Saudi Government Facing Increasing Media Backlash; WWE Comments


-- While WWE got backlash for the first Saudi Arabia show "Greatest Royal Rumble", the situation surrounding the upcoming "Crown Jewel" event could be even worse as a number of negative incidents have occurred over the past few months involving the Saudi government, including arresting women campaigning for freedom, a spat with the Canadian government and most recently and perhaps most importantly, allegations of a plot to lure an Arabian journalist and Washington Post columnist who was critical of their policies in order to kill him.

-- WWE's deal with Saudi Arabia wasn't just for a wrestling show in a controversial nation as WWE spent a week pushing the government's proaganda, while praising the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. With the prince now directly linked to the alleged murder of the journalist, it potentially could put WWE in the middle of a firestorm. As of this week there is no indication that the company is going to change any of their plans as there is too much money at stake. The only thing that could possibly disrupt the event is some sort of intervention by the US government.

-- In the meantime, the NY Times pulled out as a sponsor for an investor who was holding an event in Riyadh later this month and Sir Richard Branson - founder of the Virgin Group - has suspended discussions with the Saudi government about a possible $1 billion investment in his company. WWE released the following statement in regards to all the criticism and scrutiny directed at the situation:

“We are currently monitoring the situation.”