for a meet and greet with all the wrestlers. FCW runs almost as far south as you can get without being in Mexico, so most people travelling there are coming from the north. That means they have to get by downtown and the extra traffic associated with Comic Con. Adding to that it was a Friday night and rush hour, there wasn’t as many people you’d expect to be there for the meet and greet when doors opened. One of the wrestlers coming from the Los Angeles area told me it took them 5 hours to get to the venue. It probably actually made things go smoother with the meet and greet though, as the lines never seemed to get long, but with more people continuously showing up they were constant rather than one huge line at the start. About a half hour before the scheduled first bell they announced a pre-show bonus match.

Aaron Garvey over Sean Raffety [6’42]

They kept this match pretty basic with no real high spots. Despite the meet and greet still going on, they were able to get the crowd into the match somewhat. Sean Raffety was really impressive last time I saw him, but this was a much more basic match and he didn’t get to show a whole lot. I assume Aaron Garvey has been training at FCW’s Battle U as the last two times I’ve seen him there’s been some noticeable improvements. He seems a lot more confident in the ring. Anyway, like I said, basic but solid match.

After the match the meet and greet wrapped up and the show started pretty much on time. The crowd had gotten pretty big by 7:00 pm with people still coming in.

Matt Twizted over Ultimo Panda [8’09]

I think Ultimo Panda is hilarious, and I hope some day to see an Ultimo Panda versus Kikutaro match. This was pretty much a straight comedy match. I thought the choice of having Matt Twizted against Ultimo Panda was a little weird though. Matt Twizted is somewhat like the FCW version of Tommy Dreamer which pretty much turned the loveable Ultimo Panda into a heel right from the start. The Panda was getting boos! Where is everyone’s heart? There were some funny spots, and overall it was an OK match. I liked it because it was different than anything else on the card and it was a fine opener.

Holidead over Thunder Rosa [15’48]

This was a no-DQ falls count anywhere match.  Thunder Rosa and Holidead had a really good singles match at FCW a few shows ago and I wasn’t sure how they’d top it. I think they managed to. The match started with Thunder Rosa coming out with a present and a party hat on and mentioning it is her birthday and yesterday was Holidead’s birthday and wanting to celebrate. There was also a big birthday cake piñata in the ring. Holidead was having none of it. Holidead was vicious to Thunder Rosa who just wanted to celebrate their birthdays. The fight went to the outside of the ring and it was pretty intense. Thunder Rosa was throwing Holidead into the crowd without warning and Holidead was just smashing through people. They were using weapons. Smashing each other against the walls. Everything. Their intensity level was crazy. Thunder Rosa put a plastic milk crate on Holidead’s head and beat it with a broom, and the broom stick was just obliterated after. Eventually they get back in the ring, and Holidead bust’s the piñata on Thunder Rosa and then kicks her through the piñata to get the pin. Sometimes these type of matches don’t translate as well to video, but live it was great and they seemed like they were really trying to kill each other. A fantastic match.

Vermin (Yuma & Kevin Martenson) over BFF (Suede Thompson & Big Duke) [13’44]

Another great match. Yuma and Martenson actually twice beat out the Young Bucks for SoCal tag-team of the year, and between their work in Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and FCW they are probably going to be strong contenders again this year. BFF has been great in FCW this year too. All four wrestlers are really good but also really work well as a team. With all of the other great stuff on this show, this match might get somewhat over looked, but it was pretty great. There was one crazy spot where Martenson suplexes Suede over the top rope and both guys go to the floor from the ring. These four work really well together and hopefully this feud can continue. Great stuff here.

Danny Limelight over Famous B to retain the XRT title [17’13]

I know it sounds like a broken record, but this was another great match. FCW is getting to be like PWG where you are just comparing good matches to other good matches. Famous B has been great for years and Danny Limelight is really good but you still see progression every match as far as being able to tell a story through the match. There was one spot at the end that was likely to be the finish, where you could tell it didn’t go how they wanted it to, but I thought they covered it pretty well and they managed to quickly improvise a different finish with no break in the action. A really good, solid match.

Jeff Cobb over Eli Everfly [9’00]

This was the show’s mystery match. Eli Everfly is one of the smallest guys in FCW and Jeff Cobb is a monster, so it was a pretty good mismatch. They did the story where Eli was trying to use his quickness to combat the more powerful Cobb. Eli managed to get a lot of offense in early until Cobb finally caught him. Once Cobb got his hands on Eli he was basically tossing him all over the ring. Cobb did a release suplex where he literally threw Eli from one corner of the ring to another. Later in the match he threw Eli from the outside over the top rope to the inside of the ring. Eli would try dives but Cobb would just catch him. This was a really fun match. Cobb won with the Tour of the Islands.

Heather Monroe & Laura James over Joey Ryan & Douglas James [11’44]

This was a boyfriends versus girlfriends match. It started with Joey Ryan and Heather Monroe in the ring, and Joey challenging Heather to grab his penis. She was about to do it, which caused Douglas James to jump in and stop Heather, who is his girlfriend. There was a lot of fun stuff in the match, and Laura and Heather had a really good energy together as a team. Douglas James tried to YouPorn Plex Heather Monroe at one point, but he doesn’t have Joey’s power. So Joey came over and touched him, thereby transferring the power to Douglas which enabled him to flip Heather with his penis. Joey Ryan hits Heather Monroe with a boobplex, which upsets Douglas James causing him to dropkick Joey. Laura James then gets involved, but after taking out Douglas she his Joey with a sitdown powerbomb and gets the pin. The DDT Pro Ironman  title was on the line, so she won that by pinning Joey. This was a really fun match.

Brian Cage over Rey Horus [15’26]

This was another fantastic match. Throughout the match Cage was using his strength overpower Horus. I don’t remember if they met before in Lucha Underground, but I think I’d remember if they had a match nearly this good. I thought this was the second best match on the show, only behind the main event.

B-Boy & Lil’ Cholo over Pentagon Jr. & Fenix [24’35]

Sometimes when shows book bigger stars outside of their main promotions, they don’t go all out and going in I was worried that would happen here. It didn’t happen. This was a great match. It is a definite Southern California match of the year contender. As far as matches from FCW goes, I think I would put last month’s B-Boy and Douglas James match slightly ahead of it, but some other people I talked to had it reversed.  There was a part of the match where they went into the crowd that was opposite from where I was that made it harder for me to see, and after watching it on video I may change my mind. Anyway, all four guys went all out in the match including Fenix doing a dive from the stage area into the crowd. B-Boy and Cholo hit a really nice double team spot with a neckbreaker backbreaker combo. B-Boy his a chickenwing piledriver on Pentagon Jr. and got the pin to pick up the win. After the match Cholo and Pentagon Jr. cut promos in Spanish and B-Boy and Fenix did promos in English putting the others over. The DVD is a must buy for this match and the semi alone.

Top to bottom I think this was FCW’s best show to date. I stopped doing star ratings in reviews, but if I was still doing them I’d put the last two matches over 4 stars and I’d probably place Thunder Rosa versus Holidead at about 4 stars too. Everything else aside from the pre-show and the opener would be over three stars. Just a great show.

This is a really good time in SoCal with so many great promotions running and FCW is really putting together something special. I’ll talk more about it my review of night 2 of their Pow! Boom! Smack! show,  but I was talking to one wrestler who has been around SoCal for a long time before the show, and I mentioned to him how FCW reminds me a lot of early PWG and he completely agreed. Anytime you are drawing comparisons to what is no doubt the best indy promotion in Southern California history, you are on the right track.

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