Motorists attempting to drive past the Qatar Sports Club on Saturday evening may have been left sat in their stationary cars wondering just what was happening in the stadium to cause such excitement and congestion in the area.
Shoppers at Villaggio earlier in the day will have felt a similar sense of confusion as thousands of crazed youngsters descended on the area surrounding the Qtel store in the afternoon.
That is, of course, unless they were one of the thousands of WWE fans in the know in Qatar, who fully embraced the arrival of the Wrestlemania Revenge Tour over the weekend.
The event, billed as the first appearance of WWE in the Middle East for some 10 years, attracted thousands of fans of all ages, who cheered the slogans, danced to the entrance music and passionately booed the “bad guys” throughout the action-packed evening.
With John Cena making an appearance, it was clear that the stadium would be packed, and fans wore t-shirts emblazoned with his name, his face and references to ‘Cenation.’
Father and son pair, Joel and Jian Karlo from the Philippines, were one of thousands of families at the event, and Gulf Times spoke to them about their experience and WWE in general.
Joel explained that the evening provided a good opportunity for his eight-year-old son to see some of the WWE superstars he loves to watch on TV.
“This is the first time we have seen a live wrestling event, and I’m really excited,” said Joel, adding “this has been a great experience so far – especially here in the Middle East.”
His son, Jian Karlo, obviously delighted at seeing so many WWE superstars in action, described wrestling as “fantastic,” and expressed his excitement at seeing his favourite wrestler, Cena enter the ring.
Almost everybody Gulf Times spoke to was similarly eagerly anticipating Cena’s arrival, and a number of fans were even found wearing exactly the same outfit as their wrestling idol.
Mohamed, an 11-year-old local fan, said: “I am really enjoying the night so far – there is so much noise and everything. I never thought I would be watching wrestling here in Qatar, I am so happy!”
British fan Nicola explained that the event reminded her of watching the sport when she was younger.
“I used to watch it with my younger brothers,” she said, adding “although I don’t know some of these guys, the night has been really fun and something a bit different.”
This was definitely an unusual event, as well as perhaps one of the best-attended and hyped to have been held here for some time.
Who knows if and when the franchise will return? But following the crowd’s reaction to the announcer’s declaration that the WWE would love to come back to Qatar, it would seem that there could be equally well supported events held here in the not too distant future.
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