WWE Elimination Chamber 2022 to Be Held from Saudi Arabia on February 19

Doric SamJanuary 17, 2022

COLOGNE, GERMANY - NOVEMBER 07: A WWE Logo at the WWE Live Tryout  at the Motorworld on November 7, 2018 in Cologne, Germany. (Photo by Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images)
Marc Pfitzenreuter/Getty Images

WWE is making its return to Saudi Arabia next month.

The company announced on Monday that the 2022 Elimination Chamber pay-per-view event will be held in Jeddah on Saturday, Feb. 19. The press release stated that the show will take place "at the world’s largest pillarless superdome."

This year's Elimination Chamber will be the seventh pay-per-view event that WWE has held in Saudi Arabia. The first and only Greatest Royal Rumble was the first event in the country in April 2018. WWE followed up with its Crown Jewel and Super ShowDown events.

In November 2019, WWE announced an expanded partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority through 2027 to promote two "large-scale events" in the country per year. The company held one show in Saudi Arabia in both 2020 and 2021 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with its most recent event being Crown Jewel last October.

WWE's partnership with Saudi Arabia did not come without controversy. The country's longstanding history of human rights abuses has caused many to believe that this partnership is another attempt at sportswashing, which can be defined as attempting to improve a regime's reputation through promoting sporting events. WWE also wasn't allowed to hold women's matches during its first three events in Saudi Arabia. Certain wrestlers have refused to work shows in the country.

The 2018 killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi occurred one month prior to the first Crown Jewel, which was WWE's second event in Saudi Arabia. This caused politicians to call for WWE chairman Vince McMahon to cancel the event, but it still went on as planned.

Matches for this year's Elimination Chamber event have yet to be announced, but WWE usually likes to bring out its biggest stars for its shows in Saudi Arabia. Part-time wrestlers like Goldberg have frequently been brought back for these events, so it wouldn't be a surprise to see that happen again.