BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County gets ready to rumble again tonight when an up-and-coming roster from Florida Championship Wrestling takes to the ring at the Hernando County Fairgrounds.
Tonight's show is the second Brooksville match to be promoted by FCW, a Tampa outfit that runs a wrestling school and also serves as a minor-league farm system for the renowned World Wrestling Entertainment. Though not every name on the card is a superstar-in-waiting, FCW's roster has included such WWE notables as John Cena and Dave Batista.
Based on the former independent Championship Wrestling from Florida promotion, which operated throughout the state from 1961 until 1987, FCW founder and former pro wrestler Steve Keirn said his company typically holds two to three events a month at small venues throughout Central Florida.
Keirn, who retired from professional wrestling in 2004, serves as trainer for much of the roster during the week. The weekend shows, before crowds ranging from 100 to 200, offer new wrestlers a proving ground where they can eventually become entertainers.
"It's not all about the athletics," Keirn said. "You have to be able to sell it as well. This is where they are groomed for the big show."
True to pro wrestling form, tag team rivalries, grudge matches and trash talk are all part of the FCW format and a big part of the show, Keirn said. Each match is taped for broadcast.
Tonight's card, which is part of FCW's "Hot August Night Tour," will feature eight matches, including Brooksville brothers Taylor and Windham Rotunda, who wrestle as a tag team under the name of Bo and Duke Rotundo. The former Hernando High School athletes, both of whom were standout football players and wrestlers in high school, are the sons of former WWF pro wrestler Mike "IRS" Rotunda.
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.