Victory for Saudi wrestler Mansoor is a highlight of WWE SuperShowDown in Riyadh

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Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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John Morrison and The Miz overcome The New Day in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match and claim their title. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Young fans in Riyadh enjoying the action as WWE wows the crowds in Saudi Arabia once again. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Young fans in Riyadh enjoying the action as WWE wows the crowds in Saudi Arabia once again. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
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Updated 28 February 2020

Victory for Saudi wrestler Mansoor is a highlight of WWE SuperShowDown in Riyadh

  • Also spoke about desire to see more Saudis enter WWE
  • The Undertaker, a perennial favourite in Saudi Arabia, delighted the crowd by winning the 5-man Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match

RIYADH: The highly anticipated WWE Super ShowDown in Riyadh on Thursday night was everything that wrestling fans could have hoped for.

The crowd inside Mohammed Abdu Arena on the Boulevard were treated to some impressive fireworks — both literally, in the form of pyrotechnics, and figuratively, thanks to some incredible action in the ring.

Local hero Mansoor played his part in ensuring the crowd went home happy when he won his match against American grappler Dolph Ziggler.

“Your voices carried me tonight,” the Saudi star told his ecstatic fans as he saluted them after the fight. “When I had nothing it was you who lifted me up. Tonight we showed WWE we are here to stay.”

Later, he said: “Inshallah I want 20, 30, 40, 50, 100 more wins. This wasn’t the first and won’t be the last, I guarantee you 100 percent.

“And it won’t be just me, it’s gonna be Hussein, it’s gonna be Faisal, it’s gonna be every other person who gets signed and comes to the WWE. I am so proud and so thankful to be the first one to do that, to pave the way,”

Mansoor added that he hopes to see many more Saudis join the WWE, and urged those who are interested to take part in upcoming tryouts in Riyadh.

“I want Saudi vs Saudi in the ring,” he said. “I want the crowd to not know who to cheer for.”

The evening began with a tag-team victory for The O.C. over The Viking Raiders that warmed up the crowd on cool Riyadh evening. The opening bout was followed by a procession of crowd favorites that got fans on their feet and cheering.

The Undertaker, a perennial favorite in Saudi Arabia, delighted the audience by unexpectedly entering and winning the five-man Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet match. This was followed by one of the biggest clashes of the night, as the brash John Morrison and The Miz defeated reigning SmackDown Tag Team Championship title holders The New Day. A day earlier, The Miz had told fans to “expect the unexpected, expect new champions” — and duly delivered on the promise.

“The New Day put on a hell of performance but ours was just a little better,” said Morrison. His partner was a little less modest about the win.

“We were exceptional,” said The Miz. “Let’s put it this way: The New Day gave us everything they had to offer.” He was also full of praise for the fans who turned up at the event, saying: “I loved the audience. I was really surprised by them.” Morrison added: “We would definitely come back.”

Reigning WWE Raw Tag Team champions Seth Rollins and Murphy held onto their title with victory over The Street Profits and did not hold back on the celebrations.

“I feel so good about my performance,” said Rollins. “I’m very proud of myself and this young man here; he really stepped up tonight.”

In the other bouts, Angel Garza defeated Humberto Carrillo in a singles match, defending champion Brock Lesnar saw off challenger Ricochet in a WWE Championship match, and Bayley held onto her WWE SmackDown Women’s Championship title with victory over Naomi.

Roman Reigns defeated King Corbin in a Steel Cage match, while Goldberg toppled reigning champion “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt in the evening’s final bout, the WWE Universal Championship.

The WWE superstars spent the day before the Super Showdown making new friends as the traveled around Riyadh, including players from Al-Nassr Football Club, the Saudi soccer champions. Thanks to their performances in the ring at WWE Super Showdown, they made a few more.


Lewandowski scores 30th goal of season as Bayern close on title

Updated 07 June 2020

Lewandowski scores 30th goal of season as Bayern close on title

  • Bayern struck twice in quick succession just before half-time to turn the game in their favor

BERLIN: Robert Lewandowski scored his 30th league goal of the season on Saturday as Bayern Munich came from behind to claim a 4-2 victory at Bayer Leverkusen and move a step closer to the Bundesliga title.

After Lucas Alario secured an early lead for the home side, Bayern struck twice in quick succession just before half-time to turn the game in their favor after Kingsley Coman’s equalizer.

Lewandowski netted in the second half as Bayern established a 10-point lead over title rivals Borussia Dortmund, who host Hertha Berlin later on Saturday.

The game also saw Bayern lend their support to protests over the death of black American man George Floyd, with all their players wearing armbands bearing the slogan “Black Lives Matter.”

With their talisman and Bayern transfer target Kai Havertz ruled out with a muscle injury, Leverkusen turned to Alario to lead the line against the champions.

The Argentine delivered after just 9 minutes, beating the offside trap after a throw-in to slot the ball past Manuel Neuer.

A mistake from Moussa Diaby allowed Coman to curl in the equalizer, before a fizzing shot from Leon Goretzka and an elegant lob from Serge Gnabry saw Bayern take a 2-goal lead before half-time.

Lewandowski finished the job with a well-placed header after the break, reaching the 30-goal mark for only the second time in his Bundesliga career, but there was still time for 17-year-old Florian Wirtz to curl in a consolation goal for Leverkusen before the final whistle.

Elsewhere, a late equalizer from Christian Strohdiek gave bottom-of-the-table Paderborn a faint glimmer of hope in the race for survival, as they snatched a 1-1 draw away to RB Leipzig.

Chelsea-bound Leipzig striker Timo Werner set up Patrik Schick on 27 minutes to give Leipzig the lead, but they were forced to defend it with 10 men after Dayot Upamecano was booked twice in the first half.

Strohdiek’s last-minute strike gave Paderborn their fourth draw in five games, though Steffen Baumgart’s side remain 8 points off Fortuna Duesseldorf who occupy the relegation playoff place.

Duesseldorf themselves missed the chance to move toward safety, as they battled to a dramatic 2-2 draw against 10-man Hoffenheim.

A headed opener from Rouwen Hennings and a red card for Hoffenheim’s Benjamin Huebner put the home side in pole position, but the visitors struck back with goals from Munas Dabbur and Steven Zuber before Hennings saved a point with a late penalty.

Uwe Roesler’s side remain 3 points adrift of survival, after goals from Moussa Niakhate and Pierre Kunde Malong gave fellow strugglers Mainz a rare 2-0 win over local rivals Eintracht Frankfurt.