During WWE’s two Saudi Arabia events last year — Greatest Royal Rumble and Crown Jewel— only male wrestlers were booked to take part in the matches on both shows. As explained by WhatCulture, this was on account of the Saudi government’s long-running restrictions, though Monday Night Raw commentator Renee Young did get to join the announce team for the latter event. Now, it appears that two in-ring performers might be one day away from breaking the gender barrier for WWE in Saudi Arabia.
Citing sources familiar with the situation, Pro Wrestling Sheet wrote on Wednesday that Monday Night Raw superstars Natalya and Alexa Bliss were among the wrestlers who flew to Saudi Arabia ahead of Super ShowDown. According to the publication’s Ryan Satin, WWE officials have spent recent months “going back and forth” with the Saudi General Sports Authority, in hopes of getting a women’s match approved for the upcoming event. As of this writing, WWE has yet to get the go-signal from the Saudi government for the match to get added to the Super ShowDown card.
If the match gets the green light, this would make Natalya and Bliss the first women in WWE to wrestle in Saudi Arabia, with Young reportedly set to reprise her role on Crown Jewel by doing commentary at Super ShowDown, per WrestlingNews.co.
According to sources, Natalya and Alexa Bliss were flown to Saudi Arabia for WWE Super ShowDown because there’s hope they’ll be allowed to wrestle.— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) June 5, 2019
Details below from @WrestlingSheet.https://t.co/sU5PQ8yCZh
Although WWE’s female performers have yet to wrestle in Saudi Arabia, the potential match between Natalya and Alexa Bliss won’t mark the first time that the company’s women have wrestled in the Middle East, should it push forward. According to a report from Sportskeeda, Bliss and Sasha Banks became the first women to wrestle in the United Arab Emirates capital of Abu Dhabi in December 2017, where they wore “special” ring gear that covered up their bodies in accordance to the country’s regulations on women’s clothing.
As of now, it also isn’t clear how WWE will build up the prospective Natalya vs. Bliss match, as neither woman is feuding with the other as part of Monday Night Raw‘s ongoing storylines. While Natalya has been seldom used on television in recent weeks, Bliss’ current storyline has her taking advantage of WWE’s “Wild Card Rule” and challenging SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley for her title, as the two will be battling it out at the Stomping Grounds pay-per-view on June 23, per Wrestling Inc.
WWE Super ShowDown is scheduled to take place on Friday, June 7, at the King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The event will also be available to watch online for WWE Network subscribers.