The report (subscription required) says WWE currently has two separate events booked for May and November of next year. Additionally, it was noted that there was a mixed reaction for the bonuses talent saw from the last event, November’s WWE Crown Jewel, with some happy and some not.
It was speculated that these events won’t be announced for “as long as possible” to possibly keep heat away from the company due to recent events in the country. WWE came under fire in the weeks and days leading up to Crown Jewel due to the controversy surrounding the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s possible role in the murder.
WWE issued the following statement included in their third quarter earnings release in October, citing contractual obligations as why the event was going on as planned:
“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”
WWE Crown Jewel and April’s WWE Greatest Royal Rumble were the first two events that are part of a 10-year partnership between the wrestling promotion and the Saudi General Sports Authority. No other details about the 2019 events were reported.
Reported Dates For WWE's Saudi Arabia Return In 2019