By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Future Stars of Wrestling “Go For Broke”
Replay available via FITE.TV
May 27, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada at FSW Arena
This show took place the FSW Arena, which appears to be less than five miles from where the AEW Double or Nothing PPV took place later in the day. This is a small training center, with banners of past FSW stars like Karrion Kross and Chris Bey hanging on the walls. D’Lo Brown and Walker Stewart were on commentary. It was unusually quiet as the show started, but sound quality improved. I think there have literally been six shows in this building since Thursday.
* As the show went live, we saw a few seconds of Ricky Tenacious pinning someone in a pre-show match. Tenacious wears the gold, glittery fullbody outfit who thinks he’s a singer as well as a wrestler. We literally saw five seconds of it before the main show began.
1. Matt Vandagriff defeated Billie Starkz in an intergender match to retain the FSW Title at 8:32. Vandagriff is clearly the top-tier wrestler in FSW, and he’s gotten in the ring with the best of the East Coast-based talent all weekend. Stewart said this is Billie’s 7th match since she arrived Thursday. Vandagriff hit a senton for a nearfall at 3:00. Billie hit a spin kick; she set up for a dive to the floor but he cut her off, and he applied a Boston Crab.
Billie dove through the ropes onto him at 5:30. In the ring, she hit another spin kick to the head, then the Gory Bomb for a believable nearfall. Matt hit a bucklebomb and a spear for a nearfall; I thought that was it. She hit a neckbreaker over the knee for a nearfall at 8:00. She went for the Swanton Bomb, but he got his knees up. Matt then hit a Shining Wizard running knee for the pin.
2. Damian Drake defeated Jordan Cruz, Jake Painter, Justex Citing, Kris Brady and Santana Jackson in a six-way scramble at 7:04. Cruz has been on a handful of GCW and New Japan Strong events. I saw Drake for the first time this weekend, and the others are new to me. Brady is Latino and danced to the ring. Cruz is big and muscular; he’s no small high-flying luchador. Citing is Black and has his hair in dreadlocks, like Kofi Kingston. Drake is white and of average build and size; he wore sunglasses and danced to the ring as well. Painter is white and has hair past his shoulders. I did see Santana Jackson (a Michael Jackson clone, who moonwalks in the ring, etc.) once from a show in this building a few months ago.
Jordan Cruz beat up everyone in the corners. Lots of quick in-and-out of the ring, this is not plotted out well, with lots of standing around. Santana hit a DDT at 4:00 on Brady. Brady and Drake hit stereo dives to the floor. Drake hit a pair of stunners. Cruz hit a piledriver for a nearfall, but Brady made the save. Drake hit an Ospreay-style Hidden Blade forearm to the back of the head to score the pin. Messy and clunky at times.
3. Jakob Austin Young defeated Sonico at 9:25. Sonico wore a blue lucha mask; I’ve seen a lot of him in Prestige Wrestling. Again, Young has a short, thick beard and looks a lot like Drew Gulak; he has also appeared in New Japan Strong. Mat reversals to open. They traded forearm shots. Young hit a huracanrana at 6:30. Sonico hit a Meteora running double kneestrike, then a Dragon Suplex for a nearfall. Young hit a spin kick to the jaw, then a springboard tornado DDT for the pin. Good action.
4. Alexander Hammerstone defeated Bad Dude Tito Escondido and Graves in a three-way at 6:21. Lots of beef in this one. Again, Tito is similar in looks and style to Dr. Death Steve Williams. Graves is replacing Juicy Finau, who had travel issues. Graves is similar to Mike Knox (currently in NWA). Graves hit a twisting suplex on Hammerstone for a nearfall at 1:30. Hammerstone hit a double missile dropkick on both opponents. Tito hit a Death Valley Driver on Hammerstone into the corner at 5:30. Graves hit a half nelson suplex on Tito, and he applied a sleeper on the mat on Tito. The ref got pulled to the floor. Hammerstone hit a running kick on Tito for the pin. Solid big man match but definitely shorter than I expected.
5. “Los Suavecitos” Danny Rose and Ricky G defeated “Culture Inc.” Eli Knight and Malik Bosede at 9:37. Culture Inc. are Black men from Orlando and recently debuted on a GCW show there; Knight competed in the “Legends Rise” (age 25 and younger) tournament on Thursday. My first time seeing Los Suavecitos, who are Latino, and Ricky G is much shorter. Knight and Ricky opened, with Knight hitting a nice dropkick. Los Macevitos worked over Malik in their corner. Ricky G is thick, not fat, and makes me think of former Havana Pitbull Ricky Reyes.
Eli Knight hit a fisherman’s brainbuster for a nearfall at 5:30. Ricky G hit a spinebuster. Rose hit a Death Valley Driver, and suddenly everyone was down. Knight hit a top-rope moonsault to the floor at 8:30 on both opponents. However, he missed a moonsault into the ring, crashing stomach-first. Suavaceitos hit a team doublestomp move for the pin. I enjoyed that; it was messy at times but it had great energy.
6. Gregory Sharpe defeated Robert Martyr to retain the Nevada State Title at 14:14. Sharpe is Black and has messy hair that makes him look deranged; he’s also been on a handful of New Japan Strong shows. Martyr is the white kid who is popular in a few East Coast promotions, but I don’t see anything unique or special there. An intense lockup and quick reversals to open. Martyr controlled the left arm and kept Sharpe grounded, and Gregory was frustrated. Sharpe worked the left knee. Martyr hit a suplex for a nearfall at 7:30 but clutched at his sore knee.
Sharpe hit a dragon screw leg whip, and he applied a Stretch Muffler leglock, but Martyr reached the ropes. Martyr hit a missile dropkick at 10:00. Sharpe hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, then a running kick for a believable nearfall at 12:00. Sharpe let out a “woo!” and went for a Figure Four, but Martyr grabbed him and got a rollup for a nearfall. Martyr applied a half-crab and cranked on Sharpe’s leg. Sharpe raked the eyes to escape; he rolled to the floor and got his title belt. The ref confiscated it. Martyr hit an enzuigiri but Sharpe rolled to the floor. Sharpe grabbed a chair and struck Martyr in the leg with it while the ref was putting the belt away! Sharpe applied a Jaime Noble Trailer Hitch leglock in the center of the ring, and Martyr tapped out. Good match, and Martyr got the “please come back!” treatment.
7. Jordan Oasis defeated Richard King, Jarett Diaz, and DMC in a four-way elimination match at 8:53. King is the guy who looks like he’s a Roman gladiator; he was in the Legends Rise tournament on Thursday. Diaz impressed me in that tournament; he has the look and mannerisms of Ricky Starks. DMC is Black and muscular; I haven’t seen him before. Jordan is bald with a long beard; he hit a suplex on DMC early on. Oasis pinned DMC at 3:19; the match continued immediately.
Diaz hit a flip dive to the floor on both opponents. King hit a Canadian Destroyer to pin Diaz at 5:58. King hit a kick to Oasis’ head as Jordan was trapped in the corner. Oasis hit a Sky High powerbomb (D’Lo went nuts on commentary!) for the pin. Adequate. These guys show promised but are still learning.
8. Bodhi Young Prodigy defeated Starboy Charlie at 10:45. Again, BYP is just 16 years old, really short, but has zero body fat; he looks like a high school gymnast. Charlie is just age 20, but the commentary team said he had his first match at age 12; he wore his awful bib overalls. An intense lockup and they shoved each other. BYP showed off his ability to jump from rope to rope. Charlie hit a running Shooting Star Press for a nearfall at 3:30. Bodhi hit a dive through the ropes to the floor. In the ring, Charlie hit a German Suplex for a nearfall, and the crowd rallied for BYP. The commentary team pointed out that BYP hasn’t won a single match over the weekend and doesn’t want to come away empty-handed.
Charlie hit some jabs. BYP hit a stunner out of the ropes at 7:30, but he missed a 450 Splash, landing on his feet. Bodhi hit a doublestomp on the back for a nearfall, and he applied the Rings of Saturn double armbar. Charlie escaped and hit a basement dropkick into the corner, then a corkscrew splash for a nearfall at 9:00. Charlie hit a piledriver for a nearfall. Bodhi nailed the top-rope 450 Splash. He applied a Dragon Sleeper on the mat, and Charlie passed out. Really good match from two kids who might be doing this for years to come.
* The main event was slated to be Jordan Oliver vs. Jack Cartwheel, which is one of the reasons I tuned in here. Oliver came out first. However, Cartwheel isn’t here. Oliver got on the mic and said he wins by forfeit, and he started to leave. However, Sandra Moone came out of the back!
9. Jordan Oliver defeated Sandra Moone in an intergender to retain the JCW Title at 13:08. The commentary team were excited to see her, saying it is her first time here in six months. (Probably because she has been so busy criss-crossing the Midwest.) Oliver is 6’2″ and just towers over Sandra, who is maybe 5’8″ and 135 pounds; it is absurd this would actually be a fair fight. This is Oliver’s 106th day as JCW champ. She hit repeated punches to the head and one to the back of the head for a nearfall at 2:00. He began targeting her left arm, and she screamed in pain; I know this is scripted but I don’t enjoy that at all.
Oliver set up for a Clouot Cutter, but she shoved him to the floor at 6:00. She then dove onto him. In the ring, she kept stomping on him and was in charge. Oliver leapt onto her on the floor and they were both down at 9:30. In the ring, she charged in but he got a boot up to block her. Oliver nailed the Acid Kick. She hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 11:00. She hit a series of chops and they traded forearm shots. Oliver hit a superkick; she hit a clothesline that dropped him. Oliver nailed the Clout Cutter for the pin. Okay match but I wasn’t into it.
Final Thoughts: I know injuries happen, but when it was clear that Jack Cartwheel couldn’t go, they should have re-arranged the lineup so Oliver could have faced some top-tier competition; Oliver could have faced Vandagriff and Moone could have faced Starkz. I believe there are some women who may look decent in the ring with a man (Jordynne Grace, Rachel Ellering, Tessa Blanchard), but Sandra has nowhere near their size or strength, and it was absurd it took him that long to put her away.
So, I’ll go with Bodhi-Charlie for best match, the Sharpe-Martyr match for second, and Young-Sonico for third. Of the five indy shows I watched from Las Vegas over the weekend, this was my least favorite; not having the advertised main event left a bad taste in my mouth.