Reviving wrestling!
Published On August 25, 2017 » 803 Views» By Times of Zambia » Columns, Sports
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Sport-On-Chipepo-new1WRESTLING is one sport that is not popularly practiced in Africa but enjoyed by many Africans through the various shows on television.

In the United States of America, wrestling is just like any other popular ‘sport’, though the WWE falls under entertainment.

Being one of the wrestling fans, I have followed the sport on Video Home System (VSH) from the heydays of the famous Undertaker (Mark William Calaway), Hulk Hogan, Golddust, Bret Hart, Ric Flair, Kane, Ray Mysterio, Triple H, Razor Ramon, Micky Foley, Shawn Michaels, The Rock and Stone Gold Steve Austin among others.

But never at any point did I ever think I would watch the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) live.

Even in my weirdest dreams, I never thought I would share the stage with these most fancied sportsmen right in their native State.

A big thanks to Multi-Choice/SuperSport Africa who have not only accorded me an opportunity to go and experience live the WWE fever in New York but also given most African wrestling lovers a treat through the live broadcast on SuperSport.

It was nice to interact with superstars like Samoa Joe, Jinder Mahal, Kofi Kingston, Dolp Ziggler, Lana, Shinsuke Nakamura, Neville, Dean Ambrose, Sheamus, the ‘world strongest man’ Mark Henry, retired now RAW manger Kurt Angle, among them was great.

Not forgetting celebrated rapper Snoop Dogg who spiced the WWE/2K SummerSlam party.

They athletes were simply awesome and I, along with colleagues from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa could not believe these were the same wrestlers who put their bodies on the line as they perform there incredible acts.

Watching the likes of John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar, at various WWE events like NXT ‘Takeover’, SummerSlam, Raw and Smackdown was top of the icing and the passion of fans inside the Barclays Centre was magnificent.

I kept thinking wish this was back home, such was the passion from the fans that usually lack during our sports events.

Zambia that quite a huge wrestling following and it would be prudent for the Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Board of Control (ZPBWCB) to take advantage of the situation to revive the sport.

The late William ‘Tiger Boy’ Nkandu seemed to be the only one interested in developing the sport and his vision unfortunately died with him.

Although there are a few stables like Exodus Boxing Promotions under Anthony Mwamba aiming to take up the mantle by adopting the young wrestlers Tiger boy left, the sport has been overshadowed by lack of interested from people with capacity to develop it.

The boxing fraternity could partner with bodybuilders to revive the sport and provide the entertainment on the local front which I believe will attract interest from stakeholders.

With necessary support, it is possible for the sport to grow in Zambia. The ZPBWCB should step up their efforts in ensuring wrestling is revived.

The late Tiger Boy sacrificed a lot to keep wrestling alive in his days to the extent of putting his farm as collateral and it would only be fair to honour him by reviving the sport.

Till next week, promise to publish the emails that came through on athletics in the next edition owing to space but keep those comments coming to eliaschipepo@gmail.com and let’s interact on twitter @eliaschipepo

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