WWE’s “Crown Jewel” pay-per-view event will now feature the first-ever women’s professional wrestling match in Saudi Arabia, when Natalya and Lacey Evans go toe-to-toe Thursday in Riyadh.
Back in late 2017, WWE Superstars Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss became the first women to wrestle in Abu Dhabi, which is the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Due to the local culture, they had to wear full-body suits. Natalya and Evans will wear full-body suits as well on Thursday in Saudi Arabia, a person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap.
Here’s how Banks and Bliss looked for their history-making match:
The person told TheWrap that WWE has been trying to hold a women’s match in Saudi Arabia “since the first show.” As to why Nattie and Lacey were chosen, the person said “Why not them?”
“Because they can do the match with no potential cultural backlash,” the person told us.
The announcement was made Wednesday at a press conference at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. “Crown Jewel” is considered a key part of the local culture’s Riyadh Season, which includes more than 100 entertainment events over a two-month span.
The women’s match joins a card that otherwise looks like this:
- Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt (Falls Count Anywhere) for the Universal Championship
- Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez for the WWE Championship
- Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
- Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Ricochet, Rusev, Ali & Shorty G) vs. Team Flair (Randy Orton, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Lashley & Drew McIntyre)
- A 20-man battle royal for a United States Championship opportunity
- AJ Styles (c) vs. TBD for the United States Championship
- Mansoor vs. Cesaro
- A Tag Team Turmoil match featuring The New Day, The Viking Raiders, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, The Revival, The O.C., Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode and The B-Team.
It’ll be a busy Halloween for Vince McMahon and his WWE. Also on Thursday, WWE will report its third-quarter 2019 earnings.
Thursday’s “Crown Jewel” will stream live on WWE Network beginning at 1 p.m. ET.
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