WWE superstars meet Saudi’s Al-Nassr players before Riyadh Super ShowDown

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WWE stars mixed with players from Al-Nassr. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)
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WWE superstar Ricochet. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)
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Superstar Mansoor with Tag Team champions The New Day at Riyadh. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)
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Naomi gets ready to rumble in the Super ShowDown ring. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)
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Bayley - you wouldn't want to mess - will be defending her title. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)
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Updated 27 February 2020

WWE superstars meet Saudi’s Al-Nassr players before Riyadh Super ShowDown

  • The Super ShowDown at Riyadh will take place on Thursday
  • Superstar wrestlers spent the day rubbing shoulders with Al-Nassr football stars

The WWE superstars spent the last 24 hours before tonight’s Super ShowDown engaging with members of the press, meeting members Saudi National League football champions Al-Nassr and visiting The Boulevard in Riyadh.

 The highly anticipated showdown takes place tonight at Mohammed Abdu Arena on the Boulevard, the third WWE event hosted in the Kingdom in just over a year, following the Super ShowDown in Jeddah last February and crown Jewels in Riyadh in October.

Having delighted members of the local and international press by joking and taking selfies with them at media event earlier in the day, the likes of Goldberg, Ricochet, The Miz and John Morrison, Naomi and Bayley, and local hero Mansoor spent the afternoon exploring the city, and meeting fans, in the afternoon and early evening.

The Miz and John Morrison in their non-ring attire. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)

Robert Roode, Andrade and Angel Garza, along with Faisal Kurdi and Hussain Aldaqal, two rising Saudi stars from the WWE Performance Centre, headed to Al-Nassr’s training ground to meet the players, management and senior figures, before taking part in keepy-uppy sessions and a penalty shoot-out.

Before the WWE superstars departed, they presented Al-Nassr, who claimed the Saudi title last season, with a WWE championship belt.

Meanwhile, some of the WWE superstars headed to The Boulevard in Riyadh where they posed for iconic images as they prepare to perform at Super ShowDown in KSA on Thursday night.

Tag-team The New Day were joined by Saudi star Mansoor. (Mark Conlon/Seven Media)

Tag-team The New Day were joined by Saudi star Mansoor at one of Riyadh's most famous locations, and the venue for tonight's event, which takes place at the Mohammed Abdu Arena.

The New Day will be taking on The Miz and John Morrison in one of many exciting encounters taking place tonight.

Also on the card is Ricochet taking on WWE legend and champion Brock Lesnar for the championship belt; Bayley defending g her title against Naomi in the SmackDown Championship; and Goldberg taking on “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in the Universal Championship Match.

Rising star Morikawa outguns Thomas in dramatic playoff

Updated 14 July 2020

Rising star Morikawa outguns Thomas in dramatic playoff

  • Morikawa, who had been the pacesetter through the first two rounds

LOS ANGELES: American Collin Morikawa tapped in a putt on the third playoff hole to outduel Justin Thomas in a wild Sunday finish and capture the PGA Tour Workday Charity Open.

Morikawa, who had been the pacesetter through the first two rounds, rallied from three strokes down with three holes remaining to force the playoff at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

He then stayed alive by draining a 24-foot birdie putt on the first playoff hole immediately after third-round leader Thomas had made a jaw-dropping 50-foot putt for birdie.

“Amazing,” said the 23-year-old Morikawa, who carded a final round 66 to finish on 19-under par 269 and won for the second time on the  PGA Tour.

Sunday’s win made up for a disappointing loss in another dramatic playoff finish at the Charles Schwab Challenge four weeks ago in the PGA’s return from the COVID-19 calendar shutdown.

World No. 5 Thomas was trying to win for the 13th time on the Tour, but he was undone on the final hole of the playoff after his tee shot on the par-4 10th sailed right and landed behind a tree.

Thomas closed with a 69 but that included two bogeys in his final three holes after beginning his round with a two-stroke lead over Viktor Hovland, with Morikawa three adrift.

“I am pretty pissed off, it is the only way to explain it,” Thomas said. “I had a three-shot lead with three to go and completely handed it over.

“Collin played great. He had a very tough hole at 17.

“We both made two great birdies on the first playoff hole. I had two chances to win this thing in regulation and on the second playoff hole and I didn’t get it done.”

This week’s Workday Charity Open is the first of back-to-back events at the Jack Nicklaus designed Dublin, Ohio course. The Nicklaus-hosted Memorial will follow next week.

After rain, wind and lightning led to two suspensions on Friday, organizers decided to move the tee times up on Sunday to avoid any more weather delays.

Morikawa started Sunday’s round three shots back after opening with a 65 and 66 to lead the first and second rounds.

He quickly fought his way back to the top of the leaderboard with two birdies and an eagle in his first five holes.

He made three more birdies on the back nine including the par-4 17. Morikawa used an eight iron to spin his approach shot to eight feet then made the putt and celebrated with a fist pump.

His only blemish came on the par-4 13th when he made bogey as he closed with a 4-under 66.

The most dramatic moment of the round came on the first playoff hole as both players rolled in massive putts for birdies.

Thomas went first, making a 50-foot downhill putt for what appeared to be the victory. But Morikawa wasn’t going anywhere. He stayed alive by draining his putt, from just inside 25 feet, to send it back to the 18th tee for a second playoff hole.

Morikawa sealed the win on the 75th hole, two putting on the green after Thomas missed the fairway off the tee and had to chip out from behind a small tree with his second shot.

The win was Morikawa’s second in just his 24th start as a pro.