Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at all of the amazing talent working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers, some are indie prospects hitting their peaks, while others are names to be on the watch for! This edition looks at an emerging star in the Pacific Northwest, King Khash of DEFY Wrestling amongst others.
The story of the career of King Khash is unlike many you will hear told in wrestling, and he has blazed a trail for himself unlike many before him. The Persian born-Khash has already seen success early in his wrestling career, as he can say he has competed for WWE and met fellow Washington native Daniel Bryan. When he met Bryan at Wrestlemania 31 the two chatted about trainer Buddy Wayne, and the leader of the ‘Yes Movement’ shared with Khash an ideology that he carries with him to this day.
You can’t have a million dollar dream with a minimum wage work ethic. ? @rawbyjane pic.twitter.com/YzuHwzjUhc
— King ?? Khash (@KingKhash021) April 2, 2018
Without any idea of who he was, at 18 years of age Khash sought out Wayne and engaged him as his trainer. Wayne taught him everything that was needed about the business, from preparation, and to in-ring training. Khash felt Wayne treated him like his own son at times during that early grooming. He could see that Khash was hungry and wanted to succeed in the business. From coming early to staying late, Khash invested as much time in Wayne as Wayne did in Khash.
After his time with Wayne, Khash would learn from the likes of Rip Rogers and Trip Flowers. He credits Flowers as being the one person that has helped introduce him to people he needed to know. It was through these relationships that Khash gained more and more opportunities to network and build a relationship with producers, bookers and wrestling promoters across the Pacific Northwest. He is grateful for their help and shares that to this day. In particular, he is forever grateful to his time learning under Wayne and looks back on his trainer, who passed away earlier this year, with eternal respect. Wayne always reminded him how preparation is key to success, whether that refers to something as small as a tan or regarding how to maintain an impressive physique. Talent doesn’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Wayne wanted Khash to be sure that he always looked the part. Since he would have to be his own salesman, convincing potential bookers why he should perform on their show. It was important for him to stand out, and in order to make a difference and be noticed, he needed to carry that mindset in everything he said and did.
Khash isn’t sensitive to criticism about his performance in the ring. While he could perceive any negativity directed his way as a setback, he takes it as a learning experience. For him, being successful is more important than making friends. His primary concern is earning respect and trust, and friendships are merely a welcome acquisition along the way.
His thoughts about a number independent talent today may not sit well with others, but his opinions are steeped in a different time and period. He embraces a machismo that isn’t often seen today. A throwback in a number of ways, his beliefs reflect those passed down to him by his trainer Wayne. While most of today’s wrestlers show camaraderie outside the ring, Khash often feels that there needs to be more of the veil that keeps some things hidden from the fans. He discusses a time when deals over matches were made at the bar, and today that isn’t the case. He embraces the legitimacy that wrestling presented to fans in the past. He doesn’t enjoy the art form of today’s wrestling very much; rather, he embraces the sort of storytelling that existed before and believes that less is more.
He grew up a fan of the current chief creative officer of WWE, Triple H, and that shouldn’t be much of a surprise either. He didn’t have the opportunity to see him during WWE’s Attitude era, instead of first becoming intrigued by the character. When The Game was presenting more of the comedic side of his character while with Shawn Michaels as part of the reincarnation of Degeneration X.
The near four-year veteran has continued to build a name for himself competing for promotions such as Progress and Defy Wrestling. The Seattle-based Defy has Khash as an active member of their roster, and he has competed in a number of events over the course of the year, including a cross-promotional tour that took place where he faced the likes of WWE UK talent Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster.
Khash is emerging as a notable talent along the Pacific North West. His first match was against Darby Graves for National Wrestling Alliance Blue Collar Wrestling in Portland, Oregon. He had nearly seven times as many matches the following year. The number of listed matches he has had may have dipped a bit over the last couple of years, but he is still getting noticed. Khash remains committed to utilizing the tools his trainer gave him.
His character is in the mold of a cocky heel, something he enjoys as he doesn’t want it to be the typical foreign heel that other wrestlers of Persian background have presented in the past. He knows it can be done, as the likes of Mustafa Ali has shown that performers of Middle Eastern ancestry don’t have to make their heritage intrinsic to their wrestling character. He wants to be seen as something different and still be embraced by the fans. Considering that the country is built on immigration, he sees no reason why someone of his ethnicity shouldn’t be booked like a face rather than a heel. Look for King Khash while he is competing in the Pacific Northwest, and likely for other companies across the US, Mexico and Japan shortly.
To listen to a podcast with King Khash feel free to do so here.
Catch Up on Previous Indie Watch Articles!
- Indie Watch: Martina ‘The Session Moth’ (Ireland), September 18, 2018
- Indie Watch: Zachary Wentz (USA), September 9, 2018
- Indie Watch: Scotty Davis (Ireland), September 4, 2018
- Indie Watch: SCHAFF (USA), August 21, 2018
- Indie Watch: Bandido (Mexico), August 15, 2018
- Indie Watch: Aiden Prince (Canada), August 7, 2018
- Indie Watch: “The Business” Slex (Australia), May 9, 2018
- Indie Watch: Robbie Eagles (Australia), May 1, 2018
- Indie Watch: Jordynne Grace (USA), April 27, 2018
- Indie Watch: D.L. Hurst (USA), April 13, 2018
- Indie Watch: The Maine State Posse (USA), January 24, 2018
- Indie Watch: The Women of PROGRESS (UK), January 20, 2018