It was announced to the live crowd last Friday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia that WWE would be returning to Riyadh in November. This is all part of their ten-year deal with the Saudi Arabian government. The money amount has not been disclosed but it’s believed to be a huge amount for multiple shows per year. The Greatest Royal Rumble show was more lucrative to them than WrestleMania, which explains why they flew in so many top names, including The Undertaker.
It will be interesting to see if Sami Zayn will be part of the next show there. In the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it was noted that the Zayn situation was kept a secret before and during the show. Zayn had known about it for about a week and we were initially told that it was his decision but that clearly was not the case.
Based on what he has told people privately, he was not told why he wasn’t on the show and, as of this writing, he does not have an explanation because he still hasn’t been told anything. On Raw, the storyline explanation was that he was off the road because he had vertigo. The directive that was given for the show was that nobody could speak about the Zayn situation until after the show because they wanted to avoid the controversy that would come with a performer not being booked for a show because of their ethnicity.
There was a handbook with a list of things that they were not allowed to do in order to stay in line with the Saudi Arabian customs. One of the directives was to not say anything about Zayn during the show. If you watched the show, you will notice that nothing was said about Zayn or any of the women. Jerry Lawler mentioned the handbook last week on his podcast but he asked host Glenn Moore to remove his comments about it because the information in the handbook was supposed to be kept quiet.
News from The Wrestling Observer website was used in this post. For more on this story please visit WrestlingObserver.com. Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez’ WrestlingObserver.com is the leading source for professional wrestling news. Click here for subscription information. Members get exclusive access to insider news from Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez, daily audio shows, breaking news audio, the Wrestling Observer newsletter, newsletter archives, thousands of hours of archived radio shows, and much more.