TKO President Mark Shapiro Comments On Possibility Of More WWE Events In Saudi Arabia

Outside of the COVID-19 pandemic, WWE's controversial relationship with Saudi Arabia has yielded two premium live events each year since it began in 2018, but there's been talk recently that the country wants more. During an interview with ESPN published Wednesday, His Excellency Turki Alalshikh said an "enhancement" to the 10-year deal will soon be announced, and expressed his desire to bring some of WWE's biggest events — including the Royal Rumble and even WrestleMania — to Saudi Arabia. Later Wednesday, Endeavor and TKO Group Holdings President Mark Shapiro addressed future WWE Saudi shows during the Q&A portion of TKO's first quarter earnings call.


According to Shapiro, WWE has maintained a healthy relationship with the Kingdom despite the resignation of Vince McMahon, who has stepped down from all positions of power due to the on-going Janel Grant lawsuit. Shapiro acknowledged McMahon's importance to that relationship, but noted that WWE President Nick Khan has kept it strong, and WWE will continue to run events in Saudi Arabia, presumably through 2027 at least. As far as bringing a major show like WrestleMania to the Kingdom, Shapiro doesn't see WWE expanding its current agreement of two PLEs per year, but said the company is looking into "festivalizing" those events to make them feel as important as possible. Shapiro's response doesn't necessarily disqualify one of those two annual events from being the Rumble or WrestleMania at some point; WWE brought one of its less important annual PLEs, Elimination Chamber, to the Jeddah Super Dome in 2022.


As of this writing, WWE has held a total of 10 PLEs in Saudi Arabia — four in Jeddah and six in Riyadh. The 11th is set to take place on May 25, when Jeddah will serve as the site of the first-ever King and Queen of the Ring PLE.