WWE’s latest trip to Saudi Arabia is in the rear view, much to the relief of the company’s public relations team.
While the business and ethics of the decision to hold Crown Jewel last Friday (Nov. 2) will probably be debated forever, and Vince McMahon’s deal with the Saudis will be controversial all over again as soon as the first rumors of the next show in the Kingdom pop up, there was one definite difference between last week’s pay-per-view (PPV) and Greatest Royal Rumble in April. That was the presence of Renee Young at ringside as a commentator for the show.
While appearing on BBC Radio 5’s Live morning show with Michael Cole today (Nov. 5), Young spoke about that with hosts Rachel Burden and Nicky Campbell. Renee said the fans in the KSA approached her to ensure she recognized the significance of a woman performing in their country:
“One thing I will say that was very cool about that as well is being a woman welcomed into Saudi Arabia to step into the announce booth and be part of the broadcast - of how many men, women, children were coming up to me, knowing that this was a big moment of change and that there is a demand and a need for women to be performing in Saudi Arabia. So, they are asking for it, certainly.”
Cole also reaffirmed the company’s oft-stated position that they hope to have more women performing - including actually wrestling - on future shows:
“As we continue to make progress there, our hope one day is that we will have women Superstars battling it out as part of our events in Saudi Arabia.”
That level of progress is probably a ways off, but it’s nice to hear that Young’s presence meant a lot to Saudi fans.
You can listen to the Nov. 5 episode of 5 Live here, or Twitter user Amit S has a few clips of the Young and Cole interview on their timeline here.