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

SLE WORLDWIDE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

SLE Worldwide Australia is a Managing General Underwriter specialising in insuring risks in the world of Sports, Leisure and Entertainment. Be it relaxing, playing, organising or watching sports,…

read more

Insurance / Venues

 
 

Pricemark Pty Ltd

Pricemark supplies a wide range of custom branded membership & RFID access products for the Health & Leisure Industry. 

read more

Access

 
 

Digonex

Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…

read more

Attractions / Entertainment / Sport / Technology / Ticketing

 
 

APT Asia Pacific Pty Ltd

APT (Advanced Polymer Technology) is the leading global manufacturer of polyurethane-based materials, acrylic coatings and synthetic turf products for sporting and recreational applications. From…

read more

Environment / Sport / Surfaces / Technology

 
 

Pico Play

Pico Play is a global leader in the planning, design, development and construction of world-class themed attractions and entertainment that deliver extraordinary and memorable experiences to millions…

read more

Attractions / Consultants / Design / Recreation / Tourism

 
 

BODY BIKE AUSTRALIA

BODY BIKE® International is a leading manufacturer of indoor bikes with a 20-year track record of creating the best indoor bikes. Stay connected with Body Bike Australia…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness

 
 

GLADSTONE MRM

Gladstone Health & Leisure (Gladstone MRM Pty Ltd Australia) is a leading supplier of leisure management and fitness software and is endorsed by leading health and fitness professionals and…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology / Venues

 
 

Otium Planning Group

Otium Planning Group is a contemporary sport and leisure consultancy providing services in planning, facility development, management and funding for the sport, recreation and leisure industries…

read more

Aquatics / Consultants / Recreation / Sport / Venues

 
 
 
 

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