WWE reportedly tried for weeks to obtain the approval of the Saudi Arabian Sports Authority to put on a women’s match at Super ShowDown. It was reported that the company were in negotiations with the Saudi Government right up until the day of the big show.
Ultimately, permission was not granted and the planned Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya match did not take place.
At yesterday’s Celebrating Women In Sports event, WWE’s Chief Branding Officer Stephanie McMahon was asked about her father’s company’s deal with Saudi Arabia.
McMahon referenced the “This is Hope” chant that broke out during Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks’ history-making match Abu Dhabi for the Raw Women’s Championship in 2017. She said she believed a women’s match in Saudi Arabia will happen in the “near future”, hinting that the government has given WWE an indication that permission will be granted for a future show.
“In terms of women, I’m going to harken to an example in Abu Dhabi. It took us six years to have our women be allowed to perform in Abu Dhabi. But just over a year ago, they were allowed. And not only that, but a chant broke out in the arena of both men and women chanting, ‘This Is Hope’. ‘This Is Hope,’ which is not your typical WWE chant. And there were tears in the eyes of little girls in the front row, because again, they saw what they could possibly be. And we’ve been promised that we will be a part of the the forefront of change that’s coming in Saudi. I believe we will have a women’s match in the near future.”
.@WWE's @StephMcMahon is speaking at the Celebrating Women in Sports Luncheon. @DespinaBarton asked about #WWE's dealings in Saudi Arabia and the correlation to women. McMahon believes there will be a women's match "in the near future." More from her tonight on @SpecSports360. pic.twitter.com/29C38r0WP6
— Jon Alba (@JonAlba) June 12, 2019
WWE is set to return to Saudi Arabia for another big show in October/November of this year. Perhaps this will be the show where women get to perform for the first time.
Thanks to Cageside Seats for the transcription.