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WWE returning to Saudi Arabia on October 21

As long as COVID-19 regulations allow for it, WWE is planning a return to Saudi Arabia this October for another large scale event, resuming a controversial business relationship.

Mat Men's Andrew Zarian first reported the news on Monday, saying he had heard Thursday, October 21st as the targeted date. POST Wrestling's John Pollock tweeted he had heard the same with Dave Meltzer confirming the date -- the first there since the pandemic started.

WWE has not publicly confirmed the news, but is expected to this Thursday during their quarterly investors call.

The last Saudi event was February 2020's Super ShowDown, one of five pay-per-view style events WWE has held there since 2018. That event featured Goldberg defeating "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt for the Universal Championship. 

The relationship between the two sides has not come without controversy.

The June 2019 Super Showdown event was to feature a women's match for the first time in the country as Alexa Bliss was set to take on Natalya. The government rejected the match even though both women flew to the country, but later that year at the Crown Jewel event, Natalya and Lacey Evans made history instead.

Following that show, there was an incident with a plane holding wrestlers, staff and other personnel that remained stuck at the airport for six hours with rumors swirling as to the reasons for that delay. Twenty wrestlers ended up getting back to the U.S. via a second chartered plane.

After that event, WWE and the Saudi General Entertainment Authority signed a long-term partnership through 2027 that called for a second annual large scale event in addition to working toward a media deal that is a common topic on quarterly investment calls.

There have been two subsequent lawsuits by U.S.-based investment groups related to WWE's dealings with Saudi Arabia, one of which was settled last November for $39 million.