Saudi Arabia hoping to host Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble

Originally published at Saudi Arabia hoping to host Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble

Saudi Arabia is hoping to only expand their partnerships with TKO brands.

After extending a deal with UFC this week, Saudi Arabia General Entertainment Authority Chairman Turki Alalshikh set his sights on bettering their partnership with WWE.

Alalshikh told ESPN that an “enhancement” to the deal between Saudi Arabia and WWE will be signed in June, although no details were disclosed about what that would mean.

He mentioned his hopes to lure one of WWE’s top annual events to the country, specifically mentioning the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania.

“We will do big things with the UFC and TKO,” he told ESPN.

The agreement that UFC signed this week involves more events and sponsorships. Along with the already-announced June 22 Fight Night card in the country, UFC is expected to host another show later this year or in early 2025. The event will take place during “Riyadh Season,” a multi-month tourism push by the country that includes sports and music events.

Saudi Arabia also agreed to sign on as a sponsor for UFC 306 in Las Vegas later this year and to host a Power Slap event.

WWE currently has a deal with Saudi Arabia to hold two “large-scale events” in the country every year. The agreement is expected to run through 2027, although that could potentially change following the teased update to the deal.

The promotion’s next trip to the country will be happening later this month when King & Queen of the Ring takes place on May 25 in Jeddah.

Partnerships with Saudi Arabia have been criticized as “sportswashing,” a term that alleges a country hosts sporting events in an attempt to better its image and move away from a more troubled reputation.

But they had the greatest rumble ever!

Seriously though, if they get Mania or Rumble I’m out. No interest in ever watching a bought show from there

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I’ve not watched a single Saudi show. How are the fans? Does it sound like an awesome crowd?

Never watched one either :man_shrugging:t2:

Early shows were brutal, lots of people that were clearly not fans. Recent shows do have a cool energy to them because you can tell the fans really want to be there. With that said, the fans aren’t enough to offset the political side of it

Vince literally stated before he left, that Saudi was their new home.

This will absolutely come to pass.

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Well, luckily Vince got the F out, so it ultimately depends on what Ari wants to do. :crossed_fingers:

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I don’t think WWE wants to hold WrestleMania outside of North America because of the time zone differences.

I’m still deadset against watching a Saudi event (I watched “Greatest” Royal Rumble, albeit not live as it happened, and then they organized that assassination and I absolutely shunned them), even if it’s a major one.

Reminder, for anyone that didn’t attend WrestleMania this year: the video about the WWE Experience in KSA was booed, and the video for King & Queen of the Ring was booed. In contrast, I heard no such vitriol for the ad for Backlash France. Maybe some light applause.

Makes little sense to move the most profitable show of the year to a “sold show” when you can get a site fee to have it domestically AND still sell high-priced tickets. But then again, the KSA can pay amounts of money where it would pretty much be defrauding your stockholders to turn it down. So who knows? I wouldn’t be excited for one of the two shows a year that I get really amped for to turn into a KSA lovefest.

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KSA spends 100M a year on two WWE events a year.
Mania 40, the highest grossing mania so far, made $40M I believe. (Although now that I’m trying to find where I saw that number, I’m not having any luck).

Is Saudi wants a Mania, they’ll get one.

I feel the only way WWE would do that is if they pay additional money.

Option 1 - they get 100mil from from the Saudis AND 40mil from Mania. 140mil total.

Option 2 - if they change one of the Saudi shows to mania, they still make 100mil, but loose out on the extra revenue from mania. 100 mil plus revenue from a B show.

I feel like the Saudis would have to pay a premium to get it.

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Oh, obviously.
And I feel like they would.

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Hopefully not, but under those circumstances, ya I could see it.

I feel like a physical hall of fame in Saudi Arabia is very possible. They already opened other WWE attractions.

WWE is about bottom line. SA’s wealth is nearly limitless, and they have a thirst for WWE content. A Mania (perhaps two nights, one in SA / on in US, over one weekend) feels entirely possible.

You could very well be right, we’ll see. Remember, it wasn’t too long ago that many thought them buying WWE was pretty much a lock. Who know what plays out.

Listen I’ve made my peace with these Saudi shows. The fucking World Cup is going there in 2034. WWE going is whatever to me.

But this is what bothers me the most. WWE will get a $250mil WrestleMania deal from the Saudis and then turn around the following week laying off a bunch of NXT guys and gals mid-contract because of budget cuts.

Like seriously F that. Let the talent see some of that $$$.

I’ve never believed it’s actually “budget cuts”. IMO that is code for “we dont want you anymore”. The code used to be “we didn’t have creative”.

WWE is always going to cycle people in and out.

It would be nice if they just let the contracts expire though.

No god no​:department_store::office::european_post_office::desktop_computer::computer::computer_mouse::floppy_disk::printer::keyboard::minidisc::dvd::open_file_folder: