WWE has hosted four events in Saudi Arabia with several more on the way as part of a 10-year partnership. The most recent event was Crown Jewel and Saudi Arabian journalist Mr. King talked about the ticketing process for these events when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
"Almost all of the tickets are on-line. The first two PPVs were sold out and the 2018 Crown Jewel was sold out in just four hours," King said before being asked how soon in advance tickets went on sale.
"The first three shows was two weeks before the show. The last show was a week ago which was a little bit of a problem for us."
King added that ticket sales depend on the company that is selling the tickets as WWE does not handle ticket sales. He admitted to being a bit apprehensive about securing tickets so close to the event.
"I'm from a city far away from the cities that host the huge wrestling shows so I have to take a flight to go there," said King. "I was really nervous about not getting a ticket until a week before but I got it."
King was then asked about the ongoing Bobby Lashley/Rusev/Lana storyline and how it's being received in Saudi Arabia.
"Well, it depends on the person itself because not everyone agrees to the same thing. This is a fake storyline and as a wrestling fan, I don't like that," stated King. "It's storytelling and I understand, but as a wrestling fan I don't like that this is happening for Rusev and Lana. Don't do stuff like that for them as maybe it will truly affect their relationship. So, I'm really afraid for Rusev and Lana."
He added that everything with WWE airs without edits in the country because programming appears on a paid channel.
King was then asked about reports that there was a delay with the feed for Crown Jewel for people in Saudi Arabia.
"I heard about it because when I came home my family told me I was taking photos of something that they weren't watching on TV. I was taking pictures of something earlier," said King. There was a delay of maybe 30-40 minutes."
He doesn't believe it was a censorship delay because that wouldn't last 30 minutes. King also said it's not common for them to have those kinds of delays.
The most talked about thing to emerge from Crown Jewel were the travel issues after the event. There's been much speculation and rumors as to why many WWE Superstars were delayed in traveling back to the United States and King gave his opinion on it.
"About the travel issues, there is no official statement about it but in my opinion it's a paperwork problem. When you take a piece of work for a couple of days and your flight didn't take you out of the country, it's a little bit of a problem. There's a hotel inside the airport and they slept there and took another flight," revealed King.
"I think the problem was the plane itself. The team stopped it and said this plane is not safe for you to leave. Thank God they noticed this before they left because it would have been a huge problem if something happened."
King said that hotel that the Superstars stayed at was the same one he used and he ran into several Superstars while there.
"I caught several wrestlers in the lobby like Bobby Lashley, but as a professional guy I didn't want to interrupt anyone. I don't know if they came back to the Hilton again, or if they stayed in the airport, because at that time I wasn't available anymore," stated King who was then asked how approachable the Superstars are.
"Not everyone knows about them. As a wrestling fan, I know Bobby Lashley and I see them on TV every week. But when you see them in front of you, it's a crazy thing. It's something like your dream. I was a little freaked out inside of me, but I didn't act like it and was professional."
Support Mr. King by visiting WrestlingAC.com, his pro wrestling site based out of Saudi Arabia, and by following him on Twitter @98MrKing.
Mr. King's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our WINCLY podcast. It can be heard via the embedded audio player at the bottom of this post. In the full interview King discusses his work as a pro wrestling journalist in Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia's pro wrestling scene, working the WWE Crown Jewel media scrums, sitting ringside for WWE Crown Jewel, WWE's travel issues getting back to the United States, the tape delay for Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, Mansoor and more. You can check out past episodes of the WINCLY here. Subscribe to Wrestling Inc. Audio on iTunes or Google Play. Listen to the show via Spotify here or through TuneIn here.