The golden boy
Article from the Sun daily by Azizul Rahman Ismail (posted on 05 Mar 2019)
EMMAN “The Kid” Noorazman first entered the squared circle at the young age of 13 and became one of the first four and the youngest pro wrestler in Malaysia. Now 17, Emman “The Golden Boy” is considered a veteran and one of the best in the local pro wrestling scene.
We met up with Emman just before MYPW Wrestlenation, the biggest wrestling event in Malaysia late last year, to talk about his journey, his recent experience as the first Malaysian wrestler to wrestle in Japan, and his final wrestling match in Malaysia for the foreseeable future.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO WRESTLING?
When I started, there was no wrestling in Malaysia, and the only alternative is to travel to Singapore once every few weeks. But, one day I saw an ad on Facebook for wrestling tryouts organised by Ayez Shaukat Fonseka. So, I went for the tryout.
There were more than 20 people at the tryout. But, only four of us made it.
We didn’t have a wrestling ring back then, we used a Muay Thai ring which was harder. We used it for about a year and a half.
We never stopped from then onwards. We did shows, got a proper wrestling ring, and gained the attention of fans. And it has been that way for four years now.
WHY DID YOU START WRESTLING AT SUCH A YOUNG AGE?
Like many wrestling fans, I started when I was really small with WWE. I wrestle on beds. From that, the passion got bigger, and I just wanted to become a wrestler, and I was very motivated to become Malaysia’s first wrestler.
I aimed to travel abroad to get training, but thankfully there was an opportunity to train locally at that time.
As I trained and developed, I adopted the striking and high flying wrestling style. It made up for my size. No one used those styles at first, so it was a blessing in disguise. It made me stand out from everyone else.
BEING ONE OF THE PIONEERS, HOW DID YOU TRAIN?
Our coach is Ayez Shaukat Fonseka. He went to America to learn all he could about wrestling. He also had a mentor in Dr Tom Prichard. The same Tom Prichard who used to coach in WWE and trained big names like “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Dolph Ziggler.
Compared to Americans, we are small in stature. Fans of WWE often asked us, if we can really wrestle being comparatively smaller. I usually tell them just to come and watch a match and judge for themselves. Because it’s not about size, it is about how you bring yourself, how you perform and make them invest in what you’re doing
AT 17, YOU’RE STILL A STUDENT. WHAT ARE YOU STUDYING NOW?
I studied at Garden International School, did my foundation at Limkokwing University, and now I’m going to fly off to Australia to further my studies at RMIT University. I’m going to study media.
It might seem strange that I am not studying anything to do with the physical side of wrestling, seeing that it is my passion, but I like being involved in media, and it also serves as my backup profession.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE WRESTLING SCENE IN MALAYSIA?
It is getting bigger. More and more people join us in the ring and outside the ring as well, as audiences. For example, Wrestlenation, it is built as the biggest wrestling show in the region.
We work with wrestlers from Singapore and the Philippines.
Sadly there is a decline in the popularity of wrestling around the world, perhaps it’s because of the state of WWE. However, it gives us the drive to wrestle in other parts of the world as well. We’ve done shows in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.
I WAS TOLD YOU RECENTLY CAME BACK FROM JAPAN. CAN YOU SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE?
Well, it all began with a wrestling company in Singapore called WrestleMAX Dojo run by Greg Oh and Dennis “The Lady Killer”. Recently, WrestleMAX Dojo and one Japanese wrestling company wanted me to go wrestle in Japan. So I am proud to say that I am the first Malaysian to wrestle in Japan.
It was tough. Japanese wrestlers are strict, and they train hard. We were placed outside of the city where it was freezing. Every morning we start training at 9am, we hit the gym afterwards, and it went on for the whole week until the show.