At a warehouse in Joo Seng Road in Singapore, a wrestler was taunting a sparring partner before slamming the latter on the mat of a ring during a training session.
The two wrestlers in the ring and two others from Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW) by the ringside looked burly and intimidating but beneath their tough exterior, they have a heart of gold who feel for the less fortunate.
On 10 December, these wrestlers will be putting their bodies on the line for charity at the Wrestle the Odds II event at Tampines Changkat Community Club. They will be joined by other SPW wrestlers and participate in eight wrestling matches, with a portion of the proceeds going towards about 100 needy families.
Organised by SPW and Tampines Changkat CC Youth Executive, the event will feature SPW wrestlers including The Statement, Southeast Asian champion, The Eurasian Dragon, Singapore champion, and Mighty Arrow, Southeast Asian tag-team champions.
SPW hopes to double the charity proceeds to $2,000 this year after it raised $1,000 in the inaugural event last year.
Speaking to Yahoo Singapore recently, Andruew Tang, a.k.a. The Statement, said that while the wrestlers are looking forward to entertain fans with their body slams and high-flying kicks, they want to play their part in helping the less fortunate in the community.
“The fans have been supporting us and we won’t be here without them. We wish to raise money for those in need.
“It is the Christmas season and everyone should be happy. This is how we can give back to them,” said 27-year-old Tang, who is also a co-founder of SPW and the only full-time wrestler.
Kenneth Thexeira, 28, who goes by the moniker The Eurasian Dragon, said the event also aims to inspire people to step out of their comfort zone and challenge themselves.
Mohamad Taufik Ali, also known as Mighty Mighty, said that he can relate to the needy because he came from a family who had faced many financial and other challenges.
“It is like coming in full circle where someone (like me gives back to society) by helping the less fortunate,” said Taufik, who is one half of Mighty Arrow.
“I was in that position before and now I am helping them,” added the 24-year-old, who is waiting to enter national service.
The wrestlers from SPW, from left, Mighty Mighty, The Eurasian Dragon, The Statement and The Black Arrow, will be in action on 10 December. (Yahoo Photo: Safhras Khan)
Injuries are not fake
As the wrestlers train extensively to prepare for the event, they want to let fans know that the pain and injuries sustained in the ring are par for the course and real.
Thexiera, who is a writer, said some skeptics of the sport even speculate that the wrestlers can “fake it” while they are in the “bouncy ring”.
Kamalraj Kunaseelan, a 19-year-old polytechnic student who is also known as The Black Arrow, said, “We don’t fake anything. If you get hit, it is real. The injuries and the blood are all real.”
All the wrestlers interviewed said that there are risks involved each time they step into the ring as they could be one manoeuvre away from getting a serious injury.
Despite the risks, they are committed to promoting the sport and hope that SPW events will become more popular in Singapore and the region.
“It is a big sacrifice and we are putting our lives on the line for the audience,” Thexiera said with a smile.
For more details of the Wrestle the Odds II event: http://www.spw.com.sg/index.htm