What’s in a name? Like them or not, there is a lot of value for WWE in their series of shows in Saudi Arabia. The series has not been the most successful in the world from a creative standpoint but they certainly have been on the financial side. Above all else, the company brings in a fortune to them and that is what matters most to them. As a result, WWE is going to be running them for a long time to come, as long as Saudi Arabia is happy. That seems to include one change from the previous editions and it is a rather noticeable one.
During a recent edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, a discussion came up regarding the WWE mentioning that the shows are taking place in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This was mainly not done in the build for the previous two shows, Crown Jewel 2018 and Super ShowDown. The change came after the unfavorable publicity the Kingdom received for its role in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. Things have been changing for this show though, with WWE regularly mentioning that the show would be taking place in Saudi Arabia.
The reason for the change is that the Saudi Arabian shows are now seen internally as the most important shows of the year for WWE, including more important than WrestleMania. The shows are so much more lucrative financially and that means the company is willing to focus more on the shows. This includes bringing in mainstream sports names like Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury, who offer the star power that Saudi Arabia wants. WWE has since mentioned the Kingdom several times, including the Riyadh Days parade which featured the Undertaker on a WWE float.
WWE certainly didn’t mind promoting the company last year. Check out their special look at the Greatest Royal Rumble in 2018:
Opinion: This is a situation where it depends on your perspective. From the company’s perspective, this makes perfect sense and is a huge deal financially. At the same time though, it is horrible from the fans’ perspective as the shows are not all that interesting and rarely have any long term meaning. They are house shows on a budget and never feel as important as the regular pay per views. Maybe it is due to the source of the money, but it comes off like a massive cash grab with WWE looking to line their pockets instead of entertaining their fans, which really doesn’t work out well for an entertainment company.
Do you like the Saudi Arabia shows? Will you be watching Crown Jewel? Let us know in the comments below.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. His latest book is KB’s Complete 2004 Monday Night Raw Reviews.
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