WWE held its first Saudi Arabian pay-per-view in 18 months, Crown Jewel 2021, in Riyadh on Thursday, and while there's currently no word of an extra date for the promotion's return to the Kingdom, early 2022 could be the target.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson reports that this was the word going around backstage at yesterday's show.
WWE has been running supercards in Saudi Arabia since reaching a controversial agreement with the country's administration in 2018. The first show, April 2018's Greatest Royal Rumble, took place in Jeddah, and the promotion has since returned five further times to fulfil a deal that is supposed to guarantee two shows every year.
This was held up after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. Prior to Crown Jewel 2021, WWE's last Saudi show was Super ShowDown 2020 on 27 February 2020, with the global health crisis' myriad travel restrictions preventing the market leaders from returning for a prolonged period.
Part of the Saudi Vision 2030 campaign (a government-funded framework designed to lessen the country's dependency on oil and effectively rehabilitate its regime's image through large events), WWE's activity in Saudi Arabia has led to allegations of participating in the nation's sportswashing programing.
The Saudi government currently pays WWE around $55 million for each show held there.