The world of professional wrestling can get weird enough, but when you start mixing in a real-life murder and international politics, maybe it’s a moment to step back and look this over a bit. That is what people are urging the WWE to do.
Things get started with the new story that Washington Post Reporter Jamal Khashoggi disappeared on October 2nd after video shows him entering the Saudi embassy in Turkey. He was found to have been murdered and there is a LOT of suspicions that the country of Saudi Arabia or the ruling family may have been behind it, although it’s not been definitively proven as of yet.
This has created an international incident as the story unfolds. Many people and organizations feel the situation is a little too hot to handle and are pulling out or refusing to do business with the country. One of those companies doing business with the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia is pro wrestling industry leaders the WWE and it’s head Vince MacMahon.
The wrestling company’s dealing with the country goes back to earlier this year. There is talk that the company was contacted by the country’s Sports Minister as part of a program to elevate Saudi Arabia’s profile and dispell the image that many have of Saudi Arabia. Supposedly McMahon signed a long-term contract to hold events in the country and was paid many Millions of dollars for his efforts. So far only one event was held, called The Greatest Royal Rumble, in April of 2018.
The WWE was preparing and advertising the second show for November 2nd, called Crown Jewel. The company has announced a lot of big matches and even a small tournament for the card, but then this incident occurred. Many have decided to leave or end their dealings with the county, but the WWE has not made an announcement or any plans as of yet.
It this time, many United States Senators have called for the WWE to delay or even cancel the show. Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut), Sen. Chris Murphy (D- Connecticut), Sen. Chris Coons (D-Delaware), and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey) have all voiced their concerns and urged the WWE to rethink the planned show including the article from ljr.
As noted in their article, Vince McMahon’s wife Linda was named the chairman of the Small Business Administration under US President Donald Trump. They, like others covering this aspect of the story, have wondered if that connection would get the President himself to step in. So far he has not.
The response so far from the WWE was just a statement saying they were “monitoring the situation”. Originally it was believed by Wrestling fans that the plans for the show were still going forward despite nothing official coming from the WWE itself.
However, a new development has arisen lately where the WWE has removed all the information of the location of the event or links to where customers could be able to buy tickets for the show as well. The removal of this information has led some to suspect the event may be moved to another location or canceled altogether, but again, the WWE has not released any official information as of yet.
The WWE has canceled and delayed their shows before, but those were often non-televised “house shows” or events that were not for TV. Those events have been rescheduled for such things and weather, sales issues, or other reasons. Their history of televised events being changed is far less. The Wrestlemania 7 show was relocated to a new venue across the street within a month of the event in 1991. This was because of either ticket sale issues, terrorist issues, or security insurance issues, depending on who you ask. They also took a lot of flack for continuing the Over the Edge event in 1999 when wrestler Owen Hart was killed after accidentally falling from nearly 80 feet up in a failed stunt inside the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri.
Like the WWE, and it’s chairman Vince McMahon, there has been no word from a representative of Saudi Arabia or Linda McMahon over the event. The event is still being advertised to be aired on the WWE Network service, even though the location and ticket information has been removed.