Vince McMahon drew a lot of criticism for choosing to go forward with holding Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia last week, but there was certainly a lot at stake for WWE. After striking a deal with the kingdom earlier this year, the wrestling giant is due to hold many events there over the coming years. It is obvious that Saudi Arabia has a huge stake in WWE and they’re even willing to take it off the McMahon family for a very high price.
The first event held in Saudi Arabia was the Greatest Royal Rumble earlier this year and it did really well. The second was Crown Jewel this past Friday, and it almost didn’t happen at all due to the frightening circumstances regarding Saudi Arabia.
As there continue to be allegations that the kingdom had something to do with the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, many urged WWE to back out of their deal. After a great bit of deliberation, WWE decided to move on with the event as scheduled even though stars such as John Cena and Daniel Bryan backed out of it and didn’t go.
There was a lot at stake for WWE and according to Dirty Sheets, by way of WWF Old School, had they canceled Crown Jewel, they would have been in breach of their contract. Doing that would have cost the company an extreme amount of money and Vinnie Mac wasn’t having it.
The deal between WWE and Saudi Arabia is for 10 years and worth more than $500 million. The country is expected to pay more than $800 million after the additional costs of travel, pyro, set-up, marketing, and getting some of the bigger names to attend the events. One such example was the return of Hulk Hogan as the host of Crown Jewel.
If WWE had broken their contract in any way, they would be responsible for a lot of money and be in debt to Saudi Arabia, but there is more. This deal between the kingdom and WWE is actually much bigger than anyone could imagine as there’s a clause in the contract, just in case Vince McMahon wants to sell it soon.
The clause states that if McMahon chooses to sell WWE within the next 10 years (before 2028), then, Saudi Arabian Prince Mohammed bin Salman will get first dibs to buy it. The prince is actually willing to pay as much as $7 billion to buy WWE from Vince McMahon ahead of everyone else.
It is said officials are very high on using WWE’s global reach to showcase the wonder of Saudi Arabia to everyone. There have been rumors in the past that Vince McMahon would look into selling the company, but a figure such as $7 billion has never popped up as a potential offer. The deal with Saudi Arabia is for at least a decade, but it’s difficult to think that McMahon would ever honestly deal his company away.