We have to talk about Crown Jewel.
The show’s scheduled to air live on the WWE Network on Friday, Nov. 2, and as far as we know, it’s going to happen as planned. WWE has built feuds for it, brought legends back for it, and hyped it in all of their usual ways. But Crown Jewel isn’t a normal pay-per-view. It’s the second WWE show has held in Saudi Arabia, following Greatest Royal Rumble in April. WWE has a deal with the Saudis to do multiple shows there over the next few years, and by all accounts, a near-unfathomable amount of money has changed hands. A lot of us were against WWE doing business with Saudi Arabia from the start, but now as Crown Jewel approaches, things have gotten far worse.
In case you’re not following what has gone on in recent days, Washington Post columnist named Jamal Khashoggi, who was Saudi by birth and had ties to the royal family, wrote quite critically about the current Saudi government, particularly crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. On October 2, Khashoggi went to a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey to obtain some documents in preparation for his marriage to a Turkish woman. He never came out.
What did come out are reports from the Turkish government and others that Khashoggi was detained by a Saudi Arabian security team within the consulate before being killed and dismembered. Obviously investigations are still ongoing, but as the Washington Post puts it, “Within the White House, on Capitol Hill and among U.S. intelligence officials there is a growing belief that Khashoggi is dead and that Saudi Arabia is to blame.”