Since 2018, WWE have ran shows in Saudi Arabia as part of a 10-year strategic partnership with the General Sports Authority, in which they have agreed to run two ‘large-scale events’ in Saudi through to 2027.
This controversial decision was met with backlash from a large portion of fans due to Saudi Arabia’s poor human rights record, amongst a plethora of other issues surrounding the problematic agreement.
From WWE’s perspective, the deal has been lucrative for the company and has seen them make significantly more money from their eight Saudi shows thus far than they have from every previous WrestleMania combined.
WWE will also point to the progress made in Saudi Arabia since the beginning of their agreement, such as women now being featured on the shows, but there is still a dark cloud hanging over the events whenever they come around.
Despite the ongoing controversies, WWE’s SVP of Live Events, Road Dogg, has described the shows as a “smart business transaction”.
Road Dogg Believes WWE’s Saudi Shows Are Best For Business
Speaking on his ‘Oh, You Didn’t Know’ podcast, Road Dogg defended WWE’s decision to run shows in Saudi Arabia:
“Well, look, I think a lot of people have an opinion one way or another. I think when you look at it from a business standpoint, and I don’t know how else a business is supposed to look at it, you know what I mean? It’s a smart business transaction. And I think this shows what a presentation, they look great. They put their money where their mouth is, and then they put on a great, great show.”
Road Dogg also suggested that the Saudi shows allow WWE to put on ’extracurricular’ matches, such as Logan Paul vs. Roman Reigns at the latest Crown Jewel show, that may not work on a Survivor Series or WrestleMania match card:
“I think it’s not considered one of the big four PPVs or whatever, you know, there are extracurricular PPVs, and this is one of them. And what better place to, in my opinion, from a business standpoint, Logan Paul, this big, huge star with all these followers and everything to have this match in Saudi like, I don’t think you want to have that match at Survivor Series. I don’t think you want to have that match, maybe WrestleMania, because this guy has a special kind of outside talent. But I think they’re gonna have a great match and impress everybody. And what a better place to present that than at Saudi Arabia live on premium live event.”
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