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Thread: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

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    WWE Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    So I'm not asking if there ARE moral issues with the WWE doing another massively-profitable event in Saudi Arabia. There clearly are. They were there when the WWE did The Greatest Royal Rumble and had to exclude women (and Sami Zayn). The are even more prevalent now. But I'm curious if anyone else is struggling with reconciling this.

    I fully accept that the WWE is a corporation and it exists to make money. It is beholden to its shareholders to do that. But no corporation is beyond the bounds of moral or legal reckoning in that quest to make money. Profit at any cost should not be the approach. And its especially grating with a company like the WWE which constantly self-congratulates itself on championing causes are worthy. But that self-aggrandizing gives way to outright falsehoods when you choose to do business - and promote - a country that is counter to so many of those causes.

    For anyone who doesn't follow world news, Saudi Arabia is being accused of luring and murdering a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, to the Saudi embassy in Turkey. The story is ridiculous and abhorrent if there is any truth to it. It could turn into a full blown international incident. And here is the WWE, about to put on a live event there and constantly pump up how great and wonderful and modern this regime is. A regime that is actively stamping out dissident and possibly just murdered and dismembered an outspoken journalist who was critical of the regime.

    I loved the idea of doing Evolution. But given how obviously its to curtail the kind of criticism that Greatest Royal Rumble got for having no women, it feels false too.

    It even makes the return of Shawn Michaels, an all-time favorite, feel tainted. He is returning for an ENORMOUS payday, exactly as he long said he wouldn't.

    Nothing about this event sits very well with me. I ignored it the first time around. But I'm having a tougher time now.

    I'm not a dedicated WWE fan anymore. I watch without much commitment, and usually anticipating being mildly disappointed. I am, quite simply, no longer the WWE's core audience. I also have pretty low expectations for big corporations. Yet somehow, the WWE is managing to go well below those expectations here.

    Anyone else seeing a moral conundrum here?


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Completely agree.

    But i find the US in general turns their head in regards to Saudi Arabia. The US loves to sell them weapons as well. It doesnt even seem that out of left feild that WWE is doing shows for them.
    Here fishy fishy fishy.......

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Excellent thread. We could use one to focus on the show itself and the matches announced, and then keep the issues surrounding the show in this thread.

    Greatest Royal Rumble I thought was icky and hypocritical to take the Saudi money and slap the womens division in the face when they're act like they're so proud of it every other night of the week. The women are the most important thing to the company until it's convenient for them to be back in their 1990s mindset and act like they are a male only roster. That being said I wasn't too angry about what WWE were doing, I'm not one for twitter outrages and calling for Vince's head for one mistake, and I was weighing it up with the benefits of being a very lucrative show that will keep the shareholders happy which is a priority that WWE can't just dismiss. The Evolution show being created is easy to be cynical about, but it does at least have the benefit of being a special night for all those women to make history.

    This time around, the alleged assassination of the Washington Post journalist creates an even bigger cloud over this whole show to where this is going to cause a whole host of bad publicity for the company and this time there's no propaganda video they can play to spin it as 'Saudi Arabia is progressing, look the women drive cars now'. If the government that WWE are dealing with turn out to be responsible for an American citizens death, then this turns into one of the bigger black eyes in the company's history that is going to be a really difficult one to navigate out of because they are supposedly in a 10 year agreement with this government to annually host a bunch of shows.

    One thing I don't see talked about much because Michaels is dominating a lot of the talk about the match is how one of the main eventers on the show, Kane, is now the Mayor of a county. Isn't this a pretty disastrous thing to do for your political career to park your morals at the door because you want to travel halfway around the world for a mega payday from a government that has prehistoric ideals about women and allegedly has American blood on their hands INSTEAD of serving the community that just voted you into power. The next time he runs for a position, his opponents campaign team are going to have a field day with him over this.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    I don't crusade on social media or anything. Don't see much point to that and arguing it about with Twitter randoms holds zero appeal lol. I read a bit about it today online and those couple of articles kinda helped pull together into a more concise way why the event has been bothering me for a bit. I don't think I would like even it if the WWE didn't self-promote all their good causes as much as they do, but that definitely makes it seem worse. This just makes all the good things they do feel like public relations stunts and nothing else.

    Interesting thing about Mayor Kane's involvement... the WWE made a $100K donation to a first reponsders charity in the city he's mayor of. Not sure if that's in lieu of paying him (quite possible) or just placating any possible blowback from him doing the show.

    I still think Evolution is a great thing. I just don't at all believe the WWE is doing it because its time, because its right, because they have earned it, or anything else. I fully believe they are doing it for the PR to cover for the negativity of the women once again being excluded.

    And as for the money this generates.... this isn't a company that is struggling financially and has to make the morally-difficult decision to survive. This is a company that just secured its financial future with new TV deals, and those were seemingly agreed before this Saudi deal. This was absolutely not a company struggling for revenue streams even before that. Turning down this deal would have entirely justifiable to shareholders, and turning down the offer would have likely never gone public in the first place. Especially considering they essentially tried to hide the income in their latest financial update to shareholders, just slapping a random "$50,000,000 Misc Income" instead of actually acknowledging the windfall this Saudi deal got them. Its some shady fucking shit TBH


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Can I throw a curveball out there....Trump. Don't want to make it all political etc but we all know they are very friendly with Trump so is this just another political thing to keep relationships smooth too? Plus we all know Saudi is oil rich too!
    I have a plan so cunning......

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Why the Middle East at all? They can make $$$$$$$$ tons of other places.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Can I throw a curveball out there....Trump. Don't want to make it all political etc but we all know they are very friendly with Trump so is this just another political thing to keep relationships smooth too? Plus we all know Saudi is oil rich too!
    I wouldn't say this has anything to do with Trump at all. What does Trump really care if the WWE goes to Saudi Arabia? Prior to 2018, in the entire history of the WWE, the company went to Saudi Arabia one single time in 1997. So even if the WWE avoided going there this year, how does that reflect on Trump? Meanwhile, the WWE is reportedly set to make 45 million a year(!!!) by going to Saudi Arabia.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
    Why the Middle East at all? They can make $$$$$$$$ tons of other places.
    Clearly not otherwise they'd be doing it by now.

    At the end of the day, it's like the UK stuff to me. People can go on about WWE making these big steps in the business but none of it is with genuine good intentions, as with any business it's all about the money when all is said & done.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Postman Dave View Post
    Clearly not otherwise they'd be doing it by now.

    At the end of the day, it's like the UK stuff to me. People can go on about WWE making these big steps in the business but none of it is with genuine good intentions, as with any business it's all about the money when all is said & done.
    I guess it's going to take something bad to happen before they come to their senses.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    It was already a complete slap in the face of the farce that is the Women's Evolution, which is really just a podium for Steph to grandstand and take credit for everything. And even with all such, just promote people like Bellas.

    But now that more and more controversy recently comes out (Not that this is a new thing) involving Saudi Arabia, and other events are being pulled and people are making a relatively big deal (Rightfully so) about it? Just bad business.

    But Vince cares about nothing but cash, at the expense of anything and anyone.

    I would suggest a boycott, but really...the US views won't mean much. People are already subscribed to the Network, and the majority of the money I'd wager, comes from the deal in Saudi to begin with. So I'd imagine it to be ineffective.

    They are also pulling out all the stops to promote it and put it over. John Cena, Kane, HBK, Triple H, Undertaker...

    Edit:

    They are "monitoring" the situation.

    https://www.f4wonline.com/wwe-news/w...rnalist-267701
    Last edited by Vayne; 10-12-2018 at 08:59 AM.
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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Emerson View Post
    I guess it's going to take something bad to happen before they come to their senses.
    Unfortunately, when it comes to "something bad", what are the biggest things that have altered WWE how WWE do business overnight? The steriod trial & the Benoit deaths, not exactly light stuff.

    To follow up the points about HBK & Kane working these shows for the money, what about people like John Cena & The Undertaker? They're part-timers who don't have to work if they don't want to, yet they're happily jumping on the plane for a big pay day. I call out WWE for being money focused as a business, but what about the individuals who do have a choice?

    Haven't mentioned Brock because we know he's about the money, he's at least honest about it
    Last edited by Postman Dave; 10-12-2018 at 09:01 AM.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    And even then, those were just to save face. And Vince will still blame absolutely anyone besides himself for them.

    The biggest objection point to me, you would think would be John Cena. He always does his Make A Wish thing, and holds himself as a rolemodel to children, as well as being a strong supporter of LGBT rights, etc.

    Another that seems he would object, though I don't even know how much he is involved, is Balor. And we also know that Zayn likely will not be there, even if he wasn't injured.

    And Brock....Well, like you said. He's making 7 figures, and he'd be happy to tell you that's the only reason he'll be there. Pay him 8, and he'll stay home.
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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by TB12 View Post

    The biggest objection point to me, you would think would be John Cena. He always does his Make A Wish thing, and holds himself as a rolemodel to children, as well as being a strong supporter of LGBT rights, etc.
    It's not as if his movie career is faltering, hell he's filming in China with Jackie Chan right now. He has every excuse to say "sorry guys, a bit busy this month, maybe next time".


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Baldrick View Post
    Can I throw a curveball out there....Trump. Don't want to make it all political etc but we all know they are very friendly with Trump so is this just another political thing to keep relationships smooth too? Plus we all know Saudi is oil rich too!
    Sure, but Trump in what way? That he set it up? Pushed the WWE towards it? Will somehow protect the WWE from any potential fallout that could happen?

    If there is further fallout from this Jamal Khashoggi disappearance / possible murder, I doubt Trump can do much to protect the WWE from its effects. Trump has already indicated he is unlikely to do much to hold Saudi Arabia accountable but quite a number of Senators are speaking out on it, from both parties (and this is about as political as I want to get in here). A key factor, I think, is that the WWE isn't just working with and in Saudi Arabia, but that they are actively promoting it. The Greatest Royal Rumble was practically a grand global commercial for the country and its new ruler. That's not normal business for the WWE. Unless I skipped past it, the Aussie show didn't have video packages or long soliloquys by the commentary team about how amazing Australia is and how much its changed, etc etc etc. But the Greatest Royal Rumble sure did.

    The WWE has spent a decade transforming itself. The PG era after the Benoit murders served multiple purposes, but becoming a family-friendly entertainment product has been an extremely lucrative aspect. If the WWE is still adult-focused like it was even in the mid-00s, there is much less of a chance they get the massive TV deals they just did. All those charity projects that they do and love to tell us about... those have served a purpose. They have had an impact. They have cleaned up the WWE in a significant way in terms of public image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Postman Dave View Post
    Unfortunately, when it comes to "something bad", what are the biggest things that have altered WWE how WWE do business overnight? The steriod trial & the Benoit deaths, not exactly light stuff.

    To follow up the points about HBK & Kane working these shows for the money, what about people like John Cena & The Undertaker? They're part-timers who don't have to work if they don't want to, yet they're happily jumping on the plane for a big pay day. I call out WWE for being money focused as a business, but what about the individuals who do have a choice?

    Haven't mentioned Brock because we know he's about the money, he's at least honest about it
    Turkey is now claiming they have "clear audio evidence" that the journalist was detained, interrogated and then murdered in the Saudi consulate. That's a pretty big claim to make if there is nothing to back it up. And as mentioned, politicians from both sides in the US are already calling for investigation and action against Saudi Arabia, especially given this journalist was an American resident (not citizen). So this could be a pretty big incident as it unfolds.

    Cena, Undertaker, Triple H, Lesnar.... they are part-timers doing what part-timers do. They work big shows for big paydays. Which is pretty much what Kane and Michaels are doing here. The big differences with them is that Kane is now an elected official and has some certain obligations in that way. And HBK looks like a massive hypocrite because he is doing exactly what he said he would never ever do. Does anyone feel like this feud is BIG and SPECIAL, to make an HBK return truly meaningful? Is anyone buying it as anything but a payday?


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Papa View Post
    And HBK looks like a massive hypocrite because he is doing exactly what he said he would never ever do. Does anyone feel like this feud is BIG and SPECIAL, to make an HBK return truly meaningful? Is anyone buying it as anything but a payday?
    The entire thing is just one big cash grab and pay day.

    And we knew it was coming, because a good 4-5 months ago HBK even said he'd possibly return, and it'd likely be a tag program with Hunter.

    But it just goes to show, almost absolutely no one in that company or profession will turn down coming back even in their 50s for a pay day, despite being so far past their prime and having said they wouldn't.

    WWE wrestlers are no different than KISS in that regard.

    They don't know when to call it quits and stop taking easy pay days, that entirely tarnish a legacy. Give it time, Hogan and Flair will probably be back in a ring.
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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Quote Originally Posted by TB12 View Post
    They don't know when to call it quits and stop taking easy pay days, that entirely tarnish a legacy. Give it time, Hogan and Flair will probably be back in a ring.
    Not at all breaking news: Performing for thousands of people, and becoming popular from those performances, can be extremely addictive. It feels similar to taking a drug. And this isn't just hogwash. It's scientific. Chemical. Dopamine, serotonin, endorphin. All of these feel-good chemicals come out and interact with the brain and body. That feeling, that rush, can become psychologically addictive. It's real and I imagine it sucks for them.


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    Apparently they are internally discussing a back-up in case the political pressure gets piled on out of nowhere (which is unlikely, but still). The first show was a glorified house show, but it is actually quite insulting to fans at home that matches like the 3 big main events are being bought by the highest bidder.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    WWE have removed location information and the option to buy tickets from their main Crown Jewel page on wwe.com. Be interesting to see whether the show gets postponed.

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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    I would be shocked if they are taking that big of a step. Shocked but impressed. They wouldn't be alone - quite a few different groups have decided they won't attend an economic conference there happening soon over this whole Turkish situation. And Richard Branson has halted his investment there.


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    Re: Moral Issues with WWE Crown Jewel Event?

    They are still listing show on their website. From reading stuff on reddit people were saying tickets were never available anyway. The link would just say coming soon in it.

    Sounds to me like they are just trying to keep it quiet for now.

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