WWE wrestlers in Saudi Arabia for live matches

WWE pro-wrestlers have punched, wrestled and body slammed their way to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital, Riyadh

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WWE pro-wrestlers have punched, wrestled and body slammed their way to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for three days of matches in the capital, Riyadh.

The line-up of 35 U.S. wrestles features WWE superstars John Cena and champion Randy Orton, state run-Saudi Press Agency reported.

The World Wresting Entertainment Inc. says the visit to the ultraconservative Muslim country is its first.

WWE is widely popular across the Middle East and even has an Arabic website for fans across the region. Matches have also been held in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Other wrestlers featured in the matches expected to start Thursday are Cesaro, Dolph Ziggler, The Usos, The Wyatt Family, The Shield, Mark Henry, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Ryback, Curtis Axel, Kofi Kingston, Damien Sandow, Sami Zayn and Heath Slater.

Ticketmaster says on its website the matches in Saudi Arabia are "for males only."

John Cena is a 6'1" 251 pound WWE wrestler who has been named WWE Champion; World World Heavyweight Champion; U.S. Champion; World Tag Team Champion; WWE Tag Team Champion; two-time Royal Rumble Match winner; and 2012 Money in the Bank Ladder Match winner. His signature move is the attitude adjustment.

Randy Orton is a 6’5” 235 pound WWE wrestler who’s carrer highlights include being the first-ever WWE World Heavyweight Champion; WWE Champion; World Heavyweight Champion; Intercontinental Champion; World Tag Team Champion; 2009 Royal Rumble Match winner; and the 2013 Money in the Bank Ladder Match winner. His signature move is the RKO.

Cesaro is a 6’5” 232 pound wrestler who hails from Lucerne Switzerland, known for his signature move The Neutralizer and Cesaro Swing.

Dolph Ziggler is a Hollywood native whose signature move is known as the Zig Zag. His career highlights include Intercontinental Champion; World Heavyweight Champion; United States Champion, and Money in the Bank Ladder Match winner for a World Heavyweight Championship Contract (2012).

The Usos, also known as the Uso Brothers, are a tag team consisting of twin brothers Jimmy Uso and Jey Uso, and currently hold the title of WWE Tag Team champions.

The Wyatt Family consists of leader Bray Wyatt and his followers Luke Harper and Erick Rowan and come from a so-called backwoods cult. The group is portrayed as psychotic and unstable and use mind games against their opponents.

The Shield consists of Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. They are known for their excellent team work and trademark promos shot from a first person perspective. Ambrose currently holds the WWE United States Championship.

Mark Henry is a current WWE wrestler and two time Olympian power lifter. Since joining the WWE in 1996, he has become a one-time WWF European Champion and two-time world champion.

Cody Rhodes, whose real name is Cody Garret Runnels, is a second-generation professional wrestler. His father, Dusty Rhodes, was known as “The American Dream.” Cody has been a two-time Intercontinental Champion and a five-time Tag Team Champion.

Dustin Runnels is known for his enigmatic, sexually ambiguous character of “Goldust.” Among the other names Runnels has performed under are Black Reign and Seven. Runnels is the son of WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes.

Ryback was one of the eight finalists on WWE Tough Enough 4 and later signed a contract with WWE and wrestled in its developmental territories. He also participated in the first season of NXT in early 2010 under the ring name Skip Sheffield.

Curtis Axel debuted in the WWE in 2010, joining The Nexus under the ring name Michael McGillicutty. In May 2013, Hennig reignited his career under his current ring name Curtis Axel, paying tribute to his father "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig and his grandfather Larry "The Axe" Hennig.

Kofi Kingston is a Ghanaian-American wrestler who has won 10 championships since signing to the WWE. He is a four time Intercontinental Champion, a three time United States Champion, a two time WWE Tag Team Champion (once with Evan Bourne as Air Boom and once with R-Truth) and a one time World Tag Team Champion with CM Punk.

Damien Sandow previously appeared in WWE as Idol Stevens, and he has also competed for Ohio Valley Wrestling and Puerto Rico's World Wrestling Council In 2013, Sandow won Money in the Bank for a World Heavyweight Championship opportunity, but lost his cash-in title match.

Sami Zayn is a Canadian professional wrestler with Syrian descent. He is best known for his work on the independent circuit under the ring name El Generico, using the gimmick of a luchador from Mexico. He is known for his character's catch phrase, "Olé!”

Heath Slater signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2006 and was a contestant in the first season of WWE NXT in 2010, where he finished fourth. He is a former three-time WWE Tag Team Champion. Since 2012, Slater has been primarily featured in WWE programming as the leader of the Three Man Band faction.

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(With AP)