Rumors that Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens would defend their WWE Tag titles against Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia were met with a lot of skepticism. While Zayn travelled to the country with WWE early in his career with the company, he hasn’t been involved in any shows there under WWE’s current deal with the Kingdom. All reports indicated that was due to Sami’s Syrian heritage, and tensions between the KSA and the government of Syria.
But those tensions have eased considerably in the past few weeks and months, opening the door for Zayn — and Owens, who’d been sitting out Saudi shows since 2018’s Greatest Royal Rumble in solidarity with his tag partner, long-time friend, and fellow Quebecer — to work May 27’s premium live event in Jeddah.
It means a lot more than just a marquee match-up with WWE’s biggest star and his up-and-coming cousin, too. Arriving in Saudi Arabia before the show allowed Zayn, who is Muslim, to undertake an Umrah, which is a pilgrimage to the Islamic holy city of Mecca outside of Hajj season (The Hajj being one of the five pillars of Islam, a mandatory pilgrimage to Mecca which only takes place during one ten-day period each year as determined by the Islamic calendar. Sami missed this year’s by about a month, as it runs from June 26 and July 1).
Being a pro wrestler and being with WWE has taken me to places I never dreamed I’d get to see and do things I never thought I’d get to do. It has provided me a life filled with incredible experiences that I will cherish forever. This one is at the top of the list. الحمدلله pic.twitter.com/z7h1am3MID— Sami Zayn (@SamiZayn) May 25, 2023
The Arabic at the end of Zayn’s tweet reads ““alhamdulillah”, which can be translated as “praise be to God,” or “thank God.”