As noted in this morning's Q3 earnings report, WWE confirmed that the Crown Jewel event will go on as planned in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. They wrote, "WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled."
TampaBay.com spoke with Alexa Bliss and Natalya earlier this week about WWE returning to the Kingdom for Crown Jewel. Natalya said she hopes changes for women could happen over the course of WWE's 10-year deal with the Saudis.
"You're not going to change a culture overnight. I think WWE is taking such positive steps in doing positive things over in Saudi Arabia," Natalya said. "One day, I believe that we will be over there."
Bliss agreed that the female Superstars should get the chance to wrestle in the Kingdom.
"I don't feel like it's out of reach," Bliss said. "Who knows? I don't think it's ever not a possibility."
Bliss also talked about wrestling Sasha Banks in the United Arab Emirates last year, the first time women had wrestled there. Bliss said it's not just a women's evolution in WWE, it's an evolution all over the world.
"The welcome was so warm," Bliss said of wrestling in the UAE. "They were up-to-date with women's story lines. There were little girls crying in happiness. It was just so cool because we got to have that moment with them."