Matt Hardy Confirms Rumor About WWE And Saudi Arabia Partnership

WWE  has expanded its agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host multiple premium live events in the country. During the early organizational stages, it's believed that certain individuals involved with Saudi's Ministry of Sports were a little out of touch with WWE's current product versus the one they grew up on, prompting them to request matches involving talents who are deceased. Matt Hardy was still under contract with the company at the time, and he confirmed the rumor on "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy."


"There were times where people who probably grew up as young children or teenagers in Saudi, and they had these people who were their favorite wrestlers when they were growing up, and now they're working in this sports authority," Hardy recalled. "They said, 'Hey, we want so-and-so guy. I was probably a big fan of him growing up or whatever.' And they did ask for some people who were no longer with us. I know that did happen on a couple of occasions."

Yokozuna was allegedly one of the deceased wrestlers brought up in conversation between the Saudi prince and then-CEO Vince McMahon while planning The Greatest Royal Rumble, the first PLE under the 10-year agreement. Hiroki Sumi, a former sumo wrestler, acted as sort of a consolation entrant. He came in at #7 and had a brief confrontation with Mark Henry before being eliminated.


Still, Saudi Arabia has paid top dollar for marquee matchups, such as DX versus the Brothers of Destruction and The Undertaker versus Goldberg. While both bouts were critically panned, Hardy noted that they were desired attractions. "There were people that really wanted these specific dream matches, and they wanted them to go down in Saudi," Hardy said. "They were super happy to get those." 

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "The Extreme Life of Matt Hardy" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.