There are rumblings over here in the Middle East.
No, this isn’t another WWE produced show in Saudi Arabia and the controversies that surround them. This is a homegrown promotion that along with bringing in some of the big names of the past, are also looking to secure its future within the business with developing their own talent.
This is QPW.
Qatar Pro Wrestling.
On the face of it, many people may look towards QPW and think of the same reasons to be sceptical of the WWE Saudi shows. There are differences though. For one, they are a completely separate company from the Qatari government. There is no funding from any official channels, the company is run just like any other promotion around the world. This leads to their exposure as well. They aren’t found on television but look towards their developing an online platform to extend their presence.
Exposure is also helped by not keeping their titles exclusive to QPW. The QPW Heavyweight Championship, currently held by Alberto El Patron, has been defended in promotions in Mexico. So this meant that during a period where they did not hold a show, the title was still kept relevant due to defences elsewhere (see the WWE UK Championship before NXT UK).
Secondly, they don’t just hold massive events with big names. This year, they have run two academy shows with upcoming, local talent with one or two overseas names thrown onto the card, such as Jody Fleisch and Johnny Storm. This model runs similar to many other promotions in the UK and around the world.
The local talent on these shows come from the organization’s own academy, that train once a week. There is a clear vision that, although the company currently have star names people recognize, they want to bring up local talent to take the forefront. In ways, this shatters the pervious vision of wrestling in the Middle East.
As of yet, we do not know the exact date or location for their next show (SuperSlam II), only that it takes place in February 2020. What we have found out though is some of the talents they have acquired for the show. Through their social media, we have learned that names such as Mark Henry, Alberto El Patron, and Brian Cage will be taking part. They also have Eric Bischoff onboard, so don’t be surprised if he has passed on any knowledge about expanding the company.
They also have a range of venues for shows to take place in. In the past they have held an open-air show in the historic Souq Waqif, giving a unique feel to the event in a historical setting. They also have the luxury of venues as the Qatar National Convention Centre, where acts such as Ed Sheeran have performed. If QPW is able to cement their status in the country, we could see events held here. They aren’t just exclusive to Qatar either. They have also held a show in Sudan (of course named Sudan Power) back in 2016.
The match-ups haven’t been bad either. They’ve seen Johnny Mundo vs Cody Rhodes, Carlito & Rey Mysterio Jr. vs Chris Masters & Sonjay Dutt and Johnny Moss vs Caprice Coleman (c) vs Matt Cross vs Jonny Storm in a four-way ladder match. The latter was also for the King of Ladders Title, where are the matches are … you guessed it, ladder matches. This brings excitement in the hope of being able to catch some high-flying action when attending the shows. This shows the forward-thinking by the owners and bookers, knowing that the possibility of a ladder match on the show will bring in audiences.
In conclusion, more wrestling is always good. With this being the third show the company has put on since September, with the prospect of more regularity in the form of their academy shows, QPW is starting to make waves. It was even reported that Superslam II would take place in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter before being formally announced. Could this be the start of a new dawn for wrestling in the Middle East? Will we see shows to rival that of their neighbours in Saudi Arabia?
Only time will tell.
You can find me on Twitter @TDWalton. Thanks for reading.