A police officer who was wounded stopping a terrorist attack in London earlier this month broke down when he was awarded a WWE championship belt.
Charlie Guenigault was off duty and out with friends on the night of June 3, when three men struck pedestrians with a van before beginning a series of stabbings at bars and restaurants near London Bridge and Borough Market. Guenigault rushed the attackers, suffering multiple stab wounds and requiring emergency surgery.
During his feat of heroism, Guenigault was wearing the T-shirt of Sami Zayn, a WWE wrestler. Zayn — real name Rami Sebei — is a Canadian Muslim of Syrian descent. The WWE reached out and arranged a secret meeting with Guenigault, coordinating with Sgt. Bill Lowden of the Police Federation and Guenigault’s father, John.
Triple H, the multiple-time world champion, WWE executive and son-in-law of Small Business Administration head Linda McMahon, presented the personalized belt to a visibly moved Guenigault.
“It was an absolute pleasure to meet one of the greatest superstars ever,” Guenigault said after the meeting according to WWE.com. “My comments when he first walked in the room are probably not suitable for a PG audience.”
“To run in the direction of a scary situation that can’t even be described in words, to help others, for that to be your instinct to help others … that is a hero,” Triple H, whose real name is Paul Levesque, said. “People say a lot of times that they watch WWE because these guys are like real-life superheroes. Well, Charlie is a real hero.”
Triple H also relayed a personal message from Zayn, who later posted the video to Facebook.
“I feel like Sami Zayn is always been known to stand up to the bad guys and put himself out there, but you did it in the most horrific of circumstances and the most real and dangerous of circumstances, and man I’m just blown away, I really am.”
Zayn added that he was supposed to get a new shirt, but now he would be wearing the same one Guenigault was the night of the attack with great pride.
When President Trump signed his first executive order on immigration in January, Zayn tweeted out: “I can’t articulate how truly disgusted I am right now,” along with the hashtag “MuslimBan.” He added, “The fear, hatred & division sold to us is a much bigger problem than our struggling brothers and sisters are. CHOOSE an open heart over anger.”
“It’s definitely a sensitive topic to discuss, but I have felt since I signed with the WWE I was in a unique position to reestablish how Arabs were perceived in the WWE and Western media,” Zayn told ESPN in a February interview. “Ever since I was a kid and growing up and watching things like the ‘Naked Gun’ movies, there was always this stereotype about how Arabs were perceived and portrayed. I’ve never watched those Arab villains in the movie and felt like that was me. They were nothing like me, and now I get to just be me — and hopefully being me strikes a chord with a lot of young Arabs and non-Arabs, honestly. We’re really not all that different.”
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