Former WWE Champion JBL often appears on Fox Business programs to talk business but today he was on Varney & Co. to defend his former employer as they face mounting criticism over their working relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the upcoming WWE Crown Jewel event. Video from the segment can be seen above.
Varney cited the recent Sports Illustrated report that stated some talents are uncomfortable with performing in the Kingdom after the recent disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. As we've noted, the Turkish government claims they have evidence that Khashoggi was kidnapped, tortured and murdered inside the Saudi consulate in that country.
"From what I understand, yes [it is taking place]," JBL said. "The idea is that WWE is going to go there. Right now, the official line is that they are monitoring the situation. My personal opinion is that they should go. I think the only way to promote change... look what we did with Cuba, you isolate a country and all you do is impoverish that country. You want to promote change. WWE went to Abu Dhabi, did the first women's match that had ever happened in the Middle East, and the crowd was chanting, in English, 'this is change.'"
JBL also defended WWE against Republican and Democratic Senators who have expressed concern over the relationship with the Saudis.
"For these Senators to come out and bash WWE on this... I've spent 7 Christmases in Iraq and Afghanistan with WWE," JBL continued. "I was with the WWE, first group to go down and visit the Twin Towers, while they were still burning and bodies were pulling out. We were the first group on 9/13 to have a mass gathering. Right after 9/11, people didn't know what was gonna happen. For these guys to hide behind their patriotism and their flag waving, to me, to try and improve their abysmal approval ratings, to me, is wrong. WWE has been at the forefront of change and if you want to change Saudi Arabia, you send something like WWE there."
You can read our latest on the controversy surrounding WWE, Crown Jewel and the Saudis at this link.