Updated: Aug 8
In line with Women’s Wrestling Talk’s celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we compiled a list of FIVE Southeast Asian female wrestlers whose work you should check out and whose names should be on your radar!
Image obtained from Crystal’s Instagram @imvernice
Crystal – “The Queen of Philippine Wrestling”
Hailing from the Pearl of the Orient, Crystal pioneered female representation in the Philippine wrestling industry as the country’s first female wrestler. The “Queen of Philippine Wrestling” has wrestled in every Southeast Asian wrestling promotion, is a former MyPW Wrestlecon Champion, and is arguably the most experienced and accomplished Filipina in-ring competitor out of the six active female wrestlers in her home country. She is currently making regular appearances as a performer for Manila Wrestling Federation: the Philippines’ prime, flag-bearing Pinoy wrestling promotion. The said promotion recently conducted a female-exclusive professional wrestling training seminar which was spearheaded by Crystal as the main coach.
Her wrestling experience also covers attendance at a WWE Tryout in Shanghai, China in 2019 where she participated alongside fellow Filipino wrestlers Jake De Leon and Ken Warren. Should you be interested in watching some of Crystal’s matches, be sure to check out her work against the likes of former AEW Women’s World Champion Riho, Joshi legend Emi Sakura, and up-and-coming fellow Filipina wrestler Chelsea Marie with all matchups available on YouTube for viewing. Outside of professional wrestling, Crystal regularly streams Valorant gameplay on her Twitch channel.
Image obtained from Alexis’ Facebook Page
Alexis Lee – “The Lion City Hit Girl” from Singapore
One of Crystal’s greatest rivalries includes her work against Singapore’s own Alexis Lee. Much like Crystal, Alexis has helped introduce female representation and viewership to the Singaporean wrestling scene as the country’s first female wrestler. The “Lion City Hit Girl” is the reigning Singapore Pro Wrestling Queen of Asia Champion defeating Riho and Mei Suruga to capture the said title at SPW’s 10th Anniversary Show. During this current reign, Alexis has successfully defended the title against Crystal and Tokyo Joshi Pro Wrestling’s Yuki Kamifuku.
She is also the current CWE Vixen’s Champion: a title she won at CWE Lady Warriors – Under Siege 2 in Orlando by dethroning then-champion Amber Nova. Having wrestled for all Southeast Asian wrestling promotions by winning the first women’s match in Vietnam against Crystal earlier this year, 2023 marks her tenth year in professional wrestling. Be sure to check out Alexis’ matches against Hiroyo Matsumoto, STARDOM’s Thekla, and former NXT Women’s Champion Indi Hartwell to get a feel of the Singaporean native’s wrestling style. A mini-documentary showcasing Alexis’ side hustle as a gym trainer is also available for free viewing on the CNA Insider YouTube channel.
Image obtained from WrestleZone
Viva Van – The Hellbent Vixen from Vietnam
A six-belt champion, C.E.O. of her own make-up and accessories brand Hellbent Glam, and being the first Vietnamese-American female wrestler is what this girl is all about. Viva Van has made waves in the wrestling world as one of the top competitors with a high-quality match catalog featuring competitive bouts against Masha Slamovich, Sumie Sakai, and Mercedes Martinez, among others. Having wrestled for globally renowned wrestling companies such as All Elite Wrestling and Lucha Libre AAA, Viva amplifies the call for Southeast Asian representation on larger platforms. Despite being based on the West Coast, she ensures to consistently support Vietnam Pro Wrestling on all their shows and wishes to appear in their events one day.
Unfortunately, much like other Southeast Asian wrestling promotions, VPW struggled early on to find resources for a proper wrestling ring to aid their wrestlers in training. With professional wrestling being quite a niche in Southeast Asia, wrestlers in the area have long been restricted to wrestling training in boxing rings. However, Viva saw the potential in the local Vietnamese wrestling scene and decided to help VPW with setting up their first ring. Moreover, one of her wishes is to be able to sponsor a trip for Southeast Asian female wrestlers to showcase their talents for promotions in the United States.
Image obtained from Tatler
Nor “Phoenix” Diana from Malaysia
No one represents their culture in the ring like Nor “Phoenix” Diana. As the world’s first hijab-wearing professional wrestler, Phoenix cemented herself as one of Malaysia Pro Wrestling’s top stars by defeating four male competitors to be crowned MyPW Wrestlecon Champion in 2019. Growing up, she was an aficionado of the WWE video games and was inspired by former WWE star Sasha Banks to pursue professional wrestling as a career. Phoenix has traveled across the world including a wrestling appearance in the Philippines as well as some training sessions in London under Pro-Wrestling EVE.
Though incorporating the Muslim culture into her wrestling attire has unfortunately caught criticism from some audiences, Phoenix sees this as a way of presenting herself in the most authentic way possible whenever she steps foot in the squared circle. Today, she is the inaugural and reigning APAC Women’s Champion successfully defending her title against the likes of Crystal and Nina: another female wrestler from the Philippines. Her championship defense against Crystal caught the recognition of Malaysia’s Youth and Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh who joined her post-match celebrations in the ring.
Image obtained from Matcha’s Facebook Page
Matcha from Thailand
Matcha is one of the newest female wrestlers on the Southeast Asian scene. As the only female wrestler in SETUP Thailand Pro Wrestling, Matcha is well-versed in the intergender wrestling style. She has, however, also had great matches with Joshi talents Yuki Kamifuku and Tokoki Kirihira during their visits to Thailand. Though she makes her way to the ring in a bedazzling robe and magical gear, Matcha is a fierce competitor who continues to redefine what it means to be a Thai woman in sports entertainment. While she may be one of the newer faces in SEA women’s wrestling, Matcha is someone you need to keep an eye out for as a future star.
Though their platform as professional wrestlers may not be as big as those in the Western area, these five women are equally capable of putting on high-quality matchups as professional athletes. If you’re interested in other Southeast Asian female wrestlers’ work, be sure to check out and support IMPACT Wrestling’s Gisele Shaw, STARDOM’s Syuri, Filipino Pro Wrestling’s Nina, and Ice Ribbon’s Yappy!