FCW: A Look At The Future Of The WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling is the current home of WWE's future superstars. Many notables, including Drew McIntyre, The Hart Dynasty, Sheamus, The Corre, and Nexus, started their WWE careers in the Florida developmental league.
Since FCW reorganized under the WWE banner, both FCW's tag team and Divas divisions are in better shape then the WWE's respective ones. All ten Florida Heavyweight Champions have appeared on either the Smackdown or RAW rosters, and all but Eric Escobar are currently with WWE.
Currently the FCW roster is packed with young talent just waiting for their chance to shine in the WWE. While some never make it out of developmental, I'll highlight the most likely to become the next big stars.
Most of us would know Abraham Washington from his ECW days hosting the Abraham Washington Show. It had some good segments during his run, but he was sent back to FCW after the end of ECW.
Abraham is great on the mic, and pretty good in the ring. While waylaid by injuries, he served as FCW general manager and did color commentary on the weekly basis.
I was not a fan of Abraham Washington during his time in the WWE, but I became one while watching clips of his FCW broadcasts. His crisp commentary proved he could hold his own outside the squared circle.
Since returned to ring action, he has been used in dark matches prior to WWE live events, and was embroiled in a FCW with his former commentary partner Byron Saxton.
It's hard to say how or when he will appear as a part of the main rosters, but Abraham Washington is a name to watch out for.
Bo Rotundo is another generational star within the WWE Universe. He is the brother of Husky Harris and son of I.R.S. Of the two Rotundo Brothers, Bo is the one turning the heads WWE. Sadly, he's only 20 years old and WWE does not want him on the main roster.
With his brother, he has held the FCW tag team titles and has competed a couple times for the FCW Heavyweight title.
While he lacks some of the mic skills needed, he can compete in the ring with the best of WWE.
If WWE begins to care about the tag team division again, I could see a reunited Rotundo Brothers. Their chemistry will ensure some boisterous matches.
The name says it all.
Brett DiBiase is the son of "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase and brother of current WWE Superstar Ted DiBiase Jr. A couple years ago he interfered from the crowd in a match for Randy Orton when Ted was a part of Legacy.
His WWE call-up was supposed to happen last spring, but a major injury sidelined him. Before the injury, he competed twice for the heavyweight title.
Brett has the in-ring talent to back up that main event status, and has shown his charisma as a color commentator. While still somewhat raw on the mic, he has demonstrated the potential to improve.
I believe his injury stalled his brother's push in the WWE, as the Fortunate Sons was a possible stable under the guidance of Ted DiBiase. This may happen down the line, as the WWE is packed full of generational stars in FCW.
Los Aviadores is the tag team of Hunico and Epico in FCW. The masked luchadores have great tag team chemistry and could resuscitate the WWE tag team division
They have held the tag team titles twice in FCW and are always in the hunt for the titles.
Separately, these are two well conditioned wrestlers. Epico is another generational star and competes solo under the name Tito Colon. He is a member of the Colon wrestling family and shares the skill set of both Carlito and Primo. We could see Tito unite with cousin Primo to reform the Colons as a tag team or continue tagging with Hunico.
Hunico was an accomplished competitor before joining the WWE, having worked for numerous other promotions around the south. On the independent circuits, he is better known as Incognito.
Both have the skills and could possibly make a move to the main event roster. While neither is main event material, they could compete for tag titles constantly. With a growing Hispanic contingency in the WWE, a stable of Alberto Del Rio, Primo, Hunico, and Epico could well be a possibility.
Jinder Mahal is the next Great Khali. While much shorter than his predecessor, Jinder Mahal has the talent to take over for The Great Khali's presence in Indian culture. FCW's Punjabi Nightmare has ability in the ring, decent charisma, and good mic skills.
While he's a relative newcomer to FCW, Jinder will definitely soon be championship material. He's been getting a good push as both a singles and tag team competitor on the TV broadcasts, did a great match with Richie Steamboat, and has been embroiled in Abraham Washington's feud with Byron Saxton.
Smart money is on him teaming with The Great Khali and being portrayed as another brother to the Punjabi Playboy.
Byron Saxton, a former commentator on ECW and FCW, will be another new face gracing the main rosters of the WWE. He's a competitor on NXT Season 4 and full-time in FCW. He's great on the mic and athletic in the ring.
From being a wrestler to manager to commentator, Byron Saxton has done just about everything with FCW. During a match against FCW Champion Mason Ryan, he took out No. 1 contender Johnny Curtis by leaving the announcers' table and hitting him with a roll of quarters.
Saxton possesses the physical tools to become a world champion. His only negative is his finishing move that starts like a Skull Crushing Finale before reversing Rock Bottom finish.
"Showtime" Percy Watson
"Showtime" Percy Watson is the fun loving, dancing member of the FCW roster. The former college and pro football player was a participant on WWE's NXT Season 2, and was one of the better talkers and in-ring competitors. Percy has the athletic ability to be a great draw for the WWE.
His matches on NXT were solid, and he can be a strong mid-card competitor, with main-eventer potential. His feud with Husky Harris on FCW showed a more aggressive Percy Watson.
WWE officials are high on Percy, and he's been part of dark matches for both RAW and Smackdown.
Donny Marlow is another generational star in the WWE. The son of Haku, Marlow is one of the more well rounded members of the FCW roster. He can pull off high flying maneuvers and shows strong technique. Known for having one of the hardest heads in FCW, his 'Coconut Drop' finisher brings the crowd to it's feet.
While part of the FCW roster, he helped elevate some of the talent we see now in the WWE. He managed the Uso's and Manu, and was part of a decent tag team with Brodus Clay, though he probably still needs work to become a great solo competitor.
Marlow has great athletic abilities and his in-ring skills are impressive, as he's trained under Team 3D and the FCW staff.
AJ Lee is the one Diva in FCW most deserving of being on a WWE roster. She has the best in-ring abilities and is good on the mic either as a face or a heel. As one of the participants on NXT Season 3, she proved she can hold her own in the WWE's lackluster Divas division. Compared to the other Divas in FCW she is the most fluid in-ring competitor.
AJ has held both the Divas title and Queen of FCW during her stint in developmental, and held a tag team title on the independent circuit.
AJ should find a way to be part of the WWE rosters soon. She has the talent and drive to possibly be the next great Diva in the WWE.
As the name states, he is the son of Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat. Richie Steamboat is one of the best in-ring competitors FCW has to offer. His great in-ring skills are in the mode of his father. Richie can perform great spots from the top rope or as a technical wrestler.
In the limited times I've seen him on FCW television, he has impressed me the most out of all the fighters, and not just because he's another generational star. In the first ever Florida 15, his match between Tito Colon was one of the better WWE matches I've seen recently.
While Richie lacks some of the natural charisma of a potential superstar, his in-ring work and ability overcome this. Rumors are abound that Richie Steamboat has impressed WWE officials and likely will join the main rosters soon.
Better known as Tyler Black from Ring of Honor, Seth Rollins is the total package that the WWE is looking for. Rollins has great in-ring ability, mic work, and natural charisma. He has been part of many a great moment in Ring of Honor and is now trying his hand with the WWE.
He is a former Ring of Honor Heavyweight and Tag Team Champion during his stint with the promotion. While there Rollins had spectacular matches with Austin Aries, Daniel Bryan, and Nigel McGuiness. He is the only winner of the Florida 15 match since joining FCW late in 2010.
I can already see a great feuds with Punk or Daniel Bryan for Seth Rollins. He is the one member of the roster that is truly destined to be a main eventer in the WWE.
Even though they are already part of WWE television or on a main event roster, Mason Ryan, Johnny Curtis, Derrick Bateman, and Brodus Clay are definitely competitors to keep an eye on.
Divas Maxine or Aksana also have good potential. Maxine is a great heel as GM of FCW, and fluid in the ring. Aksana had a great storyline with Goldust on NXT. Her in-ring abilities are all right, but like most of the Divas, not quite enough.
Other members of the FCW roster that have a chance are Lucky Cannon, Xavier Woods, and Wes Brisco.