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TonyPulis'Cap posted a topic in August 2003Alex Shane and friends vs. The Family in 2003 was essentially the FWA version of Dreamer vs Raven, with various different matches involving lots of different characters. Shane and Knight – not regular partners and teaming for the first time – had won the tag titles on the first night of the tour, with Stevie being a local replacement with both Nikita and Ulf Herman (Shane’s regular partners being unavailable). As had happened on the first tour, the title change was in part to draw interest in new markets but also breathe some life into the longer running feud I’ve mentioned. It’s never officially announced, but as with most of the matches in this feud, it’s NO DQ, and just like in most of the matches, Shane uses his size early on to dominate. The Family can’t get anything going until they get Knight in there, and then their superior tag experience as a team starts to show. Whenever Shane is in, he dominates, so The Family try hard to keep Knight in as long as they can, which was a nice story to the first half of the match where they largely stick to the tag formula. The second half then breaks down to become more of your standard ‘walk and brawl’ early 2000s hardcore match. Knight and Raj Ghosh just disappear for a bit, but to be honest that works fine as the sequences between Shane and Paul Travell have much better energy and excitement to them. As is the norm in these matches, Travell bleeds and takes some nasty bumps, but he also gets an impressive hurucunrana off the camera platform. The intensity of the match is let down by the ref bump finish, before Knight ‘plays dead’ to get rollup and retain. This is a match of two halves that felt bolted together, and Knight’s more comedy persona and style didn’t really fit with the blood feud that Shane and allies had been having with The Family. Talking of the title shots, to pop the local crowds but return the belts to where they belong for the more ‘canon shows’, The Family would win the titles back on the last day of the tour. (** ¼)
[2004-11-13-FWA-British Uprising III] Hampton Court (Duke of Danger & Simmonz) vs Mark Sloan & Stevie Knight
TonyPulis'Cap posted a topic in November 2004This is for the FWA Tag Team Titles. For the year prior you’d be hard pressed to find a more over act in the company than Simmons, the loveable butler to the Duke of Danger. His reactions from the crowd had got to the point it had turned the whole Hampton Court act face, when traditional wrestling booking would’ve probably seen it building to a Ted DiBiase/Virgil master vs servant style match. The peak of ‘Simmonsmania’ was undoubtedly at Vendetta in July when Hampton Court won the tag titles from The Family in a double swerve that was executed perfectly. Unfortunately, as is often the way when it comes to underdog babyfaces, the chase and their big win is often the high point. Even just a couple of months later, you can already see the crowd starting to cool on the act. It doesn’t help that this match is not very good at all – the worst on the show. It never works out what it wants to be. That’s probably reflected in the challengers. Sloan and Knight were the classic wrestling ‘odd couple’ tag team that doesn’t get along; Sloan the stoic technician and Knight the loud, abrasive comedy heel. The vignettes the two would do on FWA TV throughout the latter part of 2004 were actually very funny, but in this match it results in a bit of a mess, with Knight trying to work seaside comedy and Sloan trying to work ‘indies/ROH’ style moves. Indeed all four guys just seem off their game. Colt Cabana is the guest ring announcer. He was in a ‘dark match’ that wasn’t included in The Wrestling Channel broadcast and you wonder whether he could’ve perhaps been better utilised on the main show. He teases a confrontation with Stevie Knight before the match, given both are comedy wrestlers. Comedy in wrestling is not for everyone, but I happen to enjoy someone like Colt’s ability to mould it with the wrestling. Unfortunately the opening comedy exchanges between Simmons and Knight here are pretty lame to an apathetic crowd. There is a really uninspired heat segment on Simmons leading to the Duke of Danger getting an incredibly underwhelming lukewarm tag. In fact the Duke is barely in the match at all. The finish sees Hampton Court’s manager Butter Cup the maid flirt with Knight ala Maria Kanellis/Karl Anderson and he follows her to the back, leaving Sloan isolated to eat the pin. This is a poor match that was a decent example of the fact the FWA operated a very small core roster. The UK scene of this point was nowhere near the massive depth there is today and in 2004 the FWA tag team division was basically non-existent. Teaming up more high profile singles guys like Storm/Fleisch and Tighe/Belton and having them go after the titles could’ve been a way of reviving it. (* ½)