With Saudi superstar Mansoor signing for WWE’s Raw brand and now facing the organization’s biggest names on a weekly basis, wrestling’s popularity in the Kingdom continues to rise.
On top of that, Mansoor has also been doing his bit to raise the profile of his homeland among WWE’s global audience.
In three clips that proved very popular with social media audiences, Mansoor, who was born and raised in Riyadh, was seen talking three WWE colleagues — Drew McIntyre, Sheamus and Angel Garza — into supporting each of the clubs fighting it out for the Saudi Pro League title: Al-Ittihad, Al-Hilal and Al-Shabab, respectively.
And now Mansoor and some of the WWE Superstars involved in the “Greatest Royal Rumble,” which took place in Saudi Arabia in 2018, have been looking back on that history-making night.
Held at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, thousands of fans were in attendance for the first in a series of WWE events to take place in Saudi Arabia.
On April 27, 2018, the 50-man Royal Rumble was eventually won by Braun Strowman, who looks back on that victory as a significant moment in his career.
“From growing up in a small town in North Carolina, where the population is a couple of thousand, to representing my country at the Greatest Royal Rumble in history in Saudi Arabia, where I outlasted 49 other WWE superstars to hold the title over my head, was an amazing feeling,” he said.
“I never even imagined I’d be able to go to Saudi Arabia in my lifetime. I have the coolest job in the world. I’m living a fairy tale and every day it just gets better and better.”
For Mansoor, the event three years ago represented the first step in a hugely exciting journey.
“I remember having an amazing time at the ‘Greatest Royal Rumble’ in Jeddah,” he recalls. “My family were in the crowd and it was the first time I stood in the ring at a WWE pay-per-view event. Looking at the tens of thousands of people was a surreal experience. It was just after my tryout, so I was elated as I’d been chosen among four men to possibly join WWE. Here I am now, all these years later, trying to make my way, make history and cement my legacy.”
Seth Rollins and Sheamus are two of WWE’s most established performers, and they were hugely impressed by the passion of the Saudi spectators in Jeddah.
“I have a lot of great memories from the event, especially the people of Saudi Arabia and the reception we received,” says Rollins. “The WWE Universe in the Middle East is as strong as anywhere in the entire world, so that was incredible.”
Sheamus, the reigning US Champion, echoed those words, saying: “What a great crowd, the fans were electric.”
“Let me tell everybody in Saudi Arabia, I’m looking forward to the day when I can come back and hold the championship up above my head in front of all the great Celtic Warrior fans, and it won’t be too long,” he added.