After viewing WrestleMania at Sam’s Town, I’m on a journey to find the best, strangest and most unique professional wrestling our city has to offer.
The first tour stop took place last Sunday off of Boulder Highway and Russell Road. At almost any point as I cruised down Boulder Highway south, I felt I could have pulled over, talked to any random person and scored some meth or at least a stolen teddy bear.
The drive led me to the FSW Arena where the Future Stars of Wrestling do battle. It’s a big space inside a strip mall, enough for a couple of hundred people to cram in and watch some wrasslin’ at its most grass roots level.
I was again surprised at who came out to view the show. This time there was definitely the fair share of tweakers and white trash I was looking for, along with rabid old ladies. What is it about pro wrestling that grandmas love?
However, what took me aback was the number of young, attractive women who were there to watch grown men in tights tussle with each other in a staged, dramatic fashion. Some of them were girlfriends of the wrestlers, some of them probably wanted to be girlfriends of the wrestlers, some of them probably wanted to be the wrestlers and some of them I wanted to ask out.
Skratch With A K, a comedian I work with, is currently a manager in FSW. After the ring announcer saw him do his act, he thought Skratch would be the perfect mouthpiece for “The Dude” Bryce Harrison, a laid-back surfer type character who is quite the acrobat in the ring. Skratch estimates that half the wrestlers do it for fun while the other half dreams of making it to the WWE or TNA, the two big promotions in America.
Among the stars on this night was Stacey “The Kat” Carter, who sat in the back and signed autographs. She is the former wife of WWE Hall of Famer Jerry “The King” Lawler, a former WWE Women’s Champion and probably most famous for being the first female wrestler to bare her breasts on a live WWE Pay-Per-View. I clearly remember the “WHOOOOS” we all threw out when that happened at the bar I watched it at in college.
Mike Modest, who was featured in the documentary Beyond the Mat, is probably FSW’s most versatile performer. Back in the day, he was a darling of the indie wrestling scene, the guy who should have made it big, but never did. He wrestled for both WWE and WCW, and even had a nice run in the latter, but his career was built in local gyms, bingo halls and wherever else the road led him.
At his peak, Modest was chiseled and very athletic, with bleach blond hair. He’s put on a few (more than a few) pounds, moves a little slower and the hair is all gone. But the guy knows how to work a crowd and it is clear that he is the top heel (bad guy) in FSW. He is also the head trainer, teaching the students how to become pros during the week and getting them ready for these events.
FSW is growing in popularity, building from its core audience with a mix of old school wrestling storylines with over-the-top characters. This is very 1980s and there is definitely and fan base that misses it.
According to Skratch, FSW runs “Two or three shows a month at the FSW Arena [6658 Boulder Hwy.] Typically they have Friday Night Fights every other Friday. In addition every few months they also do shows at the Silver Nugget.”
But it’s not just the live events that draw the fans in. Skratch continues, “The television show FSW High Octane is on every Friday at 1 a.m. on My LVTV [cable channel 12 satellite channel 21]. The ratings are growing and just recently got a 1.4 share in the Neilsen ratings — equivalent to 9,000 homes. It is a 30-minute show going to an hour soon, at which time the show will switch to a 2 a.m. time slot.”
Skratch has ascended to being a prime-time player very quickly in FSW. He was in the main event on the night I was there, in a flag match with his partners Harrison and Remy Marcel.
After his opponents, The Jefe and Sikou, worked him over with a steel chair, all looked lost for my friend. But like The Hulkster used to, Skratch must have been taking his vitamins, saying his prayers and training hard.
He got his revenge, walloping one of his foes with a chair, climbing a ladder and capturing the American flag hanging above the ring.
And what would a wrestling piece be if I didn’t end it with a crazy tale of hijinx, courtesy of Skratch?
“Mike Modest told me a behind-the-scenes story about a wrestler he knew that liked to play jokes on other wrestlers by crapping on their windshields. One day in the locker room one of these wrestlers decided to pay him back by bending over in front of him, dropping his drawers and farting in his face. But instead of just farting, he crapped on the wrestler, setting off a chain reaction of vomiting by several wrestlers in the locker room.” I think that’s an automatic disqualification.
Jason Harris is a local stand-up comedian.