Independent wrestler, Yahya, talks about ASÉ Wrestling celebrating Black History Month

This is part one of a three part series of interviews focusing on Black independent talent in pro wrestling.
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In November, I told you about Darius Lockhart's love letter to professional wrestling. He created ASÉ Wrestling to "showcase wrestling through a different lens." Not only does ASÉ put on wrestling shows, but they out high quality wrestling content on social media and their YouTube channel. They also highlight area musicians.

ASÉ held it's second show, ASÉ x BHM: A Black History Month Celebration, on February 24. It was also a celebration the history of Black wrestlers who paved the way. The Black Wrestling Museum had displays in the lobby. There were tables full of photos and match cards of Black wrestlers from days gone by. Ring attire from Tasha Steelz, MVP, Layla, and a vest from Ricky Starks were also on display.

There was a meet & greet with Teddy Long and Ron Simmons before the show and during intermission. Long was the guest General Manager for the night, which of course meant a tag team match was made, playa. Simmons came to the ring prior to the match for the Pan-African World Diaspora Championship between current champion Sugar Dunkerton and challenger, Caprice Coleman. He spoke about what the city of Charlotte means to him and how his time here helped him to become the first Black NWA World Champion.

Prior to the show, I was able to speak with some of the amazing talent on the card. First up was Yahya, who went viral at ASÉ One. He was part of Team North Carolina when he did a senton onto a member of Team Georgia. Yahya went from an eight-man match on the first show to a big singles match on the second one. Being able to perform on the second show means he "did what I do best. I showed up and I showed out."

Yahya didn't have just any opponent, but the one and only Sonny Kiss, whom he called "a very talented competitor, 1000 percent." Getting a singles match this time around means he did his job the first time. "This feels like a job promotion. Going from an eight man to a singles match and not just against anybody. It's against one of the top talents around anywhere, so it's exciting."

When going viral, some people feel the need to top that moment in order to go viral again. With an opponent like Kiss, it could be easy to do. In response to that, Yahya stated, "I'm going to do what I do best: show up and show out. That's my goal. I never think about topping myself. I don't think about what's next, what's going to be the next thing to be on social media or whatnot. I just kind of do my thing and if it pops, it pops. If it don't, I still have fun and the fans had a great time, so like that's my main focus. Going viral is cool for the moment, but I'm really about how the fans feel that leaves this building."

For fans just discovering "The Gifted One", they need to know that Yahya "tells no lies when it comes to talking about me. When I say I'm the 'gifted one', I didn't just come up with it on a whim, on a Thursday. I've felt this way from growing up, playing sports growing up. In any kind of competiton, I feel like I can compete with just about anybody. There's no one I don't look and think 'nah, I can't deal with that.' Nah, I think I can compete with everyone, I mean everyone. So from the top of the list all the way to whoever you got on the bottom. It's like, I'm ready for anybody.

On the first ASÉ show, Mark Henry sent in a video message that was played on the screen for the audience in the arena and at home. He was very supportive of ASÉ and what they're goals are. To have that support from people who paved the way for everyone on the ASÉ card from the start means a lot.

"It means the world because I've been watching a lot of these guys since I was a kid. Your idols and your heros are doing stuff for the company that you're trying to help make something, so it's like, 'man, I'm on the right track becuase these guys are coming back. You need that history to with it because you can't move forward unless we know our history."

"With the guys coming in -- Ron Simmons coming in, Teddy Long coming in -- it's like, 'ohh,yes!' Those guys are great about helping us out. They see something, we ask them, they're real great about giving you advice on things. It's not like it's a closed off door. 'Oh, they're here, but they're not here. You can't talk to 'em.' No, you can talk to 'em. That's the biggest relief to me."

Follow Yahya on Twitter and Instagram.

To watch the replay of ASÉ x BHM, go to ASÉ's website and click "watch ASÉ" to purchase the show.