Indie Watch is our regular series that looks at amazing talents working the independent circuits around the world. Some are veterans revitalizing their careers. Some are indie prospects hitting their peaks. Others are names to be on the watch for! This edition looks at someone who has been a top prospect for the past couple of years but is on the verge of breaking out internationally, in Saieve Al Sabah.
NXT Superstar Kassius Ohno recently took to Twitter to stress the importance of studying multiple styles and influences in order to find one’s true self in professional wrestling, and perhaps no one has shown that dedication in the past few years as New York’s Saieve Al Sabah. The New York native has traveled the US to better his career in the sport, picking up styles and philosophies from multiple territories in order to become the budding superstar he’s become.
Only four years ago, he headed to the Team 3-D Academy in Florida, the prestigious wrestling school run by WWE Hall of Famers The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray & Devon), where he began his wrestling career in the Florida independent circuit in 2016. It wasn’t long before he was working for Full Throttle Wrestling in Lake Park and American Combat Wrestling (ACW) in Port Richey.
It was in ACW where Saieve Al Sabah first made his mark, winning the ACW Combat Championship in 2017. Over the next year, he would expand his reach in the vibrant Florida indie scene, adding runs with Daytona Beach’s Go Wrestling, Fort Myer’s REAL Pro Wrestling, and more. His strong work in the Florida circuits also got him a few matches with the rebooted Major League Wrestling (MLW) in late 2017. That fall, he also made his debut with Gainesville’s FEST Wrestling.
The next year, he began to expand his wrestling resume, moving beyond the Florida borders, where he entered the Mid Atlantic region with Premiere Wrestling Xperience (PWX), continued to work for MLW, and had a brief run with EVOLVE Wrestling, where he brought his skills to the likes of Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. As his stock rose, so did the quality of his opponents – now he was facing the likes of Austin Theory, AR Fox, Shane Strickland (now Isaiah Scott in NXT), Jason Cade, and EFFY. In the final month of 2018, he captured the FEST Championship, a title he held into late 2019. He also made his debut with Full Impact Pro (another WWN affiliate like ACW) and in November, made his debut with Game Changer Wrestling (GCW) in New Jersey.
Now based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, he’s become one of the top stars with PWX, where he held the PWX Innovative Television Championship for 155-days from April through September of 2019. He continues to return to the Florida scene as well – he’s the reigning Full Throttle Champion approaching 200 days as champion. From his new home base in the Carolinas, he’s also entered the Southern indie scene, working with Thomson, Georgia’s Viral Pro Wrestling (VPW).
Saieve Al Sabah told POST Wrestling’s Andrew Thompson in late 2019 that it was the classic Iron Match between Bret “Hitman” Hart and Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XII that originally got his mind set on becoming a pro wrestler. “The first match that really intrigued me was Shawn [Michaels] and Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII, the Iron Man match but I do remember vividly, wrestling just being around in life,” he told Thompson. “So it’s something that when I saw that match at WrestleMania XII, I just thought it was something that was larger than life and it was a great platform for a kid to chase his childhood dream.” Seeing Al Sabah compete it’s easy to see his influences on his sleeve – he has the athleticism of Shawn Michaels combined with a precision akin to Hart’s own snug-yet-calculated attacks.
Saieve Al Sabah made his return to GCW this past March in another breakout performance and once again Al Sabah’s buzz has only continued to compound, making 2020 a good bet to see this talented performer finally become a big-time player in the US indies and beyond.
Check out our full list of previous Indie Watches, showcasing emerging talent from around the world!
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world.