Backstage News On When WWE Will Return To Saudi Arabia

WWE Crown Jewel came and went this past weekend, becoming the company's most successful international show in history, bringing in seven figures of viewership. With the events continuing for years to come, WWE is currently planning its next appearance in Saudi Arabia for May 2023 according to Fightful Select.


This weekend's Crown Jewel marked WWE's eighth premium live event in Saudi Arabia since signing a ten-year agreement with the Saudi government in 2018, a deal that has garnered the company over $400 million throughout those eight events. This staggering revenue for WWE far surpasses all 38 WrestleMania events combined, which have garnered roughly $250 million since 1985 according to Wrestlenomics. The WWE's relationship with the kingdom started in the winter of 2013, with the company holding three separate house shows from 2013-2016, resulting in the massive partnership announced two years later.

Despite the success of the events, it hasn't come without criticism due to the ongoing human rights complaints against the Saudi Arabian government. One month before Crown Jewel 2018, Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, was assassinated by agents of the Saudi government. Khashoggi's killing put a harsh spotlight on the kingdom and those who do business with it. It also left a sour taste in the mouths of many WWE talent to the point where several refuse to work the events, while others are not permitted.


More fuel was added to the controversial relationship during the Crown Jewel press conference, a day before the event, WWE Co-CEO Stephanie McMahon and Chief Content Officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque gifted a WWE Championship to the Chairman of the General Entertainment Authority, Turki Al-Sheikh, while members of a crowd chanted "MBS," referring to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman.