Will WWE Go To Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown 2021?
WrestleMania has been WWE’s biggest event ever since the inception of the PPV model in WWE. However, in recent years, the Saudi Arabia PPVs have been the biggest money makers for the company.
With Saudi Sports Authority giving a guaranteed $30 million for each event, WWE gets more revenue than any other PPV. Only the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania ticket sales and sponsorships have the capacity to surpass the revenue of this event.
WWE renewed their deal with Saudi Arabia Sports Authority for 2 compulsory events in a calendar year with an option of a third event. Due to this deal, WWE traveled to the Kingdom in the month of February in 2020. The coronavirus struck and forced the travel restrictions and we never saw WWE return to Saudi in past one year.
WWE’s current PPV schedule also does not indicate that they are planning a return at least till WrestleMania. Elimination Chamber is planned for February, while Fastlane is announced for 21 March before two nights event for WrestleMania 37.
During the recent earnings call, WWE revealed that it plans to return to Saudi Arabia if they can as well. One large-scale international event is expected to take place from WWE this year. But there is a possibility that Super ShowDown event looks more likely to take place in May or June.
Situation of Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia has the coronavirus under control more or less. The country averaged around 200 cases per day for the month of January 2021(5888 cases in January),as per the data from Worldometers.
The vaccination drive is already underway in the country. The flight suspensions were removed from 3 January 2021 onwards and foreign tourist visas have also resumed. Tourism shows and other festivals are planned to resume.
It might be possible that the country might hold the Jeddah Summer festival also. And Super ShowDown event was one of the biggest attractions for that festival. This means that WWE might be asked to hold the event in the summer of 2021.
How Will WWE Manage to Hold Super ShowDown 2021?
First of all, the trip to Saudi Arabia will completely depend on the guidelines for travelling between the two countries. A 14 days quarantine is forced right now for the arrival from other countries. But enforcing that will mean anyone travelling to Saudi will not be able to work two weeks for WWE weekly shows like RAW and SmackDown.
To overcome this, WWE will need to tape two weeks of TV programs in advance. They have avoided taping RAW and SmackDown for years. The company only pre-taped the main roster TV shows in March and April due to complication arising from the pandemic. Their contract with FOX Network and USA Network also do not permit them to air more than two pre-taped episodes a year.
So, making a trip to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown will be a difficult to pull-off with COVID-19 quarantine restrictions. The event will be more feasible if the restrictions are eased in coming months.