JEDDAH: Sixty thousand people mounted the seats of a sold-out King Abdullah International Stadium as fans and families witnessed the Greatest Royal Rumble in history on Friday.
It was also the first wrestling match in the region where ladies were allowed, giving families the chance of a memorable night together. The crowd was diverse and included men and women of all ages. The audience showed their support by impersonating their favorite wrestlers.
A 17-year-old called Jeff Hardy Jr. was thrilled and said: “I am so excited. I have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time.”
The first match of the historic night was John Cena vs. Triple H. The majority of the crowd was on Cena’s side, lapping up his theme song “The Time is Now,” and whenever he was on the ground the whole stadium shook with the chanting of his name.
Cena was victorious in this legendary bout, and that shook up the audience up for the rest of the night. Fans showcased their excitement with a fan wave that went around the stadium four times.
The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) pulled out all the stops to ensure the success of the Greatest Royal Rumble, with all seven men’s titles on the line and a card that included the ladder match, the casket match and the cage match.
The Royal Rumble had 50 men instead of the traditional 30, which itself made it a historic event. In addition, the first Saudi contestants to become a part of the WWE universe were announced and received a deafening welcome from the fans.
Duniya, 24, said: “Actually it’s my first time seeing WWE live. I think it’s amazing that woman can come to the stadium with their families and enjoy.”
The night came to an end when Braun Strowman ran into Big Cass and knocked him out, winning the greatest 50-man Royal Rumble match.
Vince McMahon, chairman and CEO of WWE, awarded the belt and the trophy to Strowman in person, which was celebrated with the loudest cheers of the night and followed by fireworks.
WWE is immensely popular across the Middle East. It has an Arabic website and has organized events in other Gulf Arab nations.