WWE keeps saying that Super ShowDown is in Jeddah, as though people won’t figure out what country that city’s in. Even if you didn’t already know, the fact that neither women nor Sami Zayn are allowed to go should be a pretty big clue that it’s Saudi Arabia. The latest shameful propagandistic extravaganza for the murderous autocratic regime of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman is on its way, despite the epic shaming that WWE received for the last Saudi show, Crown Jewel. It’s easy not to care about your reputation when there’s enough blood money on the line, I suppose. Still, as the June 7 show approaches, more WWE Superstars turn out to be unable or unwilling to attend. Kevin Owens has refused, Daniel Bryan continues to be unwilling, and now another performer is officially out, although apparently for somewhat different reasons.
Aleister Black won’t be going to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown. While you could say that’s inconsequential, since he hasn’t been doing much on TV anyway, it’s worth noting that the Super ShowDown card includes the “biggest Battle Royal in WWE history,” in which just about every wrestler who is allowed to go (no women, no Syrians) will presumably appear. As for Aleister’s absence, Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer reports that WWE decided not to take him, because so many of his tattoos have religious connotations. That does make some amount of sense, considering that his entire back is covered by a portrait of Lilith, a demonic figure from mythology who rebelled against God and was cast out of Paradise because she refused to be subservient to men.
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that Black would be in a hurry to perform for the Saudi royal family anyway, considering that there continue to be lingering concerns about the Saudi government’s possible involvement in the 9/11 attacks of 2001, in which the father of Black’s wife Zelina Vega was among the thousands who died.