FROM NERD TO WRESTLER
VINNIE “The One Man Show” VEGAS
The current Cruiserweight Champion Vinnie Vegas, who has been branded by many as being pound-for-pound the best wrestler in SA, is set to face longtime rival the “Italian Stallion” Johnny Palazzio in the main event on the September 30th at Parow Civic Center. Known as “The House Of Pain”, Parow Civic Center has been the AWA’s battle home ground for many years, hosting some of SA wrestling’s best matches. The self-proclaimed “One Man Show”, Vinnie is no stranger to success at “The House of Pain”. Success, however, has never come easy.
Now residing in Athlone, Vinnie grew up in Mitchell’s Plain surrounded by many bad influences such as crime and gangsterism. Encouraged from an early by his parents to stay on the straight and narrow path by working hard while encompassing a strong sense of morals and discipline, Vinnie matriculated from Mondale Secondary School and went on to complete his National Diploma of Information Technology at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology. As a youngster, Vinnie was an introvert, spending most of his time reading comic books and playing video games. A nerd by definition. It was also at this early age that he became captivated by the larger than life spectacle that is professional wrestling. Collecting all kinds of wrestling memorabilia such as magazines, posters and action figures, Vegas had discovered he had a passion for the squared circle action. Finding inspiration in wrestling heroes and role models, he would also harbor a dream of one day competing in a wrestling ring. Many would mock that dream as Vinnie was but a scrawny kid, but he would not be deterred and thus, after completing his studies, he contact Shaun Koen and the AWA in March 2004.
Still, having never competed in sports at school level, Vegas initially struggled with athletic aspect of wrestling but stayed determined by never losing sight of his goal by mastering the technical aspects.
His hard work would soon pay off as he would get to make dream come true with his wrestling debut in August 2005 against William McQueen. But with dreams accomplished, new goals arise and championship glory was in “The One Man Show’s” sights. An opportunity would eventually come when Vinnie competed against fellow challenger William McQueen and then-champion Johnny Palazzio in the first ever ladder match in June 2007. And even though he would not attain victory on that night, Vegas would continue to press forward by competing and perfecting his craft. He studied many matches from all over globe including America, Europe and Japan, and incorporated many of their styles into his own. It had also expanded his arsenal of wrestling moves to a unique collection that continue to “wow” audiences at every show. Trademark moves such as his “Raging Storm”, super kick and flying elbow are not only used to inflict pain onto his opponents, but would soon bring in championship gold. And his first championship success would eventually come in December 2009, by winning the Coca Cola Royal Rumble title when he eliminated 25 members of the AWA roster in a single match. Happy, but with a hunger not yet satisfied, Vinnie continued to focus on winning the Cruiserweight title. He would then receive another opportunity for the title against the then-champion Mr. Money, one year later. This time, a seasoned and more experienced Vinnie Vegas accomplished his goal and became the AWA Cruiserweight champion.
Since then, he has become a 2-time Cruiserweight champion and thanks to wrestling, he has traveled and competed all over South Africa, including in Swaziland. These days, Vinnie has new goals and dreams. When asked, he says that as the current champion and a near 10 year veteran, he’s current goal is to be a role model to not only the fans but to the new up and coming wrestlers that he helps train at the AWA HardKnocks Academy. He also looks forward to competing at the “House Of Pain” on September 30th. When asked for a quote, he said: “It’s another one for the bucket list. Another goal. To defend a championship in the main event of the “House of Pain”. Not many wrestlers can stake that claim. I’ve prided myself of being a “genius of hard work” and getting this opportunity proves that when you set your mind on something you want, you can accomplish it!”
You can see Vinnie Vegas, Johnny Palazzio, Shaun Koen, AWA Heavyweight Champion The Oz and the rest of the AWA roster compete on September 30th at Parow Civic. As well as on October 5th in Kraaifontein at the Grand opening of Allies Meats on Old Paarl road where the wrestling will be no cover charge at the “Parking Lot Brawl”.
For all your enquires and Bookings contact Shaun Koen on 082 4560792