TMZ Sports is featuring an interview with WWE star Randy Orton where he is asked about WWE sticking with plans to go forward with the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia.
Orton said he thinks WWE should go and explained why.
“I think we should go. I think the only way to help with change over there is to go and not cancel the trip. Our girls performed in Abu Dhabi not long ago and I think we’ll be there eventually with Saudi and the Crown Jewel. That’s the goal, to make things better everywhere. And I think us not going doesn’t help. Going helps.”
WWE on performers feeling uncomfortable
In response to our report yesterday regarding Sports Illustrated citing anonymous WWE talent not feeling comfortable performing in Saudi Arabia at Crown Jewel, WWE responded to the story and issued a new statement this week.
“As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers as we continue to monitor the situation.”
More media coverage of WWE and Saudi Arabia
Media outlets continue to cover the relationship between WWE and Saudi Arabia in the wake of reports about the disappearance of United States resident/Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi a few weeks ago.
VICE Sports profiled the Greatest Royal Rumble event back in April.
“As proof of what a sham the whole thing was, no women were allowed to wrestle at the show, missing out on a big payday and the supposed visibility which was supposed to modernize Saudi Arabia in the first place. Sami Zayn, who’s Syrian-Canadian and makes a big social media effort to donate to humanitarian causes in Syria, was likewise not present at the show. It was such transparent hokum that it seemed too much even for pro wrestling.”
The Wall Street Journal looked at why WWE wants to keep the event in place.
“The White House’s strenuous efforts to paper over the rift caused by the Khashoggi affair and the closeness of WWE’s principal shareholders to President Trump would make cancellation an overtly political statement. WWE co-founder Linda McMahon is a member of the Trump administration. Keeping the wrestling event for Nov. 2 is symbolically important for Washington and for Riyadh.”