In case you haven’t heard from the numerous advertisements on a part of WWE, the company is making its return to Saudi Arabia on November 3rd with WWE Crown Jewel. Or should they? As of right now, the card is headline by a triple threat match for the Universal Championship featuring Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. AJ Styles will be defending the WWE Title against Daniel Bryan, and throughout the night, a World Cup style tournament will determine who the “best in the world is”.
However, there has been recent controversy regarding the alleged death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He was highly critical of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, and its kind. He essentially became a platform for those who were on the progressive end of the political spectrum. He disappeared on October 2nd, and there are conflicting reports regarding his fate. The Saudi government claims he left the Saudi consulate in Turkey alive, but the Turkish government claims he was killed inside. Whatever his fate, he is still missing, and there is increasing suggestions to believe that the Saudi government had him killed.
The timing of this couldn’t be worse for WWE, because now they are at a fork in the road. Earlier this year, they had signed a 10 year deal with Saudi Arabia to hold events in the kingdom. The deal, of course is very lucrative, which was one of the main reasons why WWE signed onto it despite the potential controversy associated with it.
Many Senators and representatives from the United States have urged WWE to pull out of Crown Jewel despite the money, because aside from it being a complete PR disaster, WWE may be going against its own values. Think about it. WWE Evolution is on October 28th. That would mean Crown Jewel takes place the next week. In Saudi Arabia, aside from their documented detestable treatment of those who are of the LGBT community, their treatment of women are akin to that of medieval times. Women are often not to be seen in public without being accompanied by a man, and they basically do anything their without a man being there as well. I’m sure you didn’t notice any women on the card for Greatest Royal Rumble.
Would it be hypocritical for WWE to celebrate the women’s revolution by holding the first ever women’s exclusive event in the United States just to go along with a PPV that will prevent women from competing the very next week? As for whether or not they could, I believe they can, but the issue is that there is bunch of legalities behind it. WWE signed a binding contract, and violation of that contract can lead to massive lawsuits and give WWE a massive headaches for years to come. And let’s face it, when it’s about the money, Vince isn’t one to turn a blind eye.
With the controversy regarding the missing journalist’s fate and Saudi Arabia’s treatment of minorities, should WWE continue with Crown Jewel because of the huge financial advantage, or should they cancel the event? What’s your take?