This article is entirely composed of the opinion of Jester Jason and in no way reflects upon the beliefs of Wrestle Royalty in it’s entirety.
It is now just over 2 weeks from the WWE Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia and WWE is STILL taking the “wait and see” approach instead of just taking the initiative of moving the event. So how should WWE fans respond? How should WWE performers respond? What implications can there be by cancelling and/or moving the event altogether?
Let’s start with issue number one. Why should WWE cancel and/or move Crown Jewel? As we have discussed previously, this stems from the murder and cover up of a Washington Post journalist by the Saudi Crown Prince. For WWE to continue with the show, even after major companies and competition have pulled out of doing business with Saudi Arabia, would be very bad for their image. There has been pressure put on by fans, former and current superstars, advertisers, and several other sources.
So what can fans do about this? Easy, boycott! Don’t just boycott WWE product, but hit them where it hurts most! Cancel your WWE Network subscriptions, don’t attend events, don’t buy merchandise, and most importantly, contact advertisers and demand them to pull their ads from WWE programming and until they do, boycott them! The two largest sponsors of WWE programming right now are Under Armor and Snickers/MARS.
Many think that millions need to contact sponsors to make that boycott effective. However, this is simply not true! I was born in 1983 and in the 90’s, when programs were shown that were offensive or ill mannered, the general public boycotted the companies sponsoring by buying ad time. It took literally just a few thousand people contacting the companies to get an impact for them to pull advertising. This has been just as effective as recently as 2017 when FOX refused to pull one of their hosts, Bill O’Reilly, over an accusation made against him. Viewers contacted sponsors and threatened to boycott. In return, they pulled their advertising, which forced FOX to place Bill on leave and eventually cancel his show.
What about the superstars? This is where the issue comes in largest. Why would they risk a guaranteed payday? But at the same time, why would they sell out on their values and beliefs? WWE Superstars are Independent Contractors. This means they only get paid for what they work. Any superstar can refuse to work a show if they want. If they feel that strongly against working in Saudi Arabia, then back out!
What about contracts with one potential one off appearances? This is actually the biggest issue for Vince to get over, in my opinion. All the money superstars are getting for working Crown Jewel are coming from Saudi Arabia, NOT from Vince McMahon’s pockets! If the show gets moved, Vince may be on the hook to pay the entire amount! As previously reported HERE on Wrestle Royalty, there may be a solution this as Manchester, UK has offered their services. This potentially includes splitting the cost of the entire event.
So what should we do about this? The simple solution is to stick with your guns! If you are against the event going forward in Saudi Arabia, follow through and contact the sponsors of ALL WWE programming! Again, that is where a majority of the money comes from and where it will hit Vince the hardest. It’s easy to say you don’t like it, but it’s a lot more to take action!
Thought JBL was spot on. It's professional wrestling. Punish the kids of Saudi Arabia?
— Kevin Nash (@RealKevinNash) October 17, 2018
Kevin Nash even had something to say about this as he believes that cancelling the event will only hurt the kids in Saudi Arabia. Let’s be realistic here. The event isn’t geared towards kids. If you look at the previous event, Greatest Royal Rumble, how many kids did you even see in the crowd? A good majority were high end dignitaries and their families! Yes, there were a few kids near the ring on the floor, but they were extremely few and far between.
While I don’t completely disagree with what JBL had to say, I can’t completely agree with it either. Yes, it’s “just” a wrestling program. However, WWE is one of the largest broadcast programs in the world! If they pulled this event, and all others in the future, what kind of message would that send to the world? WWE has an opportunity here to make a major impact on not just broadcasting, but companies across the world! It would send shockwaves larger than the 1906 San Francisco earthquake that could send tidal waves around the globe!
Personally, I was never a fan of this particular event as it happens just 5 days after Evolution, which is a massive slap in the face to the women participating in that event. It could also very well be a major reason as to why Evolution isn’t selling as great as it should. With this latest stunt by the Saudi Crown Prince, I am personally 100% in favor of WWE cancelling this event or moving it to a new venue. Vince can definitely afford to take the monetary hit. Again, we will be monitoring this and pass along any information we find out in the coming weeks.