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Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) was a professional wrestling promotion based on the former National Wrestling Alliance member promotion, Championship Wrestling from Florida, which operated from 1961 until 1987.[1] From October 2007[2][3] to August 2012,[4] the promotion served as the official developmental territory for WWE. In August 2012, WWE re-branded Florida Championship Wrestling into NXT for their developmental territory, with storylines and championships being discontinued.[5]

Florida Championship Wrestling
AcronymFCW
FoundedJune 26, 2007
DefunctAugust 14, 2012
StyleProfessional wrestling
HeadquartersTampa, Florida
Founder(s)Steve Keirn, WWE
Owner(s)Steve Keirn
ParentWWE
WebsiteFCWwrestling.com (inactive)
FCWwrestling.info (inactive)

HistoryEdit

The promotion was started by Steve Keirn in 2007[6] and became WWE's second developmental territory when they ended their relationship with the Georgia-based Deep South Wrestling in April 2007.[7] It became their sole developmental territory in early 2008 when they ceased affiliation with Ohio Valley Wrestling.[3]

 
FCW's first logo (2007–2008)

FCW's debut show was on June 26, 2007 at Tampa, Florida's Dallas Bull. A 21-man Battle Royal was held during the show, to crown the first ever FCW Southern Heavyweight Champion.[8] The next year, the Florida Heavyweight Championship was introduced,[9] with Jake Hager becoming the first champion at a February 15 show after surviving a Battle Royal and defeating Ted DiBiase, Jr..[10] The Florida Tag Team Championship was also introduced in February, with the Puerto Rican Nightmares (Eddie Colón and Eric Pérez) beating Steven Lewington and Heath Miller to win it in the finals of a one night tournament.[11] The singles titles were later unified, keeping the "Florida Heavyweight" name and championship.[12]

On July 7, 2008, WWE confirmed that FCW was based on the original independent Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion, which operated from 1961 until 1987.[1] The program's ending consisted of various clips from the ending of CWF's programs, featuring Gordon Solie's classic sign-off line "So long from the Sunshine State", accompanied by Solie winking one of his eyes and waving two fingers upward.

On July 17, 2008, the FCW Arena was officially opened,[13] and included a taping of the debut episode of FCW TV.[14]

On March 20, 2012, it was reported that WWE would cease operation at Florida Championship Wrestling; however, this statement was later refuted after Steve Keirn denied the claim.[15] WWE Executive Vice President of Talent and Live Events, Triple H, stated WWE will be ramping up their development system, not shutting it down.[16]

In August 2012, WWE dropped the FCW name, deactivated the titles, and began running all of its developmental events and operations under the "NXT Wrestling" banner. WWE had been using the NXT name for a television program featuring rookies from FCW competing to become WWE main roster wrestlers, though the reality television aspects of the show had been dropped earlier in 2012; WWE NXT now serves as the primary television program for the NXT Wrestling promotion.[5]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Championship Notes
Queen of FCW A crown was held by the title holder, rather than a championship belt that is primarily used in professional wrestling.
Florida Heavyweight Championship Contested for in their heavyweight division
Florida Tag Team Championship Contested for in the tag team division
Divas Championship Contested for in the women's division
Jack Brisco 15 Championship Contested in 15-minute Iron Man matches
Southern Heavyweight Championship Retired after being unified with the Florida Heavyweight Championship

Notable alumniEdit

The following is a list of notable FCW alumni that have gone on to accomplished a name for themselves on the main roster of WWE.

Ring name Real name
AJ Lee April Brooks[17]
Aksana Živilė Raudonienė[18]
Alberto Del Rio José Rodríguez[19]
Alex Riley Kevin Kiley Jr.[20]
Alicia Fox Victoria Crawford[21]
Cesaro Claudio Castagnoli[22]
Brad Maddox Tyler Kluttz[23]
Brie Bella Brianna Danielson[24]
Brodus Clay George Murdoch[25]
Big E Ettore Ewen[26]
Camacho Tevita Fifita[27]
Cameron Ariane Andrew[28]
Curt Hawkins Brian Myers[29]
Curtis Axel Joseph Hennig[30]
Damien Sandow Aron Haddad[31]
Daniel Bryan Bryan Danielson[32]
Darren Young Frederick Rosser III[33]
David Otunga David Otunga Sr.[34]
Dean Ambrose Jonathan Good[35]
Dolph Ziggler Nicholas Nemeth[36]
Drew McIntyre Andrew Galloway[37]
Epico Orlando Colón[38]
Evan Bourne Matthew Korklan[39]
Ezekiel Jackson Rycklon Stephens[40]
Fandango Curtis Hussey[41]
Heath Slater Heath Miller[42]
Jack Swagger Donald Hager Jr.[43]
Jason Jordan Nathan Everhart
Jey Uso Joshua Fatu[44]
Jimmy Uso Jonathan Fatu[45]
Jinder Mahal Yuvraj Dhesi[46]
Justin Gabriel Paul Lloyd Jr.[47]
Kaitlyn Celeste Bonin[48]
Kofi Kingston Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah[49]
Michael Tarver Tyrone Evans
Naomi Trinity Fatu[50]
Natalya Natalie Neidhart[51]
Nikki Bella Stephanie Garcia-Colace[52]
Paige Saraya-Jade Bevis[53]
Primo Colón Edwin Colón[54]
Ricardo Rodriguez Jesús Rodríguez[55]
Richie Steamboat Richard Blood Jr.[56]
Roman Reigns Leati Anoaʻi[57]
Rosa Mendes Milena Roucka[58]
Rusev Miroslav Barnyashev
Ryback Ryback Reeves[59]
Serena Deeb Serena Deeb
Seth Rollins Colby Lopez[60]
Sin Cara Jorge Arias[61]
Sheamus Stephen Farrelly[62]
Summer Rae Danielle Moinet
Tamina Snuka Sarona Snuka-Polamalu[63]
Ted DiBiase Jr. Theodore DiBiase Jr.[64]
Titus O'Neil Thaddeus Bullard Sr.[65]
Tiffany Taryn Terrell
Tyler Reks Gabriel Tuft[66]
Tyler Breeze Mattias Clement
Tyson Kidd Theodore Wilson[67]
Wade Barrett Stuart Bennett[68]
Yoshi Tatsu Naofumi Yamamoto[69]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Florida Championship Wrestling unveils new arena in Tampa, Fla". WWE. July 7, 2008. Retrieved July 8, 2008. From the birth of the promotion in the 1960s, until 1987, "Florida Championship Wrestling" was regarded as one of the premier wrestling territories in the country...Florida Championship Wrestling is now an official developmental territory of World Wrestling Entertainment. FCW and the WWE are proud to bring back Florida Championship Wrestling.
  2. ^ "About page". Florida Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "WWE Ceases affiliation with Ohio Valley Wrestling". WWE. February 6, 2008. Archived from the original on February 10, 2008. Retrieved February 6, 2008.
  4. ^ "About Us". Florida Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on August 5, 2012. Retrieved April 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b "WWE News: FCW name being phased out". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved August 14, 2012.
  6. ^ Fox, Geoff (September 8, 2007). "Area Wrestling Will Continue Under A New State Banner". The Tampa Tribune. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
  7. ^ "WWE ends relationship with DSW". WWE. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
  8. ^ "FCW 2007 results". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved October 24, 2007.
  9. ^ Wojcik, Alan J. "Results from Florida on 2/5". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  10. ^ Wojcik, Alan J. "Results from Tampa on 2/15". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  11. ^ Wojcik, Alan J. "Results from Florida on 2/23". Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on May 28, 2009. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  12. ^ "FCW Southern Heavyweight Title". Wrestling-Titles. Archived from the original on February 26, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  13. ^ "FCW New Arena Debut Photo Gallery: July 17, 2008". WWE. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  14. ^ "Florida Championship Wrestling debuts new arena, Web site & TV studio". WWE. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Gray, Richard. "Breaking News – Steve Keirn Says There Is "No Truth" To FCW Shutting Down Rumor". Wrestling World News. Retrieved March 20, 2012.
  16. ^ "WWE EVP Triple H refutes false reports of FCW's closing". WWE. Retrieved May 29, 2019.
  17. ^ "April Jeanette". IMDB. Retrieved March 21, 2011.
  18. ^ "Živilė Raudonienė". Genickbruch.com. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  19. ^ "Alberto Rodríguez". Gerweck.net. Retrieved October 4, 2010.
  20. ^ "Kevin Kiley". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  21. ^ "Victoria Crawford". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  22. ^ "Antonio Cesaro". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  23. ^ "Brad Maddox". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  24. ^ "Brie Bella". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  25. ^ "George Murdoch". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  26. ^ "Big E. Langston". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  27. ^ "Camacho". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  28. ^ "Ariane Andrew". Genickbruch.com. Retrieved May 7, 2012.
  29. ^ "Bryan Myers". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  30. ^ "Joseph Hennig". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  31. ^ "Aaron Haddad". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  32. ^ "Bryan Danielson". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  33. ^ "Darren Young". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  34. ^ "David Otunga". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  35. ^ "Jon Moxley". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  36. ^ "Nicholas Nemeth". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  37. ^ "Drew Galloway". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  38. ^ "Orlando Colón". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  39. ^ "Matthew Korklan". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  40. ^ "Ryklon Stephens". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  41. ^ "Fandango". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  42. ^ "Heath Miller". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  43. ^ "Jacob Hager". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  44. ^ "Joshua Fatu". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  45. ^ "Jonathon Fatu". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  46. ^ "Yuvraj Dhesi". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  47. ^ "Paul Lloyd, Jr". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  48. ^ "Celeste Bonin". Gerweck.net. Retrieved September 9, 2010.
  49. ^ "Kofi Sarkodie-Mensah". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  50. ^ "Trinity McCray". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved March 21, 2010.
  51. ^ "Natalie Neidhart". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  52. ^ "Nikki Bella". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  53. ^ "Saraya-Jade Bevis". gerweck.net. Retrieved April 21, 2014.
  54. ^ "Edwin Colón". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  55. ^ "Jesús Rodríguez". Genickbruch.com. Retrieved August 31, 2010.
  56. ^ "Richard Blood Jr". Onlineworldofwrestling.com. Retrieved March 16, 2015.
  57. ^ "Leati Anoa'i". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  58. ^ "Milena Roucka". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  59. ^ "Ryan Reeves". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  60. ^ "Tyler Black". Gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  61. ^ "Jorge Arias". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  62. ^ "Stephen Farrelly". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  63. ^ "Sarona Reiher". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  64. ^ "Theodore DiBiase, Jr". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  65. ^ "Thaddeus Bullard". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  66. ^ "Gabriel Tuft". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.
  67. ^ "Theodore Wilson". Gerweck.net. Retrieved April 27, 2012.
  68. ^ "Stuart Bennett". Gerweck.net. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  69. ^ "Naofumi Yamamoto". gerweck.net. Retrieved June 26, 2013.

External linksEdit