Over the weekend WWE announced the signing of Shadia Bseiso, a Jordanian jiu-jitsu artist who represents the first ever female Superstar from the Arab world.
The signing may prove to be quite significant for WWE, but for Bseiso and female athletes from the Middle East, her accomplishment transcends a conservative culture that frowns upon women exercising, let alone hitting moonsaults while wearing tights.
Bseiso shared this quote with WWE.com about her big news:
"It is an honor to be the first-ever woman from the Middle East to sign with WWE," Bseiso said. "I have visited the Performance Center and attended the Mae Young Classic. I have personally witnessed the power of WWE and the passion of WWE fans. I look forward to starting on my path to becoming a WWE Superstar."
For Bseiso, she feels she represents a piece of a global movement that will bring unprecedented recognition to female competitors. She had the following to say in an interview with Reuters.
"Female athletes are finally getting the credit they deserve. The world is more open to that, and in terms of how the region will react to it, I'm hoping it's going to be very positive," she said.
For WWE, bringing in a talent like Bseiso contributed to their worldly ambitions. Triple H, WWE's Executive Vice President, had this to say to WWE.com the big new of Bseiso's signing.
"Recruiting Shadia to join our developmental system underscores WWE's ongoing commitment to building a talent roster as diverse as our fan base," he said.
WWE has hordes of fans in the Middle East and India. While Vince McMahon and Co. likely see it as a lucrative market, Bseiso thinks that her move to WWE will give her fans back home role model.
"As it is, the WWE's incredibly popular in the Middle East, but I think having athletes from the region who grew up here - it will change things. You finally have someone to root for."