Bring on the Hate
WWE has come under fire lately for its controversial decision to hold the Crown Jewel Pay Per View Event in Saudi Arabia in light of the current events surrounding the murder of Washington Post Reporter Jamal Khashoggi. There was speculation that the company may cancel the event to avoid political backlash. They considered moving the show to alternate locations. There was a considerable amount of criticism surrounding their desire to hold the show from US Senators to ESPN analysts who, for the most part, claimed that WWE was moving forward with the show as a form of money grab based on the amount they received for the Greatest Royal Rumble Event earlier this year.
The Stars Definitely Not Aligning
Further complicating the issue is the fact that WWE had built much of the show around 2 major attractions. The WWE Championship was set to be defended by AJ Styles against Daniel Bryan in what every die hard wrestling fan considers one of the few organic dream matches WWE has to offer. Also, the WWE World Cup was to feature the return of John Cena in a tournament to crown the “Best in the World”.
Both of these amazing fan attractions are off the table. Both John Cena and Daniel Bryan have chosen not to appear at the show based on their own beliefs about the situation in Saudi Arabia. WWE is left scrambling to figure out what to do to make the show a success without 2 of the most significant attractions.
Presenting the next challenge is the sad news that Roman Reigns, Vince McMahon’s “chosen one” in many people’s eyes revealed on WWE Raw that he is battling Leukemia for the second time since he was 22 years old. Though WWE and the entire wrestling universe wishes him well and are clamoring for his eventual triumphant return, it leaves Crown Jewel with a main event that many feel has been done before between Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman.
Further complicating matters is the fact that WWE just held WWE Evolution, the first WWE All Women’s Pay Per View which featured the Women’s Division in all its glory only to go to the next show in a country where not only are the women forbidden from performing, but the female Saudi citizens are not even allowed to freely attend the show. This gives the impression that WWE’s high moral fiber with regards to furthering women’s equality is only skin deep or wallet deep to be more specific.
One thing that many seem to either forget or want to overlook is the simple fact that WWE is a business first. They are not on television each week to provide you with entertainment, much to the contrary from what they would have you believe. WWE doesn’t care about content, match quality, or even who is pushed and buried. They care about the bottom line which is money and satisfying their stockholders. If this was still a smaller corporation, perhaps things would be different. Unfortunately, publicly traded companies answer to those who own shares and those people want to see a return on their investment. If that means running a show on the dark side of the Moon, then they are all for it.
What Will They Do Now?
Now the question remains, what will WWE do to maintain a positive relationship with the WWE Universe? How will they handle the political backlash in the media? Who will replace Daniel Bryan on the show? How will WWE handle future shows in the country with their 10 year agreement in place if the facts of the Khashoggi investigation reveal a connection to the Crown Prince? So many Questions and so many possibilities!
What are your thoughts? Comment Below!
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