Main image via Astro Awani
Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana is a petite 19-year-old Malaysian that looks just like any other Malaysian you’ll see on the street. She’s not outgoing or outspoken, but rather describes herself as being ‘quiet’.
So, at first glance, you would never assume that she was the recently crowned champion of the Malaysia Pro Wrestling (MYPW) Wrestlecon Championship. But, in fact, she’s been a wrestler for 3 years now and is the world’s first and only hijabi wrestler.
In an interview with The Sun Daily, she describes being interested in wrestling from the age of 14 through wrestling video games and TV shows. When she turned 15, she decided to pursue wrestling after attending her first WWE live event. That’s when she found MYPW.
Everyone at MYPW was very welcoming. I was not treated differently just because I’m a girl, or because I was wearing a hijab. I am one of two female wrestlers at MYPW, and we train with the boys.
Just two months into her training, in a fateful turn of events, she found her persona – Phoenix – thanks to her coach. She had to replace a wrestler at an event, but she didn’t have an in-ring persona yet, so her coach suggested that she went with Phoenix and also gave her a luchador mask to put on.
But it wasn’t until she unmasked at the SPW: Ladies Night (Singapore Wrestling) event that she truly shocked the world.
When the name Phoenix was announced, some folks were surprised that I was unmasked, and that I was a hijab-wearing girl. I surprised a lot of people that day, and I have not worn a mask to wrestle since.
Now with a gold belt secured, she’s more optimistic than ever, describing this as a new era and the mere beginning of what she’s capable of.
We’re excited for Nor ‘Phoenix’ Diana’s future and can’t wait to see her continually making Malaysia proud in the wrestling arena!