Why WWE Chose Lacey Evans and Natalya For First Women’s Match In Saudi Arabia

Why WWE Chose Lacey Evans and Natalya For First Women's Match In Saudi Arabia

Stephanie McMahon spoke with Bleacher Report to discuss the history-making match between Lacey Evans and Natalya at WWE Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia later today.

We noted that Evans and Natalya will be wearing full-body suits to cover their bodies, similar to the suits Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss wore when they wrestled the first-ever women’s match in the Middle East in December 2017 at the WWE live event in Abu Dhabi. Stephanie was asked by Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Snowden about the modified ring attire for today’s match.

“I haven’t seen the designs but I do know there are certain restrictions and we want to be respectful of the culture,” Stephanie said. “Their costuming will be different than what you would see in a typical WWE show.

“That being said, when you mention Abu Dhabi, I just don’t want to lose the significance of it. It took six years for us to be able to have a women’s match in Abu Dhabi and when we did, the reaction of the audience, both men and women, chanting “this is hope.” That’s not a typical WWE chant. Both Sasha and Alexa talked about seeing tears in the eyes of little girls in the front row. When you consider the significance of what it means to be able to see women performing and competing in what was traditionally all men, it really does change the way you look at your future. I think this is a huge opportunity for WWE, for the WWE Universe and hopefully it will have a ripple effect around the world.”

There was a lot of social media talk about why WWE went with Evans and Natalya for the history-making bout at Crown Jewel, instead of someone like RAW Women’s Champion Becky Lynch or SmackDown Women’s Champion Bayley. Stephanie was asked why they went with Evans vs. Natalya instead of another match.

“Natalya is somewhat of a legend in the women’s division,” Stephanie said. “She is the veteran. She has been here for so long, been a part of so many of the changes that have happened. When you consider her legacy and family history, it’s pretty remarkable. You take Lacey Evans, who is fairly new on the scene but who has not been shy about sharing her perspective on overcoming, especially in her life and the things she’s been through. She has a young daughter and she wants to set an example and pave the way not only for her daughter but boys and girls all around the world. That’s their personal stories.

“I can’t think of better representatives for WWE. You can go on their social media. They’ve made some pretty awesome statements. Lacey Evans said ‘I never thought I’d have the opportunities to do the things I’ve done with WWE. Tomorrow I get to show my little girl that hard work can bring you to history-making heights. I’m ready for this.'”

Stephanie was also asked about Evolution II happening. She said the event was considered for this year, and it likely will happen, but not in 2019.

“We did consider it,” she said of a second Evolution event this year. “A lot of our focus has been on having this particular match as a part of this PPV in Saudi Arabia. More to come on Evolution but it’s most likely not going to happen in 2019.”


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