With the Greatest Royal Rumble upon us, I want to take a moment to try and convince you of why this is going to be great for the future of women’s wrestling.
Before I explain, I am going to be frank, and let you all know that I had the exact same thoughts as many other people did upon hearing the announcement of the event, what about the women?
We all hear whatever little bits of info we hear about places with different customs and cultures, leading us to jump hastily to conclusions, sometimes wrong, sometimes right. That in itself is a matter of opinion depending on which side of the proverbial fence you find yourself, yet without us being there or knowing people who have experienced these differences we can only gauge things as much as our beliefs and morals will allow us.
Let’s face the facts; none of us will change a culture with our opinion alone, that has to be done internally and can only be helped by others participation. WWE, no matter how big and influential you may think they are, still have to abide by these customs.
As in most cases in life, it’s enlightening yourself and others around you about the situation and how things can be changed that does inevitably bring said change around. With the younger generations of this world all being much more open-minded towards allowing each other freedoms to shape their own life decisions, we are already seeing a change in parts of the world that do things in ways we may not agree with.
For instance, just this year alone, women are being greenlit to drive in Saudi Arabia, which takes effect in June, leading to schools opening up to teach women how to drive. They are also now free to join the military and secret services, plus also to attend sporting events and cinemas, something that would not have been the case less than a decade ago. These new freedoms are paving the way for a surge of arts and entertainment, a revolution if you will.
A senior cleric has even stated that it is not necessary for women to wear their customary black Abayas and headscarves, however I am unsure if this is passed as law as of yet, many still feel obliged to wear them as part of their identity, which I’m sure you will agree, is absolutely none of our business. It’s all about us all making our own choices.
My words truly can’t do it justice so here is a tweet that explains the situation there better than I ever could.
As you can see, there is a change underway and us being up in arms isn’t going to help anything, it may raise some awareness, but even that isn’t enough. As I said, the changes have to be made there by the people whose lives it involves.
There was a lot of controversy about WWE’s move to hold the event here, given their evolution with regards to women’s wrestling and despite the cultural differences, I see this as a positive move for the future of women’s wrestling. With how the laws are changing to benefit women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, they are allowed to attend as spectators, undoubtedly becoming fans and therefore will likely seek out more and more wrestling to watch.
If nobody is able to see the untapped potential that WWE is positioning itself over, then they are missing out on the possibilities that are thrown up by this venture. When the rights and laws do change further, allowing for the first ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia, guess whose company it will likely be for? Vince is a smart man and if you think about the fact that when the shift does eventually occur and WWE’s women are the first to wrestle over there, the fans there will follow the WWE women’s division with a fiery passion, it’s novelty, it’s new and exciting.
Best of all it will allow a whole country full of young men and women an opportunity to join the company, even if the women wrestled outside of the country until the changes were fully in their favor. An untapped fountain of potential talent and wrestlers, or even ring announcers and other jobs involved in the industry, the possibilities are endless at this point.
The rumoured deal for allowing Saudi Arabia to host the event will apparently net the company between $100-200Mil over the 10 years of the contract, making it a win-win for WWE and Vince. Plus, undoubtedly a win for wrestling in general due to how many new eyes will be in the product.
Many fans have suggested that the women of WWE should have had their own show on U.S. soil, yet if Jerry the King Lawler’s comments are to be believed, some of that hefty payday that WWE are receiving may be used to compensate the female roster for them missing the event.
I have yet to see any negativity voiced by any of the female roster, which would indicate to me that they also see that a change is underway or in turn, it could just be that they too realize that it is not their place to start that battle. Others who are more accustomed to the culture and economy believe that when the deal was made it would likely have had stipulations regarding women’s wrestling being a thing there within x amount of years. Otherwise, there could be an opt-out clause, yet with nothing official stating these things, it is only a hope that we can all cling on to. o]One that when ripened will become not only fruitful for the WWE but for women’s wrestling and the wrestling industry as a whole.