Al-Ahram Weekly Online   18 - 24 October 2012
Issue No. 1119
Sports
 
Published in Cairo by AL-AHRAM established in 1875

Tonight, the Tour

Just a few hours separate the public from the WWE exhibition which kicks off this evening in Cairo International Stadium. Ahmed Hamdi presents a final preview for the first-time ever event in Egypt

Click to view caption
The WWE's official poster in Egypt

By the time Al-Ahram Weekly goes to press, WWE superstars would have been preparing to enter the ring as they start their three-day Cairo Tour tonight at 7.30. Earlier in the day, the WWE is scheduled to hold a press conference at JW Marriot Hotel, featuring all its superstars on the tour. The press conference is the second to be held after one staged at the same place last month which featured former Intercontinental champion Cody Rhodes.

The event will mean a lot to the WWE's worldwide popularity as they conquer a new part of the world after many successful tours around the seven continents. The WWE, which is based in the United States, has performed in many European countries including the United Kingdom and Italy. They also hit it on in front of Australian fans as they went south east the spherical earth. Going a bit up from there, the WWE tours have also visited Chinese lands and the Arabs in the Emirates in Asia. Moving to Africa, Egypt will be the second to host the pro-wrestlers after South Africa welcomed its own son Justin Gabriel among his fellow WWE superstars. They were also welcomed in Latin America as they paid a visit to Mexico, the home of the high-flying Rey Mysterio and Alberto Del Rio.

The two Mexican superstars will be part of tonight's main event as they stand across the ring from each other, each with another superstar in their corner. The feud between both goes way back to the debut of Del Rio on 20 August 2010 when the "Mexican aristocrat" defeated Mysterio and later attacked him after the match.

Another player who has had quite an intense feud with Del Rio will stand in Mysterio's corner tonight -- the world heavyweight champion Sheamus. Their rivalry started on 2 April of this year when Del Rio returned from injury to confront Sheamus, vowing to become the next world champion. The feud would continue to the last Pay-Per-View, Night of Champions, when Sheamus defeated Del Rio to retain his title.

Another who will take part in the main event of tonight's draw and who will be in Del Rio's corner is the number one contender for the world heavyweight championship, The Big Show. The seven-foot giant is now chasing the title that Sheamus has held since WrestleMania. He recently became the number one contender for the championship by defeating the viper, Randy Orton. Show, who is carrying a heel (bad guy) character as of late, will get his chance to claim the championship on the next Pay-Per-View, Hell in a Cell. Before then, Egyptians will hope that the Show and Sheamus clash tonight will not destroy the ring. Or perhaps they're hoping it will.

Show is not new to breaking wrestling rings. Having crashed the ring twice before, the nearly 500-pound behemoth will perhaps take it easy on the ring tonight. The ring in which the superstars will perform at indoor hall 1 of Cairo Stadium has been shipped to Egypt especially for the three-day tour. WWE has been maintaining a dł©cor for all its shows for more than a decade now. A video titantron, a ramp, a squared ring, and a near-by announcer table are the main components that you will find in any arena where the WWE performs. Tonight will be no different.

The best way to be part of that atmosphere is to book a ticket to the show not least because the show will not be televised.  Due to WWE regulations on taping live tours, it has been officially announced that the tour to Egypt will be exclusive only for those who will pay to fill the stands.

Tickets are for sale on ticketsmarche.com and vary from LE250 to LE3,000. Despite the optimism showed by Assem Al-Shaikh, head of the organising company, made during the first press conference that the three shows will be sold out, it doesn't seem so. Many tickets were still up for sale on the website just a few days before the start of the tour. Only one partition of the LE3,000 area was sold out for the whole duration of the tour and one partition of the LE1,000 area was sold out for the second day.

For those, whether world class watchers or curious onlookers, in just a few hours the WWE writes a new chapter in its history book.

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