WWE recently completed their tryouts in Saudi Arabia, and ended with eight winners.
The tryouts are being held in conjunction with WWE’s April 28 Greatest Royal Rumble event and provided local athletes an opportunity to experience WWE training under Performance Center Head Coach Matt Bloom.
— Triple H (@TripleH) April 21, 2018
In a news release, the company announced the winners, who all come from a variety of athletic backgrounds.
- Hussain Aldagal, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder with a background in volleyball and bodybuilding
- Mansoor Al-Shehail, a 6-foot, 175-pounder who has trained under WWE Hall of Famer Dory Funk Jr.
- Faisal Kurdi, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound MMA fighter, amateur grappler and Muay Thai boxer
- Nasser Bawazer, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound champion in boxing, MMA and aikido
- Khalid Alhothali, a competitor in bodybuilding, as well as combat sports, including boxing and jiu-jitsu
- Abdullah Almagrabi, a 225-pound karate champion and boxing trainer
- Faisal Allabboudy, a 23-year-old whose athletic background includes competitive swimming, boxing and bodybuilding
- Asaad Alshareef, a 23-year-old Greco Roman and freestyle wrestler who has also trained in various martial arts
WWE announced the eight athletes would continue to receive training leading up to the Royal Rumble event and one of those athletes will be a part of the Greatest Royal Rumble event on April 28. However, WWE didn’t specify as to whether the athlete will be in the Royal Rumble match or just have a role on the show.
WWE is looking to expand their operations around the world and having training for athletes in countries where they are holding events is a good way to familiarize themselves with talent who are from the area. It doesn’t appear the eight winners have much – if any at all – wrestling experience, but their athletic backgrounds give them a good foundation they can build off of whether they get signed by WWE or decide to pursue their own wrestling career.
Fans won’t probably see many of these athletes in NXT, New Japan Pro Wrestling or the independents – there’s a chance some of them won’t go into pro wrestling. If these athletes do have a good experience, they will relay that to their friends and peers who may have pro wrestling aspirations.
While North America, Japan and Europe are known for being wrestling hotbeds have produced great wrestlers, there could be a hidden gem of talent or two in countries like Saudi Arabia. WWE is smart for holding tryouts because other promotions aren’t looking into those areas for talent at this time.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will air on the WWE Network on April 28. All of the WWE’s main roster men’s championships will be on the line. There will also be a singles match between John Cena and Triple H, as well as a casket match between The Undertaker and Rusev..
Below are the wrestlers who are confirmed for the Royal Rumble match.
- Daniel Bryan
- Big Show
- Braun Strowman
- Kurt Angle
- Apollo Crews
- Titus O’Neil
- Mojo Rawley
- Dolph Ziggler
- Baron Corbin
- Chad Gable
- Big E
- Kofi Kingston
- Xavier Woods
- Shelton Benjamin
- Chris Jericho
- Sin Cara
Tye Dillinger Requests Release from WWE
Tye Dillinger is ready to move on from WWE, and has officially asked for his release from the company.
Dillinger has been sparingly used since his call up from NXT almost 2 years ago, and with the rise of other promotions, and the launch of AEW, it’s no surprise that Dillinger has decided to go elsewhere.
Lio Rush Backstage Reputation
WWE superstar Lio Rush has been in the middle of a confusing wrinkle in his association with Bobby Lashley, who seems to be done with Rush, but still teaming with him.
Lashley attacked Rush following Fin Balor pinning Rush in their handicapped match at Elimination Chamber, which cost Lashley his Intercontinental Championship despite not being pinned.
It’s been an interesting direction for Rush’s character, and according to PWInsider’s Mike Johnson (h/t WrestlingNews.co) Rush may have a reputation backstage.
“It appears Lio Rush is done with Bobby Lashley. I can tell you behind the scenes there were not a lot of people surprised at that and not a lot of people surprised that Lio took the pin. There are times Lio has a reputation for rubbing people, including other workers, the wrong way. Whether that was being held against him and that was part of the reasoning for him losing or whether it was just a decision to protect Lashley and shift the belt to Finn Balor, I guess we’ll have to see based on how Lio is presented in the weeks and months to come.”
D-Generation X, with Chyna, to be Inducted in WWE Hall of Fame
Chyna will finally get recognized and honored as a WWE Hall of Famer.
According to ESPN, Degeneration-X will be officially inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2019.
Shawn Michaels, Triple H, The New Age Outlaws, X-Pac, and Chyna will all be inducted. It will mark Michaels’ second induction into the Hall of Fame.
“I think it’s the most meaningful for us all to go in together and to be recognized together,” Tripe H said, according to ESPN. “Because I think both groups were [just] as impactful.”
“It’s a funny thing, because DX was something that, before Kevin [Nash] and Scott [Hall] left, at the time we all talked about using ‘The Kliq’ as it was — kind of morphing that into television, since it was so out there anyways,” said Levesque. “But things worked out the way they did — they left, and the timing was right.”
“Shawn and I still wanted to do it. Vince saw the value in it, I guess, and finally let us go at it, by that point in time I was looking for a heater, and we had brought Chyna.”
Triple H went on to say Chyna deserved to be in the Hall of Fame.
“Look, people believe what they want to believe. When I said a few years ago on the Austin podcast, or show, or whatever you want to call it, there’s complexities around it,” said Triple H. “But absolutely, definitely deserves to be in there. It’d be tough to pick a female that was more impactful on the business. She did something that was completely so out of left field that it wasn’t even being considered when we first brought it up for her to come in. It wasn’t even a consideration… it wasn’t an easy thing, and against all odds she did all of that.”
And as far as Chyna being inducted in the future as single’s competitor, which she deserves, Triple H is confident it will happen eventually.
“From that standpoint, absolutely 100 percent deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, and should probably be more than once — as a group, but individually as well,” Levesque continued. “There’s more complexity to that than meets the eye, but here we are. I’m just happy that it’s here. I’m happy for her family, the people that she was close to, that hopefully this is super meaningful to them. I know it would be to her. It’s a great thing — very deserving.”
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