With the WWE’s Middle East mega-event rolling into the UAE’s capital city this week, excitement is building in Abu Dhabi and beyond.
– #360WIN: Tickets and superstar meet-and-greet – WWE LIVE Abu Dhabi
– WWE The Latest Chat: Bryan to contest Reigns’ Wrestlemania challenge
Following the success of both the 2012 and 2013 events, fans in the UAE have grown in number, as have expectations.
A seriously strong field of wrestlers – including John Cena, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler and Rusev – have all been promised, while the main event street fight between Cena and Rollins should be an absolute treat.
But how will it compare to the previous shows at Zayed Sports City?
The first year went off with a bang as the rivalry between Kane and John Cena took centre stage in dramatic fashion. A press conference saw Cena put his nemesis through a table before the pair went about dismantling each other across the three nights of action.
A burgeoning roster of Superstars that now headline main events showcased their talents in the middle of the cards but it was ‘The Yes Man’, Daniel Bryan, and Randy Orton who took centre stage at a time dominated by the influence of The Shield.
As for what’s in store this year? We think it’s best to leave that to the experts so here is what Kofi Kingston, Sami Zayn and Jack Swagger told Sport360 about WWE LIVE Abu Dhabi III.
Kofi Kingston – Former WWE Intercontinental (4x), United States (3x) and Tag Team (3x) champion
It is going to be a great show in Abu Dhabi, it always is. Every time I have been there, the fans have been electric and really excited. I am going to be there with my partners Xavier Woods and Big E and we are going to be taking on Stardust. All the matches are going to be awesome and anybody who is a WWE fan needs to check it out because it is going to be a great show on all three days.
Every time I have come to the Middle East, it has always been better and better. To be there and to experience it – it is not just the arena and the show but from moment we land, there is a ton of fans everywhere. Everyone is very supportive and it is a great time, no matter where we are.
Sami Zayn – Current WWE NXT champion and first Arabic WWE champion
For me, wrestling in Abu Dhabi, or even in Saudi Arabia last year, it feels almost like wrestling in Montreal, my hometown where I was born. It feels like I’m wrestling in front of my people, it feels like home, even though it’s obviously not.
“I’m blessed and fortunate to be able to perform in front of the Middle Eastern fans. Wrestling in the Middle East it is a huge deal for me.”
It’s a great feeling. I’m blessed and fortunate to be able to perform in front of the Middle Eastern fans, I can’t wait to get back to Abu Dhabi for February 12, 13 and 14. Any time I get the chance to wrestle in the Middle East it is a huge deal for me, I’m looking forward to it, and I’m very excited about this upcoming tour.
Jack Swagger – Former WWE World Heavyweight, United States and ECW champion and 2010 Money in the Bank
It is the third time that I’ve been out to Abu Dhabi and every time I’ve been it’s been amazing. The events have really opened my eyes as to how vast the WWE’s global brand is. And this year we have John Cena, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, myself and Dolph Ziggler so it’s an incredible atmosphere.
I’m very excited to come out there and perform and once again experience the culture and put on a show for our fans in the UAE.
— WWE MENA (@WWEmena) January 27, 2015
Simply answer one question about WWE Superstar John Cena to be in with a chance of winning one of two pairs of tickets to each night of the WWE LIVE event in Abu Dhabi from Thursday 12 to Saturday 14 February.
Not only that, we will also be giving away the chance for lucky fans to meet their favourite WWE Superstars while they are in the UAE.
To submit your response, either give your answer below and fill out your contact details or tweet us using #360win with your answer.
Entrants must reside in the UAE and be able attend one of the dates above.
Following last week’s forced in-ring hiatus, the WWE train rolled back into Denver in dramatic fashion.
Right from the off, The Authority took charge of the crowd, playing on the frustrations of the WWE Universe in an attempt to shape storyline and make it seem ‘all part of the act’.
It may not have been received too well by fans but the resulting matches and stipulations going forward prove a nice curveball that should give all the chance to put Royal Rumble disappointment behind them.
Big, bad Triple H came out with his life partner in crime, Stephanie McMahon, and the pair made some interesting plays designed at spicing up the run-in to Wrestlemania.
Usually a straight line to the finish line following the Rumble, the WWE have now thrown in Roman Reigns vs Daniel Bryan at their new PPV, ‘Fast Lane’, for the right to take on Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania.
Bryan first had to go through Seth Rollins for the right to be in that final showdown, an enthralling encounter which showcased both wrestlers’ claims for a run at the title.
While the WWE are unlikely to once again shoehorn Bryan into a Wrestlemania main event, this does give Reigns the chance to truly prove himself as the No. 1 contender and a rightful Wrestlemania star in the making.
Elsewhere, this week’s Raw was very ‘talky’, but we did see another example of the wide array of talent on the roster at the minute.
Jimmy Uso and Cesaro teased what might yet be a scintillating tag team battle, while Dolph Ziggler and Bray Wyatt gave another superb showing.
The latter pair are really upping their game and both will be hot on the heels of Reigns, Rollins and Bryan in search of tackling the ‘big guns’, Lesnar and John Cena.
MOVE OF THE WEEK – Ryback’s one-arm delayed vertical suplex
An utter show of strength and power from The Big Guy as he gives Luke Harper a lesson in suplexing after a powerful initial play from Harper.
TRIBUTE OF THE WEEK
Not a usual part of this column but the last month has seen some nice points to the past from the WWE. This week they looked at Black History Month and paid tribute to some of the first black wrestlers to have made their mark in the company.
TWEETS OF THE WEEK
— The Big Guy (@Ryback22) February 1, 2015
— WWE (@WWE) February 3, 2015
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) February 3, 2015