Stuntman, bodybuilder and wrestler … Ayez Shaukat Fonseka loves living on the edge.
Now 32, the Kuala Lumpur native, however, is dreaming of bigger things in the wrestling industry.
Not only did he recently launch Asia Pacific Wrestling (APAC Wrestling), he now has an opportunity to wrestle in the United States for a two-time WWE Hall of Famer!
“My coach (former WWE champion) Booker T wants me to wrestle for his company (Reality of Wrestling) in Texas City, Texas,” said an excited Fonseka.
“I was supposed to fly out to Texas earlier this year but couldn’t due to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Fonseka said he hired Booker T as a coach and consultant for his wrestling work. What he didn’t expect was to be asked to wrestle for his company.
“I hired him to improve my wrestling work,” said Fonseka. “I would send him videos of myself. He would lecture me on wrestling and stuff to help me improve.
“One day, he watched one of my matches and was surprised. In his own words, my level of wrestling is ‘on par with the guys on WWE’.
“He said before anyone else snatches me up, he wants to be the guy to bring me to the United States.”
Fonseka said being on Booker T’s roster would give him a chance of building his reputation in the United States.
As a bonus, Booker T has promised to introduce Fonseka to some of his contacts in the WWE – where he is still a commentator and pre-show panellist.
“This is my opportunity to get one foot in the door of the WWE,” said Fonseka, often referred to as the founding father of pro-wrestling in Malaysia.
“I will continue working with APAC Wrestling. The deal is for me to fly out to Texas for eight-week stints to shot my episodes.
“APAC is new, less than two months old but we have built a good following and have a great team.
“I’m excited to be part of it,” said Fonseka, who idolises The Undertaker.
“It won’t be difficult to be on both promotions. It is a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”
He added his wife Najiyah A. Rahim has given her blessings for him to try his luck in Texas.
“She has known me for a long time and says she will not stand in the way of me pursuing my passion.
“Of course she fears for my safety, but I have suffered some serious injuries as a stuntman … so she is used to it,” he joked.
“Wrestling can be dangerous, but proper training and guidance from someone like Booker T would help minimise the risks.”
Here’s a round-up of The News Normal today.
UK FIRST IN WORLD TO APPROVE PFIZER-BIONTECH VACCINE
The UK will roll out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for use beginning next week.
The British government today said it has “accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use.”
Meanwhile, in Malaysia, 851 new cases and two deaths were reported today.
DR M OFFERS TO TESTIFY AGAINST AZMIN IN COURT
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has offered to be a witness in court in a lawsuit filed by 10 Gombak constituents against their MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
In the suit filed on Nov 27, the 10 claimed Azmin had breached his fiduciary duty and representations to his constituents.
The 10 claim Azmin had deceived voters who he had courted on grounds of ousting Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election but has now allied himself with the same in the Perikatan Nasional government.
Dr Mahathir said the plaintiffs had in their statement of claim touched on the Sheraton Move amid the political turmoil in February and the formation of the Perikatan Nasional government and caused Pakatan Harapan to split.
“I would like to offer myself as a witness in court if my statement is required. I am ready to help,” Dr Mahathir said.
MOKHTAR HUSSAIN NEW BERNAMA CEO
Bernama editor-in-chief Datuk Mokhtar Hussain has been promoted to chief executive officer of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).
Having started his career as a journalist in the news agency in 1985, Mokhtar, 59, has held various positions, including Sabah bureau chief and news and current affairs manager (audio-visual service).
He has been acting CEO since May 17, 2020, following the resignation of Nurini Kassim. He was appointed editor-in-chief on Aug 23 last year.
OCM PLANS CAP ON OFFICIALS’ TERM, ATHLETES’ ARCHIVE ALMOST READY
The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM), eager to move forward with the times, is looking at amending its constitution.
It is understood the OCM executive board had discussed limiting the term of its office bearers.
The matter is still being deliberated as they hope to get the buy-in from all stakeholders.
The council is also expected to make public its effort in compiling the achievements of past and present national athletes on its website soon.