Meet the first Arab woman signed by WWE

Shadia Bseiso
(Photos: Handouts from Shadia Bseiso)
AMMAN — In 2017, Jordanian athlete, Shadia Bseiso, became the first Arab and Middle Eastern woman to sign a contract with the World Wrestling Entertainment Incorporated Inc (WWE). اضافة اعلان

 “I entered the sport at an older age. I started practicing Jiu Jitsu in 2013, making way up to a blue belt, and winning two silver, and one bronze medal at the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu-Jitsu Championship in 2015,” Bseiso told Jordan News

Bseiso recounted that her achievements at that Abu Dhabi tournament, six years ago, played a pivotal role in the success of her auditions for the WWE, the first of their kind to be held in the region, she noted. 

But having already had a career as a television and event presenter, Bseiso was well aware of the pressures that would accompany a bid to dominate in the ring. 

“The greatest difficulty I have faced throughout my athletic career was creating a sense of balance between work and training…I was (still) working while gearing up for appearances at Jiu Jitsu championships,” the strongwoman explained.

Bseiso’s ambitions, however, could not be limited to a contract and a while ago she stepped out of the ring; teaming up with her Kuwaiti husband, former wrestler and CrossFit champion, Nasser Alruwayeh, to establish their own CrossFit center. 

“This self-owned athletic endeavor was a dream come true. I love working with my husband, who ended his WWE contract at the same time I did, because our aspirations were greater than the WWE,” Bseiso said.

“You cannot cling onto your ambitions if your drive is not strong…Ambition should be tied to a reason that pushes a person towards pursuing it because difficulties will appear at every turn of the road,” the businesswoman said.

And to that effect, Bseiso denounced the notion that age could end a woman’s athleticism. 

“Age can be a challenge for women playing sports professionally; but when a woman is athletic and plays a sport for her own wellbeing, age is not a barrier,” she said.

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