WEST ALLIS - Onyx Elliott was 16 years old when he told his parents he wanted to train to become a professional wrestler.
To say they were less than enthusiastic would be an accurate portrayal of their reaction.
“My mom was like, ‘I don’t know if I want you to do this, but I want to support,’” Elliott said. “My dad was like, ‘You’ve been a fan all your life and we want to support you.’ They’re really supportive parents, but they were really scared, though.”
After a lifetime as a fan of the squared circle (his grandfather took him to matches when he was a baby), Elliott went to a Brew City Wrestling show at SummerFest last year and got the itch.
He found Brew City’s website (www.brewcitywrestling1.com), contacted promoter Frankie DeFalco and expressed his interest and, about a week later, was starting his lessons.
“His father was (nervous), but his mother was very much,” DeFalco said. “I had to take his mother on the side and basically tell her that her son has nothing to worry about, and that he has a bright future in this business. She’s relaxed about it now.”
Having wrestled his first match in September and now with about two dozen matches under his belt, Elliott, who wrestles as “Onyx Andretti,” will perform in a benefit show at 7 p.m. March 25 at West Allis Central High School, 8516 W. Lincoln Ave.
VIDEO: Onyx Andretti in action
Elliott, a 17-year-old junior at Central, is excited to be able to perform in front of friends, classmates and some of his teachers.
“Only being in the business for eight months and already having a show at my school is a big deal to me,” Elliott said. “I’m really looking forward to all of the support.”
The show, which is a benefit for the school’s Interact Club and boys and girls soccer teams, will be headlined by Beer City Bruiser, a star in the United States’ second- or third-largest wrestling company Ring of Honor, and Central graduate Dysfunction.
DeFalco often promotes benefit shows as part of the 50 annual shows he runs around southern Wisconsin, including monthly events at the Knights of Columbus, 1800 S. 92nd St., West Allis.
“I like doing fundraisers and helping the organizations,” DeFalco said. “Everybody needs (money) for their organization. It will come in handy for them.”
His athletic background, which includes football and some mixed martial arts, has come in handy for Elliott.
“When I first started, it was the nerves kicking in,” Elliott said. “I had confidence but not as much as confidence, because you’re going into the ring and doing all of these moves. The more and more I trained and the more I focused, I just kept going, I just got better and better.”
DeFalco said Elliott has taken to ring quite quickly.
Elliott is one of several teenagers among the 17 regular students that train four times a week at DeFalco’s Thumper’s Den Wrestling School in Cudahy.
“He’s got a bright future, without a doubt,” DeFalco said. “He’s a stocky kid. He knows how to handle himself, that’s for sure. If he wasn’t 17, he’d be somewhere else by now.”
In addition to wrestling for BCW, Elliott has already had the chance to perform in Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, and his age sometimes makes him a target of some good-natured ribbing.
“You get messed with a lot,” Elliott said. “If I leave my phone or my jacket somewhere, they hide it from me and they won’t tell me who did it. Everyone’s really cool, though.”
Tickets for the show are $15 for ringside, $10 for general admission and $5 for students with ID. They can be purchased at door (which will open at 6 p.m.) or at the school.