Wrestling returns to SA


HARARE – As President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and others square off in a July 31 election, South Africa (SA) is due to “rumble” to a different battle altogether around the same time.

This comes as the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) has announced a three-day tour of SA where wrestling fans will get the chance to see some of their favourite WWE SmackDown superstars and Divas Alberto Del Rio, Big Show, Sheamus, Randy Orton, Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes and Justin Gabriel.

SmackDown superstars, who were last in SA three years ago, will take part in live events in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg between July 31 and August 2.

WWE SmackDown Superstars and Divas will first entertain their fans at the GrandWest Arena in Cape Town on two consecutive days from July 30 before invading Westridge Stadium in Durban, KwaZulu Natal on August 1.

The much-anticipated wrestling extravaganza is expected to end on an explosive note on August 2 at the Coca-Cola Dome in Johannesburg.

South African golden boy Justin Gabriel’s presence has whipped up anticipation for the live wrestling events.

The heavily-built wrestler is reportedly looking forward to impress on home soil.

“It’s been a while since we came back there and I am  excited about coming back home,” Gabriel is quoted as saying in the South African press.

“We travel a lot doing live events, so I never get time to come back to South Africa. I have been around the world 10 times and this year I have been to 14 countries already,” he said.

“I never really get time to visit family and friends, which is why I am glad that this opportunity came up.

“Our shows are bigger and better this time, so I urge people to come and see us in action. I can safely say this will be the best live performance you will see in your life.”

The South African wrestler further hinted exciting developments to look out for.

“My main beef is with Wade Barret. You know us South Africans, we don’t get along well with the British, so we are cashing in on that,” said Gabriel.

With the spectacular shows so popular in the region, including Zimbabwe, a number of wrestlemania stars have been billed to perform in the country over the years.

However, as sports entertainment’s popularity has been gaining its lost glory and momentum through free-to-air channels such as SA’S etv, this is set to change as the “pirate” stations have been cut off air regionally.

In Zimbabwe, wrestling was popularised by such stars as Hulk Hogan, Undertaker and Bret Hart.

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