For millions of kids around the world, becoming a pro wrestler is the stuff of dreams and nothing more. Anyone could be forgiven for believing that this is a fantasy, particularly in Europe where the larger-than-life characters of the WWE seem a million miles away. This is in fact untrue. There are many wrestling schools across Europe, with companies ready to give young men and woman a chance to achieve that dream of making it as a pro wrestler. One of these is the Pro Wrestling Holland (PWH) academy.
PWH hosted try outs in September and have taken in a new crop of wrestlers looking to make it big. This allows them to train weekly to develop their skills and eventually take part in live shows. These classes are headed up by Dutch wrestling veterans Tengkwa, Michael Dante and Tom Chong each of whom have the experience of wrestling all over the world. The level of experience for the students of these classes is varied from new recruits to experienced grapplers fine tuning their craft.
Tengkwa, the masked veteran of 18 years talks of the opportunities available to aspiring wrestlers of today: “It used to be the only options for European wrestlers were to go to the UK, USA, Mexico or Japan to really learn the trade. It took a long time for to rebuild the European wrestling scene despite there being a rich history in many countries, but promotions like ours, Bodyslam in Denmark, and wXw in Germany established our own schools where people came all from all over Europe to train.”
On the future of wrestling in Europe he said: “It’s definitely on the right track. People always used to see wrestling as this ‘carny fake’ stuff but now more people are looking at it as a real performance art, and definitely respect it more, which really took away a lot of the sceptics.”
One thing that can’t be disputed is the core group of wrestling fans across Europe are seen as some of the most passionate in the world. According to multiple UK sources such as GiveMeSport and Cultaholic, European fans are set to be rewarded with the first major WWE European event in almost 20 years, with reports suggesting the UK will host. This is yet another pointer to a bright future for European pro wrestling.