Five Borough Wrestling 'Proving Ground': Verna Retires Talon, Wins FBW Title

BAY RIDGE -- "The Man of Steel" Mike Verna had a night for the ages at Five Borough Wrestling's (FBW) Proving Ground on Friday night, defeating longtime rival Talon and later winning the promotion's championship in the main event.

FBW general manager PJ Stackpole addressed the crowd to start the show; alongside the menacing DJ Hyde. Stackpole, disappointed by the outcome of the 30-man over the top rope battle royal at Standing Tall, called Verna, Talon, and Rude Boy Riley to the ring. Stackpole berated the trio of superstars and made some late changes.

For starters, Stackpole announced that Anthony Gangone, the winner of the battle royal, would be invoking his right to challenge for the world title.

Also, instead of Verna and Talon's original bout against the Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) Tag Team champions TV Ready (Pepper Parks/BLK Jeez), the two men were pitted against each other in a one-on-one match. The winner would be added to the evening's main event bout for the FBW championship. The loser would be fired.

Finally, if Riley defeated former NXT superstar Bull James (Dempsey), he would also be added to the main event.

Verna pinned Talon in the show's opening contest after hitting his signature sit-down spinebuster. Reluctantly celebrating his victory, Verna seemed conflicted about the win and the implications it had of ending Talon's FBW stint. After the match, Stackpole -- who was sitting ringside with Hyde -- extended his hand to Talon but received a middle finger instead. Hyde took out Talon with a vicious lariat.

Hyde remained in the ring as he was a part of the next match, an FBW Five-Way that included Logan Black, Mike Donovan, Joe Gacy and Rex Lawless. A lot of high-flying action came in this match but Hyde, with his signature lariat to Donovan, was victorious.

The next match was upstart Maxwell Jacob Feinstein facing IMPACT Wrestling's newest signee, Caleb Konley. Konley was in control throughout most of the match, using his crisp style of offense to keep the brash youngster off balance. However, in a surprising twist, MJF pinned Konley after spearing "The Obsession" in mid air.

Bay Ridge native Kevin Matthews took on Crusade for Change (CFC) member Darius Carter in the next bout. Matthews was vocal throughout the match, mentioning his WWE developmental stint and that he got former NXT head trainer Bill DeMott fired. Carter seemed finished following Matthews' signature Ego Driver but fellow CFC member Anthony Gangone interfered. The distraction provided Carter with the breathing room he needed, hitting Matthews with the Foreclosure (Codebreaker) for the win.

In the final match before intermission, "The Product" David Starr made his FBW return to face "The Dirty Daddy" Chris Dickinson. The fans and their colorful streamers filled the ring as the two technicians exchanged droves of their signature moves. Starr won the match following after hitting Dickinson with a brainbuster onto his knee.

Before the action resumed, Dickinson and Milk Chocolate member Randy Summers hit the ring to announce the winner of the evening's 50/50 raffle. The raffle was designed to help Summers' tag team partner Brandon Watts as he suffered a serious neck injury. An emotional Summers thanked the crowd but Dickinson heard enough and assaulted Summers, saying he's sick of people like him and that he will end up next to Watts in the hospital.

The FBW Tag Team championship match was the first match after intermission as CFC (TJ Marconi and Stockade) retained the titles against Massage NV (VSK and Dorian Graves), and the unique pairing for BLK Jeez and "The Greek God" Papadon.

Riley's bid to be included in the main event was thwarted by James in the penultimate match of the night. Riley tried to get under James' skin throughout the match, at one point shouting "EVEN NXT DIDN'T WANT HIM!"

A photo posted by Richard Ruiz (@rich043082) on

With Riley's loss, the main event became official: A fatal fourway featuring Verna, Gangone, Eddie Kingston, and champion Brian Myers.

The match took some time to get underway as Kingston was having a good time arguing with the fans. When the action commenced, it got physical and gruesome at times. Gangone suffered a deep cut above his forehead that later required five stitches but during the match, his entire forehead was covered in blood.

Kingston was determined to win the title, especially after his various Twitter exchanges with Myers before the show. There was a unique spot where all four men went for a superkick at once, ending with all four men kicked in the jaw, falling on their back as the crowd erupted. CFC interfered but could not stop Verna who pinned Gangone following a sitout spinebuster for the victory.

Myers congratulated Verna in the ring but he and Kingston continued their war of words, possibly indicating that their rivalry still has more chapters to be written.

Side Notes

- Both Sami Callihan (injury) and Brian Cage (scheduling conflict) were pulled about a week before the show. Callihana adressed the matter on Twitter, promising the FBW fans he would appear at a later date.
- Milk Chocolate member Brandon Watts suffered a serious neck injury at Beyond Wrestling just days before the show. FBW hosted a 50/50 raffle during Proving Ground to help with Watts' medical expenses. His partner, Randy Summers, also announced that a show in Watts' honor would be held in the future as another means of helping him. Watts is expected to miss anywhere from three to six months of in-ring time.

- Brian Myers' reign as FBW Heavyweight champion was the second longest in the company's history -- a mere five days short of surpassing Papadon's reign (via Anthony Nese is the only other wrestler to hold the championship. Myers had high praise for the new FBW champion, Mike Verna, after the show.

- With the win, Verna now holds the FBW, Fighting Spirit Wrestling, and Dynasty Pro Wrestling Heavyweight titles.

Quick Results


Vinny Pacifico def. TK Luther the 5th

Sonny Kiss def. Jared Evans

Main Card

Mike Verna def. Talon

Five Borough Five-Way: DJ Hyde def. Mike Donovan, Logan Black, Rex Lawless, and Joe Gacy

Maxwell Jacob Feinstein def. Caleb Konley

Darius Carter def. Kevin Matthews

David Starr def. Chris Dickinson

Five Borough Wrestling Tag Team Championships: Crusade for Change (TJ Marconi/Stockade) def. Massage NV (VSK/Dorian Graves) and BLK Jeez/Papadon

Bull James def. Rude Boy Riley

Five Borough Wrestling Heavyweight Championship: Mike Verna def. Anthony Gangone, Eddie Kingston and Brian Myers


Mark Suleymanov

Sports Journalist.