We fans often look at pro wrestlers, especially ones who’ve made it the big stage of WWE, with awe or envy. Most of us also feel gratitude and empathy for a dream job that’s still really difficult, demands a lot from people and takes a toll on all aspects of the performers’ lives.
So I do sympathize with Superstars featured in these clips. Not long removed from a 14 hour flight after wrestling several days worth of shows in the United States, asked to promote an event they know is controversial back home, to an outlet that’s an arm of the government whose human rights abuses and executions are the cause of the controversy.
You focus on the audience of local fans who are happy to see you regardless, I suppose. But... yeesh. That’s still an awkward situation. And it shows:
♂️ Dean Ambrose: the fact that the tickets for #WWECrownJewel ran out in 3 hours shows how great and enthusiastic the fan base of WWE in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is.The show will be amazing on Friday. pic.twitter.com/DPzLGUcPZg— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) October 31, 2018
♂️ Kurt Angle: we have a great crowd in the Kingdom, I am certain I will win the #WWECrownJewel Title on Friday. pic.twitter.com/A6dhp0mtJI— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) October 31, 2018
♂️ Seth Rollins: I am looking forward to the #WWECrownJewel on Friday. pic.twitter.com/lVH1bFuQCC— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) October 31, 2018
♂️ Bobby Lashley: I am very content to have chosen to participate in #WWECrownJewel, it is a great opportunity to meet WWE fans in Saudi Arabia. pic.twitter.com/zLHeO0EsGe— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) November 1, 2018
♂️ Drew Mclntyre: the relationship between the Saudi General Sports Authority and WWE will be greater than before. The fans here are very interested.#WWECrownJewel pic.twitter.com/fY0JHs7eS1— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) November 1, 2018
♂ Dolph Ziggler: I hope to participate in the three fights of #WWECrownJewel tomorrow and to win the WWE World Cup. pic.twitter.com/OBgXJjJImF— General Sports Authority (@gsaksa_en) November 1, 2018
How much you feel for Dean Ambrose, Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley and Dolph Ziggler is up to you, of course. They’re still getting paid, and apparently were given the option to back out by the folks paying them (whether or not exercising that option would have come without consequences is a whole nother matter).
But I’m certainly glad I didn’t have to tiptoe through an answer about ticket sales and fan excitement under these circumstances.