WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia this past April was not without controversy, but in the end, that controversy was almost certainly worth the reward.
While we don't know the exact figure that WWE made off of the event, the Q2 earnings report that was released by WWE on Thursday gave us a pretty good idea of the ballpark figure for the show.
WWE officials were asked specifically about the revenue they generated off of Greatest Royal Rumble but would not comment on the figure due to confidentiality agreements. However, one section of the earnings reports released to the general public and investors clues us in that the event likely netted WWE somewhere in the neighborhood of $40-50 million.
There is a category on the earnings report marked "other" that is profoundly higher than that category normally is. It's thought that this is the area of the report where the revenue from Greatest Royal Rumble has been thrown in. Dave Meltzer confirmed that line of thinking on Wrestling Observer Radio.
For this year's Q2 period, which includes April, May, and June, the company reported $60.6 million in revenue in the "other" category. As a comparison, that category had revenue of $11.9 million during the same period last year (Q2 of 2017). The Q1 earnings report for 2018 had revenue of $8.9 million in the "other" category. The drastic difference in revenue in this category is almost certainly from the Greatest Royal Rumble show, giving us the $40-50 million figure.2comments
WWE was heavily criticized for the show due to the anti-women laws present in Saudi Arabia. Due to the laws and customs of the country, none of WWE's women performers were allowed to work the event. Additionally, the Saudi Arabia General Sports Authority issued an "apology" following the show due to the fact that women were shown in a promotional video during the event.
WWE has signed a multi-year deal with the Saudis to return to the country for more events in the future, and given the massive profit the company received for just one show, it's easy to see why. However, there is always going to be lingering criticism about a company who is so heavily pushing their female stars holding shows in a country that has a track record of being so anti-women.