WWE’s upcoming pay-per-view Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia has caused some fans to cancel their WWE network subscription, while others are calling out for an outright boycott of the event. While it seemed like the WWE was not listening to its fans at all, WWE is taking steps to diminish their role in Saudi Arabia.
Crown Jewel Removed from Events Calendar
Several well-known wrestling reporters noted that the WWE had removed the Crown Jewel pay-per-view from their events calendar; this led people to speculate that the event would be cancelled. Tickets for the event were no longer being sold on the WWE website either.
— Dave Meltzer (@davemeltzerWON) October 14, 2018
The removal of the pay-per-view from the events calendar appears to be a preemptive strike, but the WWE does not have any intention of cancelling. After several media outlets reported on the matter, WWE was forced to state that the pay-per-view should be appearing in its calendar.
Upon investigating the matter myself, I noticed the company has done its best to remove as many references to the Saudi Arabia pay-per-view as possible. However, the Crown Jewel event is still mentioned under shows, leaving the impression the show is going ahead.
Repercussions for the WWE
Honestly, the WWE and its management is fooling itself if it believes the brand will not suffer any repercussions if the show goes ahead in Saudi. Several wrestlers have already stated they are uncomfortable wrestling in Saudi due to recent events. While a talent revolt is unlikely, it does seem to show a big difference between the morals and values of the talent and those of management.
The WWE could be facing some serious repercussions where their brand is concerned too. I cannot think of any sponsor that would like to see their brand associated with a US company who has no problems changing its morals and values for a big payday in Saudi Arabia. Recent developments are putting Saudi and its current ruler in a really bad light, I cannot think of many sponsors that would be happy supporting anything relating to this.
I have no doubt the WWE is hoping for this entire thing to go away, letting them get on with their 450 million dollar contract over the next ten years. Considering the international attention on the matter, I doubt this is a problem WWE can sweep under the proverbial rug.
Recent reports on Fox News indicate that Saudi Arabia will blame the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on “rogue operatives,” basically a fancy term for we did it, but we did not know about it. While it is clear for everyone to see that this is a false statement to appease other countries from taking severe measures against Saudi Arabia, it does make one wonder about the state of this world we live in. So, if the WWE continues in their Saudi journey, they will have to do it without their fans who do know right from wrong.
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