Combat sports: Singapore's first WWE wrestler Sean Tan wins on debut

Sean Tan beat Trey Baxter in less than a minute with an inside cradle move on WWE NXT.
Sean Tan beat Trey Baxter in less than a minute with an inside cradle move on WWE NXT.PHOTO: DANTECHENWWE/TWITTER

SINGAPORE - Sean Tan, the first Singaporean to join the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) outfit, secured a win on his debut on Tuesday (Sept 21).

Fighting under the moniker Dante Chen, the 25-year-old beat American Trey Baxter on WWE NXT, a professional wrestling television programme, in less than a minute with an inside cradle move that ended with an unnamed finishing move.

In a Twitter post, Tan said: “Go for the wins, they lead to championships. 1-0 #WWENXT #WWE #DanteChen”

For the past few months, he has been training alongside other recruits from Asia at the WWE Performance Center in Florida, where new WWE recruits are trained and developed.

Tan had participated in a WWE tryout in Shanghai two years ago, which involved 40 athletes from China, Hong Kong, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand.
The Singaporean and two Chinese fighters, Feicheng Wang and Jie Yin, were recruited from the tryout.

Tan was inspired to start wrestling after spending much of his teenage years playing video games that featured WWE fighters, including his idol and WWE hall of famer Shawn Michaels.

In 2012, he joined professional wrestling school SG Pro Wrestling (SPW), training and competing under the name Trexxus.

To get into shape, the former SPW South-east Asia champion did his own fitness training and read up more on bodybuilding and nutrition.

He even juggled a part-time job as a banquet server with his business studies at ITE College West and health management and promotion course at Republic Polytechnic to fund his SPW membership fees.

Tan was not available for comments after his victory but just last month, when he was discussing his WWE future, he told The Straits Times: “Everyone has a different route depending on your progress. Some people need only a couple of months for their first televised match, some take as long as a few years.

“I don’t know when I’ll be competing on TV, only time will tell.”

Time has spoken, and if his victory is anything to go by, it hints at a bright future.