Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion Sami Zayn finally worked a Saudi Arabia show this year.
At the Night Of Champions 2023 premium live event, Sami & Kevin Owens defeated The Bloodline (Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa) to retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship in the main event, where Jimmy Uso superkicked The Tribal Chief twice.
Prior to this event, Sami wasn’t allowed to go to Saudi Arabia due to his Syrian descent.
Since Saudi Arabia and Syria are reopening embassies to restore relations, Sami Zayn was allowed to work the Night Of Champions PLE.
The only reason Kevin Owens didn’t work Saudi Arabia events before Night Of Champions was because Sami wasn’t allowed.
During a recent interview on WWE’s After The Bell podcast, Sami had the following to say about the above stated reason regarding Sami not being allowed to travel to Saudi Arabia:
“First of all, the fact that I haven’t been there in a few years, and that there’s been so much speculation as to why I’m not going and what’s the political reasoning, this and that.
I won’t get into all of it, but I’ll tell you 99.9% of what you’ve read online about this subject — completely fabricated, people assuming things and then running with those assumptions and adding on to them. It’s wild.
I think anytime they can’t get a concrete answer, that’s kind of what tends to happen. I think that’s like human nature, almost.
It’s been years since I’ve been back to the Middle East. I think the last time I was there was  in Dubai, possibly, so it’s been a little while.”
For some reason, WWE has edited out the above part from their podcast and gave no explanation for it.
It should be noted that back in 2018, after WWE did their first Saudi show (which was the Greatest Royal Rumble), WWE Officials were asked about Sami’s absence from the show.
WWE then issued the following statement:
“WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world.”
In 2020, Sami said he was never invited to work WWE’s Saudi Arabia shows and “he wasn’t really keen on going anyway”.
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