Many of you probably noticed that there were no mentions of Saudi Arabia. The announcers were told to mention Crown Jewel and the date of the show but the country of Saudi Arabia was off limits. This isn’t necessarily a sign that they are going to pull out because they are still moving forward as if the show is going to take place.
The media attention over the apparent murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi has intensified and reached a new level in the last 12 hours when word got out that the Saudi government was prepared to admit that Khashoggi was killed during an interrogation gone wrong.
Bryan Alvarez noted last week on Wrestling Observer Live that several wrestlers have said privately that they would rather not go to Saudi Arabia. Several United States senators have also called on WWE to re-evaluate their relationship with the Saudi’s. On Monday, it was announced that Endeavor, the parent company of UFC, was pulling out of a $400 million deal with Saudi Arabia.
Aside from Saudi Arabia references being omitted, WWE carried on with business as usual with World Cup qualifying matches on Raw. On this week’s episode, Seth Rollins (count-out victory over Drew McIntyre) and Dolph Ziggler (pin on Dean Ambrose) qualified for the World Cup.
WWE officials have discussed backup plans in case they are forced to cancel Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia.