Dragonmania: Deadpool’s influence on pro wrestling and me

Kenneth "The Eurasian Dragon" Thexeira Kenneth "The Eurasian Dragon" Thexeira

FOX Sports Asia gets one-half of the SPW Southeast Asian Tag Team Champions, The Eurasian Dragon to share comic book antihero Deadpool’s imprint on pro wrestling.

In WWE and pro wrestling, the top guy for the better part of the past 14 years is John Cena.

Ideally, every company needs a “John Cena”- a model employee who generates millions in profits while being very entertaining and naturally funny. In the past two years, Deadpool has grown to become an R-rated John Cena, especially with Hugh Jackman’s beloved Wolverine kicking the bucket in Logan.

As Deadpool 2 opens in cinemas today, wrestling fans may be wondering if Ryan Reynolds’ genre-savvy mercenary watches the sport of kings, Professional Wrestling.

Debuting initially as a villain in 1991, Deadpool, much like many wrestling baddies, went on to become good. Additionally, like most wrestlers, Deadpool’s allegiances to the light and dark sides seem to switch depending on the story!

Also debuting in the 90s’ was D-Generation X (DX), an incredibly popular act featuring industry icons Shawn Michaels and Triple H  that veers into brazen territory alongside Chyna. Together, the trio helped the then-WWF break new barriers by shattering the fourth-wall and behaving very crudely on live television, which was then unheard off in the sport.

One can definitely see a young Wade Wilson being taken in by the antics of a younger Triple H and Shawn Michaels. In fact, Deadpool used DX’s infamous catchphrase to promote his self-titled video game, with the game’s trailer ending with “Suck It, Wolverine”.

Definitely watches professional wrestling then…

But, does professional wrestlers watch the Merc with a Mouth then?

Sure.

The Look (and Feel) of an Antihero

As the first-ever (and greatest to date) Singapore Pro Wrestling (SPW) Singapore Champion back in 2016, I am happy to see that the national division that I pioneered has been left in able and very colourful hands.

In the recent March contest for the Singapore title, the four wrestlers don antihero-like costumes, prior to flying in, out and about the ring which would not look out of place in the Deadpool movies.

Photo courtesy of Najwan Noor

That same night, #BFF Mighty Mighty and I were set to defend our Tag Team titles against opponents The Horrors and Korea Nu Style (KNS). After dispensing with the KNS irritant, our rivals The Horrors and us decided to take a break by actually conducting a mid-match photo op.

Photo courtesy of Najwan Noor

Hard Times

In June 2015, SPW had the opportunity to share the ring with Asia’s largest wrestling promotion, New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Serving as an unofficial opening act, this was a big step forward into legitimising SPW as a force in Asian wrestling.

However, as The Statement squared off against Michael Nakazawa to close the opening act on the first day of the NJPW exhibition, it seems both men intentionally went against the serious Japanese wrestling style known as puroresu.

This spectacle showcases a younger Statement coming to terms with facing a Japanese orang minyak (meaning oily man in Malay), while also trying to avoid his unnatural and salacious offense.

While not directly inspired by Deadpool, this daring match contrasted the more serious NJPW fare that weekend and embodied the irreverent spirit that Deadpool stands for.

Absurd humour. Fresh storytelling and total non-stop action. Forward-thinking progression. And silly images which will be burnt into your memory forever.

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