Mansoor discusses his journey to NXT.
Before he signed with NXT in 2018, Mansoor may have been best known for his online video game streams. While working under the name Manny Faberino, Mansoor would wrestle for various Independent companies and spend part of his free time gaming or joining wrestling game streamers such as NewLegacyInc on Twitch.
In an interview with WWE.com, Mansoor revealed that video games were a big part of how he got into wrestling.
"It wasn't easy to get wrestling in Saudi Arabia, but what was always accessible were the video games. No Mercy, Here Comes the Pain, the Smackdown vs. RAW series, etc. Those games were how my friends and I learned almost everything we knew," said Mansoor. "If you had a pay-per-view DVD, you were the king! Nothing beats the real thing. We would dream about a WWE show in Riyadh, where we grew up, but it always felt like a pipe dream. That's why it means so much to me that we get these Saudi shows and why I so desperately want to wrestle on them. When I was out there at the Greatest Royal Rumble, I saw kids who looked like me, like my friends, who huddled around the PlayStation creating ourselves in games, dreaming one day that would be a reality."
Mansoor continued, "As I grew up and became more cynical, that dream faded away. I wanted to be a part of the business so bad, but I didn't think a person like me could make it to WWE. I thought I could be a manager or a referee. That all changed for me when Daniel Bryan won the WWE Championship at SummerSlam 2013. That match was like a revelation. I realized the only thing keeping me from achieving my dream was myself. I was 17 at the time, and if you told me then I'd be in NXT by the age of 23, I'd call you a liar and a phony time traveler."
Mansoor first appeared on WWE television at the Greatest Royal Rumble last year. He started full-time with NXT in September 2018. On the May 22 episode of NXT, he picked up his first televised victory, defeating Sean Maluta.