WWE has been presenting premium live events in Saudi Arabia since 2014. While the partnership with the controversial Kingdom has been met with continued criticism from its inception, it has been a financial boon for the soon-to-be Endeavor-owned entity, bringing in $50 million every time they present an over-the-top event. One of the controversies surrounding the events, until now, has been the lack of hyper-popular Superstar, Sami Zayn.
Zayn is of Syrian descent and due to political tensions between the two countries, had not been allowed to participate in any of the events in Saudi Arabia. Recently, those tensions have eased, with Syria rejoining the League of Arab States, and participating in a summit this Friday in Jeddah. In light of that change, Zayn will make his WWE debut in Saudi Arabia next weekend when he and Kevin Owens defend their Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships against The Bloodline’s WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, and Solo Sikoa.
On the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer spoke about Zayn finally getting the chance to wrestle as part of one of WWE’s supershows in The Kingdom.
“It’s interesting, too, because, you know, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are going to Saudi Arabia for the first time,” he began. “I mean, I think Kevin went before, but then he wouldn’t go for a couple of shows. I think that what happened, you know, I mean, some people have actually asked about this one. So Kevin and Sami are wrestling Roman and Solo Sikoa, and that’s going to be one of the two main events for the Saudi show on the 27th.
“And what basically happened there was that, I guess, Syria, I mean, Saudi Arabia is opened up to where Syrians can come in. So, Sami can come in, and he decided that he would go and when Sami decided he would go, Kevin decided that if Sami is gonna go, he’ll go too. So, they are on the show. And there’s a lot of people who were thinking, and it was the case before, you know, that maybe they would have to drop the belts, because it’s Night Of Champions and everything, and you have to have all the titles up, and Sami, for a long time, wasn’t allowed to go.
“But that is all changed so, as things went on, I mean, when the thing started, women weren’t allowed to go. They’re getting more and more, and I mean it’s not just WWE, but it’s with other products as well that they have allowed, you know, as more Western products have gone to Saudi Arabia, they have allowed them to be what they are, and WWE is no different.”
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