WWE Crown Jewel tuned out to be a fantastic event. The performance put by the women superstars got some brilliant response from the crowd but did you notice some difference in women’s clothing at WWE Crown Jewel.

Two of the main events of Crown Jewel events were SmackDown Women’s Championship match and the first-ever Queen’s Crown Final, which was quite a hit, but there was a catch in those matches. They were dressed differently than they usually do.

WWE Female stars during the first women’s match at Saudi Arabia (TheSun UK)

Why were the WWE Women’s dressed differently at Crown Jewel?

WWE started holding the first of its house shows in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in April, 2014. The company continued doing shows successively in various other locations of Saudi Arabia.

In 2016, they did live event shows of the SmackDown brand. Still, the highlight of this collaboration came when WWE hosted the Greatest Royal Rumble at King Abdullah International Stadium on April 27, 2018.

Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia (Cageside Seats)

But these events were heavily criticized by fans across the globe as no involvement of any women wrestlers in any of the shows or events yet. They were unable to perform at the event due to the limited rights women have in Saudi Arabia.

WWE’s Executive Vice President Triple H was quoted saying about this: 

“I understand that people are questioning it, but you have to understand that every culture is different, and just because you disagree with a certain aspect of it, it doesn’t mean it’s not a relevant culture…You can’t dictate to a country or a religion about how they handle things, but, having said that, WWE is at the forefront of a women’s evolution in the world and what you can’t do is affect change anywhere by staying away from it…While women are not competing in the event, we have had discussions about that and hope that in the next few years, they will be”

After consistent pressure and many rejections from the Saudi Arabian government, WWE announced a match between Natalya and Lacey Evans for the 2019 Crown Jewel event, which became the first-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia after 5 years of starting.

Both the women were allowed to wear full-body suits and T-shirts instead of the usual ring attire due to the county’s conservative dress policy. This match was heavily appreciated and also got nominated for the WWE Year—End Award, Stephanie McMahon stated in an interview:

“You can either sit on the sidelines, and there are plenty of companies and brands that decide to do that or you can be a part of hopefully enacting change. You can be a part of progress. Nothing worthwhile is ever easy. It takes time. It takes perseverance. Now here we are with the first-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia. It’s pretty mind blowing.”

From then, WWE hosted various PPV’s including women but with full-body attire. For example, for the SmackDown Women’s Championship, which featured Bianca Belair, Becky Lynch, and Sasha Banks, all the women had to wear long tights, long sleeves, and t-shirts.

Crown Jewel
SmackDown Women’s Champion at Crown Jewel wearing full clothes in Saudi Arabia

While talking to the National News (h/t fightful), Belair mentioned how it is not an inconvenience for her as she already wears long pants, and she will definitely come up as the EST that she is. She also stated that all the female wrestlers customized their gear and were excited about it.

“I already wear long pants as it is, though we’ll definitely be having long sleeves and just making sure that we’re within the bounds of everything, I’m definitely going to still show up and look like the EST that I am.

“We’ll definitely customise our gear, but I’m excited for it. It’s not something that’s an inconvenience, plus I get a new look.”

Becky Lynch retained the SmackDown Women’s Champion by defeating Belair and Banks. However, the Queen’s Crown was won by Zelina Vega, who defeated Duodrop in the women’s match-up for the Crown Jewel event. Jesika Carr also became the first woman to referee in Saudi Arabia during the match between Edge and Seth Rollins.

Zelina Vega
Zelina Vega won the Queen’s Crown

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