Former WWE Superstar Mansoor has opened up on the Saudi Arabia tryouts that saw him getting signed to the company.
Mansoor is undoubtedly one of the most talented and interesting Saudi pro wrestlers to ever step foot inside the squared circle. After moving to the US when he was only 11 years old, Mansoor made a huge name for himself in the American indie scene.
However, before taking his career to the next level and becoming the first ever Saudi WWE Superstar in the history of the company, Mansoor first had to overcome WWE’s Saudi Arabia tryouts and impress the coaches.
In a recent interview with Wrestling Republic’s Eric Novak on the ‘All Real Wrestling Podcast’, Mansoor reflected on the tryouts and explained how having a solid pro wrestling experience helped him to stand out from the rest. He said:
“My tryout was in Saudi Arabia. They had announced that there was going to be a tryout for Saudis, and I was the only person at that tryout who had been flown from the United States. I’ve been living in the United States since I was about 11 years old, and I was the only person there who had professional wrestling experience.”
Mansoor continued by explaining that “Most of those guys were players of some sort of sport, whether it was football or soccer, or MMA, boxing. There were some people in the military, guys who had that kind of extensive training, but nothing as specific and niche and unique as pro wrestling, which is one of the only sort of forms of art or sport where you specifically put damage to yourself, you know? And you know, crash yourself on the mat.”
Mansoor On How Pro Wrestlers Are Used To Take Different Types Of Punishment In The Ring
In addition to what he stated before, Mansoor also continued to explain how pro wrestling is different from other sports and the fact that most of the people on the tryouts were not used to some aspects of it.
“I don’t think there’s any art form or sport quite as self-destructive as professional wrestling,” he said. “At least in a sport like MMA, someone else is beating you up. You’re not beating yourself up. So I think for a lot of those guys, it was kind of a culture shock.”
“I remember being in that tryout, and somebody was running, and they hit the ropes, and he stopped, and they were supposed to go back and forth. And the guy was like, ‘There’s a mistake. The ropes, they’re too hard.’ They don’t even know that every time you run and hit the ropes, for people who have never done that before, it bruises your ribs. It’s just that pro wrestlers are so used to running back and forth that our bodies have become accustomed to the kind of punishment that we endured.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please make sure to credit the ‘All Real Wrestling Podcast’ with an H/T to Wrestling Republic for the transcription.