The latest set of TV tapings for Future Stars of Wrestling’s High Octane, at the FSW Arena near McCarran Airport, delivered both three hours of future television and an evening of theatrical, physical entertainment.
The FSW Arena is small but well-suited to the drama of professional wrestling. It’s the same kind of larger-than-life characters you’ll see on TV, but quite literally up close and personal. The grapplers can taunt, slap hands with and snatch the signs of fans in the front row, but if you’re not ready for that kind of involvement, you can happily sit in the bleachers and just watch it all unfold.
Since the event involved taping future televised events, I’ll refrain from spoilers but hopefully give you enough to capture a sense of the action. The opening match saw Funny Bone take on Wolfgang Danger. If you haven’t seen Funnybone wrestle, you owe yourself. His entrance alone is a work of art that manages to legitimately scare small children while remaining compelling to adults and, I suppose, less small children. He delivers in the ring as well. A mixed tag match pitted locals Nick Bugatti and Mazzerati against Southern California’s Douglas James and Heather Monroe. That’s notable to WWE fans because Monroe faced the hulking Nia Jax on February 20’s Monday Night Raw.
There were many other well-received matchups, including the Tomaste/Greg Romero/Owen Travers triple threat and the in-ring pro wrestling debut of former UFC light heavyweight “Filthy” Tom Lawlor, who got some attention for his hard-hitting style and self-referential ring attire. Again, you’ve got to watch to see it for yourself.
What made the evening more entertaining than just watching people square up in the ring were two unfolding storylines, both involving FSW Commissioner Pauly Kover and his beleaguered assistant, Gilmore. Leon Hayter of the Players Club pressed his case for a title rematch against Reno Scum, while Kevin Kross and the Whirlwind Gentlemen—united as the 86ers—were a force of mayhem against the authority duo, seemingly for mayhem’s sense. One altercation left Jace Battle and Jakob Austin Young’s valet, Young Boy, shattered. The image of Young cradling Young Boy brought to mind Michelangelo’s Pieta.
Both storylines made for compelling viewing while providing a reason to keep watching—after all, how else will we find out if Young Boy recovers or if Kover gets his comeuppance?
You can watch the results when they’re aired on High Octane, and if you want to see FSW on a slightly larger but still intimate stage, you don’t have to wait long. On March 12, FSW will hold a show at Sam’s Town Live featuring several big names, including “Broken” Matt Hardy, Davey Richards, Sami Callihan, Eli Drake, Willie Mack, Kevin Kross and Reno Scum.