Despite some truly awful news associated with Saudi Arabia in recent days, WWE is still moving forward with plans to hold a show there on November 2nd.
Earlier this week, news was revealed that Washington Post columnist, U.S. resident, and Saudi national Jamal Khashoggi had disappeared during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Turkey. United States intelligence and the Turkish government believe that Khashoggi was murdered by individuals associated with the Saudi government, possibly during what was supposed to be a state-ordered kidnapping. Khashoggi's body is believed to have been dismembered by those involved in the incident.
According to numerous reports, Turkey reportedly has audio and visual footage that links Saudi Arabia with the killing. This has prompted universal outrage among both Democrats and Republicans in the United States, as well as governments around the world.
Even so, according to a report on Saturday morning from PWInsider, WWE is pressing on with plans to hold their Crown Jewel show. WWE previously agreed to a 10 year deal with Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to promote events in the country, the first being Greatest Royal Rumble earlier this year. The project is part of the country's Vision 2030 plan.
The situation with the death of Khashoggi, who had previously been critical of the Saudi government, obviously complicates matters for WWE, as the company is about to profit and hold an event in a country that the rest of the civilized world is currently looking at as having allegedly sponsored the murder of a United States journalist.
U.S. Senators have called on WWE to halt the event, including Chris Murphy (D-CT), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Obviously complicating matters further is the fact that Linda McMahon currently serves as part of President Donald Trump's cabinet.
The PWInsider report notes that WWE is moving ahead with travel itineraries as well as production notes and plans for the Crown Jewel show.
As the event gets closer, calls for WWE to cancel the event will undoubtedly continue to get louder, both from the public and U.S. government officials. There is a movement among fans on social media to force WWE's hand, with some even pledging to cancel the WWE Network in protest should WWE still hold the show in Saudi Arabia. Former WWE star Gail Kim has also voiced her concerns about WWE's plans to still hold the Crown Jewel event.
A report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter this week noted that WWE has also been quietly making back-up plans should they be forced to cancel the event.