Hong Kong pro wrestling pioneer Ho Ho Lun released by WWE ahead of China return

The Tai Po native Wong Yuk-lun, the first wrestler from the city to ever feature in World Wrestling Entertainment, is released before they return to China for their first-ever live show in Shenzhen

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 August, 2017, 3:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 August, 2017, 4:18pm

Hong Kong professional wrestling trailblazer Ho Ho Lun has been released by American giants World Wrestling Entertainment.

The 30-year-old Tai Po native – real name Wong Yuk-lun – represented Hong Kong last summer in the historic World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Cruiserweight Classic, a 32-man global tournament featuring wrestlers under the 205-pound weight limit.

Lun became the first wrestler from Hong Kong to ever feature in WWE but he was eliminated in the second round of the tournament.

He was then offered a contract with WWE developmental brand NXT, based out of their Performance Centre in Florida. He last performed on NXT programming in June.

Lun’s release comes a month-and-a-half before WWE returns to China for their first live show in Shenzhen on September 17.

WWE chief strategy and financial officer George Barrios told investors on a conference call last week that China is a developing market for the company and a “long-term play” for them.

Try-outs were held in Shanghai last year following an event at the Mercedes-Benz Arena in September, with seven new Chinese wrestlers being given developmental deals at the Performance Centre in Florida.

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Last June, Bin Wang, then 22, became the first Chinese athlete to sign a developmental contract with WWE.

Wang’s signing came after WWE announced a multi-year content distribution agreement with PPTV to broadcast their flagship television shows Raw and SmackDown Live in Mandarin.

Some of the Chinese recruits may be included on the trip when WWE wrestlers from the SmackDown brand come to the Shenzhen Bay Sports Centre Arena next month, although Lun will not be included.

“WWE’s return to China demonstrates our continued commitment to the market,” said Jay Li, vice president and general manager of WWE Greater China.

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Lun founded the groundbreaking Hong Kong Pro Wrestling Federation (HKPWF) in 2009 out of a gym in Sha Tin having started his career in 2007 when he relocated to Guangzhou to work for China Wrestling Entertainment.

HKPWF’s June 2009 live event is considered to be the starting point for professional wrestling in Hong Kong.

WWE was attracted to his talent given his English language skills and experience performing in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and Japan, coupled with their intention to expand their operations into Asia.