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‘WWE continues to influence the world’

Don’t believe us? Check out the numerous people at all levels of the company who just happen to be touting the importance of women wrestling in Saudi Arabia using that exact phrase.

WWE is headed back to Saudi Arabia this weekend for Elimination Chamber.

That turns up the volume on criticism of how the company is being paid millions by the country’s government for semi-annual events that help sports entertainment-wash an international reputation marred by the Kingdom’s numerous human rights offenses. In response, WWE counters that they’re not just going to Saudi to make money — they’re a beacon of social change.

Exhibit A for that argument/public relations campaign is the increased role women’s wrestling has played on WWE’s shows in the KSA. With 12 women working three different matches on Sat., Feb. 19 in Jeddah, it’s been an even bigger talking point for Elimination Chamber.

Specific focus is being given to billboards in the country featuring Becky Lynch and Lita. Those two Superstars tweeted about their importance last Friday, then Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon sent out an email with the subject line “WWE Continues to Influence the World” that touted the “milestone”:

Which just happened to be followed by WWE independent contractors who do several different kinds of jobs across numerous brands tweeting about the same thing using the same phrase:

Get the message?

Now, there’s nothing to say anyone was told to tweet this out. Folks may just be excited about their employer’s global influencer status. Some may see it as a savvy political move for their career. Regardless, I do believe they hope things will get better for women, and LGBTQ+ people, and every group facing oppression by the Saudi regime.

It ends up coming across more as propaganda than PR, though. Maybe we should give them credit for being transparent about that.