Wrestling history as Jeddah gets ready for royal rumble

World Wrestling Entertainment stars, from left, Finn Balor, Seth Rollins, Titus O’Neil and Roman Reigns. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 28 April 2018
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Wrestling history as Jeddah gets ready for royal rumble

  • Sell-out crowd will witness history in Jeddah as WWE's biggest stars come to town
  • Roman Reigns said that his previous Wrestlemania bout with Brock Lesnar “took every ounce of effort he had in the ring.” 

 JEDDAH: A sell-out crowd will witness history when the Saudi General Sports Authority and World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stage the Greatest Royal Rumble Special at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah. 

WWE stars are as excited as fans about the event on Friday, a first for the Kingdom. American wrestler Seth Rollins, the WWE intercontinental champion, told Arab News on Thursday that the Royal Rumble would be his first title defense. 

“You have three top-tier competitors aside from myself — the Miz, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor. Any one of them would make a great intercontinental champion, so I have to step up my game,” Rollins said.

Roman Reigns, a former American football player, said that his previous Wrestlemania bout with Brock Lesnar “took every ounce of effort he had in the ring.” 

Universal champion

Discussing his scheduled rematch with the universal champion, he said: “At the end of the day I fell short. This is a good example that at any time you have to be ready to pick yourself up.” 

Finn Balor said that wrestling contests brought out his alter ego. 

“When I am Finn Balor, I am relaxed and very chill, but when I enter the ring as the demon, I find the darker side to my personality.” 

The Greatest Royal Rumble will stream live on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view outside the Middle East. 

The event will be broadcast live in the Middle East on MBC Action, KSA Sports 1, Abu Dhabi Sports 1 and Abu Dhabi Sports 6, as well as stream live on Dawri Plus. 

The Friday card includes the first 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble match.


No joking: Ben Stiller directs gritty prison drama

You have the freedom to tell these kind of stories on TV and work in a way that is not just about bringing huge audiences to the theaters, said Ben Stiller. (Reuters)
Updated 16 October 2018
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No joking: Ben Stiller directs gritty prison drama

  • Stiller puts on his auteur hat to tell the gritty and fascinating tale of a woman who helped two murderers escape from an upstate New York jail near the Canadian border
  • Stiller, whose films have grossed nearly $3 billion (2.5 billion euros), said it would have been impossible to “do all the nuances of (prison) reality in two hours” on the big screen

CANNES, France: Hollywood star Ben Stiller put away his clown face Monday to premiere his directorial debut in Cannes, a stranger-than-fiction prison-break drama that is based on a true story.
The American actor best known for the “Zoolander” and “Night at the Museum” films directed all eight episodes of “Escape at Dannemora,” the first of which was screened at MIPCOM, the world’s top television and entertainment showcase in the French Riviera resort.
With a stellar cast that includes Benicio del Toro, Patricia Arquette and Paul Dano, Stiller puts on his auteur hat to tell the gritty and fascinating tale of a woman who helped two murderers escape from an upstate New York jail near the Canadian border.
Their 2015 break-out from the Clinton Correctional Facility at Dannemora riveted America.
The interest grew still more intense when it became clear that middle-aged female supervisor in the jail, Tilly Mitchell, was having sex with both men and was smuggling hacksaw blades and burger meat into them.
Stiller, whose films have grossed nearly $3 billion (2.5 billion euros), said it would have been impossible to “do all the nuances of (prison) reality in two hours” on the big screen.
“You wouldn’t have been able to tell the stories of all the characters... or have the chance to lay out their world and build the tension,” he said after the screening.
“Television is now the place where you can make the kind of movies we are not making anymore,” he added.
Imagine, he argued, trying to get over the reality of Mitchell working with a lone guard in a room “full of 40 murderers and rapists, each with a pair of shears, working for 35 cents an hour” for an outside company that was making a fat profit on all their backs.
Stiller spent nearly two years working on “Escape at Dannemora,” visiting the surviving escaper David Sweat for five hours and shooting in the prison yards where he plotted the break with the Machiavellian Richard Matt, a talented painter who wrapped other inmates and prison guards round his finger.
He said the script was based on the anti-corruption report written by New York inspector general Catherine Leahy Scott, which Stiller said “read like a novel.”
“It is hard not to identify with the protagonist in a prison escape, but we wanted to show who they were as people and why they were in jail,” Stiller added.
“You have the freedom to tell these kind of stories on TV and work in a way that is not just about bringing huge audiences to the theaters,” said the 52-year-old actor.
“It is the kind of story that I have wanted to tell but I’ve never done until now.”
The first episode of “Escape at Dannemora” will go out on Showtime in the US on November 18.