With various wrestlers being signed exclusively to companies, it has opened the door for more talents on the independent scene to step into the spotlight and garner the attention of promoters and pro wrestling fans that may have not have been aware of them in years past. The independent scene is currently filled with talents on the up-and-up and one of those names is New York’s own Saieve Al Sabah. Coming up on four years in the wrestling business, Saieve has competed in Major League Wrestling, EVOLVE and Game Changer Wrestling among other promotions.
Over the course of his career, Saieve has become a staple on the Florida independent scene and when I had the opportunity to speak with him, he explained that there are varying reasons as to why he thinks that specific portion of the independent scene is so popular. Saieve said it’s a place to grow, learn and create opportunities but his reasons for liking the scene may be different from why others make their way to Florida for professional wrestling.
“It may not be the same reason as to why I enjoy it. I enjoy it because you have the opportunity to learn, grow. The crowd is dope but I don’t stay in Florida anymore. That was an opportunity. I think a lot of people might want to go out there because they’re looking for handouts and they feel like it’s closer to something,” Saieve laughed. “But, I believe in planting my own seeds. I’m from New York. I went to Florida to learn. I reside in Charlotte now — plan on going to the west coast but that’s different. Everywhere is a good place to learn. I think knowledge is good. Florida wrestling, Dusty was there and that’s wrestling country. There’s three important letters that people love that are over there as well. I think that’s why most people like it. I don’t think most people actually want to plant their own seeds and grow, but that’s the individual themselves. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
As noted in the earlier portion of this article, wrestlers being signed means more room for others to rise to the top. Saieve has a straight-forward thought process when it comes to talking about the topic and feels that people should do whatever works for them. The more spots that become available means that he’ll be contacted more and he’s aware that not everyone’s situation is the same. To conclude his answer, he said he loves the freedom of being an independent wrestler and if one wants to grow and has the ability to learn, the sky is the limit.
“I think it’s a great thing but it’s all about how you look at it. If you’re a hard worker, if you’re ambitious, this is a great thing. If you’re waiting for handouts, may not be the best thing but I don’t know. I enjoy it, I’m happy. It makes my phone a little bit busier no matter what. My phone’s just busier. So, I guess that’s a great thing. I just hope everyone just… take care of yourself. Whatever works for you, works for you. That’s the truth. Just take care of yourself. I can’t tell everybody — I fight different battles than other people fight but a lot of people are making it work and I’ve only been in the business for about three years and I don’t have to do anything but this right now which is pretty dope and I don’t think it was like that — a lot of vets telling me, ‘It wasn’t like that a few years ago’, but, what works for me, doesn’t necessarily work for everyone else. I think the freedom of being independent is great, but how do you learn in the indies? Are you learning or are you growing? I don’t know. I think it’s just great for anyone that has the ability to just want to learn and grow.”
Saieve’s earliest memories of professional wrestling date back to seeing Shawn Michaels and Bret Hart clash for the WWF World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XII. He remembers that match vividly, thought it was a larger than life sport and deemed that as the match that was a deciding factor for him to take the leap into professional wrestling.
“Early influence, I guess just as a kid growing up in society, professional wrestling was always on television. The first match that really intrigued me was Shawn and Bret Hart at WrestleMania XII, the Iron Man match but I do remember vividly, wrestling just being around in life 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.”
Personally, one of my first encounters of Saieve Al Sabah’s work was a promo he cut on Serpentico for the FEST Wrestling promotion. The crowd was focused on Saieve as he relayed his message to his future opponent via satellite. There are times when Saieve is viewed as a villain by the crowd and there are times when they are cheering him on.
POST Wrestling asked Saieve are promos something he takes pride in and he explained that he doesn’t box himself in with the word “promo” and stated that he is simply speaking from the heart. He made it clear that his words are genuine and he is delivering a message to the recipient to make sure his point gets across regardless of the setting, crowd or any other factors that could come into play.
“While I am in the industry of professional wrestling, I don’t really garner to certain terms or ideologies. I don’t do promos, I speak from the heart and that’s what you’re getting. If there’s a situation between me and an individual, it’s going to be sincere, because there’s a conflict, and with conflict creates drama. I ain’t worried about the crowd. I ain’t worried about critics. I ain’t worried about anyone but getting my point across to that individual that I am what I say I am, and you know, I embrace being an individual while people want me to represent certain things. The most important thing for me to represent is myself. I believe in representing myself. I represent others so, those promos or that interview or whatever that is-is just me being genuine and me being as polarizing as I can as a human being and I’m being honest and I’m being genuine in what I’m saying and everything I do say, people are gonna be quiet so they can wait for the truth.”
In the last two years, Saieve Al Sabah captured the FTPW Golden Challenge, ACW Combat, Full Throttle Pro Wrestling and FEST Wrestling Championships. Saieve describes himself as an ambitious individual but wouldn’t say championships are everything to him. He takes pride in being a champion but the platform that is given to a champion to expand and inspire is what he is mostly concerned about when he’s on top of a promotion.
“I strive to use this as a platform and anybody that gets in the business that doesn’t want to be a champion of some sort or to prove that they’re worthy of being the top guy in any form of business — I’m a very ambitious individual. championships everything to me? I wouldn’t necessarily say that but the platform that a championship gives you is very important so if I am in a company, nine times out of ten I will end up being your world champion because I’m that good, and not to be cocky, it’s just that’s what I come here to prove so that’s more or less.”
Starting out in the wrestling business only several years ago, Saieve has learned a great deal about life in wrestling and how to navigate the business. He feels that most want him to be himself as long as it’s their idea of what he is. He brought up the mixed crowd reactions that he receives and said that-that can’t be taught and feels that he has a decent balance on how to approach certain situations in the business.
“Everyone wants you to be yourself but they don’t want you to be yourself. They want you to be their version of yourself, and no one can teach you how to be yourself, especially when you are you are. There’s just certain connections. That’s why you ask why people can like me or hate me. No one can teach me that. I can only try to master it. Everyone has the answer and they’ll try to tell you that it’ll lead you somewhere that you may not necessarily want to go. Everyone’s dreams and ambitions are not the same and everyone assumes they are so, that’s something that needs to be corrected. Some people like being indie stars, some people don’t. So it’s the perfect balance I would say.”
To wrap up the interview, I asked Saieve where does he see himself in five years. Saieve feels that five years from now, the ball will be in his court and he and others will have the opportunity to leave their imprint on the business. One crucial part of that is that Saieve wants to set the stage for the next generation of wrestlers and thinks most should come into wrestling with the mindset of giving to the sport and not taking away from it.
Even outside of the sport of pro wrestling, whether it’d be a lawyer, doctor, educator or any other profession, Saieve feels that we have the chance to better the lives of those who’ll be taking the world into the next few decades.
“Five years from now, the world will definitely be ours. The ball is in our court, and I think five years from now, we’ll definitely leave our imprint on the game. You shouldn’t touch something and try to take from it. You should try to leave your fingerprints on it and I hope I leave my fingerprint that sets a course for the next generation of future world leaders of professional wrestlers, lawyers, doctors, educators, politicians, scientists, actors. That’s what I hope. It’s bigger than wrestling. Wrestling is our platform and it’s what made us bigger people but it’s what you give to the game and not take from it and I know in five years, that’s what you’re gonna get.”