RIYADH — World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) stars rocked their frenzied fans in Saudi Arabia at a dazzling WWE Crown Jewel show at a packed King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh Friday.
Wrestling stars such as Shane McMahon, Seth Rollins and AJ Style brawled and snarled in the ring, sending a roar rippling through the soccer stadium.
With thumping rock music and a sparkling fireworks display, Hulk Hogan, the host for the evening, swaggered to the ring wearing bright yellow sunglasses and a red bandana.
Addressing the crowd as “maniacs”, he declared: “It’s awesome to be here!”
Brock Lesnar won the WWE Universal Championship, while Shane McMahon, SmackDown commissioner and minority owner of WWE, claimed WWE World Cup trophy.
“World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the statement from the WWE representatives said.
“Similar to other US-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event.”
It was the second WWE event held in the Kingdom this year as part of a 10-year agreement with Saudi Arabia’s General Sports Authority, headed by Turki Al-Asheikh, who was present at the event.
The first Saudi-hosted WWE event, the Greatest Royal Rumble, which was held in Jeddah last April, was a massive success.
The Kingdom has become a land to attract major sports championships, including WWE matches, which will be hosted during the next ten years after the long-term partnership with the WWE.
By hosting such international events Saudi Arabia aims to satisfy its fans’ desire of watching big sport in the Kingdom. The recent 2018 Superclasico matches in Riyadh and Jeddah earned wide acceptance and accolades for the Kingdom.
The wrestling fans too were lucky to see their favorite stars here in the Kingdom than travelling to other countries to attend these competitions.
The sell-out of all WWE tickets within 3 hours points to the great popularity of this sport among the Saudis, and there is an unprecedented demand for such international championships.
Hosting major sports championships in the Kingdom is part of a strategy aiming to help the citizens avoid the trouble of traveling to watch their favorite events.
The Sports Authority has successfully organized a variety of sports and recreational competitions and events. — Agencies.