Professional Ladies Wrestling has never lacked for foreign-born competitors. Battalions of women from the four corners of the Earth and Parts Unknown have marched through the squared circle for generations.
Few, however, can claim the truly exotic heritage of Zuezah Zaaraa Ali-faa. For one thing, she isn't veiled for the same reasons as, say, a Mexican Luchadora. Rather, adhering to her tenets, she must not reveal her face to any man but her husband, lest her beauty drive men to impurity.
However, this mysterious woman is more than just the expected ‘Arabian princess'. "My father is Saudi, but my mother is Indian," she tells LadySports. "I grew up in India, where roles for women are not as limited as they are in the Middle East. I choose to wear a veil, but I also choose to pursue a career in American wrestling."
"I watched wrestling with my father, who loved the sport and had often said he wished for a son who could become a wrestler" she continues... but hastens to add that her decision to become a wrestler herself was not one which would have pleased her family. Thus, she had to seek out training clandestinely. "Our family has a dear friend, Shailendra Batra, and he understood and supported my desire. He trained me thoroughly in the American wrestling style, although we had to keep it a secret from my family for a very long time."
Growing up, "ZZ" was an avid football player (the soccer variety to you Americans), and thus quite athletic, as well as a dedicated competitor. "I have always been strong, both in body and in spirit. I crave challenges, which is what appeals to me about wrestling. The fact that it was presumed by so many that I could not compete as a wrestler because of who I am and where I am from... that was a challenge I was determined to overcome. And I have; it was the first of many challenges I have prevailed over."
American wrestling is popularly syndicated across India, which is what drew ZZ to the U.S., rather than to Japan or Europe. She particularly cites John Cena as an inspiration to come West. But she was also drawn by the opportunities for women in the United States... opportunities for career and success found in few other places around the world. "It's ironic, in order to fulfill my dream... and, in a sense, my father's dream... I had to leave the home I love and come to America."
Moving to the United States, she lived with relatives in New York and entered the sport, working a multitude of small independent promotions, plying her trade and paying her dues. Over the course of two years, she began to earn a reputation as a formidable competitor... and also a reputation as a woman who does not feel strictly bound by the rulebook. "The nature of these contests is victory," she says. "That is all that interests me. When I began, I attempted to adhere to the rules. However, it quickly became apparent to me that the referees were giving preferential treatment to my opponents... undoubtedly because their wanton exhibitionism of flesh had led the officials to renege on their duties in efforts to curry favor with the harlots. I had no recourse but to take matters into my own hands, and to conduct myself as I see fit in the ring."
Rulebreaking led to even greater success, and recently ZZ was invited to come to Texas by Al Farat, both to wrestle as well as to serve as his valet. "Before, Al Farat was powerful," she says. "But now with me, he is even greater." And there can be no denying their success together. As for ZZ, she has also continued to wrestle solo, but has not formed a very complimentary opinion of Texas ladies yet. "I have yet to find one who can give me a worthwhile challenge. I am disappointed to learn that I had been misled; it was my understanding that women from Texas were impressive, but I have found no proof of that."
In addition to a demanding training schedule, ZZ prepares for each match by learning as much as she can about her opponents, cannily studying their strengths and weaknesses. "I make myself ready mentally prior to my matches, and then I push myself to my physical limits in the ring. For you see, my toughest opponent is not the woman I am wrestling... it is my own high standard of excellence, and thus I challenge myself to be better each and every time."
Zuezah Zaaraa Ali-faa is a woman of no regrets. "I learn and I press forward. There is no looking back." Asked what she hopes to accomplish over the course of her career, she says, "I will prove that women can do anything. I am proving it here in America, and someday I will prove it all across the world."