Is COVID-19 the end of live pro wrestling?
The world is changing. I’m not sure what a return to normal means.
Do you remember 9/11? Air travel was never the same ever again. New security standards, and plenty of inconveniences (throw out your water bottles, pack your creams into ziplock bags, remove your laptop from its sleeve and scan it… etc). We left the old concept of normal behind. This pandemic will change things permanently as well.
What is the way forward for live sports events? Empty arenas and awkward soliloquies for how long more? And what about training? Wrestling is literally the most opposite thing from social distancing.
We don’t have all the answers. But what we know is that if anyone’s got some ideas, it has to be these guys. So we’re assembling the Grapple MAX Game Changers, in this digital summit on Facebook Live, on 22 May (Fri) at 8.30pm (GMT +8). Click the link to confirm your spot.
The online conference brings together visionaries who’ve all had the common challenge of building up a wrestling scene in each of their countries. We’ll examine the wrestling landscape in the time of COVID-19, during our panel discussion.
Wrestling fans – anything in particular you want to ask? We created this event as the perfect forum for you to interact directly with the people who are responsible for whether wrestling in your country survives. Pose your most thought-provoking questions this Friday.
Here are our 6 guests. Read their profiles to see why each is a key opinion leader in Asia. Their track records speak for themselves. These are the guys we’re counting on to navigate our industry through this global crisis. If, in 2021, we’ve all gone back to watching live indy wrestling again, then you know they did it.
Confirm your attendance for Grapple MAX Game Changers now.
P-Nutz is part of the notorious tag team called Bad Company. Originally one of the pillars of the Thai pro wrestling scene, P-Nutz founded Thailand Original Pro Wrestling (TOP) Dojo in 2020 when Gatoh Move Thailand disbanded. His Bangkok dojo grooms young local talent from scratch, and they organized their first show in Feb.
Malaysia Pro Wrestling
Shaukat’s efforts have been relentless when it comes to putting Malaysia on the world map of wrestling. He has fought long and hard for pro wrestling to be recognised as a sport by Malaysian government officials. His team has produced creative ideas such as a workout series, as well as a Patreon, during this COVID-19 lockdown.
Vins’ highest accomplishment in wrestling so far is turning his boys and girls into household names via Dangal Ke Soorma, a TV programme backed by Indian sports media giant Dsport/1sport. He has also co-organised shows in Thailand. One of the most entrepreneurial and business savvy speakers in this event’s lineup.
Jake De Leon
Philippine Wrestling Revolution
Jake De Leon is the definition of star power in his country. The charismatic and well travelled wrestler plays a significant leadership role as the head trainer of the PWR roster. He also airs a weekly Instagram Live interview series called PWOG Live, to provide fans with a steady stream of wrestling interview content in these trying times.
Ho Ho Lun
Hong Kong Wrestling Federation
Ho Ho Lun became a highly sought after consultant in Asia after his stint in the WWE. He applied his experience as a promoter and booker in companies such as Asia Wrestling Entertainment (Malaysia), King of Pro Wrestling (China), Pro Wrestling Society (South Korea), and Macau Wrestling Culture Association.
Saigon Pro-Wrestling Club
Sid and his team pulled off an incredible crowdfunding effort and raised $2,000, which went towards the acquisition of a new ring. SPWC will also become the first promotion in the region to make a comeback from the pandemic by launching a show in June. What SPWC’s young leaders lack in experience, they make up for in self-motivation.
For a quick primer on the Southeast Asian wrestling scene, jump to this article.