Want to see strong women? These two are pro-wrestling in Brisbane this month

Karina Ames

What drives two young, professional women to meet for the first time in a wrestling ring?

Karina Ames asked Brisbane-based Eugenie Singh and her opponent, Sydneysider Tarlee Leckie, about their motivations.

Singh and Leckie both grew up watching World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), with the show influencing Leckie’s decision to try-out.

Wrestler Tahlee Leckie PHOTO @themaninthestands

‘I googled how to be a wrestler and went to a try-out. That was 10 years ago, and I’ve been wrestling ever since.’

What keeps her interested is ‘the adrenaline rush of performing’.

‘I freak out before the show but then when my music hits and I come out on stage, it’s like I’m a different person.’

Singh started training during the pandemic and debuted in December 2020.

Wrestler Eugenie Singh with championship belts PHOTO Marc Knell

‘My love for wrestling and pushing myself keeps me going. I’m meant to be in wrestling.’

They both train hard to be at the top of their game, combining wrestling training with strength and power training, cardio, yoga, Pilates and meditation.

This is on top of their day jobs. Leckie works as a women’s health expert, in personal training and nutrition. Singh is an academic researcher in agricultural science and biotechnology.

Neither is a stranger to injury. While training, Singh tore a knee ligament and went through rehab.

‘The first day back at training, I re-tore the same ligament and several others. I had surgery and a two-year rehab journey to come back again.’

Leckie’s injuries include concussion, a ruptured knee ligament and an ankle hairline fracture.

‘When I first started, I was trying to impress everyone. But wrestling at training and in a match are very different. After a major concussion, I decided to tone it back a bit.’

For Singh, her wrestling character is a chance to represent her Tongan Fijian background.

She wrestles as the Golden Bati, a Fijian warrior and leads a three-person group known as Kulture, along with Samoan and New Zealand wrestlers Toa and Moko.

‘We love representing Polynesian culture.’

Even her signature wrestling moves include cultural representation.

‘I have the Samoan Drop, which I call the G-drop. I also have a Pasifika Punch which is like a Superman Punch.’

Singh in action. PHOTO Marc Knell

Leckie’s wrestling character is always looking for love.

‘My signature move is the Rebound, a pendulum face-buster move. I developed that during a breakup storyline.’

Wrestling has created travel opportunities for both women, with Singh travelling across Australia for shows and training camps. America and Japan are next on her list.

Leckie has also wrestled across Australia as well as China, America and New Zealand. Most recently, she was in Malaysia wrestling in front of the Crown Prince.

Both women are looking forward to facing off in the ring, meeting for the first time at Slamageddon at the Mansfield Tavern in Brisbane on 27 July.

Leckie describes working with Singh as a full-circle moment in her career.

Leckie brings ten years experience to the 27 July match

‘I’m very excited to work with a younger talent who is coming up so fast and helping her be seen around Australia. It is really rewarding.’

In Queensland, fewer than 10 per cent of wrestling competitors are women.

Singh and Leckie are comfortable working in a male-dominated field, although they would like to see more women in wrestling.

Singh hopes ‘to encourage and let women know they belong here and there’s a place for them to grow.’

Leckie recently featured in HER, a Starrcast Downunder production led by WWE Hall of Fame wrestler Bret Hart and six-time WWE Women’s champion Mickie James.

‘The event was so empowering. I got to be backstage and talk with people I had watched growing up, including Alicia Fox. I became a wrestler because of her.’

Tarlee with Alicia Fox (right) PHOTO Supplied

Tarlee Leckie and Eugenie Singh will star in Slamageddon at the Mansfield Tavern on Saturday 27 July.

Also competing are Australian wrestling legend KrackerJak, his Brother Gore and bands Aeon Nexus and Regular Gonzales.

Tickets start at $24 from Oztix.

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