Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss WWE Super ShowDown Match Not Approved by Saudi ArabiaJune 7, 2019
A historic match between Natalya and Alexa Bliss reportedly will not happen at WWE Super ShowDown in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday.
According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline, the Saudi Arabian government did not approve what would have been the first women's wrestling match to ever take place in the country.
Natalya and Bliss both flew with WWE's male talent to Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi government reportedly gave the indication at one point that it would approve the match before altering its stance.
While Saudi customs limit what women can do in a public forum, WWE took a significant step forward last year when Renee Young was part of the commentary team at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Young also made the trip for Super ShowDown, which suggests she will be part of the commentary team once again.
In an interview with Matty Paddock of The Independent last year, WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative Triple H expressed hope that women would be able to wrestle in Saudi Arabia in the near future:
"While, right now, women are not competing in the event, we have had discussions about that and we believe and hope that, in the next few years, they will be. That is a significant cultural shift in Saudi Arabia.
"The country is in the middle of a shift in how it is dealing with that—the position is changing, and rights are changing, as are the way women are handled and treated in society. We think that's a great thing, and we're excited to be at the forefront of that change."
While that change apparently won't happen at Friday's event, Meltzer noted another show is scheduled for Saudi Arabia in November.
Even if Natalya and Bliss don't have a match at Super ShowDown, Meltzer speculated it is possible they could make an on-screen appearance to promote a match at the November show or at another Saudi Arabia event in the future.
With Ronda Rousey, Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair competing in the first-ever women's main event at WrestleMania this year, a women's match in Saudi Arabia would be the next logical step in WWE's women's evolution.
Listen to Ring Rust Radio for all of the hot wrestling topics. Catch the latest episode in the player below (warning: some language NSFW).