FWA TV Review
by Adam Sibley (20th March 2004)

This week I will be reviewing the first episode of the FWA to air on The Wrestling Channel. This I think will be one of the most important FWA broadcasts on The Wrestling Channel as for many fans this will be the first time they have seen them so the FWA needed to leave a good impression. With tons of promotions and shows to watch I think people will quickly settle in to a viewing pattern and will find out which are their favourite promotions very quickly.

Many people have been very quick to talk up the FWA myself included but this is the first time that the promotion in its own right has had its events screened on national TV so it is a big step and many people were curious to see how they would fare especially as they would be up against so many established federations from around the world. With this in mind and the importance of the first show they decided for the first episode to feature matches from one of my favourite events Seasons Beatings.

The episode featured matches from the round robin tournament they had that night to crown a new number one contender to the FWA title which was held by “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels at the time. The 4 competitors in the tournament were Jonny Storm, Doug Williams, Jody Fleisch and AJ Styles. The tournament was scored 20 points for a win by pinfall or submission, 15 points for a win by count out or disqualification and 10 points for a time limit draw. With this scoring in mind and only 4 competitors it made for an interesting nights action with so many different outcomes possible.

The episode itself started with a backstage promo by Jonny Storm which was interrupted by Doug Williams then AJ Styles and finally Jody Fleisch as they all staked their claim for why they would win the tournament which resulted in a confrontation which had to be broke up by the FWA officials. This set the mood nicely for the episode and was a good preview of things to come as it introduced all the competitors to those who may not be familiar with the product.

The first match of the tournament was Jonny Storm vs. Doug Williams. The match introduced us well to both competitors and was a solid opener considering both guys were quite over with the fans at the time and instead of it being a face / heal match scenario it was all about the wrestling. The match was very sporting affair with handshakes being exchanged before and after the match and was a demonstration of high flying and technical wrestling.

It was a very even match with a host of reversals and counters to keep the fans on their toes. It was the high flying that finally beat the technical style as Jonny managed to connect with his impressive finish the Rewind ‘Stormin’ Steiner for the three count. This got Jonny off to a fast start with twenty points chalked up on the leader board after his first match but it left Doug in a must win situation for his next match of the tournament against the formidable international star AJ Styles.

The second match of the round robin saw Jody Fleisch pit himself against the only US Wrestler in the tournament AJ Styles. Fleisch was trying to fly around the ring like he is well known for doing but as the match went on AJ Styles wore him down with the ground attack. As you will learn from watching FWA over the coming weeks never count Jody out as he summoned up the energy to hit his 720 DDT finisher from the top rope but only for AJ Styles to kick out just before the three. With one last throw of the dice Jody took one risk too many has he was caught diving on to AJ Styles and was countered in to a Styles Clash for AJ to pick up the three count and 20 points meaning he joined Jonny Storm at the top of the leader board after the first round.

The final match from the episode was Jody Fleisch’s second round match of the round robin against Jonny Storm. These two have wrestled each other up and down the country for many years so know each other better than they probably know themselves. They normally win match of the night award when they compete against each other so I was hoping this would be no exception.

They were quick to please as within the first two minutes had both hit their finishers only for the other to kick out on both occasions. After this whirlwind start they took it outside as they leapt on each other from the ring to the outside which included Jody hitting a moonsault from the ring to the outside on to the prone Storm. They took the match to the fans as the contest sprawled over the guard rail at times. When the action got back in the ring Jody and Jonny not content with hitting their own finishers decided to use the others finisher against them which resulted in more long two counts. Knowing it would take something big to finish each other off the match went back outside as Jody hit his 720 DDT off the guard rail to knock Jonny out.

Jody could only muster the energy to beat the ten count and not drag Jonny Storm back in the ring to finish him off so Jody had to settle for 15 points for a count out victory. This brought him back in contention now only 5 behind the leaders on the board leaving only Doug Williams left with out any points. Hopefully on the next episode we should see the three concluding matches in a very intriguing round robin tournament and find out who will be crowned number one contender to the FWA title. Will AJ Styles remain undefeated? Will Doug Williams score some points on the leader board? All of these questions and more should hopefully be answered by watching the next episode of FWA action.