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[2002-02-01-FWA-Crunch] Doug Williams vs Christopher Daniels


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We are in the Broxbourne Civic Hall, which was the company’s main base for most of it’s run. It was a building that had a cool set up for wrestling with tiered seating on one side and a stage which the FWA also set up with seating that then gave off an appearance of being a bigger venue than the 450 or so capacity it had. It’s a venue that traditionally always had a hot crowd.


Going into this match, Doug was in his first reign as FWA Champion and was already starting to be presented as the ace of the company. Timewise, it is just a week before the big Revival show which I’ve written about here: http://prowrestlingonly.com/index.php?/topic/39613-doug-williams-vs-eddie-guerrero-fwa-revival-king-of-england-tournament-02092002/


We are also in the midst of the main storyline going on in the FWA for most of 2002; the ‘Old School’ - veterans who didn’t like the new direction for wrestling in the UK and the newer, younger guys brought up on the Attitude era and ECW. This match plays into that, with Christopher Daniels being managed by the Old School’s manager Dean Ayass and brought into be a hired gun to take the title off Williams. When the promotion wide storyline had begun Doug was something of a tweener, but after rejecting the Old School’s advances he’s now very much in a face role. The nice hook is that Daniels has been brought in specifically as he already has a victory over Williams in the UK.


This is a really fun match, and as you’d expect between these two, very smooth and technically sound. Both guys match up well and Daniels is excellent at playing the slimy heel trying to exploit any advantage or opening. Looking at the FWA roster at the time, Doug was clearly the most polished and best performer and he’s really enjoyable in showcasing his mat wrestling skills, incorporating a number of traditional British wrestling/WOS counters to keep Daniels off his game. Recognising that he is outmatched technically, Daniels is always looking to up the pace and when the match speeds up he is able to take control.


I enjoyed his work on top in the match, as he kept working the neck and upper back, It was also refreshing that Ayass on the side didn’t get too involved to overshadow or distract from the match. Earlier in the show he’d been involved in a tag match and he sells his neck, which I guess was also an effective way of stopping him getting constantly involved.


At this point in 2002 you could see why Daniels was so highly regraded on the indy scene and why he would be a key part of the early days of ROH and then TNA. He is already very polished and everything he hits is crisp and on point. I know some find him to be a guy that can be quite mechanical in the ring, but I’ve always been a big fan and in this match he brings a nice variety to his offence and moves that would become his signature spots.



The match has a satisfyingly clean ending which puts Williams over nicely, showing he can defeat an opponent that already had a growing reputation. It’s a rivalry that interestingly the FWA would revisit later in the year and into 2003 and which also crossed over into ROH, and shows how well the two guys meshed. Their matches together in ROH are well worth seeking out, as is this one. (*** ¾)

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