WWE’s October pay-per-view will air tonight live from Saudi Arabia as the much-anticipated Crown Jewel event unfolds.
There are two women’s matches on the title card – the SmackDown Women’s Championship and the first ever Queen’s Crown final.
This isn’t the first time female wrestlers have appeared at events in the Middle East, but Sasha Banks has explained how important it is for women living in the area.
The Boss was part of the first ever women’s match to be hosted in the region – a meeting with Alexa Bliss in Abu Dhabi to compete for the Raw Women’s Championship title in 2017.
“To see little kids’ faces and women’s faces of just … they’ve never seen anything like that before,” Banks said. “In Abu Dhabi, that was such a special moment for me. It’s one of the top five things that I’ve ever done in my career. It’s something that I take with me for the rest of my life – just the feeling alone.”
Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia are still extremely restricted. Only in the last decad were local women allowed to vote, drive, and register a divorce or marriage without the consent of a male. guardian.
Banks will take on Bianca Belair and current SmackDown champion Becky Lynch in a triple threat match for the blue brand title tonight. The build up to this match has seen feuds boil over, and fans are unable to call who will walk away with the belt in hand.
To take part in such an exciting match in a country that is desperate for female role models is something The Boss cares deeply about.
“When I go out there and perform, I want not just only females, [but] children, males, I want them to all know that I can do anything.
“They can accomplish anything no matter what as long as they put their heart and their soul out there. Anybody can have their whole dreams come true.”
Banks then said her goal is to always “represent women the best way we can” – something she continuously works towards.
She has made history a number of times on the WWE stage – including becoming the first Black woman alongside Belair to headline a WrestleMania event.
The Crown Jewel pay-per-view will air on Thursday, October 21st at 12.00 ET/17.00 BST and can be watched live on Peacock and the WWE Network.