With WWE's next Saudi show reportedly returning to its originally planned date, what does that mean for the SmackDown that will air later that night?
To say WWE's trips to Saudi Arabia have caused the company a number of headaches would be an understatement. Women not being allowed to compete on the show coupled with the controversy surrounding the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has had fans and critics demanding that WWE end its partnership with the Middle Eastern country.
On top of all that, the officials in charge of the shows on the Saudi end of the deal keep throwing other spanners in the works. Super Showdown's forced date change meant WWE had to make major changes to its US and European schedule earlier this year. WWE will return to Saudi Arabia again later this year, and further date changes have been causing similar problems.
The next show was penciled in for November 1, then changed, and now has been moved back to the original date, according to Wrestling Observer Newsletter. As usual, the show will take place on a Friday afternoon EST. That poses a new problem for WWE. By that point, SmackDown will be airing live on Fox. Thus begins the speculation surrounding how WWE plans to get around this obstacle.
The expected solution is that week's SmackDown will be taped earlier in the week and shown on Friday. However, we like eWrestling's idea. An all-women's edition of SmackDown. We're assuming female Superstars will still not be allowed to compete in Saudi Arabia, so why not have a special episode of SmackDown featuring nothing but women? We actually think this idea might also be on WWE's mind as it would explain why there has been no word on an Evolution II happening around that time.
There are two reasons why we can see WWE not being fully on board with this idea. Firstly, that is a lot of wrestling for one day. We would effectively have a two to three-hour gap between the end of the Saudi show and the start of SmackDown. Second, and most importantly, it would be almost guaranteed the women's show would outshine whatever happened earlier that day in Saudi Arabia.