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Thread: Professional Wrestling

  1. #91
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    Xia Li: WWE's first(?) China-born wrestler:


  2. #92
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    Zhao Yilong, aka Shaolin Monk



    SHAOLIN MONK TO MAKE HIS EUROPEAN DEBUT AT OWE UK TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT
    27/07/2019
    STEPH FRANCHOMME

    With now 11 teams out of the 16 and a few singles competitors announced, the OWE UK’s Tag Tournament has never been looking more good. Among the OWE China stars that are set to make their European and UK debut in the tournament, Zhao Yilong, aka Shaolin Monk, is joining the International Superstars, through Dream Girl Ellie, Blanco Loco, Joey Ozbourne and Zach Cooper, Achilles Ben, The Flying Prince Gao Jingjia and Ayesha Raymond in the list of the singles competitors that could compete in one of 3 singles divisions, Openweight, Women’s and UK Title.

    At only 18, Zhao Yilong, member of Team W, to quote OWE China, “is the name of the globally known Shaolin Monk. He represents the unique Shaolin Kungfu element of OWE. The young man has a childish mind and heavy wisdom. Zhao Yilong often attends the activities of the Shaolin Temple together with the elders of Shaolin. He and the founder of OWE, Dragon Fu, have also starred in “Seven Little Arhats” movie. When Zhao Yilong came to OWE to study wrestling, he also strived for excellence like martial arts. The integration of Shaolin martial arts into wrestling is a subject he has been studying and has produced some of the most amazing routines ever to be seen on the planet.

    “Zhao Yilong’s wrestling videos have a high click-through rate globally. The unique character image and the wrestling style with Shaolin martial arts have quickly become the new favourite of the international wrestling world. Looking forward to the pressure, there are many problems that are plaguing this Shaolin kid, but he is also using his own efforts to add the charm of Shaolin Kungfu to the wrestling. Ten years of martial arts persistence and the pursuit of wrestling excellence make Shaolin Monk, Zhao Yilong more eye-catching on the wrestling scene.”

    To reply to the many requests for multi-day tickets for both venues in the UK tour, OWE UK decided to create passes for the 2 London shows and 3 Liverpool shows. A 5-day pass for all OWE UK shows is also available.

    The tour will be taking place from September 18th-22nd. For more information on the company and tickets, be sure to check out their Twitter and their website here. Stay tuned on our media for the upcoming teams and singles competitors announcements and the interviews of all the teams and participants in the event.



    All images and videos courtesy of OWE UK and OWE
    OWE gets its own indie thread now. I know I usually wait until there are three posts, but this is just too precious.

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  3. #93
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    Zeda Zhang

    Bryan Ke·July 16, 2019·14 min read
    Zeda Zhang Makes History as the First Female Asian American WWE Wrestler



    Former model and singer Julia Ho, widely known by her ring name Zeda Zhang, kept her dream alive for years and became the first female Asian American wrestler for the WWE and all of Asia.


    Photo by WWE

    Born in Charlottesville, Virginia, the 32-year-old fighter has become an icon to many Asians and Asian Americans.



    She signed and performed under many professional wrestling brands, including WWE’s NXT where she first started her career.


    Photo by Speedy’s Photography

    Zhang’s interest in the sport began while being raised by her grandmother.


    “My grandma, from Shanghai, China, didn’t know any English, but she took care of me while growing up because my parents were too busy in the restaurant business. I watched pro-wrestling with her like WCW, WWF because that was the only thing she understood,” Zhang told NextShark, adding that she was “inspired by it but never believed that I was able to do it.”



    Photo by Speedy’s Photography

    Zhang pursued wrestling further when she was in eighth grade. Unfortunately, the wrestling team at the boarding school she attended didn’t let her join because she was a girl.


    Photo by MKW

    She embarked on her climb to success at Virginia Commonwealth University when she encountered “really scary situations in Richmond, Virginia” and started to fear for her life.

    “I ended up taking Brazilian jiu jitsu because it was the closest thing to wrestling and after winning my first fight, I was hooked,” Zhang said. “Then, I got tricked into MMA by my coach, and after winning the first fight that’s what ended up getting me into MMA.”


    Photo by MMA Institute

    Getting into MMA was the key to opening the doors to Zhang’s dream of becoming a professional WWE wrestler.
    continued next post
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  4. #94
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    Continued from previous post


    Photo by Harry the Third Photography

    “Through that I got referred to WWE and wrestled for them for almost two years and now I am wrestling independently and doing tours in Asia, especially China,” Zhang explained.

    After her success as a wrestler with the WWE, Zhang reached another milestone in Asia.

    “I am the first female Asian American wrestler for WWE and all of Asia. Now I am going back out there for my third tour in September.”

    She added, “In China, pro-wrestling is really developing and picking up right now. I want to be there and help the market come up.”


    Photo by Harry the Third Photography

    WWE fans have a favorite wrestler they liked to watch growing up. For Zhang, it was Hulk Hogan because the wrestler was her grandmother’s favorite as well.

    “Naturally, he was my favorite but my style is not like his. But watching him really inspired me to be interested in wrestling in the first place,” she added.

    Although she only performed under WWE NXT from 2017 to 2018, Zhang said that her time with the company has allowed her to get in touch with her culture.

    “I learned a lot, met some great people, and got to explore pro-wrestling and how it is like all around the world,” she said. “I’ve been lucky. It’s allowed me to travel and see different cultures. It’s allowed me to get in touch with my own culture.”


    Photo by Zeda Zhang

    “I stayed out there for three months for my first tour, and then the second one I stayed up for a month and a half, and this tour is also for another month and a half,” Zhang continued.

    “It’s going to start becoming a regular thing and just learning more about my culture has allowed me to get in touch with my own roots and learn more about myself as well.”


    Photo by Blitz Photography

    Zhang noted that both MMA and wrestling share a lot of similarities and differences.

    “As an MMA fighter, you don’t ever have to worry about your opponent. It’s not a performance. You’re just worrying about yourself, you protect yourself and your whole goal is to win,” she said. “But with pro-wrestling, because it is a performance, you have to worry about not hurting your opponent.”

    “You have to make it look like it hurts. But at the same time you’re going to make sure you protect them and you’ve got to think about the story of the match,” Zhang went on. “You have to interact with the fans and think about camera angles because it’s a very interactive type of show. There’s a lot more multitasking and thinking involved with pro-wrestling.”


    Photo by Speedy’s Photography
    Zhang’s most memorable match occurred when she was under a Chinese company called Oriental Wrestling Entertainment (OWE).

    “I wrestled this girl consistently that was out there and she played the ‘heel’ which is a bad guy, and I was the ‘babyface’ which is the good guy,” she recounted. “Her whole thing is cheating, but also trying to get the company I’m with against me, trying to lie about me hurting her and trying to make me look like a bully.”

    “So finally we have this match and I think it’s going to be fair and she’s not going to get her boyfriend involved. But at the very end he does,” the wrestler recalled.

    Zhang described the match as an emotional experience.

    “It got to the point where I actually legit cried,” she said.

    But her fans had her back and supported her all the way.

    “Then, some of the fans in the crowd cried when they saw it happen. She was using different ways to knock and break down my leg to the point where it was difficult for me to walk.”


    Photo by New Tree Photography

    Zhang says that while her wrestling career has become a full-time endeavor, she is dabbling in other ventures as well.

    “I’m very lucky that I’ve been able to build up my brand where I’m able to do this full time. But on the same token, I am doing everything entertainment related so anything that is within my brand.”

    “I’m working with a clothing company, FRCHS LA, to launch a campaign about women who have scars,” she added. “It’s an inspirational type of thing, talking about the struggles of athletes and people who go through different things to get to where they are.”


    Photo by Brian K Photo

    Zhang’s aim is to help inspire women to pursue their dreams, especially if those dreams are not common in Asian cultures.

    “It’s not really common in the Asian culture to first go into entertainment and to go into this type of sport,” she said. “I hope to be that inspiration for them and also to build the industry of pro-wrestling in China.”

    Besides China, Zhang has traveled to Macau, Nepal, Singapore and Taiwan. Her next stop is South Korea, Japan, Thailand and the Philippines.

    Featured Image by WWE

    This article has been updated from its original version to correctly report that Zeda Zhang is the first female Asian American wrestler for WWE and all of Asia.
    I'm surprised that there hasn't been a Japanese female in WWE already, given Japan's fascination with pro wrestling.
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  5. #95
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    Jack Swagger (Jake Hager)

    SPORTS
    Luke Harper’s WWE Contract, Jack Swagger’s Next MMA Fight
    Despite not reaching an agreement on a new deal, Luke Harper is featured in a key storyline. Also, Jack Swagger's next MMA fight is set.
    Wrestle Newz /
    Published on Sep 20, 2019 at 11:04 AM
    by Dana Becker

    Luke Harper’s Return Doesn’t Mean He’s Set For Long WWE Run

    Despite surprising fans with his return at Clash of Champions, Luke Harper still does not appear to be ready to commit to an extended run with the WWE.

    According to a report by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Harper’s attempt to obtain his release remains his focus. However, injuries forced six more months to be placed on his current WWE contract to make up for time missed from television and house shows.



    Even though his contract is set to expire soon and he has given to indication of resigning with the WWE, officials still placed Harper in one of the bigger storylines right now on SmackDown with the program set to head over to FOX beginning in October.

    The 39-year-old made a surprise return earlier this month when he attacked Roman Reigns to assist former tag team partner Erick Rowan at Clash of Champions. Two days later, Harper ambushed former WWE champion Daniel Bryan before helping Rowan take out Reigns once more.

    Over his career, Harper has held the NXT tag team title with Rowan, the WWE Intercontinental championship and the SmackDown tag team titles twice with Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton, along with Rowan.

    Jack Swagger Returns To Bellator In October

    Jake Hager, who rose to the top of the WWE as Jack Swagger, will compete at Bellator 231 against fellow heavyweight Anthony Garrett.


    IMAGE CREDIT: PROVIDED VIA WWE.COM

    According to ESPN, the Hager-Garrett bout will be part of the Paramount Network main card from the Mohegan Sun on October 25. The card features a main event between Frank Mir and Roy Nelson.

    Hager, a 37-year-old former All-American wrestler at Oklahoma and football player, has won both of his MMA bouts inside the Bellator cage. Each of his first two appearances have resulted in first round finishes, including a victory over T.J. Jones this past May.

    In January, Hager made his professional mixed martial arts debut with an arm-triangle submission at Bellator 214 vs. J.W. Kiser. He signed his contract with Bellator in late 2017, a few months after competing for the WWE.

    Hager made his last appearance for the WWE in 2017, requesting his release after a feud with Baron Corbin ended in back-to-back losses. He is a former ECW champion, WWE Heavyweight champion, United State champion and winner of the 2010 Money in the Bank. Hager also helped Team SmackDown with Big Show, Rey Mysterio, Alberto Del Rio, Edge, Tyler Reks and Kofi Kingston claim the Bragging Rights Trophy that same year.
    More on Swagger here. He's doing okay in the cage.
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  6. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    More on Swagger here. He's doing okay in the cage.
    Glad to see that Hager/Swagger is doing well in MMA. WWE had turned him into a complete jobber (loser) for the last several years of his time there.

  7. #97
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    what a strange new world we are in now...

    MAR. 16, 2020
    Professional Wrestling Without an Audience Is Avant-garde Theater

    By Jackson McHenry@McHenryJD


    If a wrestler falls with no one watching, do they still make a sound? Photo: WWE/YouTube

    As anyone who is into the WWE or has watched at least five episodes of Netflix’s GLOW knows, professional wrestling is mostly about playing your character to the audience. So, in this time of coronavirus-induced social distancing, what happens when there’s no audience? Enjoy this WWE clip below, in which Bray Wyatt talks smack to John Cena with extreme intensity in front of rows and rows of empty chairs. You may think that this is one of those viral video edits where people add in forced silences, or perhaps a Samuel Beckett drama of the absurd, forcing all the artificiality of the format to the fore. This is about stripping everything down to its barest essentials, revealing what is primal and true, and also (like a lot of edgy theater) there are two chairs behind them on the set just sitting around.

    WWE

    @WWE
    "At #WrestleMania, it's going to be a slaughter. You just don't know it yet."#SmackDown @WWEBrayWyatt @JohnCena

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    Watch the way Cena maintains his hard stare even as you can clearly hear Wyatt’s inhales and exhales. Observe the absolute seriousness of the camerawork, the way the segment ends with a hyper high-energy series of cuts to a laughing clown(?). Bring these performances to Broadway, once it reopens. Let John Cena do Waiting for Godot!



    If that sole clip isn’t enough for you, there’s so much more where it came from in the footage from March 13’s WWE SmackDown. All the pomp and circumstance and ceremony go on, but there’s something missing, in an ineffable but central way. It’s the TV equivalent of eating an elaborate meal that’s been prepared without salt. Anyway, everyone involved deserves (heavily sanitized) acting trophies for their dedication to the bit.
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  8. #98
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    Paige goes pro...wrestling

    Former UFC star Paige VanZant signs with All Elite Wrestling
    By Joseph Staszewski
    March 10, 2022 2:00am Updated

    Paige VanZant is adding something new to her combat sports resume – pro wrestler.

    The former UFC fighter signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling, the promotion’s president Tony Khan announced shortly after VanZant’s appearance on “AEW Dynamite” on Wednesday night.

    “Wanted to give the world one more reason to hate on me: PVZ TAKING OVER!!!!,” VanZandt tweeted after the news broke.

    The 27-year-old VanZant debuted in AEW in September along with other high profile member of her MMA gym American Top Team and founder Dan Lambert, who has become the on-screen manager for Ethan Page and Scorpio Sky. That relationship opened the door for VanZant’s first official storyline feud in the company after Khan tweeted last week that she would sign her contract on TV.


    Former UFC fighter Paige VanZandt signed with All Elite Wrestling on Wednesday.
    AEW, Instagram
    She came out of the crowd on Wednesday’s Dynamite to attack wrestler Tay Conti – the real-life girlfriend of Sammy Guevara. It led to Guevara losing his match and TNT championship to Sky. VanZant signing her contract on a beat up Conti, a black belt in judo who spent time in WWE, to close the show.

    Conti stirred the storyline pot early Thursday morning tweeting, “she’s gonna get her ass kicked just like she did her whole fighting career” in response to the official announcement of VanZant’s signing.

    VanZant, who was on the outside looking in of a feud last summer between Sky, Page, Lambert and American Top Team against Chris Jericho’s Inner Circle faction, appeared to be heading toward signing with AEW even earlier than Wednesday. She made a surprise appearance last month and got into it physically and had a pull-apart in the ring with Brandi Rhodes, AEW’s chief brand officer at the time. But Rhodes and husband Cody left the company less than two weeks later.

    The Oregon native’s first match could take time to materialize. ESPN reported that there is a plan in place for her to begin training in pro wrestling and AEW’s next pay-per-view, Double or Nothing, isn’t until May 29 in Las Vegas — the home of so many UFC events. The company is, however, known for putting high-profile matches on its television shows.

    VanZant, who currently lives in Florida, gives AEW a chance for further crossover appeal through American Top Team, with UFC star Jorge Masvidal and former champion Junior dos Santos already appearing on its programing. She left the UFC after six years as a free agent in 2020 after going 5-4 and signed with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship where she is 0-2. VanZant has also appeared on “Dancing with the Stars” in 2016 and has more than 3 million Instagram followers.
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  9. #99
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    Scott Hall

    WWE LEGEND SCOTT HALL TAKEN OFF LIFE SUPPORT
    ... Still Fighting

    BREAKING NEWS
    18K
    3/14/2022 5:49 AM PT


    Getty
    UPDATE
    1:48 PM PT -- Wrestling star Shawn "X-Pac" Waltman -- who fought alongside Hall in the nWo -- just confirmed his friend has been taken off life support ... but is still fighting for his life.

    Wrestling insider Dave Meltzer reported Hall was taken off life support earlier on Monday ... and it would be a "miracle" if he survives.

    The family of Scott Hall -- the wrestling legend who was one of the famous founding members of the NWO -- will "discontinue" his life support on Monday ... his good friend Kevin Nash announced.

    Nash, who wrestled with Hall in the WCW and helped form the NWO with the 63-year-old in the late 1990s, said doctors will end Hall's life support "once his family is in place" later Monday.

    "I'm going to lose the one person on this planet I've spent more of my life with than anyone else," Nash wrote on his social media page late Sunday night.

    "My heart is broken and I'm so very f***ing sad. I love Scott with all my heart but now I have to prepare my life without him in the present."

    Hall was put on life support following complications from a procedure to fix a broken hip he injured in a recent fall. According to PW Torch, Hall suffered three heart attacks while trying to recover from the surgery in the hospital on Saturday night.


    Getty
    Nash was emotional in his post announcing the sad news ... saying, "As we prepare for life without him just remember there goes a great guy you ain't going to see another one like him again."

    "See Ya down the road Scott," Nash added. "I couldn't love a human being any more than I do you."

    Originally Published -- 5:49 AM PT
    How sad.....
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  10. #100
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    Vince McMahon

    Vince McMahon Addresses ‘SmackDown’ Crowd Amid Misconduct Investigation
    The WWE recently announced McMahon would be stepping back from his roles as CEO and chairman amid a misconduct investigation.

    BY RYAN GAJEWSKI

    JUNE 17, 2022 6:02PM

    Vince McMahon ETHAN MILLER/GETTY IMAGES

    Vince McMahon made a brief appearance on WWE Friday Night SmackDown after the company announced earlier in the day that he would be stepping back from his roles as CEO and chairman amid misconduct allegations against him.

    “It is a privilege as always to stand before you here tonight, the WWE universe,” the longtime WWE fixture told the crowd at the Friday event. “I’m here simply to remind you of the four words we just saw in what we call our WWE signature. Those four words are: then, now, forever — and the most important word is together. Welcome to SmackDown!”

    This follows The Wall Street Journal reporting earlier this week that multimillion-dollar hush money payments were made to women who alleged having sexual relationships with the wrestling-industry mainstay.

    In response to an investigation focused on him and WWE head of talent relations John Laurinaitis, the company said in a previous statement, “McMahon will retain his role and responsibilities related to WWE’s creative content during this period and remains committed to cooperating with the review underway.”

    McMahon, 76, issued a statement at the time that read, in part, “I have pledged my complete cooperation to the investigation by the special committee, and I will do everything possible to support the investigation.”
    He always struck me as sleazy but I figured that was the role he was playing.
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  11. #101
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    More scandal...

    WWE Facing Investigations Related to Vince McMahon Payments, Former CEO Paid $14.6M Since 2006
    WWE says it "received, and may receive in the future" inquiries about the alleged hush money payments, and that its board investigation remains ongoing.

    BY ALEX WEPRIN

    JULY 25, 2022 7:18AM

    Vince McMahon
    Vince McMahon MICHAEL N. TODARO/GETTY IMAGES

    The WWE says that former CEO Vince McMahon paid $14.6 million in “unrecorded expenses” from 2006 through 2022, and that it will revise its previous financial results to account for the payments. “All payments underlying the Unrecorded Expenses were or will be paid by Vince McMahon personally,” the company said in a regulatory filing Monday morning.

    In addition, the company disclosed that it is facing investigations related to the McMahon payments, which were reportedly to former female employees with whom he had personal relationships.

    In the regulatory filing, the company addressed the payments, adding that it “has also received, and may receive in the future, regulatory, investigative and enforcement inquiries, subpoenas or demands arising from, related to, or in connection with these matters.”

    McMahon retired from the WWE on Friday, and on Monday the company officially announced that his daughter, Stephanie McMahon, and WWE president Nick Khan, would become co-CEOs. Stephanie McMahon’s husband, Paul “HHH” Levesque, now oversees talent relations and the creative side of the business.

    The WWE board of directors is investigating the payments made by Vince McMahon, and the regulatory filing says that it “remains ongoing.” McMahon allegedly had sexual relationships with women who worked at the company and paid the accumulated $14.6 million as part of severance packages over the years.

    The company also released preliminary financial results on Monday, noting that they are subject to revision. The results included operating income of $69.8 million, compared to $46.3 million in the same quarter a year earlier.
    Professional Wrestling
    metoo-(An-Open-Secret-Hollywood-Please-Watch)
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  12. #102
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    Even though Vince McMahon has “retired” due to the scandal, I don’t believe for a second that he’s relinquished control of WWE. He’s still the owner and majority shareholder. He is a complete narcissist. He’s appointed his hand-picked people to keep it warm for him. McMahon is shady, and is probably planning on eventually “unretiring” in a year or two, after the scandal dies down. I won’t trust that he’s gone until he’s GONE.

    TBH, the absolute best thing that could happen to the entire pro wrestling industry would be if Vince McMahon is no longer in charge of booking and storylines in WWE, because he has no storylines, and his booking is horrid for all but a couple of his personal hand-picked favorite performers. Vince McMahon hasn’t had a decent storyline, nor helped create any new breakout stars, for well over a decade. According to some, Vince McMahon is no longer competent; he can’t even remember his booking of matches from one week to the next. That’s why week after week there have been the same stupid rematches and tag team feuds that go on for month after month, without rhyme or reason. If his son-in-law “Triple H” can make permanent creative changes, FREE from Vince McMahon’s “creative” influence, and Vince McMahon’s control is reduced to minimal, it might become worth watching again.
    Last edited by Jimbo; 08-11-2022 at 05:01 PM.

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