Future Stars of Wrestling “Legends Rise” results: Vetter’s review of the 13-person tournament featuring wrestlers 25 and younger


By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

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Future Stars of Wrestling “Legends Rise”
Replay available via FITE.TV
May 25, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada at FSW Arena

This show aired on Fite+. Jake Black and Robert Stewart provided commentary. I don’t knew them but they were highly knowledgeable, sharing the backgrounds and top matches in the resume of each competitor. This venue is the FSW training arena; Game Changer Wrestling previously held a show in here. There are banners hanging from the walls of wrestlers who have gone through this school, like Jai Vidal, Killer Kross and Chris Bey. It is a small room. Unfortunately, this crowd might be 50 to 100, but I doubt they could even get 200 in here.

* A video package opened the show featuring clips of the wrestlers in this 13-person tournament. I mentioned this the other day, but I’m a sucker for tournaments and Royal Rumbles. Wrestlers must be age 25 or younger to compete in this event.

* Four wrestlers have first-round byes. I wish I could see a bracket!

1. Richard King defeated Hunter James in a first-round match at 8:25. I don’t know these two. King wore a gladiator robe from ancient Greece; the commentators said he is 22 but already a five-year pro. James has short blond hair and a shiny gold jacket; he is shaking hands but looks like a heel to me. They both are average height with good physiques. The commentators said the FSW roster doesn’t want an outsider to come into their building and winning this tournament. King hit a jumping, twisting piledriver move for the pin.

2) Matt Vandagriff defeated Eli Knight in a first-round match at 10:54. Knight, age 21, is a Black man with a good physique; as part of Culture Inc., they recently appeared on a GCW show in Orlando, and he fought Christopher Daniels on a Warrior Wrestling show in Chicago a few months ago. I have seen Vandagriff at least twice before on GCW shows in Vegas, and the commentators said he is basically the top-tier guy in FSW. With his floppy hair, I’ll compare his look to the late Jimmy Rave. Vandagriff did a moonsault to the mat, landing on his feet, then nailing the moonsault.

Knight hit a tornado DDT for a nearfall at 8:00. Vandagriff hit a Falcon Arrow. He went for a frogsplash but Knight got his knees up. Knight hit a moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Knight hit a top-rope moonsault for a believable nearfall at 10:00. Vandagriff hit a top-rope Spanish Fly then a Shining Wizard for the pin. That was really good.

3. Jarret Diaz defeated Robert Martyr in a first-round tournament match at 10:20. Martyr, age 22 and a five-year pro from Orlando, is the guy who I just don’t ‘get.’ He has no physique whatsoever but he is beloved in Prestige Wrestling and Garden State Wrestling, and I just don’t see ‘it.’ I don’t know if I’ve seen Diaz before; he reminds me of Ricky Starks, as he wore a half-shirt that shows off his muscles, and he pounded a drink before the bell. Diaz hit a dropkick, and they brawled to the floor, where Martyr hit a superkick. In the ring, Diaz hit a top-rope flying elbow for a nearfall at 4:00.

Martyr hit a sit-out powerbomb and a clothesline for a nearfall, and he was in charge. He hit a snap suplex for a nearfall at 6:00. He hit a backbreaker over his knee and applied a crossface on the mat. Diaz hit a missile dropkick, then a flip dive to the floor at 8:30, and he was fired up. In the ring, Diaz hit a top-rope doublestomp on the head for a nearfall, but Martyr was able to grab the ropes. Martyr hit an Air Raid Crash for a believable nearfall. Diaz hit a superkick and a DDT for the pin. Good match, and the right man won.

4. Billie Starkz defeated Starboy Charlie and Bodhi Young Prodigy in a three-way, first-round tournament match at 8:41. Billie’s hair is a light purple today; she looks like Tegan Nox and Candace LeRae here. I saw BYP during the WrestleMania weekend of shows; he looks like he is 140 pounds, has 2% body fat but a face of a 14-year-old. A commentator said the combined age of these three is 54. Charlie is wearing those awful bib overalls that I hate so much; he has had a few AEW TV matches. Billie hit a running knee to the back of BYP’s head for a nearfall at 2:30.

Billie hit a German release suplex on BYP. They just said Bodhi is 16. Charlie hit a Northern Lights Suplex on BYP, and he applied a Muta Lock on Starkz. Bodhi was flipped in the air but he kicked Billie in the face. Bodhi hit a Stundog Millionaire stunner on Charlie for a nearfall at 5:30. Billie hit a Gory Bomb on Bodhi for a believable nearfall. Charlie hit a running dropkick in the corner on Billie.

Bodhi hit a stunner on Billie. Charlie hit a piledriver on Bodhi, then a corkscrew splash on Bodhi, and he applied a Figure Four Leglock. However, Billie hit a Swanton Bomb on Charlie at 8:00 to break it up. Charlie and Billie traded forearm shots. Charlie hit a Pele Kick. Billie hit a piledriver on Charlie, dropping his head into Bodhi’s chest, to score the pin! That was really good.

5. Jack Cartwheel defeated Richard King in a second-round tournament match at 6:32. Cartwheel is replacing KC Navarro, who also missed the Fight Life show on Wednesday in Connecticut. Cartwheel is blond with uncombed, curly hair today and looks almost like Action Andretti; that is quite different from just a few weeks ago when he had dark, short hair on some GCW shows. Cartwheel showed off with some flips; King kicked him hard in the back and got a nearfall, and they brawled to the floor. In the ring, Cartwheel hit his slingshot senton at 3:00. King hit a basement dropkick for a nearfall.

Cartwheel hit a rolling Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. King hit a German Suplex and a Rainmaker short-arm clothesline for a nearfall at 5:00. Cartwheel hit a release belly-to-belly suplex, tossing King into the corner. Cartwheel then hit an impressive top-rope Shooting Star Press for the pin. Cartwheel, who has appeared on AEW TV, is really impressive and this was an extended squash win for him.

* I just want to point out here that Alec Price and Jordan Oliver wrestled for Fight Life in Connecticut roughly 24 hours before this show in Las Vegas. The top-tier of indy wrestlers are truly in demand.

6. Matt Vandagriff defeated Alec Price in a second-round tournament match at 9:24. Vandagriff hit a Lionsault for a nearfall in the first minute. Price hit a running dropkick in the corner. Price hit a Saito Suplex, then a back suplex, for a nearfall at 2:30, and he jawed at the crowd. Vandagriff fired back with a spin kick and a nice Tiger Suplex, then a 619, then a top-rope doublestomp. Vandagriff hit a buckle bomb and a spearfor a nearfall at 4:30.

Price hit his own Tiger Suplex and a running knee to the jaw in the corner, then a flying legdrop for a nearfall. Price hit a standing powerbomb, then an Air Raid Crash-style neckbreaker over his thigh for a nearfall at 7:00, and he was frustrated that he didn’t get the pin. Vandagriff fired back with a Falcon Arrow and they were both down. Price dropped Vandagriff face-first on the top turnbuckle, then a top-rope diving forearm for a nearfall, and he jawed at the fans some more. Vandagriff caught him with a running knee for the pin. A really good match. I had a feeling Vandagriff was winning here so FSW would have representation in the main event.

7. Jordan Oliver defeated Jarrett Diaz in a second-round tournament match at 6:39. Again, at 6’2″, Oliver is almost always taller than his indy opponents, and I’m still baffled he isn’t under AEW/ROH contract yet. Oliver charged him and immediately hit a suplex, and they traded quick reversals. Diaz hit a flip dive to the floor. In the ring, Diaz hit a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall at 1:00. Oliver hit his twisting crossbody block and he was fired up. He hit a plancha to the floor.

In the ring, Diaz hit a shotgun dropkick, but he missed a top-rope doublestomp. Diaz hit a spin kick to the back of the head for a nearfall at 5:00. Diaz hit a pair of superkicks. Oliver nailed his sit-out powerbomb out of nowhere for the pin. That was really good and I wish it had gone at least twice that long.

8. Titus Alexander defeated Billie Starkz in a second-round tournament match at 8:36. Titus lost on ROH TV hours earlier (taped match obviously!) against Rocky Romero, and I always compare him to Ethan Page in looks and heelish style. Titus attacked her from behind before the bell and he hit a back suplex on the ring apron, getting booed. In the ring, Titus was in charge; he is taller and much thicker and more muscular. He hit a dropkick at 3:00 that sent her to the floor. Back in the ring, he hit a deafening chop then a swinging sideslam for a nearfall. He jawed at the female ref, drawing more boos from the crowd.

Billie fired back with a German Suplex at 5:00, then three consecutive dives through the ropes onto Titus. She hit a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall. He hit a kneestrike to the collarbone. She blocked a Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex. Billie hit a Tombstone Piledriver for a nearfall at 7:30. Titus hit a second-rope superplex, then a Michinoku Driver for the clean pin. Good match, and the right person won.

9. Ricky Tenacious & Jordan Oasis & Devin Reno defeated Davion Jacot & Dante King & Blair Broady at 8:15. I don’t know any of these six. Tenacious wore a glittery gold outfit and he sang an intro to the theme of Barry Manilow’s “Copacabana.” These guys are all pretty green. Reno has a passing resemblance to Nick Aldis. Davion, a Black man with dreadlocks, entered and hit some punches on Reno. Oasis, who is tall, bald with a long goatee, hit a snap suplex on Davion, then a backbreaker over his knee, at 4:00. A commentator noted that all six of these guys also are all 25 or younger. Blair Broady, a bald Black man, finally tagged in at 6:30 and he cleared the ring, hitting a spinebuster and a uranage. Broady hit a spear on Oasis. Oasis hit a short-arm clothesline to pin Dante King. Acceptable.

10. Matt Vandagriff defeated Jordan Oliver, Titus Alexander, and Jack Cartwheel in a four-way elimination match to win the Legends Rise tournament and become FSW Champion at 14:11. Each man got their own entrance, and a commentator said Oliver has to be seen as the favorite. Matt and Jack started, with Vandagriff hitting a standing moonsault. The commentators stressed that Vandagriff is the only one who has wrestled twice already. Jack hit a standing moonsault on Titus for a nearfall at 4:00. Titus hit a backbreaker over his knee on Jordan. Titus dominated Cartwheel in the ring while the others were down on the floor.

Jack nailed a Canadian Destroyer on Titus at 7:00. Oliver hopped back in the ring and hit a suplex on Cartwheel. Titus hit a handspring-back-stunner on Vandagriff for a nearfall at 9:00. Cartwheel hit a Crucifix Takedown on Titus, then a top-rope Phoenix Splash elbow-drop to pin Titus at 9:27. The match continued without a break.  Cartwheel missed another top-rope move, and Oliver immediately hit a Mafia Kick on Jack. Oliver then nailed his sit-out powerbomb to pin Cartwheel at 10:51. So, we are down to Oliver vs. Vandagriff.

They traded chops and forearm shots. Oliver nailed his Acid Kick at 13:30. Vandagriff went off the ropes, but Oliver caught him and hit a powerbomb. Matt hit a Shining Wizard running knee to pin Oliver. Good match.

Final Thoughts: Lots of top-notch rising talent here. I have seen plenty of Cartwheel, Titus Alexander, Oliver, Starkz, Starboy Charlie, and Price in their appearances in GCW (and all of them have had at least one match on AEW TV or in MLW). I have seen just a handful of matches with Vandagriff, Knight, and Bodhi, and I’m impressed with them. Jarrett Diaz made a strong initial impression. I liked the character of King but would need see more of him.

My initial thought is Hunter James is miscast as a babyface, as he gives good heel vibes. I still don’t ‘get’ the love for Robert Martyr; if I was a promoter I certainly wouldn’t be paying to fly him cross-country to appear in this tournament. I am just not seeing ‘it’ in him, despite seeing him in the ring with Davey Richards, Daniel Garcia, Minoru Suzuki, and Timothy Thatcher in recent months.

I’ll go with Vandagriff-Price for best match, the four-way finale for second place, and even though it was short, Oliver-Diaz for third. There are several more FSW/GCW shows taking place this weekend, coinciding with AEW being in Las Vegas. I’ll watch them as time permits.


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