WWE appears to be dead set on returning to Saudi Arabia two more times in 2019 with the first visit reportedly taking place on May 3.
In 2018, WWE promised us that we would be getting fewer PPVs. It sort of delivered on that but really sort of didn't. While it made every single PPV dual-branded, hence lowering the number of them needed, it also added a handful of international shows. While they are not technically PPVs, it made WWE's calendar feel just as crowded as it was previously.
The mere presence of these international shows cluttering up WWE's schedules wound up being the least of our worries. The multiple other issues surrounding the two Saudi Arabia shows in 2018 should be what WWE is worrying about. The controversy surrounding Jamal Khashoggi and Crown Jewel, plus the backlash from fans due to the fact that both shows were pretty terrible.
WWE has a problem, though. Even if it wholeheartedly agrees with us, Vince McMahon has signed a ten year deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority. That means WWE will keep returning to Saudi Arabia twice a year, every year for the foreseeable future. In fact, according to Bleacher Report, the date of the next show has been scheduled. May 3, 2019, less than three weeks after WrestleMania.
Other than being bound to a decade-long deal, the other thing stopping Mr. McMahon from halting his bi-annual trips to Saudi Arabia is the money. Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that the Greatest Royal Rumble alone netted $40 million, while Dave Meltzer estimated that the ten year deal as a whole will make WWE $450 million. No wonder it seems as if the Saudi Prince is given the book for the night during these shows.
Sorry to break the news to you this way folks, but WWE's trips to Saudi Arabia won't be stopping any time soon. We just wish they didn't subject the rest of us to it. Yes, we know, we don't have to watch, but if it's on the WWE Network then chances are we're going to. We still hold out hope that the next Saudi show will feature current stars rather than aging ones. The main event of Crown Jewel should be encouragement enough to never try that again.