Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! This edition looks at one of the West Coast’s breakout stars of 2018, the new Future Stars of Wrestling Champion Chris Bey, who is gaining huge momentum as 2019 takes flight. Our own Brian Ronovech chatted with Bey about his past, present and incredibly bright future.
On December 14th, Chris Bey won the Future Stars of Wrestling (FSW) Heavyweight Championship with a win over Hammerstone. He’s been the champion now for 30 days, and coming off a pin fall win against No Limits Titleholder Owen Travers this past Saturday Night at New Year’s Revolution in a terrific match. When young athletes gain success, like becoming Champion, you never know if they’ll be able to handle the role. Not the case with Bey. He looks ready for it as if he waited his entire life to get here, and that’s “The Ultimate Finesser” Chris Bey’s story.
As his hand was raised, and the tears poured down his face that Friday night last December he remembered the sacrifice and everything it took for him to get there. Young children around the world watch pro wrestling and dream of walking that aisle and stepping into the ring to compete, and Chris Bey had the same dream to be a WWE Superstar. In 1999, when he was 3 years old, The Ultimate Finesser saw Triple H spitting water and holding up the Championship belt, “I wanted one of those. The shiny belt,” Chris said. Trips was cool, but he wanted the title. He also wanted no regrets. Chris Bey would follow his dream to become a wrestler.
His friend in town suggested he move to Southern Nevada, and that there “had to be wrestling here.” The Champ researched Vegas wrestling and came upon FSW. Bey loved the fact they had excellent teachers like D-Lo Brown, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, and Kenny King, and not to mention the cost is one of the best in the nation. The weather in Las Vegas didn’t hurt either, as Bey had been there before, “It was my twentieth birthday and I’m going to Vegas. I got on the plane in Virginia in February and it was 13 degrees, and when I landed it was 85. I said to myself, ‘This is alright…’”
The decision to move was made and he contacted FSW’s Joe DeFalco and waited for a response. Nothing. Bey waited and waited. Two weeks went by. Chris was concerned, but patient. His decision was made, so if FSW didn’t get the Next Best Thing, then another fortunate promotion would. While leaving the locker room at the gym his phone rang. “What the hell???…. Whoever’s calling me is about to get a ton of energy because I just took this pre-workout and I’m ready to go.” Bey said recalling the moment, “Here I am about to go smash these weights and my damn phone is ringing.” Chris Bey answered.
It was FSW’s Joe DeFalco. Fortunately, Bey was calm as the company’s owner explained everything about the school and FSW. Bey hung up and the rest is history. When he bought the one-way ticket he remembered, “I had the choice to get the insurance on the ticket in case I wanted a refund, and I said no. I digested that for a moment.” He arrived in Las Vegas and took a couple weeks to adjust to a completely different life three thousand miles from home, and then another month to get his body physically ready for the rigors of becoming a professional wrestler.
When you hear stories of a young Phenom it’s the wisdom beyond their years that allows them to excel in an environment that is seemingly above their level. Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Bryce Harper, Ken Griffey Jr, and Kevin Garnett who despite being teenagers excelled quickly at a much higher level. If you examined Chris Bey’s career you’d say he’s achieved success very quickly too at a young age. He’s the FSW Champion at 22, is a back to back Against All Odds Rumble winner, 2017 Young Lions Cup winner, Best of the West Champion, former Maverick Pro Wrestling (MPW) Champion, and multi-time FSW Tag Team Champion (with Nino Black and Suede Thompson).
It’s been far from quick or easy. His dream began 19 years ago, and he heard the naysayers that he was too small, but it didn’t matter. They chattered and he kept pushing. There was sufficient evidence against that notion. Chris Bey watched guys his size not only win but win championships. They were wrong. Bey’s wrestling heroes were Edge, Randy Orton, Triple H, Johnny Morrison, but most of all Eddie Guerrero. “When I saw Eddie beat Brock Lesnar and win the Championship, I said to myself I want a moment like that. I can’t tell you how much his struggle impacted my life.” Bey continued, “I’ve had people in my family that struggled with the same things he did. When I met his wife Vicky, I told her that.”
Chris Bey has a rare ability to compete with much larger opponents. His quickness and aerial skill keep him in every match, but it’s his patience and toughness that lead him to the pay window. Those intangibles allow him to compete with the likes of Eric Watts, Hammerstone, Shogun Jones, and Shane Strickland. Bey uses a wide range of kicks and knees to maintain distance forcing his opponent to wrestle his match. If he isn’t the quickest wrestler on the west coast then show me who is? He is able to take the match in or out of the ring, and utilize his acrobatics beautifully with well-executed flips and dives. His rapid, dependable transitions set up moves three and four steps ahead.
In 2016, an unexpected tag bout with Nino Black against the Midnight Marvels started his career. Chris had just purchased wrestling gear as a Halloween costume, but needed it to wrestle with, and met his, “100% Mentor” Suede Thompson. “I had never met the man before and he sees me in my gear, and says “eLucha? You need to get your own gear.“ (eLucha is where new wrestlers can buy their gear, and it’s not always highly regarded.) After that, Bey said he respected Suede for his honest approach to helping him. “I never thought of that as being rude, he was just being honest. He was right, I did need my own gear. Suede has taught me so much about the business, merchandising, and how to be a pro in and out of the ring. Let me tell you about Suede,” Chris opined, “he told me when I first got started to stick with him, and, well I have, and now I’m the FSW Heavyweight Champion.”
Bey credits Thompson for helping him get booked with Championship Wrestling from Arizona. The pair travelled to California and while Suede wrestled, Bey worked behind the scenes with Championship Wrestling from Hollywood before he was even signed to work there. “I helped set the ring up, work the cameras whatever they needed. I just wanted to learn all I could. I worked backstage with WWE too.”
These two have a recent history inside the ring as well. One of the biggest stories out west this year was Bey and Suede’s epic 7 Match series that culminated at AZ100. The historic match saw Bey’s tooth knocked out which was collected by a child in the audience in Mesa, AZ. Bey got the chiclet back, and says, “it’s on my trophy case next to the belts.”
The first belt for Chris was on October 7, 2017, when Bey and Black beat the Whirlwind Gentlemen to win the FSW Tag Team Titles. “I was shocked we won. It was during the match I got the cover and was expecting a kick out or a save, but it never came. We got the three count, Nino and I looked at each other, and I said, we got the keys to the kingdom.”
After closing out 2017 with the first of back to back Against All Odds Rumble wins, Bey started 2018 strong. He won the No Limits Title in a Ladder Match but subsequently lost it the same night to Nick Bugatti. His list of opponents was deep. On March 11 he wrestled in a Triple Threat against two of his trainers, Kenny King and Scorpio Sky. The 5-8, 168 pounder wrestled new EVOLVE Champion Austin Theory, Austin Aries, Shane Strickland, and ACH, and won FSW 2018 Match of the Year for his first encounter with Damian Drake. He also began working with PCW ULTRA in California as well as appearing on national TV with Ring Warriors. He traded the Maverick Pro Title back and forth with Killer Kross (Yes, that Killer Kross) which was his first singles Championship.
Chris Bey was voted FSW’s 2018 Favorite Wrestler of the year, and the reasons are many. He’s dedicated to his craft and Las Vegas fans appreciate his desire to be the best every night he competes. This young man is wise beyond his years and should have many more shiny belts in his future.
Catch Up on Previous Indie Watch Articles!
- Indie Watch: Maria Manic (USA), January 11, 2019
- Indie Watch: The Kings of Catch (Scotland), January 8, 2019
- Indie Watch Sefa Fatu (USA), January 6, 2019
- Indie Watch: Austin Theory (USA), December 27, 2018
- Indie Watch: Homero Simpson (Mexico), December 20, 2018
- Indie Watch: Damian Drake (USA), December 12, 2018
- Indie Watch: “Red Death” Daniel Garcia (USA), December 11, 2018
- Indie Watch: Royce Isaac$ (USA), November 29, 2018
- Indie Watch: A-Kid (Spain), November 16, 2018
- Indie Watch: Rush (Mexico), November 12, 2018
- Indie Watch: Addy Starr (Canada), October 24, 2018
- Indie Watch: Puma King (Mexico), October 14, 2018
- Indie Watch: Kevin Ku (USA), October 11, 2018
- Indie Watch: The Filip Brothers (Australia), October 10, 2018
- Indie Watch: Daga (Mexico), October 9, 2018
- Indie Watch: Salina de la Renta (Puerto Rico), October 5, 2018
- Indie Watch: Sheldon Jean (Canada), September 29, 2018
- Indie Watch: King Khash (USA/Persia), September 25, 2018
- Indie Watch: Martina ‘The Session Moth’ (Ireland), September 18, 2018
- Indie Watch: Zachary Wentz (USA), September 9, 2018
- Indie Watch: Scotty Davis (Ireland), September 4, 2018
- Indie Watch: SCHAFF (USA), August 21, 2018
- Indie Watch: Bandido (Mexico), August 15, 2018
- Indie Watch: Aiden Prince (Canada), August 7, 2018
- Indie Watch: “The Business” Slex (Australia), May 9, 2018
- Indie Watch: Robbie Eagles (Australia), May 1, 2018
- Indie Watch: Jordynne Grace (USA), April 27, 2018
- Indie Watch: D.L. Hurst (USA), April 13, 2018
- Indie Watch: The Maine State Posse (USA), January 24, 2018
- Indie Watch: The Women of PROGRESS (England), January 20, 2018