In a surprising turn of events, professional wrestler Sami Zayn will be stepping into the ring once again in Saudi Arabia. Zayn is set to defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships alongside his partner Kevin Owens at the upcoming Night of Champions pay-per-view event on May 27. The formidable duo will face off against the formidable Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa of The Bloodline in what promises to be an electrifying showdown.
Zayn’s participation in Saudi Arabia marks his first appearance in the Middle Eastern kingdom since 2014. Interestingly, it was revealed in 2019 that Saudi Arabia had requested WWE to refrain from booking Zayn for shows in the country due to his Syrian heritage. This request came amid strained diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Syria, which had deteriorated significantly in 2011. Syria’s membership in the Arab League was subsequently revoked, and Syrians were banned from traveling to Saudi Arabia.
However, there have been recent developments that led to a change in the situation. Earlier this month, the Arab League voted to reinstate Syria’s membership, and as a result, Syrians are once again allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia. With the doors finally opened for Zayn’s return, he reportedly made the decision to wrestle in the kingdom. Notably, Kevin Owens, Zayn’s tag team partner, also agreed to participate in the Night of Champions event, as shared by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
“Kevin and Sami are wrestling Roman and Solo Sikoa, and that’s going to be one of the two main events for the Saudi show on the 27th. Saudi Arabia has opened up to where Syrians can come in, so Sami can come in and decided that he would go, and when Sami decided he would go, Kevin decided that if Sami is going to go, he’ll go too,” Meltzer revealed.
Meltzer further acknowledged the evolving landscape of events in Saudi Arabia, highlighting the changing regulations surrounding western products, including WWE. He explained that in the initial stages, women were not allowed to attend such events. However, as more western products have ventured into the Saudi market, the country has gradually allowed them to operate in their true essence, with WWE being no exception.
WWE forged a partnership with Saudi Arabia back in 2018, which was further expanded in 2019. Under the agreement, WWE commits to hosting two large-scale events annually in Saudi Arabia until 2027, delivering spectacular entertainment to wrestling fans in the region.
As Sami Zayn steps foot inside the squared circle in Saudi Arabia once again, fans eagerly anticipate an unforgettable night of championship battles, high-flying action, and perhaps even a historic moment that underscores the power of sports to transcend political boundaries.
Photo Credit: WWE