John Cena and WWE stars return to Saudi Arabia

A number of GCC countries have been “infatuated by WWE” given its cross between sport and entertainment appeals

Ismaeel Naar
Ismaeel Naar - Al Arabiya News
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For the second time in as many years, the World Wrestling Entertainment will be returning to Saudi Arabia with three events in Jeddah starting from October 8.

Saudi and Gulf Arab fans will get the chance to see some of their favorite wrestlers in action, including WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, John Cena, Chris Jericho, Dean Ambrose, Ryback, Big Show, The Miz and WWE Tag Team Lucha Dragons.

“After successful shows in Abu Dhabi earlier this year, we are excited to return to the Middle East and underscore our commitment to the region,” said Gerrit Meier, WWE Executive Vice President, according to a report by Sport 360.

“Fans can expect WWE LIVE to deliver the same non-stop action and family fun that they know and love from our programming on MBC, OSN and OSN WWE Network,” he added.

A number of GCC countries have been “infatuated by WWE” given its cross between sport and entertainment appeals, commentator on sports in the Middle East Ben Jacobs told Al Arabiya News.

“[They] appeal to a wide demographic. The spectacle is perfect for families, who no longer fear it encourages violence. With plots being scripted, the organizers can ensure culturally sensitive content tailored to the Arab world,” said Jacobs.

A number of Saudi fans have also taken to Twitter and social media since the news of the upcoming event first broke. Faisal Khaled, who runs the @WWEJeddah Twitter account, told Al Arabiya News that next month’s event is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many Saudi fans given that wrestling giants do not visit the Middle East that often.

“There aren't much wrestling fans in Saudi Arabia, however, the ones who are fans who are so passionate and are excited. I know fans on Twitter who are coming from every city in Saudi Arabia to Jeddah,” said Faisal.

The event will be co-hosted by WWE and FLASH entertainment, an Abu Dhabi-based events company that has been working with bringing the WWE to the Middle East. Questions sent to FLASH entertainment were not answered in time of publication.

The WWE has held shows in the three GCC countries since February 2012 – in Abu Dhabi, Doha and last year’ in Riyadh. Abu Dhabi-based FLASH Entertainment and their local Saudi partners, Time Events, both work with WWE to bring the show to Saudi Arabia.

“Saudi fans should know we are very excited to be here for the first time representing WWE. We are more than excited to give back to our fans all around the world and [at] any chance at any place to come show our awesome and talented roster,” former world heavyweight champion Dolph Ziggler told Al Arabiya News Channel during last year’s event in Riyadh.

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