There continues to be strong speculation on Alexa Bliss vs. Natalya taking place at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia on Friday, which would be the first women's wrestling match in the Kingdom, but WWE officials are keeping quiet on if the match will actually happen, according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Bliss and Natalya are currently in Saudi Arabia, but as of several hours ago even they did not know if they would be wrestling on Friday or not.
Meltzer pointed to how there's really no reason why the women's division couldn't be allowed to work the Saudi shows due to recent changes in the country. There have been female entertainers, athletes and circus performers that have performed in the Kingdom during the last year or two. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud recently vowed to return the Kingdom to a more "moderate Islam" when he came into more power. That is often met by backlash from others in the royal family, and some citizens.
It's likely that Bliss and Natalya will be covered for the match, if it happens, as Bliss and Sasha Banks were in 2017 when they wrestled the first-ever women's wrestling match in the Middle East during a WWE live event in Abu Dhabi. Meltzer speculated that if Bliss and Natalya don't wrestle on Friday, they could be there to announce that the match will take place at the next WWE event in the Kingdom, expected for November.
We noted on Wednesday, via @Wrestlevotes, that there had been talks a few months back of doing Natalya vs. Nia Jax in Saudi Arabia. Jax was nixed from the plans after her double knee surgery in late April. Meltzer also indicated that a women's match in the Kingdom may have been a part of WWE's 10-year deal with the Saudis, which was inked before the Greatest Royal Rumble event in 2018. There's no word on why the match didn't take place on the first two Saudi shows, but it could have been because of the build to the "historic breakthrough" storyline with the Women's Revolution, or as a way to give the local culture more time to accept the match.
WWE officials reportedly have gone back & forth on plans for a women's match in Saudi Arabia, according to Meltzer, but no one really knew whether or not it was happening as of a few hours ago. The higher-ups and producers are likely aware, but those who would know aren't talking. It's possible that they don't want the match getting out ahead of time due to backlash from the media and the locals. Meltzer also noted that if the match doesn't happen at Super ShowDown, it will happen soon, which goes back to the possibility of Bliss and Natalya appearing on Friday just to announce a future match.
As noted, Renee Young is also in the Kingdom with WWE this week. She did not do commentary for Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018, but she did help call the action at Crown Jewel back in November. She's expected to call Friday's show as well. Stay tuned for more updates from WWE's return to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.