As documented in our ‘Cup of coffee in the big time’ feature this morning, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is currently embroiled in an international crisis over the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi national and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi. Intelligence reports indicate Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist who was critical of the KSA’s ruling family and its relationship to the U.S., was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey - possibly in a state-ordered kidnapping gone awry.
With WWE’s return to Saudi Arabia scheduled for Fri., Nov. 2, fans and industry observers have been following the situation to see how the company proceeds with the planned Crown Jewel event. Like April’s Greatest Royal Rumble, the pay-per-view (PPV) from Riyadh is part of a partnership between WWE and the KSA whereby the company receives huge amounts of money in exchange for both putting on the shows and airing videos promoting the country’s cultural and human rights advances during them.
Since our post on the issue this morning, numerous U.S government officials including President Donald Trump and members of both parties in the Senate have commented on the situation.
With no sign of the story going away, WWE issued a brief, open-ended statement on the matter to those inquiring about how the controversy surrounding Khashoggi’s disappearance might impact Crown Jewel or their relationship with Saudi Arabia:
“We are currently monitoring the situation.”
Any comment is noteworthy, as many expected the company to remain silent while more information became public, and consumers, investors & sponsors reacted.
Cageside Seats will update you with any further comment or action from WWE.