WWE fans get in on action for historic Saudi showdown

Wrestling fans got in on the action at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium as the General Sports Authority. (Photo/ Essam Al-Ghalib)
Updated 10 June 2019
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WWE fans get in on action for historic Saudi showdown

  • The wrestling spectacular in Jeddah set a major WWE milestone as Saudi Arabian superstar Mansoor Al-Shehail held his own against 49 other competitors
  • The evening marked the first-ever dream match showdown between two mega legends The Undertaker and Goldberg

JEDDAH: Wrestling fans got in on the action at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium as the General Sports Authority (GSA) hosted the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super ShowDown pay-per-view.

The wrestling spectacular in Jeddah set a major WWE milestone as Saudi Arabian superstar Mansoor Al-Shehail held his own against 49 other competitors and was victorious in the biggest battle royal in the sport’s history.

The evening marked the first-ever dream match showdown between two mega legends as The Undertaker and Goldberg met in a contest fans had been waiting to see for more than 20 years.

The pre-broadcast kickoff show saw The Usos tag team gain the first three-count victory of the night against The Revival.

The broadcast started with a successful Universal title defense as champion Seth Rollins beat Baron Corbin via a roll up. Finn Balor secured the second successful title defense of the program by performing his signature coup de grace (diving double foot stomp) on Andrade to retain his intercontinental crown. Shane McMahon, who had assistance from Drew McIntyre, provided the first upset victory on the card against Roman Reigns.

The Lucha House Party team was disqualified against US star Lars Sullivan. As the Lucha House Party started walking up the ramp, Lars followed them and beat down all three members, ensuring he had the last laugh in the encounter.

Randy Orton hit the RKO on Triple H for the win as the two revisited their rivalry for one more night. Braun Strowman proved to be a more powerful force than Bobby Lashley as he delivered a running powerslam for the three count.

The first member of the locker room to visit Saudi Arabia, WWE champion Kofi Kingston, continued his journey by defeating former two-time champ Dolph Ziggler.

A dream came true for the first Saudi WWE superstar, Al-Shehail, when he secured a famous win in front of his family and countrymen. Al-Shehail ran into the crowd to celebrate after the final match of the evening, which saw a clash of two of the biggest names in the sport.

The Undertaker took on Goldberg for the first time in their illustrious careers. The final moments of the fight saw Goldberg attempting to perform a tombstone piledriver attack, but the Deadman fought out and gave Goldberg a chokeslam for the three count.

The GSA-hosted WWE Super ShowDown is the third pay-per-view from the
Kingdom and second to emanate from the Bride of the Red Sea.


Iran assures FIFA that women can attend football qualifier

Updated 22 September 2019

Iran assures FIFA that women can attend football qualifier

  • FIFA traveled to Iran ahead of the weekend for talks on the matter of women and football
  • The Islamic republic has barred female spectators from football and other stadiums since 1981

MILAN: FIFA has been “assured” that Iran will lift its 40-year ban and allow women to attend a World Cup qualifying game next month.

Football’s governing body wants Iran to end its ban on women entering stadiums that breaches international football statutes prohibiting discrimination.

Global attention on the ban followed the death this month of a 29-year-old activist, Sahar Khodayari, who set herself on fire outside a courthouse. She had been detained for dressing as a man to enter a football stadium in Tehran and faced six months in prison.

“There is women’s football in Iran but we need Iranian women as well to be able to attend the men’s game,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a speech at a conference on women’s football on Sunday. “And we need to push for that with respect but in a strong and forceful way. We cannot wait anymore.

“We have been assured, that as of the next international game of Iran, women will be allowed to enter football stadiums. This is something very important, it is 40 years that this has not happened, with a couple of exceptions, but it is important to move to the next level and to the next stage.”

FIFA sent an inspection team to Iran this week to meet government and football officials ahead of Iran’s match against Cambodia at the 78,000-capacity Azadi Stadium on Oct. 10 — its first home match of the 2022 qualifying competition.

Infantino’s comments drew praise from United States outgoing coach Jill Ellis, who was at the same FIFA conference in Milan, two months after leading the American women’s team to a second successive World Cup title.

“I think it’s huge,” Ellis said. “FIFA has enough of a pull and ability to influence change and I think it’s absolutely the right thing. I mean I don’t think there should be any discrimination period and to not allow women to go see football I think is, I just can’t even wrap my brain around it in terms of it being something. I think if FIFA can influence that, I think it’s great.”