Last Friday’s Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia saw restrictions imposed on WWE’s wrestling card that wouldn’t have happened anywhere else.
Women, no matter how modestly dressed, would not be allowed to compete and others were benched in one way or another, too.
There was Sami Zayn, a Canadian wrestler with Syrian roots, presumably banned for foreign policy reasons.
Then there was Finn Balor, an Irishman who was allowed to compete, but not in his usual attire of a rainbow-coloured T-shirt stating, “For Everybody,” since we’re talking about a regime in which homosexuals face the death penalty and aren’t all that into LGBTQ rights.
So it was that this Royal Rumble was a woman-free, Syrian-free, LGTBQ-free event.
We’re told Saudi Arabia is undergoing reforms right now on the human rights file. Really?
Why would the WWE take part in this endeavour in the first place?
Watch as I share the baffling answer to that question from the WWE, and speculate on what might be happening.
When it comes to oil rich regimes, money talks. The Saudi wrestling card no doubt made for a very lucrative venture for the WWE, but it’s unsettling that the price often involves sacrificing rights and freedoms for the almighty dollar.