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Mansoor on WWE Eventually Building a Performance Center in the Middle East, Believes Women Will be Allowed to Wrestle in Saudi Arabia

September 14, 2019 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris
Mansoor Super ShowDown 1

Esquire Middle East recently interviewed NXT Superstar Mansoor. Below are some highlights

On not feeling pressure for being the first Saudi Arabian in WWE: “I don’t really think about it much. I feel like the bigger the stage the more comfortable I feel. I enjoy the feeling of being in centre of the ring watched by tens of thousands of people. The first time that happened was at [the WWE live event] the Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah. I was not even part of the company and I was in the ring as part of the try-out in front of a packed stadium. I got on the microphone and spoke to the audience and, for some reason, it was the least amount of nerves I have ever had in wrestling. I’ve wrestled in front of crowds of fifty people in a school gym before, and that is always more nerve-racking.”

Mansoor on his WWE tryout: “There is nothing like wrestling in terms of cardio and conditioning. You can go on the treadmill, you can run laps, but when you have to do deadlift sandbags and slam them, and literally carry people around the ring. That stuff is almost exclusive to what we do. At the tryouts I remember thinking ‘this is it, my one shot at my dream’. I have never put myself through so much. The physical intensity for the workouts we did in the ring were brutal, and as the only person there with previous wrestling experience I didn’t just need to do them well, I needed to do them better than anyone else.”

Mansoor on WWE eventually building a Performance Center in the Middle East: “To my knowledge there are no real wrestling schools in the region, but I will say this, the more we can acclimate people in Saudi Arabia to the culture of professional wrestling, and integrate it to the culture of Saudi Arabia the more it’s going to be accepted and considered acceptable as a career. I believe that the WWE will build a performance centre [the company’s training facility] somewhere in the Middle East, most likely Saudi Arabia, for all Arab talent to develop and cultivate. It such an incredible market, it was always an underrated market.”

Mansoor on his belief that women will be allowed to perform in a WWE ring: “People have a lot of opinions about the Saudi shows, in terms of cultural impact that can only happen when the culture is more familiar with what wrestling is. My nieces, who live in Riyadh, are big wrestling fans, and I want them to be able to go to wrestling shows and see the women wrestlers perform. We saw it in Abu Dhabi with Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss, but progress is like a staircase, you can’t jump every step. When it comes to a country’s culture you have to slowly integrate. Personally, I truly do believe we will see women performing in Saudi Arabia in a WWE ring one day.”

article topics :

Mansoor, WWE, Jeffrey Harris