The upcoming WWE Crown Jewel PPV, set to take place on November 2nd in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, has been at the center of controversy following the the murder of Washington Post journalist and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi.
Earlier today, WWE issued its third quarter financial results, and in the report the company confirmed Crown Jewel will indeed take place in Riyadh despite the current political climate.
“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” read WWE’s statement. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”
In related news, WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan recently did an interview with The Orlando Sentinel, and during the interview, Hogan revealed he will be traveling with WWE to Saudi Arabia, however, he did not specifically mention an appearance at Crown Jewel. Considering WWE has a multi-year deal with WWE, Hogan could have been referring to a future event being held in the country, and not specifically Crown Jewel.
“There are a lot of plans in the works,” said Hogan. “I’m looking forward to going to Saudi Arabia with the WWE, looking forward to WrestleMania — but yeah, we’re moving forward at a rapid pace. It’s exciting to have this opportunity again after all these years where I was there and gone.”
As of this writing, WWE star John Cena has publicly stated he will not be making the trip to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel, so for the time being the World Cup tournament will have to be re-booked in order to accommodate Cena not competing. Earlier this week, we noted rumors of Daniel Bryan also refusing the travel to Riyadh for the PPV, but his status remains unconfirmed.