Wrestling in Southeast Asia: The Definitive Guide [2021 Edition]


Companies & Promotions

Key Talent

  • Smart Dave (Grapple MAX coach)
  • DJ Kal (Grapple MAX champ and locker room leader)
  • Trexxus (WWE tryout athlete and high probability signee)

Trexxus from SPW remains our nation’s best hope for a Singapore-born WWE wrestler. Great physique, naturally gifted, and genuinely likeable. Humble and approachable. Carries himself the way a man at the beginning of his career would, as opposed to one who has accepted that he has peaked.

From Grapple MAX, Smart Dave and DJ Kal are clear standouts. Smart Dave is one of our coaches and was Japan-bound in 2020, only to have those plans completely disrupted because of travel restrictions. DJ Kal has the look and personality, and has been cultivating a unique physical style by supplementing his training with MMA, boxing, and Muay Thai classes.

DJ Kal wrestling in Singapore's Chingay carnival

Scouting for Singapore wrestling talent? Start with Grapple MAX’s DJ Kal.

One of my goals as a coach is to have big league scouts give our boys a shot when they come looking. Since it appears they’re searching for talent in Singapore, I recommend both for their winning mindset, and their inability to utter a word of complaint.

Grapple MAX co-founders “Endboss” GREGORY and myself have been tirelessly broadening the reach of wrestling, outside of wrestling circles. Greg is active in the startup scene in Singapore, recently giving talks to inspire international students, whereas I do a lot of work in cryptocurrency asset management, particularly in the field of Decentralized Finance. I suspect the main reason clients even entrust their portfolios with me is because of my background as a pro wrestler. It’s just too wacky for them to not want a cruiserweight champ to triple their money. The number of business leads this blog and my Instagram have given me? Fucking incredible.


While Grapple MAX had originally planned a full calendar of events, by February we had to scrap all of it as the virus situation worsened. We only managed to squeeze in a couple of live matches in Jan, and then by Feb we had to abruptly modify our sold out Showcase 12 into Fighting Spirit, a live streamed fundraiser to support the frontline healthcare workers of Singapore.

Grapple MAX’s only live show in 2020 at the Chingay Street Carnival before covid lockdowns.

In April our country went into lockdown, and though this was lifted in June, live events have not resumed. We’re lucky to be able to resume physical training, even if it’s with restrictions.

SPW, one of the first companies promoting wrestling in Asia, now uploads past matches on Wednesdays, and their wrestlers participate in a lot of online game streams to remain connected to each other.

2020 Moment

In June last year women began exposing international wrestlers for sexual misconduct. Filipina wrestler Nina outed Alex Cuevas on Twitter for being a creep when he was performing in Manila.

A fan, who still associated him with our school, tweeted for Grapple MAX to do something about it. Alex Cuevas, who had by then already not been with us for months and had gone to train with SPW, was let go in a Facebook post on their official page that garnered lots of heated engagements. Couple of other wrestlers were also then dismissed from SPW after their internal investigations.

I would say this is a turning point in locker room culture. Lots of debate about victim shaming, and discourse on woke culture. It will improve the way talent, fans, and office treat each other in the future. So for a little short term discomfort, I think the work and training environment down the line would be better for all.

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