Roman Reigns Defends WWE's Business Deal With Saudi Arabia

The WWE is set to hold its next major event, Super ShowDown, in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia as part of the company's business deal with the Saudi General Sports Authority. The promotion has already held two events in the country as part of the deal, and each time controversy has quickly followed. Whether its the politics of the Saudi government, the roster's inability to use female wrestlers or male wrestlers of particular descents on the shows, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents or the pro-Saudi Arabia promo packages that aired during the Greatest Royal Rumble, numerous WWE fans have voiced their outrage over the company's relationship with the country.

Several wrestlers have since stepped forward opting not to participate in the Saudi shows. Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Aleister Black and Sami Zayn will all reportedly not be attending the upcoming June 7 event, while Bryan and John Cena reportedly both opted out of the Crown Jewel show last November. According to Fightful, Roman Reigns also told WWE he didn't want to return to Saudi Arabia prior to learning about his leukemia diagnosis. But in a new interview with Newsweek Reigns defended the deal, saying he was going to wrestle in the country to help promote social change.


"It gets a lot of mixed and negative reactions, " Reigns said. "The bottom line for me is, if we're going to help promote change, if we're going to set out to make an impact than I have to be a part of it. I'm not going to sit on the sideline and talk about how we can get there. I want to be a part of the action. I look at it as being a part of the solution while still respecting cultures, but it's a big world and I want to experience all of it. So if we can help make a positive impact that's what we're here to do. We're here to put smiles on everyone's faces. We don't discriminate, that's our goal to help and promote positivity and take that to every inch of the world."

Reigns is booked to take on Shane McMahon at the event. Other bouts announced for the show include Goldberg vs. The Undertaker, a 50-man battle royal and Randy Orton vs. Triple H. Three title matches have also been booked for the show — WWE Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler, Universal Champion Seth Rollins vs. Baron Corbin and Intercontinental Champion "Demon" Finn Balor vs. Andrade.