What’s the story?
Egyptian pro wrestler Mada Abdelhamid announced today that he has requested, and his been granted, his release from WWE. Mada made his debut as a contestant on the 2015 season of Tough Enough and was signed to a developmental deal shortly after, despite being eliminated halfway through the show’s run.
In case you didn’t know...
Mada was revealed as one of the final thirteen contestants for the sixth season of WWE Tough Enough in June of 2015. Whereas many potential Superstars coming into the WWE Performance Center with knowledge and experience in the wrestling business, the concept behind the hybrid competition/reality series has been to feature primarily athletes, trainers and models with little to no experience in a ring.
When Mada was announced, his claim to fame was being the personal trainer of former Game of Thrones actor Jason Momoa, who played the infamous Khal Drogo in HBO’s beloved series. It was also noted that he was of Egyptian decent, and had fled the country during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution to come to the United States.
The 2015 season of Tough Enough was held at the Performance Center in Orlando, FL and featured Daniel Bryan, Paige and WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan as judges, with Billy Gunn, Booker T and legendary women’s wrestler Lita as the official trainers for the show. The charismatic Chris Jericho acted as host. Despite his elimination in episode six, Mada was later offered a developmental contract with the company, along with several other contestants who did not make the final two. While training he worked a small handful of NXT house shows in 2016, but was never brought to television.
The heart of the story
Mada posted on social media Friday morning that he had officially requested his release from WWE, and that it was granted to him. Not much is known about his future plans or if he intends to pursue a career in professional wrestling, but he promised to provide some “big news” with fans soon.
From his personal Twitter account:
“I have recently made a tough decision and I have asked for my release from the WWE! It’s been one hell of a journey since I started on Tough Enough... But I had to make a decision to do what’s best for my family, and for myself. I wanted to thank you for your love and support. I have nothing but love for the WWE Universe, you guys are AWESOME! It’s time to start the next chapter of my life, and I’m excited to announce some big news with you all soon.”
This shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone. While past seasons of Tough Enough from the early 2000s have given us names like John Morrison, The MIz, Ryback and Matt Morgan, the show has been virtually useless as a tool for finding future stars since it made its return in 2010. There are no remaining competitors from the fifth season currently signed with WWE, including winner Andy Leavine.
While some of Mada’s show-mates have found their way to NXT (Bronson Matthews, Mandy Rose, Daria Berenato, Patrick Clark), he is the last remaining contestant from 2015 that has not yet made the move up to the roster. Maybe he can be a personal trainer for Jason Momoa again, as he prepares for his role as Aquaman in the DC Comics film universe.