Future of Wrestling
|Headquarters||Fort Lauderdale, Florida|
|Owner(s)||Bobby Rogers (1998-2003)|
FutureofWrestling.com (original website)
Future of Wrestling is an American independent wrestling promotion based in southern Florida starting during the late 1990s. Founded by Bobby Rogers, the promotion was a predecessor of Full Impact Pro, Independent Pro Wrestling and NWA Florida and featured several top independent wrestlers including Scoot Andrews, Billy Fives,Warlock (Jason Wheeler), Maximum Capacity, Dirty Dennis Allen, Mister Saint Laurent, Buck Quartermaine and Wildside (Anthony Michaels & Jeff Roth) as well as World Championship Wrestling veterans Dusty Rhodes, Kevin Sullivan, Norman Smiley and Curt Hennig, the latter holding the FOW Heavyweight Championship until the promotions close in 2003.
The promotion was associated with Rusty Brooks's School of Hard Knocks, which acted as its training school throughout its five year history. Former mainstays such as Low Ki, The Shane Twins and Phi Delta Slam (Bruno Sassi & Big Tilly) have since signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. In 2005, former FOW Tag Team Champion Hassan Assad signed a developmental contract with World Wrestling Entertainment to compete in its developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling.
Others who have made appearances include former Extreme Championship Wrestling wrestlers Terry Funk and The Sandman as well World Wrestling Federation wrestlers Barry Horowitz, Duke "The Dumpster" Droese, Doink the Clown, Tatanka, Greg "The Hammer" Valentine, Jerry "The King" Lawler and The Bushwhackers.
In early 1998, Bobby Rogers began promoting in local gyms and small auditoriums in the Broward-Palm Beach area with Johnny Evans being crowned as the first FOW Heavyweight Champion in May while The Masked Assassins (Masked Assassin I & Masked Assassin II) won the FOW Tag Team Championship later that month. On October 8, Pat McGuire would become the first FOW Hardcore Champion in Oakland Park, Florida. During the next year, he soon developed a talented roster of local independent wrestlers which included Al Bino, David Babylon, Billy Fives, Antonio Banks, Dow Jones, "Ram Man" Johnny Evans and The Vandalz (Ricky and Tommy Vandal).
The following year, the promotion toured South America during which time the FOW International Championship was created with Cyborg winning the title in Lima, Peru on April 24, 1999. During the summer, both the FOW Heavyweight and International Championships switched hands returning to Lima. The promotion would also begin broadcasting its local televised events through its website and eventually DVD releases.
As its success rose, more prominent wrestlers were brought in such as Scoot Andrews and Low Ki who both won the FOW Heavyweight Championship in early-2001 and, as a result of a three way rivalry between Independent Pro Wrestling, NWA Florida and Future of Wrestling, the FOW and IPW Heavyweight titles were unified with the NWA Florida Heavyweight Championship when NWA Florida Heavyweight Champion Buck Quartermain defeated IPW Heavyweight Champion Mike Sullivan and FOW Heavyweight Champion Scoot Andrews in a "Three Way Dance" at an interpromotional event in Saint Petersburg, Florida in April 2001. By the end of the year, Hack Meyers teamed with Dave Johnson to win the FOW Tag Team Championship from The Vandalz in Davie, Florida on December 20, 2001.
During 2002, Barry Horowitz and The Sandman enjoyed brief reigns as FOW Hardcore Champions while Norman Smiley and Curt Hennig both won the FOW Heavyweight Championship later during the year. On March 13, the promotion held one of its biggest shows, King of Carnage, at the Davie Rodeo Arena in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. With over 3,000 in attendance, the supercard included Barry Horowitz, The Sandman, Christopher Daniels, The Bad Street Boys (Joey Matthews & Christian York) and ECWA Heavyweight Champion Scoot Andrews defending his title against Low Ki and Mike Sullivan in a "Three Way Dance". In the semi-main event, Kevin Sullivan defeated Dusty Rhodes, Terry Funk and Abdullah the Butcher in a "Fatal Four Way" match while Al Bino defeated FOW Light Heavyweight Champion J-Dawg for the title in a match including Johnny Vandal. The promotion received further exposure from the show which was released on dvd soon after.
In July, the promotion also toured Saudi Arabia with Mike Sullivan defeating Billy Fives for the FOW Heavyweight Championship on July 25 before losing the title back to Fives the following night. Later that year, it appeared at the Florida Atlantic University on October 4, 2002. During the event, FOW Light Heavyweight Champion Dave Babylon defended his title in a seven man "Kill the Man with the Belt" match. As the prematch stipulations ruled that whichever wrestler held the belt by the end of the match, Babylon would lose his title several times before managing to regain it before the end of the match.
Its success was short-lived however as it's the promotion began experiencing financial difficulties, which worsened as promoter Bobby Rogers would be involved in legal problems during this time, and the promotion was forced to close in early 2003.
In the ending weeks of 2010, original founder, Bobby Rogers surfaced after years away and announced the relaunch of Future Of Wrestling. The FOW held an event on January 29, 2011 in Davie, Florida with many of the promotions former stars, combined with the next generation of wrestlers in this territory. Billy Fives won a single elimination tournament to become a 6 time FOW Champion and Tommy & Johnny Vandal won a Tag Team scramble to become the NEW FOW Tag Team Champions. Later that night, Tommy Vandal was named the #1 Contender for the FOW championship. At the following event, Atomic August on August 6, Tommy Vandal Captured the title from mentor Billy Fives.
Following in its original business model, which proved to be highly successful, FOW combines the best seasoned talent available in the immediate area with the freshest talent that shows the most promise and potential. So far, as of May 1, 2011 the FOW has had and has scheduled a total of 9 events during the first few months of the year.
- FOW Heavyweight Championship
- FOW International Heavyweight Championship
- FOW Hardcore Championship
- FOW Light Heavyweight Championship
- FOW Tag Team Championship
- FOW King of Carnage. Prod. Bobby Rogers. DVD. Future of Wrestling/World Wrestling Network, 2003.
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