Several WWE superstars are averse to heading to Saudi Arabia for the company's Crown Jewel event next month.
That is according to Bryan Alvarez, who told Wrestling Observer Live that, having spoken to some WWE performers, there's a sense that wrestlers are very much against the move.
The WWE stands to make a cool $45 million from their deal with the Saudi government. But, given the pressure from all over to pull out, or at least postpone, Vince McMahon could be facing a real dilemma.
“I can’t speak for everybody on the WWE roster. I haven’t talked to everybody on the WWE roster but I can tell you that a lot of the people that are scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, they don’t want to go to Saudi Arabia.” Alvarez said.
“In fact, the majority of the talent doesn’t want to go to Saudi Arabia but the office wants to go to Saudi Arabia and they have shareholders that they want to please with all of these big money deals that they’re getting. We’ll see what happens.”
The controversy stems from the disappearance and alleged murder of Saudi national and United States resident Jamal Khashogg. It is suspected that Khashogg, a Washington Post journalist, met his end at the Saudi consulate in Turkey on the instructions of the Saudi state.
Several United States Senators have weighed in on the issue and have advised the WWE to reconsider as they plan to move ahead with the event, which is scheduled for November 2nd. The company has since issued a very brief statement.
“We are currently monitoring the situation," was the terse response from the promotion.
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Per Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer, WWE officials are now discussing alternative plans in case the show does not take place in Saudi Arabia.
They would have to figure out how to use their top-billed matchups elsewhere, plus there are stars who agreed to be part of the show due to the sums on offer and might still be expecting to feature in an event which will pay just as handsomely.