It’s actually scheduled to be one of the bigger WWE events of the year, but there is a lot of drama and controversy surrounding Crown Jewel. On November 2, 2018, the event is set to take place in Saudi Arabia and many have called for it to be canceled or rescheduled due to the situation with a missing Washington Post reporter. Now, according to Sports Illustrated, numerous WWE superstars have admitted they aren’t comfortable going there.
The event has been scheduled for a couple of months and is a big part of the deal that WWE has with the country of Saudi Arabia. It has numerous title matches scheduled and is even set to reveal the in-ring return of Shawn Michaels after 10 years out of the ring.
WWE has already had to deal with female superstars not being allowed to perform in the country, and now, there is the issue of missing Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi. Reports have come about that the kingdom may actually be responsible for his disappearance and possible murder, as reported by CNN.
Inquisitr reported that there has been speculation that the event would be canceled or moved, but WWE hasn’t said anything as of yet. It’s quite possible that something could be announced tonight on Monday Night Raw as it has since been revealed that numerous WWE superstars are not comfortable performing in Saudi Arabia.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) October 15, 2018
According to the report from Sports Illustrated, “multiple members of the WWE talent roster have expressed discomfort with the idea of performing in Saudi Arabia, especially given the nation’s poor record with human rights.”
As expected, none of those superstars have revealed their names to the media as they don’t want to experience the repercussions from their employer. If they were to speak out against Crown Jewel, they could face a financial penalty or even lose their job.
It isn’t only Sports Illustrated, though, that has heard from WWE superstars saying they aren’t comfortable going to Saudi Arabia. Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet has confirmed that others in WWE have advised him of the same cautiousness with the upcoming event.
— Ryan Satin (@ryansatin) October 15, 2018
WWE faces a whole host of problems with their upcoming event on November 2, 2018. If they end up canceling the event, they would not only be in breach of contract and lose a lot of money, but they would likely forever fall out of the graces of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Continuing on with the event would also mean that Shawn Michaels’ return, AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan, and the return of Brock Lesnar would be associated with political and possibly criminal controversy. WWE would also face a great deal of backlash from American fans, media, and even United States Senators for going ahead with an event when the horrendous allegations are still in place.
WWE may end up being forced into holding the event, though, and that could keep them tied into it. It may take the intervention of the federal government of the United States to get WWE out of it or put something in place which keeps them from going there.
The thing is, WWE canceling Crown Jewel or moving the event out of Saudi Arabia would likely benefit them more in the long run. It would keep fans around the rest of the world on their side and the money could be made up elsewhere. Moving ahead and going to the country at this time of turmoil could damage WWE’s reputation as a whole while also creating tension between the company and the superstars who are uncomfortable going over there.