On June 21, 2013, Family Wrestling Entertainment (FWE Wrestling) held its second annual Welcome to the Rumble event.
The show, which I attended, featured an extreme rules match between soon-to-be-returning WWE Superstar Rob Van Dam and former ECW original Tommy Dreamer. Welcome to the Rumble 2 also featured the first wrestling appearance by Matt Striker, whose WWE contract was not renewed recently.
Van Dam’s match with Dreamer was arguably the best match of the night. Despite a 30-man rumble match, a women’s tag team match involving Angelina Love and Katarina Leigh against FWE women’s champion Maria Kanellis and Ivelisse Velez and FWE champion Carlito being defeated by John Morrison, the extreme rules match stole the show. Van Dam and Dreamer used chairs, kendo sticks and tables while the action also spilled into the crowd.
At one point, Dreamer and Van Dam were exchanging punches through the crowd until Dreamer fell from the seating area into the locker room area. It appeared as though the match might be over. Van Dam even signaled the match was over. However, moments later, Dreamer appeared and finished the match despite losing to RVD.
Striker began the show on commentary. Prior to taking his seat, he addressed the audience on his situation. He thanked WWE for the opportunity they gave him for eight years. It was an opportunity that allowed him to be at FWE Wrestling.
However, Striker also alluded to some of WWE’s trademark verbiage. He asked the Queens, N.Y., crowd if it would be alright with us if he used the word “wrestler” (as opposed to Superstar). Striker mentioned how it was okay at FWE Wrestling to discuss Japan and wrestlers’ past history, something you don’t hear on WWE programming.
I had the pleasure of meeting both Van Dam and Striker prior to the show, during the meet-and-greet session. As a fellow teacher, I asked Striker if he planned on returning to the classroom. He told me that his plan was to teach at the university or high school level this coming September. Until then, he will be available for wrestling appearances. During the rumble match, Striker did make a brief appearance as an entrant.
It was surprising to see Morrison defeat Carlito for the promotion’s top championship, as Morrison is not a regular FWE wrestler. Carlito’s last challenge was a TLC match against Matt Hardy and Dreamer.
Despite winning that contest, he was unable to retain his title on June 21. The match wasn’t particularly exciting, as myself and others in attendance were discussing how bored we were. However, Morrison’s win guarantees that he will continue to make appearances for the promotion.
At least until he drops the gold.
It was less than a year ago when I began attending independent shows, but I highly recommend FWE Wrestling for anyone in the N.J./N.Y. area. Their shows have primarily taken place in Brooklyn and Queens, which are easily accessible by public transportation.
The promotion’s shows have improved greatly with each event, and Welcome to the Rumble 2 was easily the best show of theirs I have seen.
To learn more about the promotion, be sure to check out FWEWrestling.com.
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