Odds on Trump Forcing WWE to Cancel Crown Jewel Event in Saudi Arabia
On November 2nd, the WWE will hold its highly publicized Crown Jewel event at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. This is the second event that the WWE will showcase to the world from Saudi Arabia, with the first one being the Greatest Royal Rumble that was held on April 27th, 2018. The WWE is currently in the first year of a 10-year deal with the Saudi General Sport Authority, but that partnership is in jeopardy and so is the Crown Jewel event.
Over the last few weeks, the WWE has come under a great deal of criticism over their business partnership with Saudi Arabia. When they held the Greatest Royal Rumble event earlier this year, it was met with backlash from fans and detractors. However, the upcoming Crown Jewel event has seen the backlash reach new heights and it’s growing stronger each day.
In addition to the fact that WWE’s talented women’s roster can’t even compete on any show in Saudi Arabia, is a political climate that seems to darken with each passing hour. And, that’s in large part due to the suspected torture and murder of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi who disappeared on October 2nd, after last seen walking into the Saudi Arabian consulate located in Turkey. Reports have surfaced stating that Turkey and other political leaders believe that Khashoggi was tortured to death inside the consulate.
On Monday, multiple national media outlets reported that President Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over to Riyadh to meet with King Salman about the disappearance and presumed death of Khashoggi.
With this intense political climate, US political leaders are calling for the WWE to suspend all events in the Saudi Kingdom. U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) believes that the United States needs to reevaluate their relationship with Saudi Kingdom and wants America to take a tougher stand against the country. Furthermore, Blumenthal would go on to speak about WWE’s Crown Jewel event in an interview with WCBS News Radio 880:
“I would hope that WWE will recognize on its own a conscience and conviction if there is proof that Saudi officials approved and ordered this kind of killing, and I would lean first on the United States government to do its duty so that it can lead private interests like WWE, and the first place to look is to the United States of America.”
Crown Jewel Betting Odds: Will Trump Force WWE to Cancel Event?
Now that I’ve set the table, or recapped the storyline in wrestling terms, let’s take a look at the current betting odds for WWE pulling out of their Crown Jewel event courtesy of MyBookie:
- Yes (+350)
- No (-500)
Let’s make no mistake about it, President Trump will have to be the voice calling for the WWE to cancel or suspend its Crown Jewel event before Vince McMahon seriously considers it. And, this isn’t only because Donald Trump is the President, it’s also because McMahon and Trump have been friends and colleagues for decades.
McMahon has a long history of going against the grain especially when it comes to the government telling him what to do. However, this is a very sensitive and critical situation that Vince and the WWE find themselves in. We’re not just talking about protests and public backlash. We’re talking about murder, political fallout, and the potential for American retribution on the Saudi Kingdom. This is a challenge that Vince needs to walk away from to save his company.
Let’s not forget that the WWE is a publicly traded company, who’s about to jump ship to FOX next year in a very lucrative deal. It’s a deal that exceeds the agreement they made with the Saudi General Sport Authority, and it’s one that adds more credibility to a sports entertainment company. There could be a serious impact on WWE’s stock if they go through with this Crown Jewel event.
The UFC Backing Out of Saudi Deal?
UFC’s parent company Endeavor, is currently in the process of finalizing a $400 million dollar deal with the Saudi Public Investment Fund, which is controlled by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. However, in light of the torture and death of Khashoggi, VARIETY is reporting that Endeavor is exploring their options for dissolving this deal.
If UFC’s parent company can do the right thing by backing out of a lucrative deal, then the WWE could definitely follow this example.
A Changing Narrative
At first, Saudi Kingdom denied any involvement in the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he entered and never exited their consulate on October 2nd. In fact, Saudi authorities initially stated that the reporter and American citizen left the consulate. However, with many world leaders and countries focusing on this matter, the Saudi Kingdom could be changing their story to say this was an interrogation gone wrong. However, according to CNN, this doesn’t mean that the interrogators were acting under authority of Saudi leaders.
Regardless of whatever explanation the Saudi government floats to the public, American political leaders, major businesses and American citizens are rejecting the country for the murder of an American journalist. Furthermore, political leaders are pushing to end all ties with the Saudi Kingdom. Additionally, major businesses are ending arrangements and potential deals as well.
Yes or No: Will WWE Cancel Crown Jewel?
The “smart” bet would be on “No” at -500. However, the “Yes” option of +350 provides a lot of value considering the political climate and the potential disaster that will come from the investigation if they link the Saudi government to the murder of Khashoggi.
As of now, WWE is pushing forward with their Crown Jewel event. If you are keen on wagering on this WWE futures bet then go with the value and take “Yes” at +350. Hopefully, the WWE will do the right thing and suspend this event or cancel it outright.