In 2018, the landscape of WWE took an intriguing turn when the company entered into a groundbreaking ten-year deal with the General Entertainment Authority of Saudi Arabia, resulting in the production of monumental events in the Middle Eastern Kingdom.
These shows witnessed legendary names like Triple H, Goldberg, The Undertaker, and Kane gracing the squared circle, with Shawn Michaels even emerging from retirement for a bout in 2018. However, amidst these electrifying performances, this deal has not been immune to controversy.
Critics have labeled it as a form of "sportswashing," alleging that the Saudi Arabian government employs sports and entertainment to portray an idealized image of the country to the world, all while facing accusations of human rights abuses.
Cena's Return Signals Shift
In the wake of these concerns, some WWE superstars, including the iconic John Cena, had previously chosen not to participate in these events. Cena, who had previously wrestled at the inaugural mega-event in 2018, had been notably absent from subsequent shows.
However, recent developments suggest that attitudes may be shifting, as Cena is currently advertised for Crown Jewel in November 2023. Amidst these developments, the question on wrestling fans' minds is whether Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, one of WWE's most iconic figures, might step back into the ring in Saudi Arabia.
When posed with this question on Wrestling Observer Radio, renowned wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer offered insight, emphasizing that the decision ultimately lies with The Rock himself. Meltzer remarked, "That's up to him.
I don't know the answer to that one. I mean, Cena is doing it, you know, when he didn't before so you know, obviously Cena believes that the stigma of doing it in Hollywood is gone. So The Rock, I mean, he used to be friends with the Prince so I don't know." Despite the speculation, Meltzer hinted at the possibility of The Rock primarily reserving his in-ring appearances for WrestleMania, given his busy schedule and commitments in Hollywood.
However, with recent rumors of The Rock's potential involvement at WrestleMania 40 following his surprise appearance on SmackDown in Denver, the wrestling world remains on the edge of their seats, eagerly awaiting any news of The Great One's return to the WWE ring.