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A Glimpse Into the Epic Underground Shows of Vietnam Pro Wrestling

Back in 2018, Saigon witnessed the birth of Vietnam Pro Wrestling (VPW), the first and only Pro Wrestlers in the whole of Vietnam, and a lot has changed since then.

Trần Phong jumps on his former best friend-turned-sworn-ennemy, Damien Wolfe.

What started as a teenage dream has become a full-grown Pro Wrestling promotion with nothing to envy of its Southeast Asian counterparts. Judo mats have now given way to a proper ring that they managed to afford, thanks to a crowdfunding campaign organized by Vietnamese-American Pro Wrestler Viva Van, who used her popularity to support them in their quest to create a Vietnamese Pro Wrestling scene from scratch.

Mayhem often happens outside of the ring, for the pleasure of the front row seaters.

The roster has also become more diverse too, with three generations of wrestlers, from old school founders Rocky Huỳnh (The Awesome Taurus), Sid N’guyen (The Prince of Wrestling) and An D (The National Treasure) to the first Westerner in the team the Evil British Horror and newcomers Billy & Bobby (The Classic Night) with their slapstick.

The British Horror accidentally unleashes his secret weapon on his partner Black Orchid.

The crowd has grown too, with around 300 new and old fans of all ages gathering at each show, bringing the intensity to another level with their cheering and booing. Some wrestlers are even known to occasionally use the front-row audience members as props to knock out their opponents.

The crowd can get pretty rowdy and sometimes the fans look even cooler than the wrestlers.

Vietnam Pro Wrestling can sometimes feel like the Wild West — or is it East? To keep the shows rich and entertaining, VPW makes sure to always have plenty of surprises, with special guests and wrestlers from other new promotions coming to defy them.

For one night, VPW and Rooster Beers held a show at BLOQ in District 2.

The growth of VPW can also be measured by the international attention they are getting: some of the wrestlers have been invited to fight abroad (Singapore, Thailand, etc.); they received a 4-page feature in PWI (Pro Wrestling Illustrated) — something no other Southeast Asian promotion has accomplished — and they were invited onto the podcast of one of the greatest professional wrestlers of all time, the American Canadian Chris Jericho. 

The Filipina wrestler Crystal sits on top of Singapore star Alexis Lee at VPW Burning Dawn.

The shows are great as standalone episodes, but there is much fun in following the character's efforts and evolution, in thrilling yet sometimes heartbreaking turns of events, across events. It's well worth trading some Netflix time.

Interested people can see the VPW in action, this Saturday at Vietnam Pro Wrestling: Brawl Hallows Eve and check out more photos below: 

The British Horror sets foot on Rykioh’s flat, beaten-up body while Black Orchid cheers.

A fan whispers words of support to a tired Rocky Huỳnh, the founder of VPW.

Rykioh crashes cans of beer on his way to smash them on The British Horror’s face.

A packed house at VAIB Studio (D7) looks on while An D grabs the high-flying Sid Nguyen.

Singaporean Jack Chong uses his signature pig face move on Billy (left) while Once long-haired Khoa Trương loses a HAIR VS HAIR match against Kira, who gets to scalp him on stage (right).

The crowd gathers outside VAIB Studio during the intermission .

Although pro wrestling comes from the west, the Vietnamese promotion never forgets where they’re from and they honor traditions.

Rykioh explains one thing or two about life to one half of the Venomshank twins.

An D, aka The National Treasure, finds it hard to swallow his defeat (left) while the one and only Xavier Patricks (aka X-Pat) always brings his A-game as the charismatic and emotional show presenter (right).

A third generation wrestler, ARES is the powerhouse beast to be reckoned with.

The human beast ARES triumphs over Rocky, thus winning the Heart of Darkness cup.

Rocky catches one half of Venomshank mid-air in what promises to be a painful landing.

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