Egyptians are always known for their passion to follow wrestling stars and wrestling programs. Egypt also was the first Arab country to host WWE stars years ago.
However, in 2014, the first professional wrestling federation, EWR, came to light to be the first professional wrestling federation in the region.
SEE News talked with EWR founder and director Captain Ashraf Kabonga, alongside a number of the trending faces in the federation.
“EWR is the first professional wrestling federation in the region, I founded it back in 2014 after ending my military service term,” Kabonga initiated. He added that he trained several athletes in various martial arts.
Moreover, he gained a number of national championships in Judo and Kung Fu.
He added: “However, the shows became more viral on social media recently after we established our Facebook page and began to publish the shows footages on it.”
Regarding the earliest EWR show, the founder highlighted: “Our first show was in 2014, and almost 3000 attended it, and they really praised our performances despite our poor facilities,” adding, “I made the ring, and I designed it to be safe for all wrestlers, in addition, the number of the first wrestlers in the federation were three men and two ladies.”
Royal Egypt was one of the most anticipated EWR shows, and it was compared to the world-famed WWE, Kabonga explained: “We didn’t want to imitate WWE shows, however, we influenced with them. But, we try to add our own mark, that’s why we changed the names of our titles to be related to Ancient Egypt’s history such as the Cleopatra championship which dedicated to ladies, and the Horus championship which is the highest-title in EWR.”
Also, they adapted the well-known Money in the Bank into Egypt’s Pharoh’s Document. The document is an open opportunity for its holder to compete in any championship the holder selects.
Moreover, there are championships dedicated to the Nile, Africa, and MENA region.
Some rumors indicate that EWR contacted a number of WWE stars to perform in Egypt, he commented, “Actually, we contacted a number of WWE superstars who were interested in performing in Egypt such as Alberto Del Rio, and Rey Mysterio, but we couldn’t afford them the required expenses.”
The director continued, “We need support, and we need to be more backed by different concerned parties, that’s why we are working on promoting ourselves more.”
On the other hand, they performed shows outside Egypt in Nigeria and Jordan.
Captain Mamdouh Farag was Egypt’s wrestling icon, he was the first one to present Wrestling shows and held an international championship. Therefore, EWR is planning to organize a tribute show to the late legend.
EWR contained a number of talented and skilled wrestlers: Al Nemr (The Tiger), Ninja, Tarzan, The Maniac, Malek El Ro’b (Lord of Horror), alongside Aya Didi, Roudy, and Walaa.
Andrew Tharwat, a.k.a Malek El Ro’ob, is one of the earliest athletes who joined the federation, and he used to travel from Minya to Ismailia only for his passion to wrestle.
Tharwat told SEE News: “I started training with Captain Kabonga four years ago. We worked on my EWR theme and style together, and he was the creator of “Malek El Ro’ob” theme.”
He added: “I held EWR Continental championship six times, and I won another regional title in our performance in Jordan.”
Another star who comes from Upper Egypt is Al Deeb (The Wolf). Al Deeb opened his heart and talked about his ambitions: “Since I was young, I dream to be a professional wrestler! I appreciate all Captin Kabonga’s efforts and passion to train us.”
“He chose the theme of the wolf to be mine, and he always selects the good theme for each one of us, that’s why he is one of my role models and I always want to make him proud of me.”
Cleopatra champion, Aya Didi, narrated to SEE News her story with wrestling and EWR: “I started my wrestling career 7 years ago, I was an athlete before became a professional wrestler.”
“I challenged myself, in addition, I decided to beat all patriarchal calls in the society and follow my dreams,” the 23-year-old wrestler said.
She added, “I respect Captin Ashraf, and we all want to help him in achieving his dream. We want to play in Egypt, and establish a real professional wrestling industry in our country despite all insult, bullying, and criticism we face on social media.”
Another star who told his story was Samir Ibrahim, a.k.a. Ninja: “My career started as a Taekwondo player and I won several national championships.”
“Five years ago, I decided to join EWR. Kabonga believed in me and my talents, he was the only one who did that. He trained me extra training to be a professional wrestler,” he added.
Finally, after long years of training, Ninja managed in holding one of the EWR titles.
On the other hand, EWR star Mohamed Bashari, a.k.a. Al Nemr (The Tiger), shifted to professional wrestling after gaining several African and national Graco-Roman wrestling.
“I contacted EWR’s Captain Kabonga, then I passed all required tests. I kept my own title and character, the tiger, in EWR as I like competing in heavyweight championships.”
Another heavyweight champion is Afroto. He held several titles African, and regional EWR titles.
EWR future plans include organizing several shows in Africa and having several protocols with regional professional wrestling federations.