In April, World Wrestling Entertainment, popularly known as WWE, presented its first Royal Rumble, the greatest of all time, with fight stars such as John Cena, Triple H and The Monster Among Men.
The night scene: the stadium of the King Abdullah sports city in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. Approximately 60,000 people attended, in what was supposed to be the first event in a long-term agreement to bring more fights to the kingdom.
Now, the entertainment company faces calls to cancel an event on November 2 there, after the disappearance of Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi entered the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2 and has not been seen since. The charge Earlier this week they reported that the Turkish government has told US officials that it has audio and video recordings showing that Khashoggi was killed while in the consulate.
The Jewel of the Crown was to be housed in Riyadh next month as a collaboration between WWE and the General Sports Authority of Saudi Arabia. "After the exhausted Great Real Royal Rumble of WWE in Jiddah in April, this is the second event as part of a long-term partnership between WWE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," WWE said in a statement in September.
But this week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Told the IJR news website that "I would expect you to rethink your relationship with the kingdom, especially with regard to upcoming events in the coming weeks, such as [WWE Crown Jewel]. "
One of the co-founders of WWE, Linda McMahon, now directs the Small Business Administration. Her husband, Vince McMahon, serves as president of the WWE.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) Told IJR that "private enterprise is a private company, different from a governmental entity."
"But why [Linda McMahon] "It's part of the president's cabinet, it falls into the gray area where the administration really should think a little and maybe even prevail that they do not," he said.
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) told IJR that "there should be a pause" in WWE's relationship with Saudi Arabia.
In a statement sent to The Post, WWE only said they are "currently monitoring the situation."
The Saudi government has denied the accusations about Khashoggi. On Saturday, he issued a statement condemning and denouncing "the false accusations circulating in the media reports about the Saudi government and others in the alleged relationship with the disappearance" of the journalist. In an interview broadcast on Saturday, President Trump said Khashoggi's alleged murder was "terrible and disgusting" and said there would be "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if the United States determined that he had been killed.
WWE would not be the only company that would face calls to distance itself from Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi's disappearance. As Jeanne Whalen of The Post wrote on Friday, "almost a dozen technology, media and entertainment companies had pulled out of a Saudi investment conference to be held this month, as the consternation over Khashoggi's alleged murder Saudi agents spread to companies that Crown Prince Bin Salman has tried to woo.
But there could be a lot of money at stake: Sports Illustrated reported that WWE could have won $ 45 million from the Saudi government after the April event in Jiddah.
The Turks tell US officials that they have audio and video recordings that support the conclusion that Khashoggi was killed
The western conference on the Saudi conference & # 39; Davos in the desert & # 39; about Jamal Khashoggi undermines the kingdom's modernization plans
In case Saudi journalist Khashoggi is missing, the spooky details may be the message.