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Saudi Arabia wants to host 'TWO major WWE PPVs' amid new deal

Published at :May 9, 2024 at 2:02 PM
Modified at :May 9, 2024 at 2:03 PM
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(Courtesy : WWE)

Blesson Daniel

Saudi Arabia wants to host “The Grandest Stage of Them All”

WWE is nearing the end of its decade-long relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Beginning in 2018, WWE signed an agreement to offer two premium live events to Saudi Arabia each year, beginning with the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble that spring.

While WWE created programs expressly for the Middle East, such as WWE Crown Jewel and WWE Super ShowDown, it also imported established B-tier events like WWE Night of Champions and WWE Elimination Chamber overseas. All of WWE’s Saudi performances have sold out stadiums, but the monarchy plans to raise the stakes in the future.

Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Alalshikh told ESPN’s Mike Coppinger that a “enhancement” to WWE’s current deal with Saudi Arabia would be announced later this month. While the specifics of the amended arrangement have yet to be completed, Alalshikh is claimed to be interested in hosting a future WWE Royal Rumble or WWE WrestleMania event in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia plans to hijack the “Big Five” from WWE

WWE Royal Rumble and WWE WrestleMania are among WWE’s “big five” annual events, along with WWE Money in the Bank, WWE SummerSlam, and WWE Survivor Series. Except WWF SummerSlam 1992 and WWE Money in the Bank 2023, which were held in England, all five have been practically restricted to North America.

WWE did organize a Royal Rumble-inspired event in Saudi Arabia in 2018 called WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, which was a typical premium live event centered on the largest Royal Rumble Match ever, with 50 superstars competing in the battle royal. Unlike the typical Royal Rumble Match, no WWE WrestleMania title shot was on the line, with winner Braun Strowman receiving a commemorative championship belt.

WWE WrestleMania in Saudi Arabia would also be some years away. Next year’s event has already been confirmed for Las Vegas, and destinations for 2026, 2027, and 2028 are set in New Orleans, Orlando, and London.

Furthermore, holding either of those events in Saudi Arabia has additional obstacles that most other host countries and cities do not. Female superstars weren’t allowed to compete until the fourth WWE premium live event in Saudi Arabia. WWE Crown Jewel 2019, the event that presented the inaugural women’s match, was also marred by controversy after WWE’s return aircraft was canceled, causing scores of talent to miss a scheduled live WWE SmackDown.

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