Two time WWE Women’s Champion Natalya hopes to wrestle in Saudi Arabia. This is according to comments made during an interview with ESPN1530’s Rick Ucchino and Tarren Bland.
“I would really love a chance, one day, to go to Saudi Arabia,” she told the No Holds Barred podcast. “I think that would be an incredible thing for women to make some history over there. So one day I hope, in a way that Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss were able to wrestle in Abu Dhabi, one day hopefully that would be a place I would like to go to and be able to do something historical for women over there.”
Pressed on whether that opportunity might present itself during WWE’s upcoming Saudi Arabia show in June, Natalya had the following to say: “I don’t know, but I’m a firm believer in never say never. For women to be able to one day be able to perform in Saudi Arabia, I know it’s not something we’re doing it at this moment, but one day I want to be one of the women to do that. For me I just think it would just be so historical for women to make those positive steps over there. I think it’d be a huge step for WWE and huge step for that country. It’s something I want to be a part of.”
WWE’s ongoing ten year contract with the kingdom of Saudi Arabia has not been welcomed across the board, with the country’s record on human rights and gender equality repeatedly called into question. Thus far, women have been prevented from performing for WWE in Saudi Arabia and upon appearing on screen during The Greatest Royal Rumble event, received a negative reception from the crowd in attendance.
Management at WWE are on the record as saying that the intention behind the contract is to promote a more equal environment as a positive thing for Saudi Arabia. Renee Young was able to work in her established role as a commentator and there were rumors earlier in the year that a women’s tag team title match might be appearing on the card in June.
Natalya also commented on fan reaction to her current position on the Money In The Bank card. “Some fans are coming at me saying ‘Natalya’s already had chances, give it to so and so…’ but you need experienced girls in the match. I can really body slam some girls through a ladder. I’ve never women a Money In The Bank match. So I’m not going to give up. This could be my chance. I would love to face Becky Lynch. I think Natalya vs. Becky would be a bad ass match.”
WWE’s next show in Saudi Arabia will be June 7. Money in the Bank airs Sunday, May 19 from Hartford, Connecticut.