As a fan of everything that you pay a lot of attention to, you accept a certain amount, let's call it, imperfection. That is, of course, too polite for pro-wrestling, given the amount of sexism, homophobia and racial caricature baked in the past. But you hope and sometimes agitate for things to improve. The bow of progress is generally moving upwards.
It has become better at WWE, the largest company for professional sausages in the world. This strange, athletic soap that I have enjoyed since I was a child has largely caught up with time.
Women who struggle in WWE no longer compete for example in pudding competitions. They are now wrestling in Hell in a Cell competitions, Royal Rumbles and in no-gimmick competitions that are sometimes big enough to steal the show. Hell, Ronda Rousey is now struggling for WWE.
Stereotypes, long used to lure the basic instincts of the bait, are less abundant. The blackness of some struggling characters and the homosexuality of others is no longer offered to people who are afraid or hate. These things are presented as, you would not know, something that fans might want to encourage.
There is a lot of good wrestling nowadays. There is a lot of improvement and a lot of great wrestlers and contests and shows that make WWE something that I have enjoyed paying money to cheer for. Every summer I like to take my wife, my wife, as a tutor for large WWE shows in Brooklyn. Every summer I also pay silly amounts to see the big Summerslam events and sit as close to the floor as possible for Smackdown episodes. I do not buy any of the t-shirts or replica bars, but I started paying $ 10 a month for the WWE streaming network at the time it was launched in early 2014. I did not regret it. I saw the WWX minor division NXT regularly, enjoyed their UK and Women tournaments and had just started the cruiserweight show 205 Live.
This morning I canceled my WWE network subscription.
WWE plans to hold a show called Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia next month, and I do not feel comfortable spending money if they continue, given the latest allegations against the Saudi government funding the show.
I have nothing against the basic concept of WWE running shows in Saudi Arabia. If they want to advertise and spend their own money on shows that are true to their product, it's cool. But that is not what happened this year. In April, just two weeks after WWE's seemingly biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania, WWE had a show in Saudi Arabia, The Greatest Royal Rumble. It was not representative of what WWE is today, which was forced to stay home with a remarkable part of his list. While Wrestlemania presented several women's contests, including the show-stealing Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka and the wrestling debut of Rousey, the Greatest Royal Rumble did not have one.
Instead, with women forbidden to act, the April show had time to broadcast men's competitions and some propaganda about how big Saudi Arabia is headed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. That is the same alleged reformist leader whose government is accused of crushing activists and dissidents, as outlined in a recent report in The interception. That is the same leader whose agents are now accused of killing Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post journalist who was critical about the government.
WWE & # 39; s 2018 Saudi Arabia shows are part of a lucrative 10-year deal that the company has concluded with the kingdom of the Middle East. The Saudis have paid a lot of money – perhaps $ 50 million per show, according to a point of sale that looked at the public finances of WWE. Whatever the dollar amount, the crown prince pays for shows beyond the scale of what WWE usually does. That's why you get matches and performances for these shows that did not happen in the United States. When does Brock struggle Lesnar again? No longer in American shows since August. He is back for Saudi Arabia. When does the legendary Shawn Michaels come from a retirement that he has held since 2010? Not in recent years to wrest WWE's best wrestlers, such as A.J. Styles or his own protégé Daniel Bryan; he has come to come back to Crown Jewel in an upgraded classic car contest with faded stars Triple H, The Undertaker and Kane. No women's competitions are announced for the card. That is a disgrace, because then it would show that in addition to the corporate profits, something good came out of the closet to compensate for the propaganda that was run by the state.
It may be unreasonable to draw moral lines with how you spend your dollars in a capitalist society. The phone I use, the food I eat and the games I like to play – and which offer good coverage – are all produced in ways that might bother me if I knew more about the process. But there are limits. Maybe it should have been something else? Maybe there are enough terrible things my country is doing to defend a position against a deal with Saudi WWE that is too hypocritical. But when I see reports of a Saudi hit group luring a journalist to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, killing him and chopping his body to pieces, my zeal for watching WWE programming full of hype disappears for the Crown Jewel -event.
There is some room for skepticism, since the claims have only been made by Turkish officials, have been refused by the Saudis and still have to be confirmed by the US There is probably audio and video evidence, but the Washington Post reports that it is unclear whether the US has been checked. The possible murder, however, is the drop. The Saudi WWE deal has been sneaky for a while. It was always flashy and repulsive. If the Turkish indictments are true, it goes beyond what I can personally endure.
In the past few days, media and business organizations have suspended or severed ties with the Saudi government. US senators from both sides are now urging WWE to review their deal and maybe pause & # 39; pause & # 39; for the show, according to a report today in the Independent Journal Review. In particular, the wife of the WWE CEO, Linda McMahon, is a member of President Trump's cabinet.
WWE has simply said that they "monitor" the situation. That is not enough for me. If the facts of the rumor are true, they will have to come along with the times. If they do not, count me out. I would like to extend my WWE subscription in a day. For now it has been canceled.