Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Wants To Bring WrestleMania To The Country

By Joe Burgett
May 8, 2024
Triple H & Stephanie McMahon In Saudi Arabia

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been under a long-term partnership contract for several years. The goal of the first deal was pretty simple. Saudi needed to make a good impression on the rest of the world. A platform like the WWE could offer that to them, which made the deal useful for the country. What did WWE get out of the deal? The Kingdom offered them several millions of dollars to come to the country a few times per year. They paid for all the travel, hotel expenses, food, etc. Seriously, it was all profit for WWE to perform here.

Naturally, former WWE Owner Vince McMahon was willing to do this well before anything major changed here. He even forced the talent to put on a show there after Saudi was found to have been responsible for ending the life of a journalist. Most fans felt like the WWE/Saudi deal would end under the Triple H Regime. It’s unknown if “The Game” wants WWE to go here a few times a year. However, he does not control this type of thing.

Now, the TKO Group is responsible for making deals with various places for WWE Superstars to perform. Endeavor spent a lot of money buying WWE. Now, Endeavor itself has been sold off to Silver Lake. Therefore, a lot of the contracts that can generate a ton of profit will likely be agreed to. This is regardless of any well-known human rights issues.


Stipe Miocic

The WWE deal with Saudi Arabia is going to be up very soon. However, unlike last time, WWE is now part of the TKO Group. Saudi Arabian officials worked out deals in the past to run UFC shows here as well. This means we could very well end up seeing WWE & UFC shows take place at a similar time here.

However, ESPN reported that Riyadh Season has signed a “strategic agreement” with the UFC. For those unaware, “Riyadh Season” is an annual state-funded sports and entertainment festival. It began in 2019 as part of a new initiative that initially included 11 entertainment festivals carried by Saudi Seasons. Unlike other traditional festivals we might be used to in the West, Riyadh Season takes place from October to March.

Each month something new takes place at the festival. In fact, WWE’s visits to the country are technically connected to this festival in some form. On top of this, Saudi Arabia has managed to get some massive boxing and even tennis and soccer games/tournaments to take place here.

The fact that the Saudi officials were able to sign a new deal with the UFC is pretty big. However, the officials referenced that they are soon going to be attempting to sign WWE to an extension so they can keep getting them to come to the country.


Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman

While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always been a partner that offered a lot of money, WWE took the initial deal for a sum that many feel they have outgrown. WWE gets roughly $10 million per show, which is about $20 million annually. That is just for each show, by the way. This has nothing to do with the merchandise they sell or the share of money they get off ticket sales to the event.

If this is what Saudi offered for its first deal, one could argue that WWE has more than outgrown this. That means Saudi will need to be open to perhaps doubling or tripling the current deal. Heck, having WWE come to the country annually is a big deal. It might be the only reason other brands would even consider the idea.

For their part, WWE has been doing random shows here quite a lot. While the Crown Jewel PLE has been the most notable regular show, they have also put on others that seemed to just happen. However, WWE might have finally figured out a good show for Saudi with the King & Queen of the Ring PLE upcoming. The finals to crown a new King and Queen of the Ring will take place here, along with other matches. This truly fits the country a lot more than most of the other random shows they put on.

WWE might be asking for a lot of money, but Saudi Arabia wants quite a lot.

According to what the officials stated when they discussed the UFC deal, they also wanted to make some big things happen with WWE. In fact, they specifically said they wanted to bring the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania to Saudi Arabia.


Triple H & Stephanie McMahon In Saudi Arabia

The deal with the WWE is either nearing completion or it has already been finalized. The Chairman of Saudi Arabia’s General Entertainment Authority, Turki Alalshikh, claimed that an “enhancement” of the deal with WWE will be announced later this month. This is likely being done because the King & Queen of the Ring PLE will be taking place on May 25th live from Jeddah.

We’re not sure if Turki meant “extension” or truly meant “enhancement.” Obviously, English is not the first language for most in the Middle East. Therefore, it could have just been a small translation issue. However, if he did indeed mean “enhancement,” then it’s pretty apparent that WWE and Saudi officials agreed to some sort of major deal. One that could very well bring one of the company’s biggest events to the country.

To be fair, the Royal Rumble might be a big show but it could sort of fit the Saudi environment. The issue is that the country might not be able to keep up with surprises or know a lot of the current stars compared to older superstars. Either way, one could likely stomach this type of event taking place in the country.

The real issue is assuming WWE would ever be open to the idea of Saudi Arabia hosting WrestleMania.


Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens in Saudi Arabia

Hosting WrestleMania is huge for any city. WWE, however, has only ever allowed WrestleMania to take place in one other country outside of the United States. That was our upstairs neighbor, Canada. Since a lot of major talent for WWE came from the country, it was not a hard decision to go here, especially since they have several RAW and/or SmackDown events per year that go through Canada already.

It made sense to consider Canada since it fits timezone-wise and really feels like being in America still. However, WWE has discussed the idea of potentially allowing a place in the United Kingdom to host the show. After being so great, WWE might also consider a French city now too.

Saudi Arabia, though, is tough to see. This is for numerous reasons.

Let’s take Sami Zayn for one example.

For years, Saudi Arabia banned Syrians from the country. While Zayn is Canadian, he’s also Syrian. This was an issue for Zayn because he was not allowed to go to any Saudi show for several years. As a Muslim, he was also unable to visit Mecca too. It was a double whammy of issues for Sami until recently.

What if Saudi does similar again, and decides to ban someone from a country where another WWE Superstar is from? For example, what if they ban anyone from the United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Canada, or Japan? We’d eliminate a lot of people who would normally appear at a WrestleMania event. We cannot do that, considering WrestleMania is the biggest event of the year for WWE. Every wrestler on the roster wants to be on that show.

On top of this, WWE has to consider many other factors.


Besides the aforementioned issues with bans the kingdom put into place in the past, there are other problems too. For example, we discussed bans that affect the Superstars. What about the fans who want to attend the show from other places? This would become a huge issue where we might prevent perfectly good people from going to the show.

Plus. the female WWE Superstars like to wear clothing for the show that fits them best. Their attire connects not just to their character, but might also fit their culture or interests. Some of this might be more revealing than even their regular attire. In Saudi Arabia, women are forced to cover up by law. This forces women in WWE to wear bodysuits. Some of those can still make a woman look sexy, but the skin cannot be seen like it could elsewhere.

While they do not have to always cover their faces, they cannot reveal any part of themselves but the head area. This is a huge issue because it eliminates clothing that would otherwise be perfect for the biggest show of the year.

Another issue to consider is that Saudi fans are often behind on WWE content. As a result, they might not be caught up enough to understand what might be going on in storylines. While this is supposedly getting better, it is nowhere near where it needs to be.

This is not even discussing the human rights violations, as well as the fact that this is in the Middle East. A place where wars randomly take place sometimes out of nowhere. A place like Saudi is a prime target due to its wealth and being the site of Mecca.

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