Latest News

Back to Latest News back

 

World Wrestling Entertainment stages first event in Saudi Arabia

World Wrestling Entertainment stages first event in Saudi Arabia
May 2, 2018

The Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority in partnership with World Wrestling Entertainment presented the first ever WWE event in the Middle Eastern Kingdom at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah last Friday (27th April).

Billed as the Greatest Royal Rumble, the event represented another element supporting Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 social and economic reform program and was the first event in a 10-year partnership between WWA and the Saudi Arabian General Sports Authority (SAGSA).

The five-hour live pay-per-view event featured 50 WWE ‘superstars’ including John Cena, Triple H, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, The New Day, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Shinsuke Nakamura.

Given ongoing restrictions on women’s sport participation in Saudi Arabia, women wrestlers didn’t appear on the card, however, female fans were allowed to attend if accompanied by a male guardian.

Commenting on this, Triple H, WWE’s wrestler-turned-executive, told UK newspaper The Independent that “you can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it.”

The event also featured a glitch when a video clip of scantily clad female wrestlers was broadcast during the event – drawing euphoric cheers from men and women in the audience.

The aftermath saw the SAGSA release a swift apology, with a statement advising “we apologise to the viewers and attendees who watched the WWE event held in Jeddah yesterday, for the clips aired of women dressed indecently.”

Such images, it said, were "banned" and would remain so.

The event featured also saw Iranian-American wrestlers the Daivari brothers entered the ring, waving an Iranian flag before he waved the Iranian flag before being dispatched by a gaggle of Saudi wrestlers.

Not appreciating the ‘sport entertainment’ nature of WWE, Ariya Daivari reportedly received death threats for the skit.

Commenting on this on Twitter, Daivari later wrote “during an appearance this past Friday, I portrayed a fictional character and played the role of the antagonist, no different than what other actors would do in a movie or TV show.

“That character does not reflect my personal views and I apologize to anyone that may have been offended by the skit. I have an incredible amount of respect for the great people of Iran and I am very proud of my Iranian heritage.” 

Images, from top, show action from the Greatest Royal Rumble: action in the ring, the King Abdullah Sports City venue and young event fans. Courtesy of WWE.

21st April 2018 - SAUDI ARABIAN AUTHORITIES SHUT DOWN WOMEN’S FITNESS CLUB OVER ‘INDECENT’ VIDEO

30th October 2017 - SAUDI ARABIA TO ALLOW WOMEN TO ATTEND STADIUM-BASED SPORT

11th October 2017 - SAUDI ARABIA REVEALS US$2.7 BILLION PLAN TO EXPAND ENTERTAINMENT SECTOR

14th August 2017 - HUMAN RIGHTS GROUP WELCOMES SAUDI ARABIAN REFORM ON SCHOOL SPORT FOR GIRLS

17th March 2017 - FITNESS FIRST MIDDLE EAST TO OPEN WOMEN-ONLY GYMS IN SAUDI ARABIA

15th February 2017 - SAUDI ARABIA TO START GRANTING LICENCES FOR FEMALE GYM OPERATIONS 

25th January 2015 - AFC OFFICIAL ‘HAPPY’ TO BAR WOMEN SPECTATORS FROM STADIA 

15th October 2014 - WOMEN’S SPORTING RIGHTS PUT SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN ON THE DEFENSIVE 

7th July 2014 - SAUDI ARABIA ANNOUNCES PLANS TO BUILD 11 STADIA

19th November 2013 - MAJORITY OF SAUDIS FAVOUR WOMEN’S RIGHT TO SPORT


Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.

 

supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

revolutioniseSPORT

revolutioniseSPORT is the emerging market leader in online club management in Australia. Whether it is memberships, registrations, events, online sales or governance tools - revolutioniseSPORT is the…

read more

Recreation / Sport / Technology

 
 

Mattioli

Mattioli provides award winning painting, flooring and waterproofing services to the aquatics and recreation sector. We’re recognised as the leading contractor in the industry with award-winning…

read more

Aquatics / Recreation / Safety

 
 

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp)

SKC Operations Pty Ltd (SKCorp) is an expert retail and marketing services team specialising in sports, leisure, aquatics, fitness, health, wellness & recreation industry. Using proven…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Marketing / Retail

 
 

SGL GROUP

SGL is an innovative and progressive lifestyle, leisure and community consulting practice, operated by Phillip Gray and active since 1988. SGL has undertaken an extensive range of sport,…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Fitness / Recreation / Sport

 
 

GEOFF NINNES FONG AND PARTNERS

Geoff Ninnes Fong & Partners (GNFP) is a structural, aquatic and civil engineering consultancy with broad experience in the design of new municipal and institutional swimming pools, hydrotherapy…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Design / Venues

 
 

ELITE POOL COVERS

Since 1989 Elite Pool Covers have designed and manufactured an extensive range of high quality affordable manual,semi-automatic and fully-automatic pool cover systems for the harsh Australian…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Technology / Venues

 
 

SYNERGY FITNESS

The Calgym/Synergy group has had a long and proud history since 1976 as world leaders in the innovation, design and evolution of commercial strength and conditioning equipment. The Synergy group was…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness

 
 

DEBITSUCCESS

Over the past 10 years Debitsuccess has been providing expert billing services to businesses across Australia. Debitsuccess is now the largest full service direct debit provider in Australasia,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Golf / Recreation

 
 
 
 

get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business