Last week, I was spending my last week of vacation in the mountain home in Ghbaleh ((غبالةin Ftouh Keserwan. I had an amazing week; details will be posted in the next post.
On the first night I spent there, I went to a neighboring town called Za’aitreh ((الزعيترة where a wrestling match was held. I saw the poster a few days earlier and thought of attending for the sake of getting into the town’s activities and life. Yes, I’m not a big fan of wrestling and I think of it as a performance but I stayed for the sake of entertainment.
Anyways, the event was organized by the municipality of Za’aitreh and its president Mr. Joseph Rizallah Aoun, sponsored by Mr. Jean Hawa (Hawa Chicken) and supervised by Prince Jean Saade.
The evening consisted of two matches of four wrestlers each. The first match had 2 male players, 2 female players and 1 sidekick. These players were all foreigners. They were: Sahota Munraj (Gama) with Monique Martin (Kiara Dillon) from Canada against David Heath (Gangrel) with Nikki from USA. [UPDATED]
They fought and started making the crowd mad by some provocative phrases and insults towards the other team members. It was very similar to those wrestling matched you see on WWE when the main wrestlers fight, and the sidekicks try to cheat and distract the referee. It works well since the two sidekicks are 2 hot girls. They fought inside the ring, and it was fun seeing them that way. The match ended with the victory of Gamma and Monique. He celebrated by saying a few words and sharing the ring with Mr. Jean Saade Al Amir Al Mansour, the well-known Lebanese wrestler.
The second match was played by the Mr. Saade’s students. They are also wrestling stars and as the commentator said, they have also played in international games. The teams were: Mounir Hamed (Nour Lebnen) with Carlos against Rabih Abou Fakhr with Scorpion. Both matches were open fights; nothing is forbidden. This match was a bit tough and the crowd went wild over the times one of the teams was about to win. The match ended with the victory of Nour Lebnen.
No, the match did not end this peacefully. Mr. Jean Saade saw that the shoulders were not touching the floor when the referee was counting till three. This sparked a fight among the 4 wrestlers. They threw Carlos out of the ring, slammed him on the cement floor a couple of times, a few chairs were smashed on the backs of the wrestlers and no wrestling match can go without broken tables. They also threw Carlos after they got him good on 2 plastic tables that of course broke after the impact. The crowd around the area of the uncontrolled fight went crazy. They didn’t know whether it was real or just a part of the performance. This fight ended by security and other wrestlers holding the fighters and stopping them. It was then announced that the wrestlers will be questioned and another open match will be announced to present a winner.
It was great to spend such a night on my first day of vacation. It is true I didn’t have the chance to mingle because I was busy taking photos, but at least I got to know the head of the municipality, the mokhtar and few other people.
I was told that hadn’t it rained during day and night time, the stadium would have been fuller. The number of people attending was fair enough. I found it a negative thing that no music was accompanying the match. Luckily I had my mobile phone that had some music that could be suitable for such occasions, so I attached it and played some music that helped the crowd get more energy. The commentator had horrible English, even counting numbers was awful and he was doing nothing helpful but stating the obvious. The event ended in a very unclear way; after the wrestlers were captured, people started leaving even though Mr. Rizallah (the head of municipality) wanted to distribute some medal for what appeared to me a soccer tournament that happened earlier. I hope next year would be better.
It is very encouraging to see that Lebanese wrestling had its fans and wrestlers. Lebanese wrestling has flourished during the last century and even had its international superstars like the brothers Andre and Jean Saade. Here is a link I found while looking for some resources that has names and dates of some of the brightest Lebanese wrestlers. [LINK-1] [LINK-2]
Jean Saade, Al Amir Al Mansour is a Lebanese wrestling superstar that was at the event. He and his brother, who passed away in 1999, were a team that raised Lebanon’s name high. I also found you a link for his biography with an interview and a TV interview that was broadcasted earlier this year. [LINK-3] [LINK-4]
I hope one day we will have this sport, or performance if I may call it, organized for the younger generation to be exposed its previous Lebanese stars.