Abu Dhabi and Apollo 55

December 9, 2010

Chris Sabin discusses his impressions on the Middle East after returning from his tour of Abu Dhabi, and Alex Shelley discusses the state of tag-team wrestling in the US and overseas.

Chris Sabin

There is only one reason I can think of as to why the Middle East has such a bad reputation in the United States of America.

The media.

Terrorists, insurgents, the enemy.

Most people in America seem to instantly relate these words to the Middle East and its people. Personally, I think this is a completely unfair stereotype. Sure, the media will plant the idea in your head time and time again that they are the enemy, because whenever an international terrorism incident happens against the United States of America it always seems to be a person from the Middle East that gets the blame.

Right away, I want it to be known that I, in no way support or condone any terrorist action or attack of any kind, to any people. The fact that we choose to not live in a world of abundance and opportunity for everyone is not something that I agree with.

But what if America was judged only by its bad apples? Because people exist in this country too that have the same egotistical hate flowing through their veins.

This all relates to the recent tour of Abu Dhabi. Some of the things I observed were very similar to life in the United States. People waking up for work for day and night shifts, shopping malls, restaurants, traffic, hotels, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. Just regular people like you and I living their lives. There is nothing wrong with cultural differences especially towards the peaceful.

We rode nice buses, stayed at a wonderfully nice hotel, and were treated politely by the people of the city. We visited an equestrian club and rode horses, ate authentic Middle Eastern food with our hands, and smoked hookahs (filled with tobacco).

It was a great tour and an amazing time. And if anyone has a chance or the money (it isn't cheap) I recommend a visit to the United Arab Emirates.

It may open your eyes and your mind a bit towards the general perception of the Middle East and its people.

Alex Shelley

Apollo 55.

When Sabin and I first went to New Japan Pro Wrestling, we wrestled in the Tokyo Dome and won the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Belts. Imagine an X Division Tag Title, and that's kinda the equivalent. That was a real honor. We'd both competed in Japan for years, but New Japan was the biggest and most legendary company there.

There's a handful of teams that have made a difference in our careers. Ikuto Hidaka and Minoru Fujita, who may just seem like two random Japanese names to you, are two of my best friends in Japan and also the reason the Motor City Machine Guns exist. If we hadn't beat them for our first set of belts in 01MAX, we never would have kept teaming together defending the belts in Canada and the US.

Team 3-D was the first legendary team we got to tangle with. Beating them gave us a certain amount of prestige, and also taught us the finer points of brawling and what I like to call E-Style matches, or Extreme Hardcore wrestling.

Beer Money may be our generational peers. We have teamed longer than them, but they've been luckier than us, and honestly, they're the team we are in constant competition with. Of course, we're apples and oranges as far as styles and personalities go, but I respect them even if I don't like them.

Generation Me is a generation below us, and took the style of tag wrestling we pioneered up a notch. They're the one team that's more athletically gifted than we are and has expounded on the way we wrestle to create an even flashier version of tag team wrestling. They're mirror images of us athletically and in the ring, but totally different people outside of it.

Apollo 55, Devitt and Taguchi, are our biggest rivals in Japan. They manage to blend high impact moves and lucha libre, and as much as Beer Money may be our rivals in the States, A55 are definitely are biggest adversaries overseas. Here's to another great fight, lads.


PS: Checkout my band please.





Tune in to an all new episode of IMPACT WRESTLING Thursday night at 9/8c on Spike!