WWE announced on Tuesday that the Elimination Chamber live event will be taking place this year, but in Saudi Arabia instead of in the US market.
The Elimination Chamber is one of WWE’s most known gimmick matches. And in recent years, the company has used the match to sell a show too.
The live event takes place as the last one before WrestleMania. And it will take place in 2022 as well, but there’s a twist; the show will be held in Saudi Arabia instead.
That is what WWE announced on Tuesday (January 18). It is worth noting that this is the first event to be held in the country which won’t go by the name Super ShowDown or Crown Jewel.
WWE to return to Jeddah for WWE Elimination Chamber on Feb. 19. https://t.co/u7ep2HJEKa
— WWE (@WWE) January 17, 2022
“The General Entertainment Authority, in cooperation with WWE, has announced that the Elimination Chamber Premium Live Event will be held at the world’s largest pillarless superdome in Jeddah, on Saturday, Feb.19, 2022. More details of the event will be announced in the coming weeks,” WWE said in a statement.
“The Elimination Chamber show complements the commitment of the General Entertainment Authority to provide the most famous international events and entertainment shows.
“This show was preceded by several previous partnerships with WWE to present international shows in the kingdom, which achieved remarkable local and international success, including the recent WWE Crown Jewel show in Riyadh Season 2021 and WWE Super ShowDown in the previous Riyadh Season in early 2020.”
As of now, there is very little known about the nature of the event. However, recent years have seen Chamber matches take place for both men and women. In fact, a tag team version of the match has also been held.
But this isn’t the first gimmick match that WWE has taken to Saudi Arabia. The first proper show held there was titled “Greatest Royal Rumble”. This featured a – you guessed it – Royal Rumble match consisting of 50 men.
The Chamber match is this the second proper gimmick match that will be exported to the Saudi shows. Although this will not dull the controversy that surrounds these shows.
The deal between WWE and the Saudi kingdom is for 10 years, and worth a lot of money. WWE pockets around GBP 50 million per year for these shows.
As such, they bring in more money for the company than even WrestleMania. However, WWE has been criticised for being part of sportswashing i.e. using sport to wash over the regime’s human rights record.
Whether this makes any difference to the company given the money involved is quite the other matter.