Pressure is growing on Saudi Arabia following the disappearance and alleged assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who unnamed Turkish officials believe was murdered in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, with speculation that the alleged murder is linked to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Axios.com has reported that several companies are cutting ties with Saudi Arabian business with many names and companies slated to appear at the huge upcoming Saudi Arabian media conference pulling out. With that in mind, all eyes were on the WWE, who are scheduled to have their huge Crown Jewel event take place in Saudi Arabia later this month.
So what is the WWE doing about this growing and increasingly complicated situation? Well, I've heard from sources that they held an impromptu meeting on October 11th, around 2:30pm to discuss the growing concern surrounding Crown Jewel, and what the WWE's responses to queries would be.
Whilst the meeting seemed to be on a purely PR basis and early stages at this point, I am also hearing that contingency plans for Crown Jewel and future events that were supposed to take place in Saudi Arabia have been discussed, as well as several concerns from current employees of the WWE.
Unfortunately, we have to approach this with a grain of salt as I was unable to confirm this information with further sources, however, the WWE did release their first public statement on the matter around 3pm yesterday, which would seemingly corroborate the alleged timing of the meeting.
So with me hearing news of several WWE stakeholders and employees growing more unhappy about the Crown Jewel show as this story progresses, who currently working for the WWE would be most affected?
One of the bigger names scheduled for a huge match at Crown Jewel whose situation becomes increasingly complicated as it looks more and more likely that Saudi Arabia are involved in some way is Kane. Kane currently holds public office in America making his appearance in Saudi Arabia at the moment politically sticky. There's even news of local sites trying to bury his involvement in the show entirely.
Other people who could be put in compromising positions are Linda McMahon who co-owns the WWE and currently holds a position on President Donald Trump's staff, and John Cena, who as a film star, is a very public figure and could face backlash for appearing on the show. There are also a few other wrestlers who are said to be very unhappy with the show on a moral basis.
Regarding the contingency plans that are being discussed, it seems likely that the company could be exploring new venue options. The UK seems like a good place for an impromptu venue change given the recent announcement of the NXT UK series hitting the WWE Network.
The situation gets even trickier for the WWE is about to embark on a number of new television deals, so they won't want to do anything to jeopardise the upcoming partnership with Fox. The plummeting WWE stock is another factor that may be causing WWE officials alarm, although quite how much that has to do with Crown Jewel is another matter entirely.
With so many factors involved, WWE really has to tread carefully going forward. I would not be surprised if they still go ahead with Crown Jewel, but only because they're contractually obligated to, and then they sever ties with Saudi Arabia immediately afterwards. But for now, the show is going ahead.
Note: The views are of the author's and not necessarily of Sportskeeda's
We'll have more on this story as it develops, but do you think WWE should go ahead with Crown Jewel given the circumstances? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!Published 12 Oct 2018, 12:40 IST