John Bradshaw Layfield was a recent guest on the Fox Business show Varney & Co., hosted by Stuart Varney, to discuss the WWE event the Greatest Royal Rumble. The Greatest Royal Rumble airs Friday from Saudi Arabia, and the WWE has been under some fire for holding the event in a strict country where women are often oppressed. The female WWE superstars are not allowed to wrestle at the event, and only women escorted by men are allowed to attend. JBL, a Fox Business regular, appeared on the show to talk about the WWE event.
As seen in the video below, JBL was anxious to defend the WWE going to Saudi Arabia. The former champion first brought up the negative fallout that has occurred over the controversial event. Bradshaw mentioned how he has been over to the Middle East over a dozen or so times, and competed with his partner, Ron Simmons, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Layfield pointed out that Ron Simmons was the first black WCW heavyweight champion, and that the shows were often produced by Pat Patterson who is openly gay. He said, “you can’t get more diverse than that.”
While that is all true, it is a bit misleading. The shows he refers to, WWE Tribute to the Troops, were held for the U.S. Armed Forces at their military base with an audience of U.S. soldiers. The WWE event in Saudi Arabia, being held at the King Abdullah International Stadium, is a completely different situation than wrestling on a U.S. military base.
Layfield would go on to talk about the positive impact that the Greatest Royal Rumble could bring to the country. JBL pointed out that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is trying to create diversity. He said that one way you do that is to bring in the WWE in front of 60,000 people at the Greatest Royal Rumble, so that the audience will become fans of the company. He stated that when the new fans go to the WWE website, they will see how women there are treated as equals; they will see how WWE Raw Women’s Champion Nia Jax is treated exactly the same as WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
But it’s unclear, since there isn’t a public list, if the WWE website is even available in the country; books, magazines, newspapers, broadcast media, and internet access are heavily censored in Saudi Arabia. They block sites that they consider offensive, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for them to block the wrestling site given how female WWE performers often wear revealing outfits. Layfield would go on to say that capitalism helps with breaking down barriers and compared the WWE in Saudi Arabia to McDonald’s in China.
— Carter (@thecarterlee) April 27, 2018
The Greatest Royal Rumble airs live on Friday on the WWE Network at 12 p.m. EST.