The journey of WWE's first Chinese recruits
HoHo Lun speaks about departing the WWE Performance Center to return to Hong Kong
On Thursday, members of the WWE Universe took note of an Instagram post by HoHo Lun, the pioneer of Hong Kong sports-entertainment who had been a fixture of the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, for the past 13 months.
Along with an image of a tranquil Florida park, Lun wrote the caption, “Thank you America.” It was accompanied by hashtags like #newchapter. The post came amid reports that Lun — who competed in last year’s Cruiserweight Classic, as well as on NXT — had been released by WWE.
In an interview with WWE.com, Lun confirmed that he had been released, but by his own request. He asked for his release two weeks ago so that he could return home to look after his ailing mother.
“I went to Hong Kong for vacation about three weeks ago and that’s when I realized that my mother is sick,” he said. “That’s why I decided to tell Matt Bloom, the head coach of the PC, that I wanted to request my release.”
WWE granted his request, and Lun returned home to rejoin his family earlier this week. For Lun, a lifelong fan of sports-entertainment who founded a wrestling organization in Hong Kong before joining WWE, the decision was not easy. Making matters more difficult was the fact that WWE will make its debut in Shenzhen, China, on Sept. 17 — an event that Lun hoped to be part of.
“One of my top goals was to perform in front of WWE Live fans in China,” he said. “It was a really tough decision because I wanted to perform in my home.”
Nonetheless, Lun returns to a fledgling but increasingly vibrant scene in China and Southeast Asia, armed with a wealth of new experience from his time in the United States. He is already scheduled to wrestle matches in Singapore and Macau, and he says he plans to share what he has learned at the Performance Center with his fellow grapplers back home.
While he takes on the unofficial role of wrestling ambassador to Hong Kong, Lun leaves a lasting impression at the PC. Following WWE’s signing of eight Chinese national athletes over the past year, Lun, who is bilingual, was pivotal in helping the recruits acclimate to their new surroundings. Several of the recruits had very little familiarity with sports-entertainment before joining WWE, and most spoke extremely limited English.
“Having the job of helping them get used to America — not just doing things in the ring, about wrestling, but helping them figure out how to be a foreigner living in America — that’s absolutely something I’m proud of,” he said.
Lun also said he will miss the friends he made at the Performance Center, but he remains excited for his own future, both at home and, perhaps, in WWE.
“I want to thank the WWE fans for supporting me over the last 13 months,” Lun said. “I hope that they can keep following me with my next journey, because I will be making history by helping the scene in Asia. And maybe one day, I can come back to WWE again and perform as a WWE Superstar.”