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
Former WWE Star Lanny Poffo Dies at 68
Former WWE star Lanny ‘The Genius’ Poffo has reportedly died at the age of 68, according to his close friend “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan, although no cause of death has been given at the time of this writing.
Poffo made his in-ring debut with the All-South Wrestling Alliance back in 1974, and also wrestled for a number of promotions such as the National Wrestling Alliance where he won a tag-team title with his father, Angelo.
Poffo debuted for WWE back in 1985 where he would be known as “Leaping Lanny Poffo” and “The Genius.”
Poffo would return to WWE back in 2015 to induct his brother, ‘Macho Man’ Randy Savage, into the WWE Hall of Fame in a touching induction ceremony ahead of WrestleMania 31.
“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius,” Duggan said on Twitter.
Braun Strowman Talks Brock Lesnar Shooting On Him at Royal Rumble
WWE superstar Braun Strowman has had a number of memorable moments during his career at WWE, but none are quite like the 2018 Royal Rumble where Brock Lesnar got upset with Strowman for catching him with a knee.
Lesnar didn’t take to kindly and immediately hit Strowman with a flurry of legitimate punches, including a right hand to his jaw.
“Shit got real” Strowman said, during an interview with BT Sport.
“I mean, at the end of the day it’s two scary guys, two dominant males, not wanting to give an inch to either one, and we took it from each other. Things happen. We’re not playing, we’re not ballet, we’re not badminton. We’re physical. He’s [Lesnar] 300lbs, of just unadulterated animalistic beast and I’m a 385lbs monster. Things happen. At the end of the day, we made one hell of a segment, that’s what really happened.”
“I pat myself on the back. I think I’m the only person in history to take an overhand right from Brock Lesnar and not get knocked out. Anytime you get in the ring with “The Beast” and mix it up, the bigger the challenge the better. If you’re not wrestling the best, then who’d you beat?”
Ex-NJPW Star Karl Fredericks Signs with WWE
Former New Japan Pro Wrestling star Karl Fredericks has officially signed with WWE following the conclusion of his four-year tenure with NJPW. Fredericks announced on social media back in summer 2022 that he would not re-sign with NJPW.
Fredericks was initially linked to WWE last September, when he was reportedly spotted at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.
According to PW Insider, Fredericks has officially signed with WWE and will be a part of the NXT brand initially.
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