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

1 / 7
Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
2 / 7
Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
3 / 7
Midway through the night, local hero Mansoor won his match against Dolph Ziggler, ensuring the crowd would go home happy. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
4 / 7
John Morrison and The Miz overcome The New Day in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match and claim their title. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
5 / 7
6 / 7
Young fans in Riyadh enjoying the action as WWE wows the crowds in Saudi Arabia once again. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
7 / 7
Young fans in Riyadh enjoying the action as WWE wows the crowds in Saudi Arabia once again. (AN Photo/Huda Bashatah)
Short Url
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.


Manchester City’s European ban quashed on appeal

Updated 13 July 2020

Manchester City’s European ban quashed on appeal

  • Initial fine of $34 million was also reduced to $11.3 million on appeal

LAUSANNE: Manchester City will be free to play Champions League football next season after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted a two-season ban from European competitions imposed by UEFA on Monday.
An initial fine of $34 million was also reduced to $11.3 million on appeal.
City were accused of deliberately inflating the value of income from sponsors with links to the Abu Dhabi United Group, also owned by City owner Sheikh Mansour, to avoid falling foul of financial fair play (FFP) regulations between 2012 and 2016.
The case against City was reopened when German magazine Der Spiegel published a series of leaked emails in 2018.
However, CAS found that “most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred.”
City welcomed the decision that will have huge ramifications on the club’s finances and potentially the future of manager Pep Guardiola and star players such as Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling.
“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisers are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the club welcomes the implications of today’s ruling as a validation of the club’s position and the body of evidence that it was able to present,” City said in a statement.
“The club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”
Since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover 12 years ago, City’s fortunes have been transformed from perennially living in the shadow of local rivals Manchester United to winning four Premier League titles in the past eight years among 11 major trophies.
On Saturday, they secured qualification for the Champions League for a 10th consecutive season with a 5-0 win at Brighton.
More silverware could come before the end of the season as Guardiola’s side face Arsenal in the FA Cup semifinals on Saturday before restarting their Champions League campaign in August, holding a 2-1 lead over Real Madrid from the first leg of their last 16 tie.
City’s victory in court will raise fresh questions over how effectively UEFA can police FFP.
But European football’s governing body said it remained committed to the system which limits clubs to not losing more than 30 million euros, with exceptions for some costs such as youth development and women’s teams, over a three-year period.
“UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations,” UEFA said in a statement.
“Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.”