WWE fans from Saudi Arabia are in for a historic match this weekend.
The news broke earlier this week that WWE Saudi Arabia will be hosting its first women’s fight in Saudi Arabia, Lacey Evans vs. Natalya, at this Thursday’s Crown Jewel. The match has reportedly been in talks with Saudi officials for years now but been delayed due to conflicting social mores and the changing political situation in Saudi Arabia. But at long last, the day has come. In order to be respectful to the host country, both Lacey Evans and Natalya will forgo their standard match fare to wear more modest outfits.
Stephanie McMahon confirmed the news of the match and the altered outfits in an exclusive interview with TMZ earlier this morning. “We need to be respectful of the cultures in the countries we perform in,” she said of the full-body leotards both athletes will be competing in.
This is a watershed moment for a sport in a country that greatly restricts women’s rights. Women in Saudi Arabia require permission from a husband or father to do basically anything, including undergo medical procedures and travel outside of the country. It was only in 2011 that they were granted the right to vote and in 2015 that they were allowed to drive their own cars. A stunning match from Lacey Evans and Natalya, two accomplished, driven athletes in their field, is a beautiful demonstration of what women can achieve when they are allowed to show their strength and grow into their full-fledged potential.