WWE released their 3rd Quarter Earnings report today and on the first page of the report the company addressed the situation with WWE Crown Jewel taking place in Saudi Arabia.
“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”
I understand both sides of the situation when it comes to WWE in Saudi Arabia. WWE was essentially paid hundreds of millions of dollars to perform consistently in the country. It just so happens that the man who paid them is a brutal dictator accused of setting up a heinous crime against a US citizen. This is all under the disguise of Saudi Arabia becoming a “more progressive” nation. Is it fair to rob the citizens, many of whom are more devout to WWE than fans in the States? And as I mentioned in the previous post regarding Crown Jewel, a ton of money was allocated to get Brock Lesnar, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Triple H, and Kane in high profile matches. Will John Cena and Daniel Bryan actually sit this show out? Whatever your opinion on this situation you must admit from a business standpoint this could not have been easy to navigate.