Thursday May 18, 2017
KARACHI: Pakistan’s only icon in professional wrestling circuit Badshah Pehlwan Khan outwrestled former WWC Universal Heavyweight Champion Carlito after a tough battle to steal the show at the first-ever professional wrestling event in Pakistan.
It took Badshah over 15 minutes to overpower his opponent, the former WWE United States, Intercontinental and Tag Team champion Carlito, as he showcased his skills and power in and outside the ring.
Khan received applause from the local crowd, who cheered loudly as soon as the referee, another former WWE star Wade Barrett, announced him as the winner.
But Badshah’s victory wasn’t the only reason for the crowd to cheer as the local star was attacked by Carlito while he was celebrating.
Carlito’s non-sporting behaviour angered “Bad News” Barrett and, subsequently, the Puerto Rican professional wrestler received a solid punch from Wade.
There were a total of seven bouts at the opening event of Pro Wrestling Entertainment in Karachi, which was held at KMC Sports Complex.
Algerian wrestler Yasim Osmani won the opening bout in less than eight minutes, downing Italian Fabio Ferarri.
Pakistan’s favourite, UK-based giant Tiny Iron overpowered tag-team of two wrestlers Tango Tim and Fury.
The event also included a fight between female wrestlers, which was won by Angel’s Bombita by overpowering Betty Trash and Audrey Bride.
Karachi mayor Wasim Akhtar attended the opening ceremony of the Pro Wrestling Entertainment.
The event, hosted by renowned ring announcer Melissa Santos, drew a large number of wrestling fans in Karachi, including kids.
This correspondent spoke to several kids who were trying to depict styles of their favourite wrestlers and aiming to be like them.
“I want to become a professional wrestler,” said young Qasim, a student of class 5 as he displayed a replica championship belt on his shoulder.
Wrestling fans are hopeful that such events would attract top stars to Pakistan and also provide an opportunity to wrestling buffs to see their stars perform in front of them.
“I am really excited to be here,” said Rahat Dar while cheering for Wade Barrett from the enclosure.
“It is a great opportunity for a wrestling fan like me to witness all the action live, I hope such events would take place in Pakistan on a regular basis,” she said.
The energetic crowd at Karachi’s KMC Sports Complex made Wade Barrett even more excited, who said that he has never seen such loud cheer anywhere else in the world.
“I have been to so many places in the world, but I have never seen such a crowd,” he said while addressing the audience.
Barrett then took to Twitter to thank his Pakistani fans for the welcome he received and said he could write an entire book on the 36 hours he had spent so far in the country.
The British wrestler also seems to have picked up some Urdu along the way.
The next stop for the galaxy of over 20 foreign wrestlers is Lahore, where they will perform on Friday evening at Al Hamra complex.