Going to Extremes

Wrestling and BMX events keep the adrenaline pumping at local festival

Kent Wilson and Ricardo Laguna are used to soaring through the air. Wilson, also known by his professional wrestling moniker “The Eccentric Lion,” crashes down on his opponents from the top turnbuckle while Laguna, who recently won Costa Rica’s King of Dirt competition, jumps his BMX bike to gravity-defying heights.

You can see both Las Vegas natives showcase their respective talents at the upcoming Extreme Thing Sports and Music Festival from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 26 at Desert Breeze Park (8275 W. Spring Mountain Road).

Wilson, the founder of the pro wrestling promotion Adrenaline Unleashed, says the event is a way to showcase his roster of wrestlers to thousands of potential fans. “Extreme Thing brings everything that [extreme sports] fans are into in one day of awesome events,” Wilson says. “It’s an opportunity for me to show the community of Las Vegas that we’re not some backyard show, but a legitimate pro wrestling promotion.” A renaissance man of sorts, Wilson has worked at a special-effects house in Hollywood, played drums with several bands in Orange County, Calif., and ultimately followed his boyhood dream of becoming a pro wrestler and joined Ultimate Pro Wrestling in Los Angeles. After a falling out with UPW in 2005, Wilson opened his own wrestling school, moving it to Las Vegas in 2006, teaching students pro wrestling acting and techniques. Wilson has 17 students, six of whom will grapple at Extreme Thing. Several of Wilson’s former students have made it to the prime time of World Wrestling Entertainment.

Also gaining momentum is the Ricardo Laguna Pro Dirt Challenge, where amateur and professional riders from across the country will compete for a $5,000 purse. “Extreme Thing is known for opening the door for up-and-comers, and many riders have made their name [here],” says Laguna, who will also be competing. “We’ve had 14-year-old amateurs competing right along with some of the biggest names of Pro BMX.” Laguna, originally from La Paz, Mexico, moved to the Valley at age 13 and discovered BMX racing. Today, at 28, he has a full-size BMX course in the backyard of his North Las Vegas home and has worked as a Spanish-language announcer for the X-Games when not competing in them. He may have a leg up on the competition at Extreme Thing, since he spent the last five days building the 1-acre dirt course himself. Riders of all ages and skills can also compete on the new Ricardo Laguna Rail Jam, a solid steel rail designed for riders to grind on, adding a new dimension to the competition.

Extreme Thing will also feature 28 national and local musical acts, a B-boy break dancing competition and Vegas AmJam, an amateur skateboarding competition.

Tickets are $17 in advance, $20 day of the show. For more information, visit ExtremeThing.com.

Suggested Next Read

Loosening Up

The Latest

Loosening Up

By David G. Schwartz

Ask the average slot player where Las Vegas went wrong, and they’ll tell you it’s not the poor economy or increased competition from the casinos that are sprouting like mushrooms around the country. No, they’ll insist the big problem is that slots are too tight. Sure, slot machines are negative expectation games, and if the casinos paid out more than they took in, they’d go out of business. But in the old days, they insist, it took you longer to lose.