WWE Announces Saudi Arabia Return

4/8/2024 2:33 AM

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WWE Announces Saudi Arabia Return

WWE Announces Saudi Arabia Return

April 8, 2024 2:33 AM
WWE Announces Saudi Arabia Return
WWE News

Here’s when WWE will next emanate live from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia…

WWE will return to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, May 24 and Saturday, May 25 for a live SmackDown broadcast, and the King and Queen of the Ring Premium Live Event.

The market-leading sports entertainment organisation confirmed as much during tonight’s (April 7) WrestleMania 40, airing a brief highlight package that confirmed their intentions to air SmackDown live from the Kingdom, too. Previous years saw WWE tape the blue brand in advance of their travels the Saudi Arabia, primarily due to the infamous backlash surrounding 2019’s Crown Jewel that saw a gaggle of WWE Superstars and staffers stranded in the Kingdom aboard a plane banned from leaving the runway.

Dave Meltzer detailed WWE’s plans for a Saudi Arabia return during the pre-WrestleMania 40 Wrestling Observer Radio:

“The next [WWE] pay-per-view is going to be King and Queen of the Ring, which is the Saudi show on May 25. I don’t know if that’s the next one, but the Saudi show…I don’t even have that schedule in front of me, but May 25, that’s what that’s going to be.”

Indeed, King and Queen of the Ring won’t be WWE’s next Premium Live Event. Backlash: France predates it by three weeks, airing on Saturday, May 4.

When Was WWE’s Last King And Queen Of The Ring?

First held in 1985, the King of the Ring tournament has been used sparingly by WWE since its annual existence ended in 2002. Its most recent usage occurred in 2021, with Xavier Woods besting Finn Balor at Crown Jewel to accomplish his, to date, only singles accolade in WWE.

2021 also saw WWE debut the Queen’s Crown tournament for the first time. Zelina Vega won that, also at Crown Jewel, when she felled Piper Niven in the tournament finals.

WWE was due to hold King and Queen of the Ring in May 2023 from the Jeddah Superdome, though this event was ultimately scrapped in place of Night of Champions. Though an official reason for the change was never provided, this event featured Seth Rollins being crowned the inaugural World Heavyweight Champion, besting AJ Styles.