The WWE sees the Middle East as a key growth market and is on the lookout for the next big global superstar – that’s according to the man helping bring some of the best fresh talent to the company.
Triple H, executive vice president of Talent, Live Events & Creative, is one of the legends of WWE but is now synonymous with nurturing young prospects since his move into the boardroom.
Abu Dhabi plays host to the larger-than-life superstars this week as they entertain crowds at Zayed Sport City Tennis Centre, but it could soon be homegrown talent that is taking centre stage.
Earlier this year, WWE held open tryouts in Dubai to try and discover new stars, and has since signed Jordanian Shadia Bseiso – the first female talent from the Middle East.
Now Triple H says he can see a day when the WWE has a performance centre in the region, helping develop local prospects.
“I can definitely see a performance centre being based in the Middle East, I can envision it globally,” he said. “It was the vision that we had when I first started this and I spoke with Vince (McMahon, WWE Chairman). It’s something that takes time and a lot of effort, but I am a big believer in our product and I am of the mindset of ‘if you build it they will come’.”
Now ‘The Game’ wants to forge a clear pathway for aspiring superstars.
“We are increasing the interest in markets such as the Middle East, India, even in the UK, but there really wasn’t a direct pathway to WWE before,” he said.
“If you weren’t in the US it was really like a pipedream to make it to the WWE. That was one of our goals, to create a pathway and pipeline that would allow these great talents and great athletes to make their way to the WWE.
“And that’s what we are still doing, whether it’s in the UK, Middle East or India. I am looking to find a grouping of talent who are interested and have the ability to make it, and then we can work training the talent, get them performing locally in markets and eventually become a WWE superstar.
“You could start them locally but then grow them to becoming the global household name that we all hope they will be.”
Triple H will step back into the ring on Friday night, December 8, when he takes on Roman Reigns in a repeat of their match at WrestleMania 32. It will be the first time he has performed in the UAE. He was a late addition to an already stacked card, with some of the company’s top talent in tow.
Tickets for WWE at Zayed Sport City Tennis Centre, December 8 and 9 are still available at https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net.
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