viva van
Photo Credit: DEFY Wrestling

Viva Van Wants More Southeast Asian Representation In Wrestling

Viva Van made history as the first-ever Vietnamese-American female wrestler, but she wants to grow that presence.

Over the course of her career so far, “The Hellbent Vixen” has received some great opportunities from major promotions. All Elite Wrestling brought in Viva Van on six different occasions for AEW: Dark. Most recently, she took part in a tryout for WWE. Despite her personal success, Van expressed her desire for growing the Southeast Asian presence even more across all major promotions.

“That presence is so important to me because growing up watching WWE, I didn’t have anyone that I could be like, ‘Oh, that person’s just like me. I can totally relate to them,'” Van told WrestleZone’s own Ella Jay. “Yeah, there were Asian wrestlers, but they weren’t Vietnamese, you know? So I couldn’t really identify myself as being the same as them. I mean, a lot of people will probably be like, ‘Oh, they’re still Asian.’ It’s actually different. We’re all different.”

“There’s so many different Asian cultures and we all speak different languages. So I think just having a variety of different Asian people, Southeast Asians [and more],” she said. “The reason why I mentioned Southeast Asia is because I feel like Southeast Asia is so behind in wrestling that they’re finally getting their foot out. They’re finally having shows, they’re finally having schools that have been around probably for under a decade. So I think it’s important to just shine a light on Southeast Asian and Southeast Asian wrestlers, to just give us a spot and give us an opportunity because we’re here and we can go.”

When asked how much she thinks the representation has grown since the start of her career, Van believes there’s more room for growth. “I probably say 50% there,” she said.  “Only reason why I think 50% there is because I have had like opportunities with a AEW and WWE here and there. So, they have given me a chance to show myself to the audience. But, It would be 100% when they finally sign more Southeast Asian people and put more Southeast Asian people on TV. That’s when that would change that.”

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