The public outcry of WWE fans, US Senators, and even some of its sponsors has not persuaded the WWE to pull out of the upcoming Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia. Despite the tremendous political tension, the company has confirmed Crown Jewel will take place as planned.
WWE’s Confirmation Statement
The confirmation statement released by the WWE is outright insulting to the intelligence of WWE fans. They try to distance themselves from the politics of it all, attempting to portray it as just another US company continuing its operations in Saudi. While reading this statement, just remember WWE wrestler Kane is a politician and will be wrestling in Saudi. Also remember that several huge companies have stopped their operations in Saudi including includes Virgin Media giant Sir Richard Branson.
“”WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”
WWE Wrestlers Are Scared for Their Safety
When mentioning the event in Saudi Arabia, one cannot forget to mention the safety of WWE superstars. The WWE is willingly and consciously putting their wrestlers in harm’s way, despite the ruthless behavior displayed by the Saudi royals and its government.
It is no surprise that several WWE wrestlers have voiced their concerns about performing in Saudi Arabia, the most prominent ones being Daniel Bryan and John Cena. At this time, there is no confirmation regarding changes to the lineup for the event, but I would not be surprised if some wrestlers abstained.
In case of John Cena, I understand completely why the man does not want to wrestle in Saudi. While I am certain he has issues with the Jamal Khashoggi case, his own safety is probably even more of a concern.
Let’s face it, John Cena is pretty much the embodiment of American culture. How does that go down in the current political environment in Saudi Arabia? Yes, he has performed in Saudi before, but not in the current political circumstances. I will support John Cena 100% if he decides not to perform in the upcoming pay-per-view.
One thing is certain, the confirmation that the WWE will hold the pay-per-view despite such a public scandal and the outrage of its own fans will cause irreparable damage to its brand. I would not be surprised whatsoever if more sponsors started to pull out, because who wants to be associated with this, especially with public anger at an all-time high. Once again, the WWE has proven that the fans who made the company big – who buy their merchandise and loyally watch the show – mean nothing compared to a corrupt government who is willing to fork out huge amounts of cash. Well done WWE. My respect for you and what you stand for went permanently down the toilet.
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