The upcoming WWE Crown Jewel PPV, taking place on November 2nd in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been at the center of controversy for over a week now, following the disappearance and murder of Washington Post journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi.
As we reported earlier today, the PPV is still scheduled to take place as advertised, despite mainstream media outlets and even United States Senators urging WWE to rethink, and even pause its relationship with Saudi Arabia following the events of the past two weeks.
One WWE star who appears to be in favor of WWE forging ahead with Crown Jewel is Smackdown Live star and WWE veteran Randy Orton.
During a recent interview with TMZ Sports, Orton addressed concerns regarding WWE making the trip to Saudi Arabia despite mounting tensions between the country and The United States.
“I think we should go,” Orton told TMZ. “I think the only way to help with change over there is to go and not to cancel the trip.
“That’s the goal is to make things better everywhere and I think us NOT going doesn’t help. Going helps,” Orton furthered.
Randy Orton is not the only WWE star who is of the “show must go on” mindset, as former WWE Champion John “Bradshaw” Layfield recently echoed sentiments similar to that of Randy Orton, claiming WWE can help affect change in a country like Saudi Arabia by performing in the country as opposed to backing out.
We noted earlier today that while it might be attractive from a public relations standpoint for WWE to back out of its Saudi Arabia deal, it would not be the smartest business move, and would cost the company around $2 to $3 million in quarter four revenue this year. The current deal WWE has in place with Saudi Arabia is worth a reported $450 million over a ten year period, and the company is currently within its first year of the deal, recording its first-ever event in Saudi Arabia with the Greatest Royal Rumble back in April.