History was made at WWE Crown Jewel when Natalya took on Lacey Evans in King Fahd International Stadium. It marked the first women’s wrestling match to ever take place in Saudi Arabia as Natalya defeated Evans with the Sharpshooter.
Mr. King is a Saudi Arabian journalist and he talked about that historic match when he spoke to Wrestling Inc. on our WINCLY podcast.
“That was a history-making moment. The women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to do a lot stuff in Saudi Arabia that they weren’t able to do before like driving cars. So, this match gives a touching moment to the women to do something huge. Their dreams can be true here in Saudi Arabia,” said King.
“This is the beginning of a new age so I think this is huge for the women of Saudi Arabia.”
He was then asked if this was just a one-off match for women’s wrestling or if it’s a sign that there will be more matches in the future.
“I don’t know. I think there needs to be women’s wrestling in Saudi Arabia because almost every single wrestling show in the world has a women’s division. But in Saudi Arabia, we didn’t have a wrestling division for women? This has really touched the women of Saudi Arabia and has given them hope they can achieve their dreams here,” stated King who was then asked why it took so long to have a women’s match.
“The difference of the culture and our religion rules are different than any other religion. It was a thing to respect our culture and religion. The WWE respected that and gave the women suitable clothes in the match.”
He noted they did the same thing regarding the women’s wrestling gear in Abu Dhabi. King was then asked if the people in Saudi Arabia enjoyed the Natalya-Evans match.
“A lot of people were really happy and there were a lot of people who weren’t happy about it,” revealed King. “That’s a normal thing as not 100 percent of people will agree with you. I truly understand their opinion and their words as the change in the country is a little different for them. So, we have to respect their opinion.”
Saudi Arabia has progressed dramatically in recent years and it appears there is more of a Western world influence than ever before. King talked about this ongoing change.
“The change has been huge for us and I’m happy for the change. A lot of things we weren’t able to do in regards to entertainment,” King said before adding there was an Imagine Dragons concert there recently. “These cinema concepts ? we didn’t have any place where we could watch movies and last month I watched The Joker. It was a dream come true for me to attend a movie and concert. I’m really happy and the entertainment authority in Saudi Arabia is doing work to change things in Saudi Arabia so a lot of events are being held here, not just in wrestling.”
Crown Jewel featured some ringside seats in big, comfortable chairs that aren’t the norm for wrestling events. King was asked who gets to sit in these seats.
“As a wrestling fan, we would like to be in the front row. Wrestling fans were tweeting to the [people working at the Saudi General Sports Authority] and they were telling them, ‘Guys, please. We want to be in the front row.’ That’s happened in the last show and I think at the next couple of shows that will be the same,” said King.
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.