Though he's barely been featured on NXT, Mansoor scored the biggest victory of his career, winning a 51-man battle royal at WWE Super ShowDown in front of his home country of Saudi Arabia. Speaking to Esquire Middle East, Mansoor believes his victory was just the latest step in WWE putting their footprint in the Middle East.
"To my knowledge there are no real wrestling schools in the region, but I will say this, the more we can acclimate people in Saudi Arabia to the culture of professional wrestling, and integrate it to the culture of Saudi Arabia the more it’s going to be accepted and considered acceptable as a career. I believe that the WWE will build a performance centre [the company’s training facility] somewhere in the Middle East, most likely Saudi Arabia, for all Arab talent to develop and cultivate. It such an incredible market, it was always an underrated market."
WWE signed a 10-year partnership with Saudi General Sports Authority in 2018, and while the deal brought in millions of dollars for WWE, it's also come under heavy scrutiny due to Saudi Arabia's oppressive views.
"People have a lot of opinions about the Saudi shows, in terms of cultural impact that can only happen when the culture is more familiar with what wrestling is," said Mansoor. "My nieces, who live in Riyadh, are big wrestling fans, and I want them to be able to go to wrestling shows and see the women wrestlers perform. We saw it in Abu Dhabi with Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss, but progress is like a staircase, you can’t jump every step. When it comes to a country’s culture you have to slowly integrate. Personally, I truly do believe we will see women performing in Saudi Arabia in a WWE ring one day."
WWE will reportedly return to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 31, though the company has not officially confirmed the date.