JEDDAH: Fifty World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars packed Al-Jowhara Stadium at King Abdullah Sports City to almost full capacity Friday night for the Super ShowDown and Battle Royal, held under the open skies.
As fireworks lit the night above the stadium, 50 wrestlers crammed into the ring for almost 25 minutes until there remained only one man standing, Saudi Arabia’s Mansoor Al-Shehail, who was crowned champion of the largest Battle Royal in WWE history.
“To represent the Kingdom around the world is amazing,” he said during a post-match interview. “To win the largest WWE Battle Royal in history is amazing. I can’t ask for anything better.”
Billed as a family event, it was attended by people of all ages. “It’s like a dream come true,” said Jabr Al-Rasheed, 17. “Ever since I was a child, I was watching WWE, and now live in front of me is every single wrestler that I love.”
For 10-year-old Faisal Al-Gosaibi, what made the night special was that he was able to enjoy it with his parents.
“I feel really good because my mom and dad are having fun with me and I like having fun with my family,” he said.
His brother Khaled shared the same sentiment, saying: “I really like it because I’m coming here with my family and we’re really having a good time and enjoying it.”
Equally enthusiastic were many adults in the crowd, who had been waiting for some time to attend a WWE event in the Kingdom.
“It’s amazing. It’s like a dream come true,” said Ava, who is in her 30s. “Whenever we used to watch WWE on TV, or any other country used to host it, we used to wonder why we can’t have it.”
Rashed Aseel, 36, said his 11-year-old son Ahmad “is a huge fan of wrestling, me not so much. It’s Ahmad’s birthday so I had to bring him, but I’m enjoying the father and son time we’re having together.”
Friday night’s event marked the WWE’s third in the Kingdom.