A current executive in WWE has commented on the controversial deal to bring major WWE stadium shows to Saudi Arabia.
In 2018 WWE began producing stadium shows from Saudi Arabia as part of a ten-year deal with the country’s General Authority for Entertainment. While the deal brings a great deal of revenue to WWE, it has not been without controversy.
Many were unhappy at WWE for signing a deal with a country with such a poor record on human rights. This was exacerbated in October 2018 with the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkiye allegedly at the direction of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The assassination of Khashoggi caused a worldwide outrage but WWE still kept its commitment and produced Crown Jewel in 2018 just a few short weeks after the killing.
Speaking on his Oh You Didn’t Know podcast, WWE Senior Vice President of Live Events Road Dogg Brian James expressed his view that from a business standpoint, the deal with Saudi Arabia is a smart one for WWE:
“Well, look, I think a lot of people have an opinion one way or another. I think when you look at it from a business standpoint, and I don’t know how else a business is supposed to look at it, you know what I mean? It’s a smart business transaction.”
“And I think this shows what a presentation – they look great. They put their money where their mouth is, and then they put on a great, great show. And look, they do it. They’ve been doing it every year now, they’re going again here soon, and they have another great card. So look, I think it’s not considered one of the big four PPVs or whatever, you know, there are extracurricular PPVs. And this is one of them.”
Road Dogg also discussed his love for the Punjabi Prison match and named Santino Marella as his favourite wrestler.
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