Speaking with Shadia Bseiso is an inspiring experience. Recently announced as the first Arab female to be signed on to the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment), she’s also been busy up until this point with TV and voice over work in beautiful Dubai.
Her skill and passion for athletics is clear in her voice, and since setting her mind on her goals four years ago her accomplishments are plentiful. We were lucky to get some time with Shadia in between her hectic schedule to talk about her latest venture, her inspirations and even some advice for fans!
Hi Shadia! Congratulations on the WWE signing, what an achievement! How did this come about?
Thank you! It’s been incredible since the signing, with so much support from everybody. Being a TV presenter, Live Events presenter and a voice-over artist in addition to my work as Jujitsu athlete, last year I auditioned to be a TV presenter for the first-ever Arabic TV show for WWE “Wal3ooha” on OSN.
In an amazing turn of events, after the casting, I received an invitation to the athlete’s tryout in April, instead. Forty athletes from all across the world were at the tryouts. I was paired up with Kavita Devi for some of the drills. Incidentally, she has now become the first Indian woman to be signed to the WWE. Soon after, I got the magical ‘’you’re hired’’ call!
It's official!! I'm thrilled to be the first Arab woman from the Middle East to sign with WWE!!! #Repost @officialwwearabic ・・・ وقّعت شركتنا عقداً لتطوير المواهب مع شادية بسيسو من الأردن، لتصبح أول امرأة عربية من الشرق الأوسط تحظى بفرصة التدرّب لتصبح نجمة من نجوم WWE. @shadiabseiso #WWEArabic #WWE #women #arab
You’re a very busy lady! Do you think it will be a challenge to now manage both careers in TV & sport?
I am now exclusively signed to WWE, so I’m officially a full-time athlete first and foremost. However, I absolutely see myself presenting for the WWE in Arabic or English or a mix of both at some point. Bilingual presenting is a great skill and having more WWE content in Arabic will be awesome!
I feel like I’ve been preparing for this huge opportunity for the last six years, and the way events have been unfolding for me feels like such a huge reward. I’ll be based in Orlando, Florida at the WWE Performance Center. The WWE Performance center is world-class! It has everything an athlete could ever need to become a WWE Superstar.
I feel extremely well looked after which gives me the confidence to leave Dubai. To be coached by the best-of-the-best in the business is a dream.
Does the passion for fitness run in your family? How long have you been passionate about fitness/martial arts, and what aroused your interest in the beginning?
I got a late start in sport, I started training in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 2013, but ever since I started, I train very seriously and compete very often. Three months after I started training Jiu-jitsu, I competed in Dubai and won my first bronze medal! This really encouraged me to train harder, more frequently and work hard to improve in the sport.
Since then, I’ve taken part in 13 tournaments and with each one, appeared on the winner’s podium with a gold, silver or bronze medal. I’ve also competed in the World Championship in Los Angeles and the IBJJF New York Open. To get better at Jiu-jitsu, I started training CrossFit about two years ago.
Who did you call when you got the good news?
I called my sister Arifa! Before my WWE tryout, I remember calling her as I was walking in and she gave me just the right dose of confidence. She was also the first person I called after being signed!
In our family, we all strongly support each other and are so proud of one other. Now that I’ll be away from home and based in Orlando, it’s so important that we maintain that closeness and support, and I can’t wait for them to be able to come and visit me there.
Who are your greatest inspirations in sport and why?
My biggest inspiration in sport is Qatari Olympian Nasser Al-Attiyah who is won the bronze medal for skeet shooting in the 2012 London Olympics and is also a world champion rally driver. To be able to master one sport is remarkable but two different sports is extraordinary. I got the opportunity to interview him on several occasions and he embodies the true meaning of hard work and dedication.
I’m lucky to also be around seven world class CrossFit coaches at the gym I train in, Inner Fight in Dubai, it’s so great to be surrounded by role models on daily basis!
— WWE MENA (@WWEmena) October 15, 2017
You are clearly an inspiration to others, so what would your advice be to any fans that dream of making it to the WWE some day?
Being the first Arab woman signed to WWE from the Middle East, the message I would love to get across is the importance of taking the first step towards your goal. If you aim high, and put in the work: the sky is the limit. Just get out there, and take that all important first step!