International Sports

Multimillion-dollar WWE pay-per-view deal in jeopardy due to Saudi Arabia tensions

Key Points
  • Crown Jewel WWE pay-per-view event scheduled for November 2, despite disappearance of U.S. based Saudi national.
  • WWE representative confirms “We are currently monitoring the situation.”
  • Long-term multimillion-dollar partnership between WWE and Saudi Arabia came into effect earlier this year.
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. Chairman Vince McMahon (L) and wrestler Triple H appear in the ring during the WWE Monday Night Raw show at the Thomas & Mack Center August 24, 2009
Ethan Miller | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is on the verge of being drawn into the rising political and diplomatic tensions with Saudi Arabia, putting its multimillion-dollar deal for live events in jeopardy.

The Arab state is currently embroiled in an international crisis over the disappearance of Saudi national and United States resident Jamal Khashoggi.

A journalist for the Washington Post, Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. Turkish authorities have claimed he was murdered by Saudi agents, while Riyadh has denied killing Khashoggi and the kingdom have insisted he left the consulate shortly after he arrived.

WWE is due to return to Saudi Arabia on November 2 for its "Crown Jewel" night of wrestling, but now it is unclear if the event at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh will go ahead.

A representative for WWE released a statement to the media saying, "We are currently monitoring the situation."

WWE has already taken its travelling show to Saudi Arabia once this year when it sold out the 60,000 capacity King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah for the "Greatest Royal Rumble." This proposed show would be the second event as part of a long-term partnership between WWE and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Several of the organizations most famous superstars are due to appear on the bill. Including, for the first time since 2010, WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, who it was revealed last week would be returning to the ring alongside Triple H, real name Paul Levesque.

"Crown Jewel" is due to stream live on the organization's own WWE Network and be available on pay-per-view services outside of the Middle East.

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