PMB’s ‘assassin’ says wrestling is an art

2016-05-21 10:33
19-year-old Matthew Hammar (unmasked) performs high-flying moves at a previous event. Hammar, from Pietermaritzburg, is quickly moving up the ranks in the local industry.

19-year-old Matthew Hammar (unmasked) performs high-flying moves at a previous event. Hammar, from Pietermaritzburg, is quickly moving up the ranks in the local industry. (Supplied )

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Pietermaritzburg - 19-year-old Matthew Hammar — also known as Matthew the Assassin — from Pietermaritzburg is set to show off his mettle in the ring against other wrestlers at next weekend’s local wrestling tournament.

Since the age of eight, like many children his age at the time, Hammar was a fan of the high-flying moves and acrobatic athleticism of wrestlers in shows from the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment).

“After years of loving wrestling and being interested in it, I finally decided to do something about it and search for training centres around my area. It was then that I found a wrestler by the name of Nightmare on the Internet and contacted him via Facebook. He pointed me in the direction of Joshua who was the trainer at Durban Pro Wrestling,” he said.

From there, Hammar joined the ranks of other wrestlers in the province and has since participated in numerous events and won a series of matches including an inter-provincial title belt.

“My local role models would be Ananzi from APWA [African Punishment Wrestling Association] and Nightmare of DPW [Durban Pro Wrestling], both professional wrestlers for World Wrestling Professionals,” he said.

Hammar said his other influences are Jeff Hardy from the WWE and old-school wrestler, the Ultimate Warrior, who wrestled in the nineties.

He also dreams of joining WWP’s India line-up and hopefully one day performing in the U.S. and training at the Wild Samoan training school in Florida.

While many sceptics criticise the sport, Hammar explained that being a wrestler was no easy feat.

“I go to gym six days a week. On Saturdays I have wrestling training in Durban and on Sundays I rest. In preparation for a match I try to stay calm and get into the zone. Having a match requires you to have a different personality in and out of the ring,” he said.

“When watching action movies with actors such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, you don’t generally walk out of the cinema thinking, ‘Well, that was fake’. What we do in the ring is art. It is far different and more complicated in comparison to other sport. In sports such as soccer, or MMA, what you have to do comes naturally. Throwing a punch comes naturally; kicking a ball comes naturally. However, it takes a certain kind of skill and talent to be able to body-slam someone in the correct way and put on a show at the same time.”

Hammar is not afraid to be stepping into the ring with competitors much older and more experienced than himself when he participates in the Sibaya Xplosion II next Saturday at the Sibaya Casino in Durban.

“I welcome the challenge as I could use it as a growing and learning experience. In wrestling, we wrestle for the crowd. Our aim is to put on the best possible show, to entertain the crowd,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  wrestling  |  sport

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