In a country that has long oppressed women’s rights, WWE held the first ever women’s wrestling match in Saudi Arabia. Natalya and Lacey Evans took on each other and a thousand years of tradition in Riyadh, the country’s capitol, at the Kin Fahd International Stadium. Natalya, the winner of the match is a two time women’s champion in the WWE while Evans is a U.S. Marine veteran.
The two women had to wear bodysuits to cover their arms and legs in accordance with the culture where women must still keep their skin concealed. It was only last year when Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women driving and attending sporting events. This is another step for a country is trying to rebrand a longstanding image of discrimination and oppression against women.
“I never thought I’d have the opportunity to do the things I’ve done with WWE,” Evans tweeted a day before the event. “Tomorrow I get to show my little girl that hard work can bring you to history-making heights.”
Also featured at the event were popular male WWE stars, Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns as well as Mansoor Al-Shehail, WWE’s first Saudi wrestler.