Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

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Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 7th, '19, 11:33

Source: www.F4WOnline.com


By Dave Meltzer | @davemeltzerWON | Jun 7, 2019 9:45 am


WWE's hope that the first women's match in Saudi Arabia would happen Friday appears to be lost.

Those in Saudi Arabia noted to us that Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss, a match they hoped to be a late addition on today's WWE Super ShowDown event, was not approved by the Saudi Arabian government.

The two women flew to Saudi Arabia this week with the crew.

At one point, the government had indicated to WWE they could have their first women's match on this show, but then wavered on it.

As far as public relations goes, this situation can go two ways. On one hand, if they are able to get approval to have a women's match on the November show in Saudi Arabia, they can at least bring out the women in front of the crowd today to promote it. On the other, if the women don't appear today, it is what it is but won't help WWE's cause going forward for that next show.


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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 7th, '19, 11:34

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:33
Source: www.F4WOnline.com




As far as public relations goes, this situation can go two ways. On one hand, if they are able to get approval to have a women's match on the November show in Saudi Arabia, they can at least bring out the women in front of the crowd today to promote it. On the other, if the women don't appear today, it is what it is but won't help WWE's cause going forward for that next show.
Although this way it still lets WWE say that they are at least trying to push the Saudis on some of this stuff.
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by XIV » Jun 7th, '19, 11:40

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:34
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:33
Source: www.F4WOnline.com




As far as public relations goes, this situation can go two ways. On one hand, if they are able to get approval to have a women's match on the November show in Saudi Arabia, they can at least bring out the women in front of the crowd today to promote it. On the other, if the women don't appear today, it is what it is but won't help WWE's cause going forward for that next show.
Although this way it still lets WWE say that they are at least trying to push the Saudis on some of this stuff.
A little bit of self-protection from WWE. But, it doesn't stop them being the soulless machine choosing money over principles. And it just for money, because the shows are shit.
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 7th, '19, 11:47

XIV wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:40
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:34
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 11:33
Source: www.F4WOnline.com




As far as public relations goes, this situation can go two ways. On one hand, if they are able to get approval to have a women's match on the November show in Saudi Arabia, they can at least bring out the women in front of the crowd today to promote it. On the other, if the women don't appear today, it is what it is but won't help WWE's cause going forward for that next show.
Although this way it still lets WWE say that they are at least trying to push the Saudis on some of this stuff.
A little bit of self-protection from WWE. But, it doesn't stop them being the soulless machine choosing money over principles. And it just for money, because the shows are shit.
I think the "rock n' roll brought down the Berlin Wall" argument is kind of BS (at least in this case) just because the Saudis are the Saudis and they've been playing this game for a while, but as long as they're not doing propaganda videos like they did in the first one, I'm not unsympathetic to the "well, there are WWE fans there who never get live shows" argument, either (specious though that seems at times). I think the best play for WWE is to go and do the shows, but donate a good chunk of the money to charity afterwards.
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by cero2k » Jun 7th, '19, 12:07

Meltzer had a good writing about the whole thing in the observer this week. worth the read
With less than a day to go before WWE’s Super Showdown in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, there is a story which for long-term news and propaganda purposes makes the first and probably last Undertaker vs. Bill Goldberg mach seem like nothing.

Last year, WWE embarked on the ten-year deal with Saudi Arabia, which. At the time, was, with the exception of U.S. television deals over the last half dozen years, it was the biggest money deal the company had ever signed for anything. The WWE announced one show a year, which became two both of which generate more money each for the company than the biggest WrestleMania in history.

Of course in doing so, there were ugly truths and got uglier. WWE has tried to promote women as equal to men and as legitimate in-ring competitors after generations of them being either a side show, or a T&A product masquerading as wrestling. WWE has tried to get rid of the ugly stereotypes that the industry had until the recent generation, from savage Islanders to German Nazis to bald-headed Russians, salt throwing Japanese and other foreigner who are there to put down Americans. And don’t get us started with Mexican landscapers and the wonderful track record with pretty much any ethnicity that be exploited by ugly stereotypes.

The company clung to Martin Luther King. Made the broadcast desk this weird affirmative action platform with a steady stream of bad commentators put there because of gender or race as opposed to ability. But with so much money in their face, they, without even debating, threw it away. Well, actually, they didn’t. The goal was to have their cake and eat it to. They still build one Raw a year around Martin Luther King Jr., spout on about being at the forefront of a women’s cultural evolution that they’re actually more than 50 years behind tennis, basketball, skating and pretty much every sport on.

While at the same time, they made this deal. Worse, last year, the same government they made the deal with lured in a reporter for the Washington Post in a planned out murder. Now, the reporter wouldn’t come to their country after they kept trying to entice him. But they got him to their embassy in Turkey, and then not just killed him, but dismembered him first.

This was, of course, inconvenient timing for WWE. It wasn’t fair. Why should we suffer on a deal we already made just because it was a deal with murderers who culture goes against pretty much everything we cling to in our home market propaganda.

Granted, the second show was no longer the paid for propaganda piece of the first. Things are a little more calm now.

No senators are telling them they shouldn’t go. The murder was months ago. While some companies pulled out of doing business with them, most didn’t. Although its laughable the idea that Starbucks opening stores in a country is compared with a deal by the guy who from all evidence plotted and then attempted to cover up the murder. Did Starbucks, in exchange, have Saudi Arabian propaganda all over their U.S. stores and having signs everywhere telling people how progressive the new leadership in Saudi Arabia is?

Sometime in the ten-year deal, WWE was going to get another bragging point. At some point in the next ten years, women would be allowed to wrestle on a show. WWE has already promoted hard having this breakthrough in Abu Dhabi as being of some cultural significance, touting a very light chant of “this is hope” as a key line for years in company speeches. Keep in mind that TNA had a women’s match years earlier, so it wasn’t a breakthrough at all. And it’s hardly a culture change.

But, for real, there will be a time, and it may even be on 6/7, that WWE does host the first women’s pro wrestling match in Saudi Arabia. Natalya and Alexa Bliss are in Saudi Arabia as of this writing.

WWE will take credit for changing culture. Of course, that’s silly. There are women competing in sports at schools (only in private schools, so rich has its privilege but two years ago women in public schools were allowed to at least take P.E. classes). Until last year, women were prohibited from attending any events in most stadiums. Last year that changed, although they are allowed at shows like this, although it is segregated seating. Somehow I don’t think the female Sputnik Monroe is coming from WWE to modernize this and change society, but we shall see.

Women’s basketball competition dates back to 2003.

By the way, it was outside forces that have led to changes for women in Saudi Arabia.

It wasn’t WWE, it was the IOC. You know how they did it? Before the 2012 Olympics, they told Saudi Arabia that if you don’t have a women’s team, your men’s team is banned from competing. Suddenly, there were women, at least in certain social circles, allowed to compete in sports, private school were allowed sports teams and they’ve sent women to the last two Olympics.

Going there, taking the money, and waiting as is going on at this writing for the government to decide what it’s going to do hardly qualifies. Still, will WWE at some pont, maybe next week, talk about its influence more than you ever heard watching the last two Olympics? Yes.

So here’s the situation. At one point, evidently the government told WWE that they would allow them to have a women’s bout on the 6/7 show in Jeddah, which is a more progressive city than Riyadh, likely the home of the November show.

That may explain why there is no All-women’s PPV show on the 2019 schedule after how successful, at least aesthetically, the first show was.

But it’s gone back-and-forth. WWE never spoke a word about it, because it would be an embarrassment if they promoted it and then got the thumbs down when they arrived. But now, it’s still going to be tough. The news is out that Natalya and Bliss are in Saudi Arabia with the idea of doing a match. There is no confirmation such a match will or won’t take place. The company has hinted about it in case it doesn’t. But if it doesn’t, the company does look bad because at that point they would have been strung along, and then told no. For that reason, if Saudi Arabia looks at the big picture and doesn’t want to embarrass WWE, they need to allow it. They care enough about not embarrassing WWE that they allowed them to do the second show without spouting the propaganda that the relationship was built on in the first place.

Even now, WWE has promoted the show, constantly talking about how it is as big or bigger than WrestleMania, using the city “Jeddah,” but banning the term Saudi Arabia from its own television. Of course that term isn’t banned with all the localized promos the wrestlers have done for that market.

Really, there’s no reason women shouldn’t be allowed on the show. The IOC forced them to allow women to compete in sports. The Russian circus came to town and for whatever reason, they were allowed to have their women perform in tight outfits. Of course, that led to a conservative backlash and the people who okayed that ended up it hot water over it. Mariah Carey performed there on 1/31, and was heavily criticized for doing so, more covered up than se would be at a U.S. concert, but still flashingly dressed. Actually most of the criticism of her came from Saudi Arabian women, who felt a star of her stature shouldn’t endorse and do the bidding of a government that treats women the way they do. Unlike Carey, WWE is way below the line that people in the U.S., or Saudi Arabia, would care. And it was believed the government brought in Carey specifically to rebuild its image after the Khashoggi murder.

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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by XIV » Jun 7th, '19, 12:29

That IS a good read.

But proves more to the point that WWE signed the deal, took the money and didn't ask enough questions... let's face it. If WWE would have said, you can't have any package, unless we have the women on our show too. Hell, one of WWE's top draws at this time is a woman. Probably the first time in history a major wrestling company can boast that, yet she is not allowed on the plane.

It's soulless, it's not progressive, it's two shows a year which heavily undermine what they're selling and promoting the rest of the year, only this year it appears the women won't even get their PPV as repairation.

But, I understand the business of it. How do you say no to securing your companies financial future for a decade? I'm not saying they shouldn't have done the deal. I just think they could have done more first.
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 7th, '19, 13:02

XIV wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 12:29
That IS a good read.

But proves more to the point that WWE signed the deal, took the money and didn't ask enough questions... let's face it. If WWE would have said, you can't have any package, unless we have the women on our show too. Hell, one of WWE's top draws at this time is a woman. Probably the first time in history a major wrestling company can boast that, yet she is not allowed on the plane.

It's soulless, it's not progressive, it's two shows a year which heavily undermine what they're selling and promoting the rest of the year, only this year it appears the women won't even get their PPV as repairation.
The all-women PPV wasn't a sustainable idea (at least with WWE's current conception of PPVs) because the roster is too small. They could do eight matches in three hours if they wanted to (and it would probably be better than Evolutiion was), but that would make the PPV feel small when we get a three-hour Raw for free every week and all of the other PPVs are a least four hours.

I do think the fact that they got the match at least temporarily approved this time is a positive sign that maybe WWE will at least get their PR victory (I don't think it will change anything in Saudi society, but I don't think anyone sees WWE going here as validating Saudi society either, especially with WWE pushing their "we're trying to change them" message. It's not like WWE has dropped their LGBT charity stuff).
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by cero2k » Jun 7th, '19, 13:13

Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 13:02


The all-women PPV wasn't a sustainable idea (at least with WWE's current conception of PPVs) because the roster is too small. They could do eight matches in three hours if they wanted to (and it would probably be better than Evolutiion was), but that would make the PPV feel small when we get a three-hour Raw for free every week and all of the other PPVs are a least four hours.


25 Main Roster (not counting injuries) + 15 NXT + 6 NXT UK = 46 women in WWE, actively wrestling, not counting legends at their disposal. 5 female championships ready to be defended. How exactly is this roster too small for a PPV?

Reality is that Evolution happened cuz they had heat on them and they had Ronda to parade around. They have zero confidence in their women selling a PPV and that's it. Evolution was a PR move, not a women's celebration.

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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by XIV » Jun 7th, '19, 14:57

cero2k wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 13:13
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 13:02


The all-women PPV wasn't a sustainable idea (at least with WWE's current conception of PPVs) because the roster is too small. They could do eight matches in three hours if they wanted to (and it would probably be better than Evolutiion was), but that would make the PPV feel small when we get a three-hour Raw for free every week and all of the other PPVs are a least four hours.


25 Main Roster (not counting injuries) + 15 NXT + 6 NXT UK = 46 women in WWE, actively wrestling, not counting legends at their disposal. 5 female championships ready to be defended. How exactly is this roster too small for a PPV?

Reality is that Evolution happened cuz they had heat on them and they had Ronda to parade around. They have zero confidence in their women selling a PPV and that's it. Evolution was a PR move, not a women's celebration.
Considering Becky was far outselling Ronda by the time Mania came around, you would think that that’s the person to build the PPV around.

You could do a remake of the classic Benoit/Angle/Jericho 2 falls 3-way match with each title being on the line.

You’ve got Tag Team Championships to be defended, plus NXT Women’s as well. You’d have lots to build and a decent sized roster to do it.

Two of these a year would be massive progress.
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Re: Alexa Bliss-Natalya WWE match not approved by Saudi Arabian government

Post by Big Red Machine » Jun 7th, '19, 15:02

cero2k wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 13:13
Big Red Machine wrote:
Jun 7th, '19, 13:02


The all-women PPV wasn't a sustainable idea (at least with WWE's current conception of PPVs) because the roster is too small. They could do eight matches in three hours if they wanted to (and it would probably be better than Evolutiion was), but that would make the PPV feel small when we get a three-hour Raw for free every week and all of the other PPVs are a least four hours.


25 Main Roster (not counting injuries) + 15 NXT + 6 NXT UK = 46 women in WWE, actively wrestling, not counting legends at their disposal. 5 female championships ready to be defended. How exactly is this roster too small for a PPV?

Reality is that Evolution happened cuz they had heat on them and they had Ronda to parade around. They have zero confidence in their women selling a PPV and that's it. Evolution was a PR move, not a women's celebration.

It's too small for what WWE wants a PPV- and particularly this PPV- to be, which a spectacular that they can push as a celebration of women. Of the women you listed how many do you actually want involved in a long PPV match or big PPV program?

Charlotte, Becky, Bayley, Ember, Nattie, Ruby Riott, Bliss, Io, Asuka, Kairi, Baszler, Rhea, Toni, Piper Niven, Kay Lee Ray, Bianca Belair, Mia Yim, Candice LeRae, Nikki Cross, Naomi, Xia Brookside, Isla Dawn, Jinny, Alpha Female. Plus the Horsewomen if they're ready. That's about 26. MAYBE Mandy, Sonya, IIconics, Sarah Logan, takes you up a bit more. You've also got women like Killer Kelly and De'onna Purrazzo who are great, but also not on TV.
Of the women from the past, the only names that I think still have actual cache in the ring are Trish, Lita, and Beth Phoenix, and I'm not certain that fans really want to see any of them other than Trish in a singles match. 33 or whatever we're up to should be enough, but you don't have enough time to fit them all on TV to give them angles, which means you need a battle royale, but in order to make the battle royale big you need more names. Either way, once you load the card up with all of these women (which is what WWE would want to do) you turn the show itself into an "everyone gets to play" thing and it ceases to have any real meaning.
If they tried to build up a four-hour show with good angles for women they could do it, but they won't because that doesn't fit with what they're trying to do, which is a show that is something they can tour as a "celebration of women" first and a wrestling PPV second.
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