International Wrestling Australia came to Ballina RSL last Friday. Here, Apache Warrior jumps from the top rope onto Reggie Watson.
International Wrestling Australia came to Ballina RSL last Friday. Here, Apache Warrior jumps from the top rope onto Reggie Watson.

'Zee Zee' hooks 'em in at Ballina

WHEN Hadley Zedra, of Evans Head, first arrived in Australia from South Africa in 1974, the four-year-old and his brother wondered what the grey box in the corner of their new living room was.

They were told it was called a television and when they turned it on the very first image they saw was the 224cm, 240-kilogram wrestler André the Giant making a guest appearance on Channel Nine's World Championship Wrestling.

This fate-filled encounter stayed with Mr Zedra and years later - in 1998 - while working in a nightclub as a bouncer he was approached by a talent scout from International Wrestling Australia (IWA) and asked if he wanted to train to become a wrestler.

Mr Zedra undertook training in classical Greek wrestling, adopted the name 'Zee Zee Hook' and was told his job would be to entertain.

As well as touring he has appeared in all three series of IWA's Pro Wrestling on Austar and said wrestling had a lot to offer audiences.

“It's just good entertainment; it's exciting to watch and the fans love it,” he said.

Mr Zedra said while he considered himself to be an entertainer before an athlete, fitness was still crucial.

“You need to be '200' per cent fit to last even five minutes in the ring,” he said.

And while the money is getting better, he still works as a barber in Evans Head while travelling to Sydney for televisions shoots.

Mr Zedra wrestled at Ballina RSL Club last Friday to a sell-out audience of 500 as part of the IWA's east coast tour.



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