Roman Reigns will defend his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against YouTuber and boxer Logan Paul in the main event of the Crown Jewel premium live event on Nov. 5 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Paul signed a contract with WWE earlier this year, but he has only been in the ring for two matches — at WrestleMania 38 in a tag team match against The Mysterios and at SummerSlam against The Miz. After interactions on Paul's podcast, social media and last week's episode of SmackDown, the match between the pair was confirmed at a press conference in Las Vegas on Saturday hosted by Triple H.
So why is this match happening? According to Dave Meltzer during his latest appearance on Sunday Night's Main Event, it mostly has to do with entertaining the Saudi Arabian government who agreed to an insanely lucrative deal for WWE to run stadium shows in the country twice a year.
"He's (Paul is) a big deal in Saudi Arabia," Meltzer said. "He's a big deal to the Saudi Arabian prince and that's the whole thing of these shows."
He then noted the decision had nothing to do with ticket sales — "Nothing to do with that. Tickets in Saudi Arabia mean nothing. It's not even part of the game. Of course, TV numbers whatever. If he draws younger viewers, that's good but it's not a play for TV ratings. It is a play because the prince wants celebrity fights in Saudi Arabia to build the name in the media of Saudi Arabia and Logan Paul will get more of the type of press that Saudi Arabia is looking for than Kevin Owens or Seth Rollins. That's what Saudi Arabia is there for. Saudi Arabia is for matches that the prince wants that will get press attention around the world for Saudi Arabia so this is a great match for that."
Reigns spoke with a number of reporters who were at the press conference and kept trash-talking Paul — "When I'm sitting on the same stage and I hear some of that dumb shit spewed out [from Logan], of course, it's going to anger me, and things are going to pop off. At the same time, before he came here, no disrespect, I didn't know who he was. I'm not a 15-year-old little girl. I don't watch Logan Paul or any of the Paul/YouTube vlog people. That's not what I do.
"So I don't have any problems with him not watching me, because he was busy doing what he does and that's videotaping himself doing God-knows-what. So go videotape yourself doing God-knows-what and leave the true sports entertainment, the professional wrestling, to people like me, and there's nobody like me," he added in an interview with SecondsOut.