Episode: FCW TV #162
Recorded: 13 October 2011
Aired: 06 November 2011
Match Duration: 13:24 minutes (plus one commercial break)
“True villains can’t pretend to be anything else, they are what they are.”
Before I come to my own interpretation to this match, I’ve put the match description from “PW Insider” in here. Good old ‘copy&paste’ (I might have corrected a few orthographic and grammatical errors). I’m not that good in calling the actual moves by their correct names. I can separate a lariat from a clothesline though, but I’m not able to call an entire match. My main focus in wrestling are the storylines and their characters. I enjoy seeing certain moves, but all in all it’s the beauty and magic of entire matches. So I did copy the match description and lay my whole focus on the interpretation & analysis to this match that is my favourite wrestling match ever. And now enjoy!
(Text: PW Insider; Gifs: Empty Coliseum)
Regal offers Ambrose his hand and Ambrose wants to know if Regal is serious and Regal tells Ambrose that is why he likes him. They tease a knuckle lock and then they finally lock up but it is very brief as they continue to find an opening. They lock up and Ambrose backs Regal into the corner and Ambrose with a clean break. They lock up again and Regal with a side head lock.
Regal backs Ambrose into the corner and Regal gives Ambrose a clean break but then Regal has a few words with the referee and while he talks to the referee, his foot has a bit of a spasm and he kicks Ambrose in the face a few times. Regal with a European uppercut or two. Regal with knees and forearms across the chest. Regal with an Irish whip and a running forearm to the head. Regal with a chin lock and he adds forearms across the upper chest. Regal with a rear chin lock.
Ambrose with a punch but Regal with a knee and European uppercut. Regal returns to the side head lock and Ambrose with an arm wringer to stop Regal. Ambrose works on the arm but Regal with a rake of the eyes. Ambrose with forearms in the corner followed by another arm wringer. Ambrose slams the wrist into the mat.
We are back and Regal returns to the arm while Ambrose keeps his arm away from Regal. Regal with a wrist lock and he twists Ambrose’s pinkie. Regal with a knee drop to the arm and then he rubs his knee along the arm. Regal with elbows to the head and then he returns to a hammer lock. Ambrose gets to his feet and he connects with an elbow and chop. Regal with a kick and then he takes Ambrose’s arm and Regal with knees to the head and then he puts Dean’s arm in the turnbuckle pad.
Regal punches Ambrose and then he pulls the arm in the pad and the referee threatens to count Regal out but Regal releases at four. Regal with knees to the turnbuckle pad that is holding Ambrose’s arm. The referee is trying to get the arm out of the turnbuckle pad and Regal tries to figure out what to do next.
Regal with a knee to the head. Ambrose with a rake of the eyes followed by a clothesline and kick before getting a near fall. Ambrose kicks Regal and then he rubs his forearm across Regal’s face. Ambrose with a snap elbow drop for a near fall. Ambrose with a kick and head butt. Ambrose tries for a chop but Regal avoids it and he takes Ambrose down with a drop toe hold. Ambrose with punches to Regal followed by a knee drop and then Ambrose chokes Regal with his leg.
Ambrose with a figure four head scissors while Ambrose tries to get some feeling back into his left arm. Regal rolls Ambrose over and Regal gets out of the hold and Regal tries for the Regal stretch but Ambrose gets to the ropes.
Ambrose with an elbow to the face that staggers Regal. Regal is not subdued for long and he kicks Ambrose and sends him into the turnbuckles. Regal with forearms but Ambrose with forearms of his own and a chop that sends Regal to the mat. Regal pulls Ambrose to the floor and he puts the injured arm between the steps and ring and Regal kicks the steps.
Regal waits for Ambrose to get his arm free of the ring steps and Ambrose finally gets free. Ambrose hops back onto the apron and he returns to the ring. Regal with a forearm and then Regal focuses on the arm. Regal with forearms across the bridge of the nose and then he rakes the nose and cuts off Ambrose’s ability to breathe.
Regal with an Exploder suplex but Ambrose gets to his feet. Regal with a second Exploder but he can only get a near fall. Regal with a few more near falls but Ambrose wants more. Regal wants Ambrose to get up and Regal hits the knee trembler and he gets the three count.
Winner: William Regal
After the match, Ambrose still doesn’t act like someone who just lost fair and square. He teases Regal and Regal tries to hit him with a forearm but Ambrose gets out of the ring in time. Ambrose already demands a re-match and Regal watches on from inside the ring. This way FCW goes off air.
Match Analysis & Interpretation
For the longest time I wanted to write my own take on this match. I’ve already stated before that this match, Dean Ambrose vs William Regal, part 1, is my most favourite wrestling match of all the matches I’ve already seen and will see in the future. I avoided doing so for the longest time because it’s like with all things you love: you want to tell people but you are afraid that you won’t do it justice with your words. You love something so much that you basically know that everything you say or write about it won’t ever come even close to that love you feel for it.
So, I basically needed that time to accept that I’m unable to mirror my feelings that I have for this match and this entire feud within my written words.
And I had another reason. For the longest time there was one question hanging above my head like Damocles’ sword: Why would Dean do that? Eden Stiles asked this question when Dean Ambrose attacked William Regal to initiate this feud. And there actually wasn’t any reason in the first place. William Regal always praised the young man, basically since he came to FCW. During every match that included Dean Ambrose and William Regal sat on commentary, Regal was completely focused on Ambrose, he threw praise and laurels all over him. And now Dean Ambrose attacked William Regal. So, why would Dean do that?
I might have watched this match for already over one hundred times now. I basically still watch it every third or fourth day. I know every segment of this feud, I almost know William Regal’s commentary for Dean Ambrose word by word. I’ve also read a few things about reasons and causes behind this feud and finally came up with three reasons:
- During his last match on commentary before Ambrose’s attack, Regal expressed some doubts about Ambrose’s abilities.
On the FCW episode on 16 October 2011, Dean Ambrose was in a Fatal Three-Way match against Husky Harris and Damien Sandow. At one point right at the end of this match, Ambrose didn’t act like Regal expected, and he stated:
“I’m actually a little let down with him at the moment. I’m a little let down with Dean Ambrose. (…) If anybody would get face to face with me, I would have headbutted them, and I would have thought someone of his character would have done that.”
Before that, Regal never said anything bad about Ambrose. But here he is “let down” by the man, he expected him to act in a certain way – he criticized him. And just a few moments later, Regal said this:
“Dean Ambrose should never turn his back on someone like Damien Sandow. Damien Sandow has been around this industry for too long. He can’t… obviously he can’t trust him.”
And this was almost teasing what happened to Regal himself when he turned his back on Ambrose two weeks later. Ambrose wanted to show Regal that he’s actually worth all his praise and that the older man was wrong to criticize him. And that he shouldn’t turn his back on him as well. Because bad things happen when he does.
- Ambrose was sick of Regal playing the nice guy; he wanted for Regal to return to his villainous self.
Unfortunately, William Regal is most remembered for his “Real Man’s Man” gimmick, a thing that only ran for a couple of weeks during his lowest condition, physically and mentally. In my opinion William Regal was always best as this vicious villain who was able to basically destroy his opponents with pure mat wrestling. But in WWE most of times he was used as a comical character in the mid-card as loser opponent for the stars of the company. And now in FCW he was sitting on the commentary table, being nice to everyone, playing everybody’s Mr. Entertainment and Mr. Go-To-Guy. Being a wrestling encyclopedia himself, Dean Ambrose certainly knew everything about William Regal. And he might have seen a man with equal demons. And he wanted for William Regal to show everyone who he really is, he wanted for him not to hide his true self any more. So, Ambrose helped Regal to stand by himself.
- Ambrose wanted to learn from Regal but he wasn’t able to learn from him when he just sat on commentary every week.
Dean Ambrose certainly knew that William Regal was full of praise for him. But Dean Ambrose isn’t stupid. He knows William Regal as this wrestling legend that he is. And Dean Ambrose looked up to him, something he probably wasn’t able to say about his father. So, he also saw William Regal as some kind of father figure that he never had in his life before. As humbled as he might have been about the praise, he also knew that you have to learn your entire life. Now, being in FCW now, having William Regal that close, there was this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to prove himself against this legend. Ambrose wanted to know where he was standing, if he was already able to win against Regal, if his abilities were already enough to overcome the odds. Ambrose saw opportunity and he wanted to prove himself. And if he failed, he wanted to pick Regal’s brain and learn from him until he was able to beat him.
Usually in WWE these days, feuds are initiated by the simplest reasons. There are very flat storylines; just very few of them have got any depth to them. And that’s why I like this feud and especially this first match: because already the reasons for Dean Ambrose’s attack on William Regal are so complex that even after more than four years I still think about it and discover little details that I haven’t thought about before. Where do you find such in wrestling nowadays?
After Dean Ambrose’s attack, William Regal got his hands on him backstage and then came around with probably one of the most remarkable, authentic and memorable promos in the wrestling business ever. There was this quote that will always be some kind of a motto for this feud:
“I’ve got a made mind that just works as a villain. True villains can’t pretend to be anything else. They are what they are.”
William Regal also said that he’s now indebted to Dean Ambrose because of the above mentioned reason no. 2. So William Regal accepted the challenge. The match was set for one week after the attack. And William Regal was ready to show not just Dean Ambrose but the world what provoking and challenging a true villain really means. When he made his entrance to the ring, he smiled at Dean Ambrose and looked at him like he wanted to say: “Awww, that dear boy really came out to play with the fire. Let’s teach him how that feels.” So, William Regal was all confident, almost cocky, definitely willing to teach the young man a lesson.
But right before William Regal was finally able to hit his Knee Trembler to pin Dean Ambrose for the win, he was driven to the edge. He was yelling and screaming at Dean Ambrose who just didn’t want to keep down. William Regal might have taken Dean Ambrose just a little too lightly before the match. He already knew and always said that the man is good. But during this match, Ambrose took Regal to his own world. It was like fire fighting with fire and both of them got burnt. In the end, William Regal won but at what cost? Because right after the match, Dean Ambrose already demanded for a re-match, bringing William Regal to the edge – probably over it – again. And the question now was if William Regal would be willing to fight against an even stronger fire once again. And the longer he waited, the stronger his nemesis grew.
When the match started off, William Regal already got an idea what this match could grew into when Dean Ambrose already taunted and teased him and finally mocked him about offering his hands. Obviously, Dean Ambrose wasn’t there for sportsmanship. He had higher intentions – for himself but also for William Regal. He wanted to get in the older man’s brain and pick up as much knowledge as he could ever get and hopefully maybe seeding some plants there from his own mind to make this feud lasting for a very long time.
And Dean Ambrose got his wish. William Regal took out the villain that he had hidden for so long and did some really evil things to his younger opponent (that Ambrose could learn from):
- Regal stomped his foot into Ambrose from behind while he was talking to the referee;
- Regal injured Ambrose’s arm (a kayfabe dislocated left arm) with a sudden movement on the apron;
- Regal stuck Ambrose’s injured arm in between the turnbuckle and stomped on it for several times;
- Regal stuck Ambrose’s injured arm in between the steel steps, then kicked the steps to squash the arm;
- Regal cut off Ambrose’s air supply by covering his nose and mouth.
But William Regal (and the audience) learned quite a few things about Dean Ambrose as well:
- Ambrose loves to use his opponent’s moves to mock them and to show them that he’d done his research and is able to do those moves, in his opinion better than his opponents;
- Ambrose loves being hit, and when he’s hit, he wants it even more, so you can’t ever just beat him; you have to wear him down: injuries just make him stronger;
- Ambrose will play mind games during matches and you have to be careful about your own sanity to not lose your own mind.
So, after he injured Dean Ambrose’s left arm, this was William Regal’s main target now. He bent Ambrose’s fingers, stomped and kicked the arm, basically tortured it like he had some fun while doing so. But Ambrose – with just one arm – somehow made his comeback with an attack to Regal’s eyes. And Ambrose had to improvise now. With just one arm left, he was reduced to holds with his feet and moves that he only needed one arm for. But he still kept the upper hand for quite some time.
But William Regal was able to counter and set up the Regal Stretch. And still Dean Ambrose was able to break it. This was the moment when William Regal clearly stepped over that line from willing to teach the man to being furious that he just wasn’t able to wear him down. There was some devious force behind his punches now – and still Dean Ambrose hit back. Now that was the moment when Regal stuck Ambrose’s arm into the steel steps and – after Ambrose made it back inside the ring – tried to cut off the man’s air supply. Ambrose still begged for more and he got his wish granted with two Exploder Suplexes and finally one Knee Trembler for the win.
We knew that this wasn’t the end to the feud between Dean Ambrose and William Regal. Actually, this was just the beginning. And it only ended with the last match in FCW ever over eight months later. It needed FCW to get this feud. It would have never been done in WWE. Thank you to all people involved who made this possible, not just this brilliant match but the whole feud.