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[2003-06-22-FWA-Vendetta] American Dragon vs Doug Williams (2/3 falls)


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  • 2 years later...

I am a big Doug Williams fan, and back in 2003 was really into the FWA. Looking back, some of what the company did might not have aged too well, but in other aspects they were very much the blueprint for some of the more successful BritWres promotions that have revitalised the UK scene in the last few years.


At this point Doug Williams was the FWA champion and into a one and half year title reign that would go well into 2004. The best comparison I can think of, given it spanned a very similar time frame, is to Samoa Joe's ROH title reign, in that, while the rest of the shows were often being built on personal rivalries, Doug's title matches seemed to have an air of detachment from the rest of the show - he was a champion going out there to be the best and taking on different challengers, rather than getting involved in feuds per se. This is one of those matches.


Dragon had been wrestling in the UK on the holiday camp circuit and at this point I think was still trying to find himself and connect completely with the audience - similar to how he was in ROH at the time. In this match he is masked and that proves a bit distracting, only in so much as it distracts the crowd who direct a few chants/attention to it. I guess for those who don't enjoy some of the elements of how us Brit crowds can be now, even back then we could be a bit annoying!


The match itself is fun, if a bit emotionally distant at times - a criticism that I would accept of some of Doug's matches - but I enjoyed some of the more traditional British/WOS exchanges as both are highly proficient in this way of working. It gives the match a bit of a throw back feel, especially with the 2/3 falls stipulation. It's worth noting at that time that in a nod to British wrestling tradition all FWA title matches were 2/3 falls, which continued until Doug dropped the belt to Alex Shane who as part of his heel.on/off screen authority figure role scrapped the rule.


I enjoyed a lot of the mat work and reversals, and feel they do a nice transition into the more 2000s indy style of bigger impact moves without feeling like it is disconnected from the first part of the match which can often happen. Doug was hugely consistent throughout his career - still having good matches today - but I think if they'd have had the same match a couple of years later around 2005/06 when Dragon was locked into his ROH title run then this could have been much more dramatic and broken the **** range. As it is, this is fun and well worked, but lacks an emotional connection and sense of real drama to push it past the *** 1/4 - *** 1/2 range. Recommend checking it out though, the match is linked right there in good quality!

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