One of the many things that has made WWE’s Saudi Arabia shows so controversial is that the women’s roster has never been invited, since local laws and customs don’t allow for women’s matches. WWE did put on the first women’s match in the Middle East when Alexa Bliss and Sasha Banks fought in Abu Dhabi in 2017, so there was hope in some quarters that they might bring about similar change in Saudi Arabia. Unfortunately there was no sign of that actually happening, at least until today.
PWInsider reported this morning that Natalya is traveling to Jeddah for WWE Super Showdown. Then Fightful reported that Alexa Bliss is also headed to Jeddah. That prompted WrestleVotes to add that there was talk months ago of trying to have a women’s match on this show. At that time the tentative plan was Nia Jax versus Natalya, so they could be subbing in Alexa since Nia’s out with an injury.
On the other hand, it seems unlikely that WWE would plan a match this groundbreaking without talking about it ahead of time. They know these Saudi Arabian shows are unpopular, and trumpeting the first women’s match in that country would be one way to try and put a progressive spin on the whole thing. So if it is happening and they’re keeping it secret, they must have a really good reason. Maybe the Saudi officials agreed to the match, but wouldn’t let it be advertised? But it seems unlikely that not knowing the women’s match was coming would elicit a more positive reaction from the Saudi crowd. It’s also possible Natalya and Alexa are appearing on the show but not wrestling, and could even be teasing a future match that WWE is hoping to have at their next Saudi Arabian event. Only time will tell what this actually leads to, if anything.