This is an ongoing LWOPW feature where our own “Hot Sauce Willie” starts to unveil the secrets in the shadows that he receives from his WWE sources. A lot of his internal reports have come true. A few don’t. But like they say, “Card subject to change.” This week we look at WWE and Saudi Arabia.
With WWE heading to Saudi Arabia on Halloween for this year’s Crown Jewel, many still question why the company still heads over the country with all the controversy that surrounds it. A year ago, WWE received a lot of attention from the wrestling media and fans and investors regarding the decision to go to Saudi Arabia, even citing that the decision was simply business. To delve deeper into what that meant, on this week’s “Card Subject To Change” we take a closer look at why WWE will continue to commit to the deal that was reached over a year ago.
As we now know, the deal between both parties is worth over $500 million for 10 years. However, the kingdom of Saudi will pay out around $800 million after expenses including: pyro, travel, venue costs, marketing and additional talent such as the recent big names we have seen like Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Bill Goldberg, and the already confirmed “Nature Boy” Ric Flair, and much more.
— WWE (@WWE) October 2, 2019
If WWE would have canceled the show last year, the company would have been in breach of it the deal between them and the country, essentially risking the entire 10-year deal which was a deal struck by Vince McMahon himself. With the risk, the company would have owed the country a significant amount of money which at the time would have put the company in major debt.
What’s more, at the time, there were internal talks that a clause was requested to be put in place in the current deal which stipulated that if Vince McMahon and company ever opt to sell WWE while within the 10-year term it currently is in with the country, the prince would be offered the first refusal with him, willing to pay around $7 billion for WWE. A purchase like this would see the country use the WWE brand to promote and showcase the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
WWE would still be available in the 180+ countries it airs and would most likely operate the same way, similar to how AMC Theatres is running today, though being owned by the Dalian Wanda Group which bought the theatre chain back in 2012 for a whopping $2.6 Billion. The possible consequence of such a significant purchase of WWE however, could see several television networks no longer being interested in renewing their deals with WWE after the current deals expire. As always, however, a story like this is card subject to change.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. Catch all the WWE action on the WWE Network.