Should WWE cancel Crown Jewel?
For the first time in eight and a half years, Shawn Michaels comes out of retirement and reforms DX with Triple H against the Brothers of Destruction Undertaker and Kane. Fan favourites face off when Daniel Bryan challenges Aj Styles for the WWE Championship. Universal Champion Roman Reigns defends his title in a triple threat match against Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar. These are the things that should be talked about. Instead, due to recent events, it remains unclear if Crown Jewel which is scheduled for Nov 2 in Saudi Arabia is going ahead.
Earlier this year, the announcement of the 10 year agreement between WWE and Saudi Arabia was made. With the money that was being reported to be part of the agreement, business wise you could understand why the deal was made. From the start, it was hard to see the agreement lasting it’s entirety.
We are not even a year into the agreement and already issues have come up. However, WWE put themselves in this position, there is always a cost that comes when you take a risk like this.
October 2, Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi was seen on CCTV entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. But, was never seen leaving the Consulate. Turkish officials claim that he was murdered onorder from high levels in the Saudi government, allegedly.
Multiple US senators have said that WWE should at the least pause their relationship with Saudi Arabia until things become clear what happened. WWE issued a statement over the weekend saying “We are currently monitoring the situation”.
This story is clearly much bigger than WWE and a wrestling event. But, i am coming from purely a wrestling context.
No doubt WWE will also be monitoring the current and potential backlash that may come if they go ahead with the show. But, this an incredibly bad look for the WWE.
The WWE did cop some flack back in April for the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia for not having any female athletes part of the show, nor are they doing so for Crown Jewel for cultural reasons. Unfortunately, the all women’s PPV Evolution on October, 28, will now feel like an afterthought because all of the talk from here on will be about Crown Jewel and whether it should go ahead.
It won’t matter if more revelations do come to light or nothing new at all between now and Nov 2 and WWE don’t pull Crown Jewel it will be a horrible look regardless. Especially, if they air the video of how great and progressive Saudi Arabia is that was aired during the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Bryan Alvarez on Wrestling Observer Live reported that some of the talent scheduled to compete at Crown Jewel do not want to go. If the report is true and some feel that way, then now is the perfect time for the talent to come together as one. Doesn’t have to be publicly, but in a professional and respectful manner state their position and their feeling on the situation to the company.
Many people are convinced that WWE will go ahead with Crown Jewel because of the money they will make. But, with enough public pressure it wouldn’t take much for things to change. To a smaller example, when WWE announced a women’s battle royal for WrestleMania and named it after the Fabulous Moolah, enough people complained to sponsors that WWE changed the name within a week. Regardless of the money at stake, WWE care a whole lot about their public image, which could see them cancel or at least push Crown Jewel back.
WWE are going to have to ask themselves “Is it worth it?” Is it really worth all of the bad press and possibly risk future business, just because of the money. This story isn’t going to go away anytime soon so they need to get on top of it quickly. In my opinion, they have to pull Crown Jewel. Yes, you turn down big money, but there is no way that this show is worth the trouble and backlash it has and will cause. WWE can save face and move the Crown Jewel event to a new location or just put the announced matches onto the Survivor Series card on Nov 18.
Cover photo source: WWE