Recent reports have surfaced suggesting that Saudi officials asked WWE to remove Sami Zayn from Super Showdown due to his Syrian heritage.
It is officially Super Showdown week. WWE's third Saudi Arabian show will take place this coming Friday. Considering the quality of the first two shows, this PPV coming so soon after Double Or Nothing is not good. At least NXT TakeOver XXV took place over the weekend and reminded fans that in some capacity, WWE is extremely capable of putting on a great show.
Back to Super Showdown, and controversy is once again swirling ahead of a WWE visit to Saudi Arabia. Female wrestlers still aren't allowed to compete on the show, and even more wrestlers won't be making the trip. Daniel Bryan is standing his ground once again, Kevin Owens appears to be doing the same, and some of Aleister Black's religious tattoos prevent him from being allowed to compete in Saudi Arabia.
The most controversial omission from these shows might well be Sami Zayn. Zayn is yet to compete on any of WWE's Saudi shows. It has been assumed that is due to Zayn being of Syrian descent. Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported exactly that this week. In fact, according to WON, the Saudi government has actually asked WWE not to have Zayn appear on any shows in their country.
Not good. Plus, if true, it may also explain why KO is not on the SSD card. He and Zayn are best friends behind the scenes, so Zayn not being allowed to make the trip due to his ethnicity would understandably be a big no-no for Owens. In all fairness, it should be a sticking point for WWE in general. However, the further we go down the Saudi rabbit hole, the more it seems that Vince McMahon is willing to stage these shows regardless of any controversy that might come his way.
On the one hand, we feel like eventually, something has got to give with these shows. With every passing trip, it doesn't seem as if we are any closer to women competing on the shows. That's despite WWE claiming one of the reasons they are staging these shows is to instigate change. Throw reports of ethnic discrimination on to the already large controversial pile, WWE is asking for more and more trouble every time it returns to Saudi Arabia.