WWE Crown Jewel, World Cup tournament announced as next foray into Saudi Arabia

If one super show in Saudi Arabia was not enough for you this calendar year, WWE has decided to return to the country for its second major event in a span of seven months. WWE Crown Jewel will take place on Friday, Nov. 2 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, as WWE again partners with the Saudi General Sports Authority to present a special show.

Considering WWE's 10-year contract with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia accounts for two major events per year, this should be considered the norm. WWE previously held the Greatest Royal Rumble in April, just a couple weeks after WrestleMania 34.

As part of announcing Crown Jewel, WWE also booked the main event for the show, a triple threat match for the universal championship with title holder Roman Reigns defending against both Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar, who returned to WWE at Hell in a Cell on Sunday night.

Also announced on Monday was the WWE World Cup, a tournament that will decide the "best in the world." No further details were provided, though one can safely assume this will be a King of the Ring-style tournament that will either be confined to Crown Jewel or conclude with the final three matches on the show and preliminary events contested weekly on Raw and SmackDown.

Say what you will about the overdone 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble held four months after the event that bares the same name, WWE removing King of the Ring from its regular rotation of big events has left a void for an annual tournament on its calendar, and this may wind up filling it to at least some degree.

That complement aside, WWE has put itself in a unique, awkward position with the announcement and scheduling of Crown Jewel as the company is now actively promoting three pay-per-view specials simultaneously, two overseas and one standing out as the first women's only PPV in WWE history.

Up first is WWE Super Show-Down, which is set for Saturday, Oct. 6 in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The match card for the Super Show-Down is nearly complete to this point, and the event appears to be more of a glorified house show than anything else with a variety of multi-person matches, the return of The Undertaker to fight Triple H, and other advertised special appearances. None of the Raw titles will be on the line at the show, though a couple SmackDown titles and the cruiserweight championship will be defended.

Next is WWE Evolution on Sunday, Oct. 28, which is the company's scheduled PPV for the month of October. The all-women's Evolution show has three matches officially announced at this time with Trish Stratus and Lita already confirmed for the event. That match card is expected to fill out significantly over the next couple of weeks.

It should come as no surprise or coincidence that Evolution was scheduled just five days before Crown Jewel considering the legitimate criticism WWE has received for not only partnering with a country in Saudi Arabia that will not allow women to perform on a show but doing so for such an extended period of time. And that's not to mention the other archaic and repressive laws WWE is ignoring in partnering with the nation. 

It always felt like Evolution was a created as a reaction to the blow back surrounding Greatest Royal Rumble as opposed to WWE generating the idea on its own right. Ensuring it was held the same week as Crown Jewel makes that wholly obvious at this point and certainly dampens -- at least ahead of the event -- the feel-good atmosphere surrounding the Evolution show.

As with Greatest Royal Rumble, the Crown Jewel event will air live on WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view outside the Middle East. Broadcast information has not been provided at this early juncture.

CBS Sports Staff

Adam Silverstein joined CBS Sports in 2014 as college football and golf editor. He also helps lead pro wrestling, boxing and mixed martial arts coverage. Adam still maintains that Tim Tebow could have... Full Bio

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