Thais enjoy WWE-style wrestling

BANGKOK, Thailand (AFP) — A fighter bursts through a flimsy tarpaulin curtain and bounds into the ring wearing a helmet and the unmistakable bright orange jacket of a Bangkok motorbike-taxi rider — it's Thailand's take on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).

The 25-year-old wrestler with the stage name "P'Suchart" was one of almost 20 individuals slapping, slamming and smacking one another at SETUP Thailand Pro Wrestling.

The part-sport, part-show has been slowly gaining popularity in the country and co-founder Pumi Boonyatud hopes to carve out a space for local wrestlers using distinctively Thai characters.

A crowd of about 250 in Bangkok suggests it could take off.

"We try to put some of the Thai fighting background… together with professional wrestler training," the 32-year-old said, in order to create "what we call the real Thai version of wrestling."

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