On April 27th, WWE will uncork The Greatest Royal Rumble in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The tantalizing card has already drawn WrestleMania comparisons and it looks like it will carry a similar bloated run time of over six hours.
However, despite the lucrative amount of wrestling, not one female will compete.
How does WWE justify not using blockbuster names like Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair for such a big event? Well, it wasn’t their choice, rather the omission of women’s wrestling was dictated by the conservative customs of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabian laws are antiquated, to say the least, and most of their hyper-conservative belief system directly impacts the freedom of women within the country.
The list of restrictions on women is a long as it is saddening, but for the sake of this story, women are not allowed to compete freely in sports, in this case, professional wrestling.
In that light, WWE has drawn criticism for even booking the Greatest Royal Rumble in such an oppressive culture. After all, WWE has not been shy about their commitment to women wrestling in recent years so some have found ground to call out WWE for hypocrisy.
“I understand that people are questioning it, but you have to understand that every culture is different and just because you don’t agree with a certain aspect of it, it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant culture," he said.
In his nicest of terms, Triple H seems to agree that Saudi Arabia has some backward laws, but it's not WWE's place to judge.
“You can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it," reasoned Triple H.
Even though WWE is a worldwide entity, there are no expectations for them to be a leader in geopolitics. However, Triple H does envision WWE having women wrestle in Saudi Arabia.
“While, right now, women are not competing in the event, we have had discussions about that and we believe and hope that in the next few years they will be. That is a significant cultural shift in Saudi Arabia," he said.
WWE powered through a similar barrier this winter when Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks transcended Abu Dhabi's customs and became the first women to ever compete in the country.0comments
So if you're upset about WWE making the choice to do business in an outdated culture, try to change your outage for patience, became than likely WWE will get its women in a Saudi Arabian ring.
It just won't be this year.