Almost everyone in childhood fantasizes a rocking entrance music, an arsenal of moves, a taunt and a finishing maneuver as a professional wrestler. However, being a Pakistani and becoming professional wrestler seemed like a long distant dream, but not anymore. A bunch of boys in Karachi are realizing their dream of becoming pro wrestler and that too with their own efforts by establishing Ring of Slam.
Four boys belonging to different parts of the city, Ali Qazi, Noman Suleman, Mustafa Ali and Azeem started off the pro wrestling venture. “We started on working on this idea almost five years ago,” shared Ali Qazi whose ring name is ‘The Prince’. “We have faced a number of hurdles in the span, we have learned a lot, but with our dedication, we have managed to establish a platform where youngsters can live their dream of becoming a wrestler,” he added.
The group needed a place where they could train, install their ring and put their show on a weekly basis with a proper storyline.Mustafa has been a close friend with Azeem, who is also a gym owner in the area of Paposh in Karachi. When they put their proposal in front of him, Azeem being a wrestling fan himself, did not take long to give them the place in his gym for a rent of Rs. 0.15 million annually.
It was just a start of a challenging and an eventful journey. “We have invested almost 8 lac rupees in setting up the ring and making this place feasible for wrestling,” told Noman Suleman.Their quality of the ring is really praiseworthy which they have installed on their own. But, still, a lot of work has to be done, they have limited financial resources as they are not making any money from their events that take place on Saturdays 9 PM to 11 PM. “We have not kept any ticket for now, it is all free for spectators at the moment.”
Ring of Slam is in search of new talent, their recruitment process is uncomplicated. If you are interested, go to their place, fill a form, give a screen test and they will make a decision afterward. “We train people according to their built,” told Mustafa Ali. “If they are a bit weak, we will train them as a lightweight wrestler, but if they are muscular, we will teach them strong style wrestling.”
ROS is not only about getting into the ring and throwing your opponent around, it requires a lot of training, effort and acting skills. “We create a proper storyline,” stated Noman. “We analyze their body language, strengths and weaknesses of the wrestlers and write the script accordingly, wrestlers should fit in the story, otherwise matches will not be effective,” he added.
All the superstars working in the wrestling venture share a similar kind of history. They have been a wrestling fan since their early childhood, their dream becoming a pro wrestler has been ridiculed, but, they did not give up. They have all admired wrestlers like Shawn Michaels, Undertaker and other wrestling legends. One of the wrestlers of the faction, who likes to call himself Kovu Brandon on and off the ring, shared that his dreams of becoming wrestlers were simply laughed off. “As a kid, I used to tell people that I want to become a wrestler and they used to laugh it off considering it childish,” he told. “But when I grew up and my answer did not change, people started calling me stupid, neither my family nor my friends supported me in this regard. In fact, I could not even have a girlfriend for long, just because of this,” he shared.
Brandon emphasizes that you should never demoralize anyone. “I kept believing in myself and now the ones who never supported my passion, come and cheer for me,” he told.
ROS is looking to expand their circuit, they have been contacted by boys belonging from other parts of the country as well as by some karate academies. The lads are looking forward to work with them, but at the moment, they are focused on getting themselves perfect. “Pro wrestling is an extreme sport, you may consider it easy, but it takes years to perfect your moves, still, wrestlers sustain injuries every now and then.”
The Ring of Slam has planned a mega event in the month of December, which may make them a renowned brand in Pakistan. Due to budget constraints, they are struggling to promote their venture as they intended to. The owners of ROS are looking for sponsors and government support so that they can establish a company similar to WWE, which is a global brand and the face of pro wrestling all around the globe.