WrestleMania at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa is just a month away. An impressive number of the wrestlers you’ll see April 5 at Ray Jay got their first big break in pro wrestling 6 miles south on Dale Mabry at a little warehouse that’s now occupied by a children’s play area. Florida Championship Wrestling is the subject of a new special on the WWE Network. WWE sent prospects to FCW in Tampa to get trained by wrestling legends like “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes. The impact that FCW had is evident when you see how the students became WWE superstars. These 10 WrestleMania competitors all performed for a tiny crowd of about 100 fans at that little warehouse on Dale Mabry for a $5 ticket. Popcorn was $1. And this wasn’t even 10 years ago!
FCW eventually closed up shop when WWE opened their new training center in Orlando. NXT is clearly a next level version of the learning environment Florida Championship Wrestling created. The warehouse on Dale Mabry near Gandy is now filled with bounce houses. It’s a children’s play center!