It has been a controversial week for WWE to say the least. It had been previously reported that despite pressure from many media sources and fans around the country, the company is proceeding with its decision to travel to Saudi Arabia for their Crown Jewel event.

WWE addressed the issues on their recent earnings call; you can see some of the questions and answers below:

Vince McMahon: “WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizeable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”

Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar throw down before WWE Crown Jewel: Raw, Oct. 29, 2018

Brandon Ross, BTIG: “Saudi Arabia has, obviously, become financially an important market for you over the long-term. How do you think about the pros and cons of that relationship? And maybe if you could take us through your thought process in deciding to keep the event on.”

Vince: “We’re not going to talk about that. It’s a very sensitive subject these days, naturally. And I think our statement pretty much said, all I want to say about that today.”

Jason Bazinet, Citi: “Can you just frame for us what risk, if any, related to Saudi Arabia that are outside your control? In other words, is it the risk of federal sanctions, let’s say, economic sanctions of some sort, you sort of get swept up into? Or is there some other way to frame the risk, or maybe there’s no risk?”

Michael Weitz, the Senior Vice President of Financial Planning and Investor Relations: “I think just the complexity of the situation, as Vince said, we–all our thoughts were encapsulated in the statements we made.”

Furthermore, Stephanie McMahon had the following to say when interviewed by Sky Sports:

“Moving forward with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia was an incredibly tough decision, given that heinous act. But, at the end of the day, it is a business decision and, like a lot of other American companies, we decided that we’re going to move forward with the event and deliver Crown Jewel to all of our fans in Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

[h/t to Wrestling Observer Newsletter for the transcription]

What do you think of WWE’s decision to have the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia? Leave us a comment below, or post a comment on our Facebook page! Also, be sure to sign up for our newsletter and download our App from your favorite App Store!


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