World Wrestling Professionals (WWP) is a South African professional wrestling promotion created in 2002. The internationally televised promotion is owned by Mark Beale and Abdul Kader, and is heavily influenced by American mainstream wrestling.
World Wrestling Professionals was formed in 1990 in the Eastern Cape City of Nelson Mandela Bay. It hosted a number of local shows all year round, and slowly grew to the No 1 Wrestling Federation in South Africa. I t was formed by former professional wrestler Mark Beale, with the goal of taking South African wrestling to another level. In 2004 after years of hard work on the Road of hard work in the hope of getting the product noticed, his idea for a wrestling show was picked up by the South African Broadcaster and was given a National Contract by SABC 2. This Show called WWP Thunderstrike ran for a number of years on the Channel, and was eventually put on hold due to in house politics. The WWP then moved on to India to film a Weekly show on colors TV called 100%De Dhana Dhan, which established the WWP Brand in the Middle East. The WWP Branded Show WWP G-Force was then filmed and distributed to various networks, and has been shown all over Africa.
The WWP continues to do massive Roadshows through South Africa and African and currently has a strong presence on the Continent.
The promotion, which is managed by Mark Beale, aired 1-hour pre-recorded episodes for SABC2 known as WWP Thunderstrike in the 18:30-19:30PM time-slot every Saturday. It recently completed its fourth season, which began on 13 December 2008 and ended on 28 April 2009. The fourth season was taped during May. WWP Thunderstrike signed a 5-year TV contract with SABC2 during June, 2009 that will allow them to show over 50 episodes a year until 2012.
WWP Thunderstrike made its television premiere in December, 2004. After just four months of airing and being the top rated sports show on SABC2, Thunderstrike was pushed one hour forward into a primetime slot (from 14:30 to 15:30). Deon Potgieter, a renowned international author and producer, was responsible creatively for the name along with many of the original storylines and wrestler personas in WWP Thunderstrike's early years. After producing and writing the first 67 episodes, Deon Potgieter withdrew his involvement from the show to produce, direct and write both seasons of the SAFTA winning hit sitcom "Family Bonds". The WWP creative team now consists of Mark Beale, Steve Debbes and Abdul Kader.
Television tapings took place in the Urban Brew Studios in Johannesburg and each season was usually filmed for up to seven days in a row. The venue is referred to by the promotion as the Dome of Doom. The first and second seasons aired on Saturday afternoons.
The third series moved to a Wednesday night slot at 22:00, where the show attained its highest ratings to date. In season highlights, current WWE developmental star Ray Leppan, who went by the name Dameon Duke, defended his newly-won WWP Heavyweight World Title for most of the season and engaged in a three-match title rivalry with Joe "Fury" Steyn, who won the championship in the third match. In the season finale, WWP main eventers took part in an eight-man tag team match with the kayfabe South African defenders taking on the foreign WDP faction.
For the fourth season, SABC2 pushed the show to a primetime slot on Saturday. PJ Black, who later went on to sign a WWE contract, was given a prominent position in the main event and feuded with Mikey Whiplash throughout the season. He went on to challenge for the WWP Heavyweight World Title against Joe E Legend but subsequently lost. The current and 2-time WWP World Heavyweight Champion Tornado formed a dream team with former arch-rival The Skull and feuded with the leaders of the WDP faction, The Weasels, with the WWP Tag Team World Title at stake during many of their matches.
|First Season||11 December 2004 to 23 April 2005||Saturday||14:30 to 15:30|
|Second Season||December, 2005 to April, 2006||Saturday||15:30 to 16:30|
|Third Season||1 November 2006 to 27 February 2008||Wednesday||22:00 to 23:00|
|Fourth Season||13 December 2008 to 28 April 2009||Saturday||18:30 to 19:30|
100% De Dhana Dhan
World Wrestling Professionals airs 1-hour pre-recorded episodes of 100% De Dhana Dhan for Colours TV every Saturday and Sunday. It recently completed its first season, which began on 29 August 2009, and ended on 20 December 2009. 100% De Dhana Dhan is a hybrid of reality television and wrestling based on 100% Lucha, and sees wrestlers from India facing wrestlers from South Africa in faction warfare. The kayfabe plot of the show involved the Indian wrestlers being trapped in South Africa and stumbling upon an underground fight league headed by Mark Beale and WWP.
WWP wrestlers Tornado, Jason Steele and Ananzi were involved in training many of the wrestlers from India. In the middle of 2009, WWP held a tryout in Bombay, India, searching for athletic candidates for the show. They selected twelve candidates to be trained before the 100% De Dhana Dhan television tapings in August and September.
In highlights from the first season, Tornado became the 100% Heavyweight Champion on the second show and defended the championship for most of its run until being dethroned by the much larger competitor Goonga in the final episode. Tornado won a tournament where the winner would be awarded the WWP Heavyweight World Title, but seeing as he was already the champion he retained the championship. Sando Paaji defeated Tornado to win the 100% Championship but refused to accept the title and it was awarded back to Tornado. Ananzi and Jason Steele were featured prominently on the show, with Steele winning a title contender's tournament that lasted several weeks and Ananzi winning a crucial ladder match against Angelico that awarded the winning team keys to a new vehicle. A controversial angle aired where one of the wrestlers competing on the Indian team died in the ring as a result of injuries inflicted by the Nigerian wrestler Kilimanjaro, which later led to an angle where the passed wrestler returned.
|First Season||29 August 2009 to 22 November 2009||Saturday and Sunday||21:00 to 22:00|
Roster Split (2004-2006)
The roster was previously divided into two factions, namely Alkebulan and Def Faxion. The kayfabe storyline entailed that the factions adopted different cultural beliefs, with Def Faxion being based on modernity and materialism, while Alkebulan bore opposite traits, deeply rooted in myth and tradition. Each faction had a championship which was regularly competed for on the WWP Thunderstrike show. The final Def Faxion Heavyweight Champion was The Blacksmith and the final Alkebulan Heavyweight Champion was Ananzi. In late 2006 with the premiere of the third season, the factions were dropped and focus was placed on traditional Heavyweight, Tag Team, Female and Cruiserweight divisions.
Despite the promotion being mainly a product produced for television since 2004, it regularly holds road show tours in various parts of the world such as India, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Greece, Venezuela, Paraguay, and in their home country of South Africa. In November, 2008, WWP drew a sell-out crowd at Carnival City in Johannesburg, South Africa, a first for a South African wrestling promotion since the 1980s wrestling boom. In July, 2009, WWP drew a record 20,000 fans in Lubambashi, DRC, their biggest attendance to date.
World Wrestling Professionals has five training facilities scattered across South Africa. Shows are sometimes independently held by the training facilities in their respective regions showcasing their top students.
|Wembley Arena, Durban||Tornado|
|Wynberg, Cape Town||Abdul Kader|
|Wembley Arena, East Rand||Terri Middoux|
|Port Elizabeth||The Blacksmith|
- WWP World Heavyweight Championship
- All-Africa Heavyweight Championship
- WWP World Ladies Championship
- WWP World Cruiserweight Championship
- WWP World Tag Team Championship