Sport | Wrestling

Welcome Aotearoa’s new Toa Kaimamau heavyweight champion - Tee Hawke

After much anticipation and hype, Te Raukura Hawke is the new heavyweight title holder of Te Toa Kaimamau O Aotearoa.

The Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngāpuhi amateur wrestler competed at the Warrior Wrestling championship in Auckland, with the support of his family and fans.

Hawke says the many years, days, hours and seconds have finally paid off.

“For it to be done, it’s good, it feels good, finally kua eke, kua eke ki te taumata.”

The Māori vs Samoan faceoff was the main event at the Warrior Wrestling, Aotearoa Showdown in Westlake, between Hawke and his usual tag team partner Jamie Tagataese. Hawke has now become the first Māori title holder.

“I think we’ve proved to a lot of people that we’re taking wrestling to the next level here in Aotearoa, and that’s all that matters tonight. All that mattered was to show everyone out there that we’ve got all the talent in the world for this line of mahi. Māori mā, Pasifika mā, kapa haka is in our blood, that’s our performance and just here is another stage that we can just do what we love and put it out there for the whānau to see.”

Beat his best friend

For the past seven years, Tagataese and Hawke have been close friends, winning the hearts and praise of many fans, and this match-up touted as speed vs power, definitely left the crowd in a frenzy.

“We owe everything to all of our whānau who come and support us, akiaki i ēnei moemoeā o māua. They take the time out of the day to come and support this dream we both have, that we want to make a career out of, so it means everything. As soon as I come out of the curtains, I can feel it, the mana, the wairua, I can just feel it. That’s what cheers me on, that’s what makes me do everything, flipping from wherever. It’s for them, it’s always for them.”

Hawkes is considering a move to Australia to further his wrestling career with the MCW Pro Wrestling Company.

But, before that, he has a title defence on the cards, as well as a potential reunion of his tag team to put on another spectacle for the masses.