As a part of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's Saudi Vision 2030 plan, WWE agreed to hold multiple events in Saudi Arabia, including the upcoming WWE Crown Jewel event on November 2. An event that is going to bring Shawn Michaels out of retirement, to team up with Triple H against The Undertaker and Kane. Events that have unfolded over the past week have now thrown those plans into jeopardy.
On October 2, Washington Post journalist and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi disappeared from the Saudi consulate in Turkey. Intelligence reports have since indicated that Khashoggi was killed, in what was possibly a state-ordered kidnapping gone wrong. With Jamal being a United States resident, the incident has resulted in the Democrats and Republicans calling for investigation into the alleged murder, while the President of the United States himself has alluded to the possibility of the Saudi government being involved in Jamal's reported assassination.
Now, multiple Senators are questioning if WWE should still hold the upcoming November show in light of recent events. "I'd hope that they would be rethinking their relationship with the kingdom, especially with respect to events coming up in the next weeks like [WWE Crown Jewel]." Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) told IJR.com.
Sen. Lindsey Graham responded, "there should be a pause," when asked by IJR about WWE working with the kingdom.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) pointed to the connection Linda McMahon has in the president's cabinet (Small Business Administrator) and felt President Donald Trump should possibly ask WWE to hold off on Crown Jewel.
"Private enterprise is private enterprise, different than a governmental entity," Menendez said. "But because [Linda McMahon] is part of the president's cabinet, it falls into the grey area where the administration really should give it some thought and maybe even prevail upon them not doing it."
While WWE has remained tight-lipped about the situation, the organization released a statement to the media regarding the status of WWE Crown Jewel, saying, "We are currently monitoring the situation."
WWE had earlier visited Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with the Greatest Royal Rumble pay-per-view back in April.