AS IT HAPPENED: Brock Lesnar claims win in Jeddah WWE … – Arab News

AS IT HAPPENED: Brock Lesnar claims win in Jeddah WWE … – Arab News
JEDDAH: Jeddah’s superdome is hosting WWE’s final stop before WrestleMania for the first time on Saturday.
The event kicked off strong with a match which was set to take place 2 years ago at WrestleMania, with Roman Reigns and Goldberg set the stage for the evening kicking off their Universal title bout.
Due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this match didn’t happen, and Goldberg appeared and challenged Reigns to a match for the Universal Championship in a move that many say is one come back too many.
Roman proved to be a wrecking force as he defeated Goldberg via submission to retain his championship.
Next up was the Woman’s Elimination Chamber match. This match was announced at the beginning of the month on an episode of Raw, with the winner earning a Raw Women’s Championship match at WrestleMania 38.
Bianca Belair, Liv Morgan, Rhea Ripley, Doudrop, and Nikki A.S.H. were announced for the match with one spot to be filled. The following week, Belair won a gauntlet match to earn the right to enter the match, also after weeks of therapy sessions because her doll had been destroyed at Extreme Rules last September, Alexa Bliss completed her final session and named herself as the sixth competitor for the match.
The menacing structure was a befitting stage for the ladies as they put it all on the line. With double suplexs, and rough chops as part of this showdown all the women put their heart on line.
Belair and Alexa were the final two participants of the match and Belair pinned Bliss to win the match and the shot for the title at WrestleMania.
Next was a tag team match between Naomi and Ronda Rousey taking on Charlotte Flair and Sonya Deville.
In an interview, Rousey stated she could fight Sonya Deville with one arm tied behind her back due to Sonya’s injury before the match.
Deville would seem to pull a trick as her arm healed and wouldn’t reveal that until the match started.
The baddest woman on the planet proved that her game is as she said as Rousey and Naomi won this bout.

The Falls Count Anywhere stipulation match between Drew McIntyre and Madcap Moss takes place after the women’s meyham.
Moss has been attempting to get out of any match with McIntyre, this came to be after McIntyre emerged on SmackDown demanded Moss to get in this match.
Moss obliged and  McIntyre said they would not just be having any kind of match, it would be a falls count anywhere match which saw the action spill all over the ring area.
McIntyre came out of this match with a dominant win.
The long awaited comeback of WWE Hall of Famer Lita in her singles match and fight with Becky Lynch for the RAW Women’s Championship was next.
This is Lita’s first since 2006. The two went toe-to-toe to see who will take the championship to WrestleMania against Belair. Lynch barely survived and retained the gold.
The Viking Raiders Erik and Ivar had their sights set on the SmackDown Tag Team Championship against the Usos.

Those aspirations didn’t bear fruit as the Usos made quick work of their challengers and won the match.
The Elimination Chamber match is 20 years old. In those years the champion has only retained his championship four times in this menacing structure and the men’s Elimination Chamber was assured to have choas.
At the Royal Rumble, Bobby Lashley defeated Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship due to Paul Heyman betraying Lesnar.
On the following night on RAW it was announced that Lashley would be defending the WWE Championship in the Chamber match. It was announced later that Lesnar would be competing in the Elimination Chamber match alongside Seth Rollins who announced that he would be one of the participants.
The final three spots were determined in qualification matches with Austin Theory, Riddle, and AJ Styles by qualifying and winning their matches. Lashley suffered an injury and was not able to finish the match.
Lesnar went through a rampage after exiting his pod and eliminated most of the participants. Theory was the last to feel the wrath of Brock in the match.
A low blow from Austin Theory was the only thing that could slow down the beast for a brief moment. It was a cat and mouse, spectacular showing by the two as Brock gave Theory an F-5 from the top of the pod inside the Elimination Chamber for the win.
MELBOURNE: Rafael Nadal returns to the scene of one of his greatest Grand Slam triumphs when the Australian Open begins Monday, with women’s number one Iga Swiatek headlining the night session on the showpiece Rod Laver Arena.
A year ago, the 36-year-old Spaniard defied a long injury layoff and a two-set deficit in the final against Daniil Medvedev to win his second Melbourne Park title and a record 21st Grand Slam.
The top seed, who extended that record to 22 titles at Roland Garros, faces a testing first-round clash against emerging 21-year-old Briton Jack Draper, who reached the Adelaide semifinals last week.
“Probably one of the toughest first rounds possible… young, powerful, growing very, very fast in the rankings, playing well,” said Nadal of Draper, the world number 40.
Swiatek said she was ready for an “intense” opening match against Germany’s Jule Neimeier, the world number 69 who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last year.
The pair’s only previous meeting came in the last 16 of the 2022 US Open, where Swiatek dropped the first set before coming through 2-6, 6-4, 6-0 and going on to win her third Grand Slam title.
Earlier, American seventh seed Coco Gauff will have the honor of playing the opening match on Rod Laver Arena against the Czech Republic’s world number 46 Katerina Siniakova.
Seventh-ranked Gauff heads into the first Grand Slam of the year on a high after winning her third WTA title at the Auckland Classic this month.
Gauff holds a 3-1 career win-loss record against Siniakova, with the lone defeat coming in a group match at last year’s Billie Jean King Cup.
They will be followed onto the center court by Greek sixth seed Maria Sakkari, who faces Yuan Yue of China, the world number 117, before the Nadal v Draper clash.
Daniil Medvedev has been the Australian Open runner-up for the past two years, losing first to Djokovic in 2021 and then Nadal 12 months ago.
Seeded seven, the Russian will round off the first night session on Rod Laver Arena against 60th-ranked American Marcus Giron.
Third seed Jessica Pegula is fancied by many to make a Slam breakthrough this year and she will open proceedings on Margaret Court Arena against Romania’s world number 161 Jaqueline Cristian.
The 28-year-old starred for the victorious USA team at the United Cup in Sydney this month, where she won four of her five matches and beat Swiatek in the semifinal.
She has never made it past the last eight in a major and lost to the eventual champion Ashleigh Barty at that stage in Melbourne a year ago.
Later on the same court the only two previous women’s Australian Open champions in the draw will square off.
Victoria Azarenka, the Belarusian 2012 and 2013 winner, will play Sofia Kenin, whose lone Grand Slam title came in Australia in 2020.
Also in action on Monday are men’s third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas, who plays 64th-ranked Frenchman Quentin Halys, and last year’s women’s runner-up, the American 13th seed Danielle Collins who starts against Anna Kalinskaya of Russia.
Novak Djokovic, who was detained and deported ahead of last year’s tournament after refusing to get vaccinated for Covid-19, begins his campaign for a record-extending 10th Australian Open title on Tuesday.
RIYADH: Riyadh hosted on Sunday the fourth executive office meeting of UNESCO’s Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport, Saudi Press Agency reported.
Meanwhile, the fifth meeting of the approval committee of the UNESCO Fund for the Elimination of Doping in Sport will take place in the capital on Tuesday. 
Several UNESCO officials, as well as representatives from the International Olympic Committee, Interpol, the EU and the African Union, are attending the two meetings. 
The convention supports the international harmonization of anti-doping legislation, guidelines, regulations and rules to provide a fair playing environment for all athletes. It is the second most ratified UNESCO treaty, with 191 states parties.
The fund assists states parties to the convention to develop and implement anti-doping projects. 
MADRID: Barcelona won the Spanish Super Cup for the first time since the competition was revamped and moved to Saudi Arabia with a 3-1 victory over Real Madrid on Sunday.
Robert Lewandowski, Gavi and Pedri scored a goal each at King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh to give Barcelona its first Super Cup trophy since 2018 — and its 14th overall — and the first since the tournament began being played in a Final Four format in 2020 in a lucrative deal for the Spanish soccer federation.
It was also Barcelona’s first title since former player Xavi took over as the team’s coach in 2021, and since Lionel Messi left for Paris Saint-Germain.
Gavi opened the scoring in the 33rd minute from close range after a pass by Lewandowski, who doubled the lead after an assist by Gavi in a breakaway just before the end of the first half. Gavi also set up Pedri’s close-range goal in another breakaway in the 69th.
Karim Benzema scored for Madrid late in stoppage time.
Madrid was trying to win its second consecutive Super Cup title in Saudi Arabia, and equal Barcelona’s record of 13 Super Cup trophies.
Madrid eliminated Barcelona in last season’s semifinals, but the Spanish powerhouses had never met in the final of the revamped competition.
Both teams needed penalty shootouts to edge their opponents in the semifinals. Madrid beat Valencia and Barcelona defeated Real Betis.
Barcelona had not lifted a trophy since the 2021 Copa del Rey under former coach Ronald Koeman. That was Messi’s 35th and final title with Barcelona before leaving amid the club’s financial struggles.
Madrid beat Barcelona 3-1 at home in the first “clásico” of the season at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in the Spanish league in October.
The Super Cup used to be played between the Spanish league champion and the Copa del Rey winner. Now the runners-up in both competitions also participate. Madrid played as the league champion and Barcelona as the league runner-up. Betis won the Copa title over Valencia last season.
The current contract to play the Super Cup in Saudi Arabia runs through the 2024-25 season.
Atlético Madrid was held to a 1-1 draw at Almería in the Spanish league, staying in fourth place and tied on points with fifth-place Villarreal and sixth-place Real Betis.
Ángel Correa put Atlético ahead in the 18th but El Bilal Touré equalized for the hosts in the 37th. Atlético defender Sergio Reguilón entered the match as a substitute in the 67th but was sent off with consecutive yellow cards in the 89th.
Atlético was coming off a 1-0 home loss to leader Barcelona, which is 13 points ahead of Atlético.
Almería, winless in three straight league games, stayed in 13th place.
Earlier Sunday, Espanyol moved further from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win at Getafe, with Joselu scoring the opening goal for the hosts with a shot from near the halfway line as the Getafe goalkeeper got caught out of position.
Defending league champion Madrid is in second place and Real Sociedad, which beat Athletic Bilbao 3-1 in the Basque Country derby on Saturday, is third.
RIYADH: Popular professional sports league LaLiga along with the Spanish Embassy, Instituto Cervantes and Casa Árabe, launched the “Spanish-Arabic football dictionary,” an illustrated book that provides a complete football vocabulary in both the languages to boost content creation and social interaction for fans, as well as fun facts related to the Arabic sporting world.
The illustrated dictionary launched in Riyadh on Sunday at the headquarters of the Regional Office for the Middle East of the World Tourism Organization.
The dictionary includes information about the LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank clubs and their cities of origin, the different sporting milestones and titles obtained, their players, on-field vocabulary and football actions, as well as a wide range of football terminology.
NEWCASTLE: Eddie Howe said that Newcastle United will assess the damage done to star man Bruno Guimaraes’ ankle before making any January transfer replacement decisions.
The Brazilian midfielder limped off at halftime in the Magpies’ late 1-0 win over Fulham, a victory that maintains their charge towards Champions League football.
Substitute Alexander Isak got the only goal on Sunday at St James’ Park.
Guimaraes was visibly upset during his walk off the pitch at the break after turning his ankle midway through the first half.
And United’s head coach revealed there is some concern about the condition of the 25-year-old, particularly with a Carabao Cup semi-final double-header against Southampton on the horizon.
“He was (in distress), and he was after the game,” Howe said.
“He’s worried about his ankle; it was a twist. He felt he could carry on until the end of the first half when he signaled to come off. Never a good sign from our perspective.
“We’ll get it scanned and see what the damage is. We hope it’s not long term but at this moment in time, we don’t know.”
Guimaraes took to social media after the match to express his disappointment at suffering the injury.
He tweeted: “Very sad about today’s injury, hopeful it’s nothing serious and that I can do what I love most as soon as possible.”
United were already looking for a midfielder to complement their current crop during the January transfer window, but the injury to Guimaraes, as well as youngster Elliot Anderson, may well hasten the need for recruits.
Howe said: “I’ll first assess the injury. We are light in midfield, there’s no doubt about that. Today we were missing Elliot as well, who’s another player who can play in there, with — we think — a minor calf problem.
“We’ll get the diagnosis on Bruno’s injury and then make a decision.”
It took the Magpies until the 89th minute to net their winner, as injury-plagued Swede Isak netted only his third goal of the season after making a club record switch from Real Sociedad in the summer.
Howe said: “The goal was a special moment.
“I am so pleased for Alex. You want to hit the ground running at a new club and he did before the injury.”
Fulham boss Marco Silva was less than impressed with referee Robert Jones missing what he saw as a definite penalty and a red card. The call, made at 0-0, he thinks could have been transformative.
He said: “I have to mention of course the moment of the penalty. Not because we missed, that can happen, the players are on the pitch and they can miss a penalty.
“It was in different circumstances that Mitro (Aleksandar Mitrovic) missed the penalty, but I have to mention the decision of the referee and the decision of the VAR.
“It is difficult for us to understand in 30 seconds two decisions in the box. Two clear decisions in the box at that moment.
“It is difficult to understand how the referee didn’t see one, at least one. I think it is normal to see in 30 seconds two moments inside the box. It was of consequence in the game, in my opinion.”


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