Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance Leaves WWE With Daunting Question

Jacob Chaimovitch

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Earlier this year, the WWE had a huge Pay-Per-View event called the Greatest Royal Rumble. It had many big matches that were attention-grabbing throughout. The most successful moment? The fact that it took place in Jeddah, a city in Saudi Arabia. It was the first WWE PPV that took place somewhere outside North America since 2002 and it was so successful that WWE decided to have another PPV in Saudi Arabia, this time in the capital city of Riyadh, called Crown Jewel. However, this PPV may be canceled due to the events that have happened over the past few weeks.

 

Jamal Khashoggi (pronounced ha-SHO-gee) is a Saudi journalist, who has written against Mohammed bin Salman and Salman of Saudi Arabia, the crown prince and king respectively. He was last seen entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd and, allegedly, was killed by Saudi agents inside the consulate. This has caused a rift between the Saudi and Turkish governments. The U.S. government is also involved in this issue because Khashoggi was a reporter for the Washington Post when he moved to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. The Saudi government has denied all allegations that they were tied to the disappearance. On Monday, October 15th, President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with the Saudi king. In a summary of what happened, Pompeo said to reporters that “it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers [that killed Khashoggi but] who knows”.

 

One of the ties that Mohammed bin Salman has made to the U.S. is through WWE, which made the Greatest Royal Rumble event possible. However, with all the controversy that has stricken up surrounding bin Salman and the Saudi government, what does this mean for Chairman and CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon? Does he risk it and keep Crown Jewel running per usual? Does he cancel it all together? Maybe he hosts it in a different location? Joe Cantin, a junior at SWHS, believes that a more extreme action must be made. He says that “ties between Vince McMahon and Saudi Arabia must be put to an end” and that McMahon is having international events “strictly for a net gain.”

As of now, WWE Crown Jewel is still on. The question remains: how long will WWE keep promoting Crown Jewel before it’s too late?