WWE has signed Egyptian boxer Mohamed Fahim to a developmental contract. The 28-year-old has been boxing competitively since 2007, winning championships at university level as well as gold medals in national events.
He is also an accomplished kickboxer, winning a national competition in 2014. His MMA record stands at 1-0.
Fahim clocks in at 6’1″, weighing 220 pounds.
The signing comes after Fahim impressed WWE talent scouts during a four-day tryout in Dubai last year. Along with Fahim, several other prospects who were at the Dubai trials have been signed to the WWE recently. Shadia Bseiso of Jordan was the first female Arab to join WWE, while Nasser Alruwayeh became the first Kuwaiti man to sign.
Kavita Devi led a trio of Indians into the WWE by becoming the first woman from the country to join, with Rinku Singh, the former baseball player who was famously the subject of Netflix movie “Million Dollar Arm”, and Indian TV star Saurav Gurjar following Devi’s lead.
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.
— Sport360° (@Sport360) December 3, 2017
The sports entertainers will wow crowds in Abu Dhabi on December 7 and 8 at the Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium with a stellar line-up of some of the company’s leading superstars.
Reigns, now a seven-year veteran of WWE, says he can’t wait to perform in the capital: “I’m super excited,” the 32-year-old said.
“This show is going to be excellent, the energy is always up and the talent we are going to bring is incredible.”
Reigns will take on WWE royalty in Triple H – a mouthwatering clash which is sure to capture the imagination of all.
“Going against Triple H, I think that speaks for itself.” He said. “We were the main event of the largest WrestleMania of all time and we are proud to be able to bring this to the WWE Universe in Abu Dhabi. I can guarantee we are going to put on a spectacular show.”
Never one to shy away from the limelight, Reigns has had his ups and downs in the ring – but wouldn’t change anything: “It’s been an awesome roller-coaster ride and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. I am grateful for all the opportunities and the things I have been able to enjoy and achieve. It’s been a great run thus far.”
Although he might not always be the most popular with certain pockets of WWE fans, Reigns has been compared to some of the greats of sports entertainment and has become the face of the company.
“I never look at it as being the next anybody, I just want to be first Roman Reigns,” he added. “It’s very flattering, you’re in good company when you are being compared to John Cena and Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), but all I can be is me, all I can be is Roman Reigns and that’s all I want to be.”
Joining Roman Reigns in Abu Dhabi is a lengthy list of superstars including Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, The Bar, Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Braun Strowman and Finn Balor.
Tickets for the shows at the Zayed Sports City Tennis Stadium on December 7 and 8 are available at https://abu-dhabi.platinumlist.net.