I’m not the first female Singaporean pro-wrestler, that’s definitely Alexis Lee.
I’m not the first hijabi pro-wrestler, that’s very much Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana.
But I’m very certain I’m the first Singaporean hijabi pro-wrestler.
So hi, if you haven’t known me yet. It’s me, Sarah. And I’m very sure you might have a mutual who knows me if you don’t know me yet especially if you live in Singapore because we’re indeed a small country.
Note: This post is pretty long so I’ll break it up in a few sections
- The First Appearance
- The Second Appearance
- The ‘Last’ Appearance
- Behind the Outfit
- What’s Next for Sarah in Wrestling?
The First Appearance
I didn’t pop out of nowhere.
Before our ‘circuit breaker’, aka another word for our not so really lockdown-lockdowns due to Covid-19, I had been training at GrappleMax while they were at their Joo Chiat location and then moved to Gymkraft in Tampines.
Just before I could do a grading test, everything got shut down.
Singapore went at a slower pace and everyone had to be in their own spaces.
Let’s fast forward to 2022.
Singapore was finally opening up to events although there were many restrictions happening. Mask wearing was needed even to the gym and you needed to do ART kit tests at times for verification especially those working at places with a lot of people.
12 February 2022 was my graduation match in Grapplemax’s FK CVD!!! show which I finally managed to get on with live people and not streaming.
I wasn’t pictured on a poster yet because it was my ‘graduation’ match and with the restrictions on meeting people and manpower, I didn’t have a “photo” yet.
LK was my tag team partner as I went against Shawn and Nat.
So it’s highly likely no one knows it’s that “Sarah” but I know I brought suspicions up because which Sarah online would do these things?
This was pretty cool because I’ve watched Nat before in The Before Times (lol)! And she came back for this graduation match so I could go up against her.
Do you know how cool it is to go up against someone you’ve seen wrestling before? And due to audience restrictions in February, it was slightly muted on the audience part because they couldn’t cheer too much and had to keep masked.
But it was still exciting since it was real live people watching!
And as per tradition of a grade 1-er (in Grapplemax, we have grades), we mostly wore the school’s t-shirt to wrestle in.
This was one of the first events of the year and we were still in that state of “Will the government close up or reopen Singapore?” so having an event like this was a win.
Note: For those reading this way far in the future, you got to know, at this point for this first event, infection rates were dipping and people finally had access to vaccinations but we were still at a slow pace while countries surrounding us were in more difficult situations. Singapore was at a point of “Yes/No/Yes?” so anything could have happened.
The Second Appearance
My second appearance was at GrappleMax’s Showcase 13 on 29th October 2022 which was on a mat! I’ve watched GrappleMax’s shows originally when they were on the mat and it’s always so exciting as an audience because you get up much closer to the wrestlers than when they’re in a ring.
By this time, Singapore had opened up restrictions, events were happening, concerts, conventions, marathons. Poof! People finally got back with a vengeance, trying to fit in the absence of 3 years worth of everything.
Heck, even I was audience because I wanted to watch a Grapplemax show and I watched them until the October show where I was in it instead.
Also yeah, I was finally photographed in their publicity materials because there was the opportunity and time for it now!
The match was a tag team match where my partner was Christian versus Shawn and Ming Rui.
This is one of my favourite photos of the set because it really gives that renaissance vibe of a photo with the golden ratio.
No spoilers because you can watch the actual match on GrappleMax’s youtube channel.
Like those ‘level 0’ to ‘level 100’ mobile video games, you might see an upgrade and I got fancy pants compared to my first appearance.
I’m making no secret that Angelus Atelier is the one sewing my stuff for me because HER STUFF ARE GREAT.
Also because I cosplay and hey, gotta support cosplayers and costume tailors, you know.
The ‘Last’ Appearance
And my ‘last’ appearance for 2022 was on 3 December 2022, GrappleMax’s Gold Standard the Final, 6th anniversary.
Last appearance because that was the last show for 2022 and wow, that was wild. If you didn’t get to watch the ‘promos’ under Grapplemax’s instagram or finale of the shows, here’s a TLDR for you.
When I started pro-wrestling training, I was:
1) Asked to just try out for my blog (ok that didn’t actually start me on training but it helped in one of the later points).
2) Curious to find out how things work, how much training does it really take to be a pro-wrestler? (I was curious enough to look at 2 specific schools but you know where I ended up because of point 1, because of point 1, you guys had ‘dibs’ on where I’d train).
3) Watching Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana in her matches before as audience online and I went all “Huh, you know it’ll be cool if I could ever go up against her” cause if she can do it, can I do it too? Can I really try pro-wrestling if she can do it?
And I thought it was just a passing remark or future dream goals you know? Like WAY WAY in the future because I said it when I started to consistently train to the instructors, that I wanted a chance to go up against her and that was before Circuit Breaker.
Only that heck.
My instructors remembered my goal of wanting to do it and they managed to invite her and Shaukat to Singapore.
Why would I freak out, even though I asked for it, you might ask.
LIKE HNGGGHHH??? THE HECK. IT WAS THE NOR ‘PHOENIX’ DIANA OK?!?!?! Was I ready to even wrestle against her? WELL APPARENTLY MY INSTRUCTORS THOUGHT I CAN DO IT so I CAN?
I’m like, if someone more experienced than me says I can do it, I will leave it up to their judgement because if they said I can do it, then I can do it.
I wanted to bring honour at least to Phoenix and Shaukat who would come all the way from Malaysia to Singapore for this match and also to make sure I did good under GrappleMax’s name??
Previous opponents I had was all under GrappleMax so I knew their style and they knew mine.
I had no reason to be nervous in introducing myself until it was for this match.
This was an international match and I am so, so grateful they came over to Singapore for me to go up against them.
My partner was LK and it was versus Shaukat and Phoenix.
And oh my goodness. Besides being thankful to LK for being my tag team partner, for Phoenix and Shaukat coming all the way to Singapore for this anniversary show, for the instructors you know who you are in teaching me all this…
I am so grateful to the audience too!
From my debut with the high audience restrictions, to the mat with a cozy atmosphere and now for the finale of the year with sold out seats…
It was a whole different atmosphere and the audience was loud and great and so supportive! And if you guys are reading this and you were there, I thank you all because it was wonderful!
Heh, you can watch the whole match here.
Behind the Outfit
Also yes, my outfit, finally you could see the whole thing.
On reddit, myr78 said:
The woman in blue looks like she could choke slam the CQ Raffles statue into the Singapore river. The woman in red looks like she could fist fight the Athena statue at RGS.
That’s exactly what I was going for. I mean, not choke slamming the Raffles statue but you get the idea.
The funny thing is, you know what, even before I knew I was going against Phoenix there was that odd feeling of “What if?” even back in February. Because there seemed to have a change in the air and everyone was starting to be ‘fashionable’.
I knew if I got the chance to face against her I wanted something that will fit the ‘dresscode’ cause heck, I’m not going to face against her in just a t-shirt and exercise wear. You can see how I like red in my ‘first’ appearance but Phoenix is pinkish red.
So I went blue because that’s my other colour I’m usually seen in during training.
And mostly, what I told Angelus Atelier is that I also wanted blue because I wanted a military lolita look and gave her references and how wrestlers from TJPW looked too.
And if you guys wanted to know why I went with this design?
It’s the one most similar to my other activity, Historical European Martial Arts where I pretty much spar with swords and longswords at Bastion. (So it’s kinda close in activity to choke slamming the Raffles statue… I guess?)
My pants were specifically like this because I wanted it to be the same as my fencing breeches! This whole outfit is really based on my fondness of J-subculture fashion, TJPW, cosplay, specific isekai genre manhuas and sword fighting.
That also meant the same thing for my theme song. For those who attend the show in real life, you will know how it goes and if you don’t know what the song is, feel free to ask me about it after the whole show.
I’m not going to say what it is here, call it an easter egg for those who recognize it and the meaning of it.
What’s next for Sarah in wrestling?
The end of 2022, I managed to attend some non-GrappleMax shows including Rise by APAC wrestling in Malaysia and being up close to international pro-wrestlers is totally different from watching them on screen.
You get to feel their charisma and how they get attention from the audience, you know?
Also, I did get to watch Phoenix in her home ground and her supporters aka the Lalang squad are so good? You had to be there to know how it feels.
This was the 2 day weekend show where ok SPOILER ALERT…
She became the first ever APAC Wrestling Women’s Champion! It took her around 7 years to get there.
And in a way, that was one weekend after she came to Singapore to wrestle with me.
So if you count it, it took around 7 years until someone (like me) started to get training and tried to match up to her when I was just an audience. Maybe I took a long time before I got ‘in’ but now I’m here ok?
SO PLEASE, any of you ladies who think of wanting to go pro-wrestling just get to it. I don’t want her or anyone else to get so ‘lonely’ up there in the South East Asia region.
And helppppp. I got the taste of it, the challenge. She defeated me because heck, I’m ‘new’. But… what if I trained more huh?
OK AT THIS POINT OF THIS POST, IF you’re one of my instructors/coaches LOOK AWAY, LOOK AWAY.
Guys, if you have noticed my outfit… I really like shiny things. I really, really like shiny things.
And sometimes shiny things can be worn.
Soooo if I trained more and with more time, do you guys think that I can…
ANYWAY! Here’s a picture of me with Maki Itoh and yes, I’m totally a fan of her and she might be one of the reasons why I went all “Yes, I’ll go to Malaysia to watch this” too.
And if you’ve made it to the bottom of this post already…
Also, let’s go! First appearance for 2023! Get your tickets here: https://causewayjam23.peatix.com/
Ps. Hey, I’m on home ground in Singapore. I’m going to be in my casual red outfit now. It’s just casually extra.