“I couldn’t stop smiling and crying! ♥ thank you #WWEAbuDhabi” – Sasha Banks tweet post-Abu Dhabi show.
In a day and age where companies will find any excuse to make a “huge headline” on social media – WWE did not over exaggerate when they said, Alexa Bliss vs Sasha Banks in Abu Dhabi was a history-making moment. Not only was it the first-ever women’s wrestling match in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but it’s also a moment that will become even greater over time.
Places like Abu Dhabi, Dubai are very strict when it comes to their religious and cultural beliefs. Even guests who enter the countries from abroad must abide by their rules. While there is certainly nothing wrong with that, the exclusion of WWE’s women in past tours, however, was something that should not have happened.
The females in the UAE should have also been allowed to witness the female wrestlers performing on the grand stage of WWE. Not only performing on the grand stage but doing it just as well, if not, better than the guys.
Being a Muslim myself, I’ve seen how once women reach a certain age, sports and any form of performance seems to be a path they can no longer go down. Perhaps it’s discouraged by parents or it’s because they look around and feel it’s not possible. I also feel it’s due to not having proof that it can be done.
Sasha and Alexa wrestling in Abu Dhabi was a groundbreaking moment not only for young women in the UAE but also young Muslim women around the world, proving that they can strive to become great athletes and still maintain their cultural/religious beliefs.
Sasha and Alexa also wrestled their match in Abu Dhabi with attire that covered their bodies. The days of women being treated simply as eye candy are long gone. Thankfully, in today’s WWE, it’s all about how good the women perform in the ring and on the microphone, and not how good they look.
I imagine both women wrestling fully covered was necessary in order for them to perform in Abu Dhabi. However, it’s still a great show of respect from both ladies. And by wrestling fully covered, it allowed them to show the young women there that they do not have to abandon who and what they are in order to showcase their skills on the grand stage of WWE. Sasha and Alexa also showed them that it’s okay for them to like, watch, and perhaps, aspire to be a part of the WWE one day.
It was certainly nice to see how much it meant to both Sasha and Alexa, as both of them tweeted about how much of an honour it was to be a part of the first match in the UAE. Post-Sasha v Alexa, I am sure we will see more women’s matches take place there, but there can only be only one first.
I also truly believe that in ten, fifteen years time we may see more women from the UAE performing in the WWE, and it will be thanks to Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss.