x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

WWE wrestlers send UAE fans wild

Fans came from across the region to witness legends such as Big Show and The Miz take to the ring.

ABU DHABI // It may have been the second show in as many days, but the action of WWE Live was as thrilling as ever at Zayed Sports City last night.

The arena was clearly busier on Friday night than during the first showing, as fans came out in their droves to watch their favourite wrestling stars battle it out in the ring.

The matches differed slightly from those on Thursday, but involved the same wrestlers.

The headline bout featured Daniel Bryan, Big Show, The Miz and Dolph Ziggler vs Randy Orton and The Shield.

But, of course, in the world of WWE, nothing is as straightforward as it seems.

In a key moment of drama early on in the event one of the headline stars, Big Show, was told he couldn’t compete due to a cancelled contract.

Fans groaned as Big Show left the arena, looking suitably dejected.

But the disappointment was short lived and the mammoth athlete ignored the orders of his superiors in order to make a triumphant return.

The fans’ appetite for combat was clearly satisfied, as the roars from inside the Zayed Sports City Tennis complex could be heard well outside its walls.

As with Thursdays showdown, fans travelled from far and wide to be in the capital to see their idols.

“I was a big fan of the old WWF wrestling, so it was great to come to Abu Dhabi to see this,” said Sultan Al Salem, who brought his eight-year-old son Rashid from Kuwait especially for WWE Live.

“I was shocked when I saw it was coming to the Middle East, so as soon as the tickets came out we bought them. We knew we had to come,” he said.

Anne Klein, originally from Germany, was at the event with her son, Julius, and said it wasn’t just fun for the boys.

“It is just great entertainment, I find it really funny,” she said.

“We have been a few of these WWE events before and I do enjoy it. The kids really love it”

“I just like watching the fighting,” said 12-year-old Julius, who admitted he wasn’t a stalwart WWE fan, but was still enjoying the spectacle.

“It is so good, really exciting, I love it,” said 14-year-old Jason Abi Najem, who has been a wrestling fan for three years, but until now had never experienced a live show.

Jason and his father, from Lebanon, live in Dubai, and both were right in the spirit of the event, shouting and cheering on the competitors from their seats.

Crowd interaction is always a key part of WWE and those in attendance were encouraged to voice their opinions on social media, with messages being displayed on the screens above the ring during the event.

“Day 2 and this show is already awesome,” tweeted user Mohamed Akl.

“The moment big show came out my childhood came back,” said Mohamed Osman.

“At WWEAbuDhabi tonight, first time I’ve seen the WWE live! :D,” tweeted Caatherine Hyde.

“WWEAbuDhabi we are loving every second, awesome weather, amazing arrangements so excited to be here,” said Usman Paracha.

A twitter vote was also held to determine if two of the wrestling stars, Jack Swagger and Jay Uso, should have a match or a dance-off.

Over half – 58 per cent – of those responding via twitter voted for a dance-off, which, in true WWE fashion, lasted all of two minutes before an angry battle commenced.

There is still a chance to see the action for yourself by visiting ticketmaster or www.wwe.com for tickets to tonight’s show.

ksinclair@national.ae