In April, World Wrestling Entertainment, popularly known as WWE, hosted its first major Royal Rumble, with wrestling stars such as John Cena, Triple H and The Monster Among Men.
The scenario of the evening: the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia. About 60,000 people participated in what was to be the first event in a long-term agreement to bring more wrestling to the kingdom.
Now, the entertainment company is facing calls to cancel a November 2 event, following the disappearance of the Washington Post's Saudi journalist and columnist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and has not been seen since. The Post reported earlier this week that the Turkish government has told US officials that it has audio and video recordings that show that Khashoggi was killed while he was inside the consulate.
The crown jewel was to be hosted in Riyadh next month as a collaboration between the WWE and the Saudi Sports Authority. "After the great Royal Rumble sold by the WWE to Jiddah in April, this is the second event as part of a long-term partnership between the WWE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," said WWE in a statement in September .
But this week, Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Told the IJR news website that he "hoped they would rethink their relationship with the kingdom, particularly regarding the events that will show up in the coming weeks. such as [WWE Crown Jewel]".
One of WWE's co-founders, Linda McMahon, now runs the Small Business Administration. Her husband, Vince McMahon, is the president of WWE.
Senator Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) He told IJR that "the private enterprise is a private enterprise, other than 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 about it and maybe even prevail over them not to do it, "he said.
Senator Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), Told IJR "there should be a break", in the reports of WWE with Saudi Arabia.
In a statement sent to The Post, WWE only said that "it is currently monitoring the situation".
The Saudi government denied the allegations on Khashoggi. On Saturday he issued a statement condemning and denouncing "the false accusations circulated in media reports on the Saudi government and other people in the alleged relationship with the disappearance" of the journalist. In an interview released Saturday, President Trump defined the alleged killing of Khashoggi "terrible and disgusting" and said there would be "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if the United States decided to kill him .
WWE would not have been the only company to face calls to distance itself from Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi's demise. As Jeanne Whalen of The Post writes, "about a dozen technology, media and entertainment companies have withdrawn from a Saudi investment conference to be held this month, while the dismay for the alleged Khashoggi murder of Saudi agents has spread to the companies that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tried to woo. "
But there could be a lot of money at stake: Sports Illustrated reported that WWE could have earned $ 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 abandonment of the Saudi conference "Davos in the Desert" on Jamal Khashoggi undermines the modernization plans of the kingdom
In case of a missing Saudi journalist Khashoggi, the macabre details could be the message