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Thread: Crown Jewel

  1. #1

    Crown Jewel

    Seemed like last time WWE went to Saudia Arabia, there seemed to be backlash over their regressive views on women's rights. I do believe that's such a politized issue that it could be missed that a more progressive culture could make progress in that area than if they didn't interact with them at all .

    However, in a less political issue, it is rumored a journalist may have been murdered by the Saudis...

    I have heard nothing over the WWE going at this time...Has anyone else?

  2. #2
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    I think people have just shrugged and accepted that, regardless of political environment, WWE will take the money.

    I'd expect them to do a show in Kim Jong Un's back garden if he paid them enough.

    The issues are still there, the alleged murder of a dissident journalist is terrible, and the country has a terrible stance on all sorts of human rights, from women to gays. People will make that point and say 'WWE shouldn't endorse this!' and then people on the other side of the argument will say 'change won't happen through boycott!'. Repeat again and again. In ten years when the contract or whatever it is that WWE has with Saudi Arabia expires, if women are on the show or anything the latter will claim victory, and if not the former will.

    It's possible that WWE running Evolution as an apology a couple of weeks before the Saudi show dampens everyone's anger. Or it's possible that every knuckle dragger on 4chan is too busy working themselves into a frenzy over Taylor Swift saying that racism and homophobia is bad to even bat an eyelid in retort.

    It's still shady as fuck that WWE are doing shows there.

  3. #3
    Totally agree with the Kim Jong Un comment.

    The Saudis have so much money they don't know what to do with it. I have to think HBK is getting a pretty penny from the Saudis, as well as WWE, for his comeback, but nowhere near the reported $20 million+ they have offered the Rock (who obviously has other commitments but you never know). They can buy anyone they want.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    At the end of the day, WWE is a corporation that's trying to make money. If Coke, Wal-Mart and Disney are doing business in the country, why should WWE avoid it?

    I also believe that they honestly think that they will be helping to usher in change within the country. Does anyone think that Stephanie McMahon would be letting this happen if that wasn't the belief? And I know, Steph isn't Vince, but everyone has that hill that they're willing to die on and I honestly believe that WWE's treatment of women, and by extension the company doing business with countries like Saudi Arabia, would be Steph's at this point.

    I'm glad to see these high level PPV events coming from WWE. My only wish would be for them to fit these events naturally into their PPV calendar so that we're back to one per month. Every second month having the PPV be one of these over-the-top, WrestleMania-style international events would be a lot of fun in my opinion.

    I actually really dislike the concept of the all women's Evolution PPV. I understand the purpose of it and the "showing how far women have come" idea, but it feels sort of like a "separate but equal" situation. It's like giving the Cruisers their own show that no matter how good it is, nobody ultimately watches.

    I would much prefer seeing a more competitive atmosphere among talent in WWE where they are willing to put more than just the two Women's Title stories on PPV each month.

    Also, anyone think there's a chance that if ticket sales aren't great for Evolution, they add a male star or two to it?

  5. #5
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    If Tix sales aren't good for Evolution, they won't do it again. Randomly adding a few male stars i think would just piss people off.

    And the problem with the company being more competitive interally with talent is that Vince doesn't believe Women are equal to men in his company. They barely get any real, solid storylines outside of the title picture.. I'd love to see more ladies involved but I just don't see it happening with Vince.

    Also, I wouldn't call these Global events that worthy of being called high level. Basically just big house shows where nothing of consequence happens. Thus the need to add old stars.. The Raw after the Australian show for example had 3 rematches where they did angles. But because its rather new, people will want to go.. (Wasn't even close to a sellout in Australia tho)

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Team Farrell View Post
    I actually really dislike the concept of the all women's Evolution PPV. I understand the purpose of it and the "showing how far women have come" idea, but it feels sort of like a "separate but equal" situation. It's like giving the Cruisers their own show that no matter how good it is, nobody ultimately watches.
    The only reason Evolution exists is because of Crown Jewel anyway. They are fine taking a loss on it. It takes the heat off a little since they are in an ass-backwards country for a second time.

    And there's no way Steph really thinks they are helping to usher in change. If that was the case, they'd demand it featured female performers. They're doing it for the money and the money only, which is their prerogative.

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    I wonder how much Shawn is getting for this tag match.

  8. #8
    I'd love to know. A million each from WWE and the Saudis? I could be way off since I can't imagine him being a huge draw in 2018 to Saudia Arabians, but who knows.

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
    The only reason Evolution exists is because of Crown Jewel anyway. They are fine taking a loss on it. It takes the heat off a little since they are in an ass-backwards country for a second time.

    And there's no way Steph really thinks they are helping to usher in change. If that was the case, they'd demand it featured female performers. They're doing it for the money and the money only, which is their prerogative.
    But it's not that black and white. You can say "my way or the highway, we demand this radical social change overnight", have them tell you to fuck off and take a hit on the markets when it inevitably gets out that WWE turned down a multi-million dollar deal with the Saudis AND have made precisely zero impact socially in the country (which, if they want one ,will find a way to have a wrestling supershow either way). Or you can play the long game, take the money, not get roasted by investors, and bit-by-bit try and made a difference. Let's not forget that allowing men and women to sit together in the lower bowl and on the floor at their last show was a pretty radical shift.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
    I'd love to know. A million each from WWE and the Saudis? I could be way off since I can't imagine him being a huge draw in 2018 to Saudia Arabians, but who knows.
    Rumor was the Saudis asked for Yokozuna so new generation is big over there i guess.

  11. #11
    Makes sense. They wanted Hulk Hogan for the first show and I'm kind of shocked he hasn't been announced for this one yet.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
    but nowhere near the reported $20 million+ they have offered the Rock (who obviously has other commitments but you never know). They can buy anyone they want.
    More than that - the Saudi's are trying to get Rock booked as WWE Champion for their show. If WWE is willing to do that it's frankly weird. And the only rumour killer on that is Bryan Alvarez saying he doesn't believe it - not that it's not right - and some theory that they'd need to have Rock on at least two shows to win and then drop the title and he's unlikely to have space in his schedule while filming Hobbs And Shaw, or Jumanji 2, or whatever else he gets to look moody and muscular in next year.

    (I loved the first Jumanji remake, for what it's worth)

    So yeah, it's weird as hell that WWE is doing this for the money.

  13. #13
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    So let's actually talk about the event.

    My best guess after Smackdown last night and the Miz TV segment, where the Miz stated "I don't care which one of you two win, I get next", that bryan vs AJ will be a great match, but a 1 time only match. The main page has reported that the only reason we are getting this match is that the Saudis requested it.

    So the match happens, but the Miz interferes and causes Bryan to lose. The the Miz goes onto feud with Styles and wins the WWE title from him. And it st5ill sets up me plan for WM, where the Miz is champion and Bryan finally wins the Rumble and challenges Miz at Mania.

  14. #14
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    I'll never understand why, in kayfabe, a guy who lost a #1 contendership match to someone gets the shot after the person they lost to.

    I feel like they might do something else here - possibly have Miz bring about a DQ that keeps Styles as champion, to build to a triple threat at Survivor Series where Miz wins by pinning Bryan. Then you can set up Miz vs Styles for the run to the Rumble and run with the Bryan plan you have there, Powder.

    The alternative, of course, is to flip that plan around - have Bryan as the champ going into Mania and Miz as the Rumble winner who knows he can beat the champion and that he only has one lucky/fluke victory over him recently.

    To be honest, hearing that Styles vs Bryan is a decision made by the Saudis rather than WWE means to me that WWE will be perfectly willing to nix the match having a decent finish in favour of continuing with their longer term plan. And I think they've had one of those in place since this Bryan/Miz stuff started after his return.

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    Hmm, not sure how that ended up double posted. Whoops.

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    I don't want to make this a political thread, but with more coming out about the journalist that was killed (Apparently the Prince tried to lure the Journalist back to Saudi) is there any chance, due to the situation, WWE cancels the show? I'm guessing no but just wanted other people's thoughts..

    I would imagine a big enough sponsor would have to get involved.
    Last edited by LK3185; 10-11-2018 at 12:28 AM.

  17. #17
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    In a perfect world the WWE would absolutely cancel this show. Not only is this journalist situation absolutely awful and something that should convince WWE to pull out (if true the Prince himself apparently ordered the assassination of this journalist), but it's very likely a female activist is going to be sentenced to death by beheading just days before the show takes place. Her crime; protesting. A hypothetical change in the near future isn't going to change the fact that right now WWE is taking money from a country slaughter journalists and women for speaking out against their regime, nor the fact that the looks really bad. They should absolutely pull out.

    The question is can they? Pen and I were discussing this today and he made the point that there is a contract between WWE and SA. I would like to presume that WWE, an organization that should be big enough to have been aware of how problematic SA is going into this deal, has some clauses in place that allows them to get out of the deal with either some of the money they were promised or the promise of not being sued in the case of SA doing something to damage the relationship (with either WWE or the US). It is possible they don't and if that's the case, pulling out of the deal could lead to them being hit with a lawsuit from SA, which could potentially be catastrophic for them as not only would WWE lose the money they're on the books to get but it could open them up to losing more if SA was found in the right. The US government could also make this easy by ending their relationship with SA (which would pretty much give WWE no choice but to void the deal), but my understanding is that's unlikely to happen, which brings us back to whether or not WWE can pull out of the deal with no repercussions or not.

    In the end it really doesn't matter. WWE made their own bed with this and frankly should've never entered into this agreement to begin with. That woman who might get executed has been imprisoned for over three years and was withheld from obtaining an attorney for over two years for, I'll say it again, protesting! People can tout how SA has gotten more progressive and has allowed women to drive all they want but at the end of the day there are still MASSIVE human rights problems in that country that anyone can find out about with a quick Google search. On top of that, I'm willing to bet there's several other countries out there far less problematic that could've offered WWE a similar deal that would've given them close to as much money with fewer headaches. They put themselves in this position and now they have suffer the consequences. And they probably will either way; keeping this show on will be a PR nightmare (I'm sure there are more people like Coach out there who aren't as against this as others, but they seem to be few and far between) and pulling out of it and the rest of the deal could open them up to other problems. It is a problem of their own creation.


  18. #18
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    There's too much money involved.. The Saudis give us so much money that our government is in their pocket (What Trump basically said after hearing about the Journalist was killed..) And the only reason why the Journalist being killed is being made into a big deal here is cause he lived in the United States, worked for the Washington post. Sadly, no one with political power cares what the Saudis do to their own people. Not saying they should jump in at every single incident.. but there's no possible ramifications if this happened to someone not living here.

    Some lobbyists and Sponsors have pulled out of SA but not enough to really do anything yet. If the Audio of the journalist being killed gets out, that might help move things along.

    Frankly, It turns my stomach and I was going to sub to the network to watch Evolution... I do so month to month basis but I'm not going to now in part because of this and not caring about the build anyway. Going to stop watching the TV too. Its not entirely because of this situation, I just realized i don't want to watch a build for something I can't and won't support.

  19. #19
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    With the amount of money that's being thrown to the WWE, there's no way they're going to cancel this show. The WWE can simply brush this off and say that they're just an entertainment company and don't associate with politics or whatever excuse they can come up with. They'll still get some backlash over it, but when they have a reported $45 million dollars coming in the bank every year for the next ten years, they'll get over it quick. I doubt the backlash would be strong enough to cause a long-term hit to their bottom line.

    The whole situation is pretty crappy for everyone, though. The company is putting some stacked cards in these events, and as a wrestling fan it's all we ask for. But these shows will always be marred by political situations.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    With the amount of money that's being thrown to the WWE, there's no way they're going to cancel this show. The WWE can simply brush this off and say that they're just an entertainment company and don't associate with politics or whatever excuse they can come up with. They'll still get some backlash over it, but when they have a reported $45 million dollars coming in the bank every year for the next ten years, they'll get over it quick. I doubt the backlash would be strong enough to cause a long-term hit to their bottom line.

    The whole situation is pretty crappy for everyone, though. The company is putting some stacked cards in these events, and as a wrestling fan it's all we ask for. But these shows will always be marred by political situations.
    You know what's pretty shitty? The fact that everything you said in the first paragraph is likely going to come to fruition. In a just world you would have to imagine that no company, regardless of what they do, could get away with taking all that money while ignoring shit like a woman likely being sentenced to death for asking for her basic human rights and a journalist being butchered (at best, kidnapped and tortured if you want to argue that he somehow isn't dead) for speaking out against the regime. And yet that's exactly what will happen (unless WWE pulls out, which I am beginning to doubt strictly because they don't want to open themselves to legal issues) and no one is going to do anything about it; people will jut go on and continue like nothing happened cause they want to watch RAW or Smackdown or Survivor Series or whatever (and that's just wrestling related; politically speaking no one will do anything about it either, which just goes to show you what a shithouse that's all become). It's shitty, it's sad...it shouldn't be something that occurs. But hey, cash rules everything around us.


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    Last thing I'll say on this... People are going to make their choices on whether to watch WWE or not but the simple fact is, Wrestling is still seen as a sideshow by the majority of mainstream type people and so its not going to get the biting commentary it probably deserves.. And the fact the President of this country is taking no stand against Saudi Arabia's action makes what WWE does very small in comparison.

    Sure, sponsors pull out all the time but all of this stops if our government were to stop taking Blood money.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    I'm sure there are more people like Coach out there who aren't as against this as others, but they seem to be few and far between
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not singing WWE's praises for their bravery in going in to this country and trying to change it. I truly believe that they went there in an earnest effort to create social change, because I believe that's what they were sold on by the government. However, I'm also not going to hold them to a higher standard than any other major corporation.

    If Coke was closing it's bottling plant and pulling out of the country, or Holiday Inn decided to close up shop, or McDonald's got out, then maybe. But if they are fine taking the money then I'm not going to put WWE on some sort of pedestal where they should be the moral voice of corporate America.

    It would have been great if someone had given their head a shake a year ago and thought "hey, maybe this is a bad idea, let's shop around to the UAE or Dubai and see if they'll do something similar". But they didn't, and neither would nearly any corporation in America if the Prince of Saud came to them with a big money offer to build a plant or open a franchise or otherwise do business in the country.

    Just like I'll probably still drink a Coke this weekend and stay at a Holiday Inn again in the future, I'll likely catch Crown Jewel at some point because it looks like a fun little wrestling card. It would be nice if the card were held in Germany or Cameroon if they wanted that really international feel, but it's not. I'm not going to let that stop me from watching it and maybe enjoying it.

    I hope that change is made with in the country. If not, I hope that the next President cuts ties with and sanctions SA and forces Coke and Holiday Inn and McDonald's and WWE and countless other US companies to pull out of the country. But until then I'm not going to be morally outraged at WWE for taking the money and putting on a show for the regular people of the country, just like I wouldn't be outraged at them for rampant poverty and human rights issues if they did the same show in India.

  23. #23
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    They are getting some serious heat to call this thing off. SI did an article on it, and US Senators are putting a lot of pressure on the WWE to at least "pause" the event. Now who blinks first....

  24. #24
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    'monitoring the situation'....

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  25. #25
    I think the thing that's bothersome is there was propaganda on the last show for the Saudi government's modern socail advancements.. Seeing them go there and do any package to endorse the royal family after something like this is a bridge too far, I think

  26. #26
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Last I saw they'd pulled the location information and tickets link from the website. People are suggesting they might be about to pull it.

    Edit: Meltzer now reporting that it's definitely on as planned.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 10-14-2018 at 03:28 PM.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  27. #27
    Unless major sponsors start to speak up its clearly going to run as planned.

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    Last I saw they'd pulled the location information and tickets link from the website. People are suggesting they might be about to pull it.

    Edit: Meltzer now reporting that it's definitely on as planned.
    Not saying he's wrong, but Meltzer is an idiot. Why do people still make him relevant?

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by LifeLostInRewind View Post
    Not saying he's wrong, but Meltzer is an idiot. Why do people still make him relevant?
    It's partially because he's absolutely right about this; the location info and ticket link for this WWE show were never there to begin with, so whoever tried to use that to say this event wasn't happening was either wrong or had no idea about that. The other half is because he's the best wrestling journalist/historian we've got and while he's definitely not right 100% of the time he's more often than not on the ball and most of the stuff that makes him sound idiotic (apart from the Peyton Royce thing which was all him, something he himself owned up to) is stuff he's misquoted on by sites looking for clicks. His word shouldn't be treated as gospel, but anyone saying he's an idiot strikes me as, well, an idiot.


  30. #30
    If my little opinion about him makes you think of me as an idiot, then I think maybe you take things a little too seriously. It really isn't that big of a deal, but lol ok.

  31. #31
    The main topic on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver was Saudi Arabia and WWE came up a couple times, including the way it puffed up all the “progress” being made in those tourism vignettes and also showed a clip of Cena thanking the prince, with Oliver mocking Cena’s catchphrase “you can’t see these human rights violations”.

  32. #32
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I am against pulling out of Saudi Arabia, but it's time to pull it out of Saudi Arabia!

  33. #33
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    They should but it's not going to happen. All indications are that WWE will continue with the show unless the State Department or Trump himself tells them no and that's not going to happen. It's also still unclear whether or not WWE would be in legal trouble with SA if they pulled out, which is probably a factor in all this no one is talking about. It's not a defense of WWE; they should've never agreed to this deal in the first place and deserve every bit of negative PR they're getting. But it definitely is a factor, on top of all the money their making.

    The real thing of interest now is what do the fans do and what do the talent do. Are there enough fans out there like Lazyking who are soured by the propaganda so much (in addition to other reasons) that they don't watch or cancel the Network as a statement? Does WWE's roster (the vast majority of whom don't seem to be keen on this show if you believe the chatter) take a stand? My guesses on both fronts are no. If I've learned anything since the 2015 Royal Rumble it's that WWE fans will by the large put up with anything, whether it be something as small as a booking decision or something as horrific as this. Fans will let this go and the talent will too. That's even more disappointing when you see a guy like Finn Balor promoting gay rights and equality when you know he's going to take the paycheck without saying a word in just a few days. And he's a guy who could get big money and tons of work anywhere if he did decide to take a stand, which just makes it all the more maddening.


  34. #34
    Senior Member LWO4Life's Avatar
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    I have to agree with you on everything Cult. Why I don't think WWE should pull out though is simply because of $. I don't begrudge a for-profit company for making money.

    But with that said, it's time to pull out. The first event should have been a one time deal, and you could tell Saudi and the WWE were not exactly on the same page. They almost got the Davaris killed, and just putting Carmella in a commercial almost caused an international incident. The human rights of Saudi Arabia is troubling at best, but I am not exactly against going to a place with human rights violations IF, and only IF the deal is made outside the government. In this case it's made with the Saudi royal family, therefore is a sign of WWE taking the money of the very people responsible for the human rights violations. But I don't want to make it seem like any nation, including the US is perfect. Each nation has it's own problems, and going to places like Mexico, who treat their indigenous population terribly, or Australia, same as Mexico, but WWE works with companies and buildings, not actual governments other than passports and whatnot. So I guess I just always go with it is what it is. As for me cancelling the Network as a statement, hell, I am much more likely to cancel the Network because WWE sucks, which it does.

  35. #35
    I cancelled the Network yesterday and have had it since Day 1. I did it more for the product though and I will definitely miss NXT.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cult Icon View Post
    They should but it's not going to happen. All indications are that WWE will continue with the show unless the State Department or Trump himself tells them no and that's not going to happen. It's also still unclear whether or not WWE would be in legal trouble with SA if they pulled out, which is probably a factor in all this no one is talking about. It's not a defense of WWE; they should've never agreed to this deal in the first place and deserve every bit of negative PR they're getting. But it definitely is a factor, on top of all the money their making.

    The real thing of interest now is what do the fans do and what do the talent do. Are there enough fans out there like Lazyking who are soured by the propaganda so much (in addition to other reasons) that they don't watch or cancel the Network as a statement? Does WWE's roster (the vast majority of whom don't seem to be keen on this show if you believe the chatter) take a stand? My guesses on both fronts are no. If I've learned anything since the 2015 Royal Rumble it's that WWE fans will by the large put up with anything, whether it be something as small as a booking decision or something as horrific as this. Fans will let this go and the talent will too. That's even more disappointing when you see a guy like Finn Balor promoting gay rights and equality when you know he's going to take the paycheck without saying a word in just a few days. And he's a guy who could get big money and tons of work anywhere if he did decide to take a stand, which just makes it all the more maddening.
    At this point it might also be a massive financial hit based on what's already been spent.

    I don't know the details of the contract, obviously, but it certainly seems like the situation is that SA will pay X, and it's up to WWE to advertise, staff and run the show to turn a profit within that figure. That's a pretty easy prospect if it's true that they're getting $22.5 mil per event.

    However, when you factor in that international flights have already been purchased, advertising in the US to get people to tune in to this event has already been purchased, a lot of the logistics have probably already been paid for at this late hour, if they're planning on turning, let's say, a $10 million profit on this event, there could be upwards of $12.5 million in expenses already put in to it. It might just not be a financial option at this point to just terminate and take a gigantic hit, and that's before what you're going to run in to with breach of contract issues.

    Now, if the government were to step in and force them to cancel, insurance or the government might reimburse them for their losses and shield them from any breach lawsuits. But that doesn't look to be the case.

    This will likely be the last trip to SA. Even with a 10 year commitment, there are always outs. It's probably structured something along the lines of them paying closer to $20 million per event with a lump sum of the remainder paid after all events have been fulfilled, that's pretty standard in live event production. So they could probably get out after Crown Jewel with what they've already made and terminate the contract. But to cancel at this point without being forced to cancel might be financially disastrous for more reasons than just a breach.

    This show is happening. Short of them deciding that the new rights deals are enough to take at major hit, or the US government stepping in. But it'll probably be the last one.

    Interestingly enough WWE's stock has held pretty steady today despite the press, only down .6% at the time of writing this.

  37. #37
    As it should be. Macho Mourn's Avatar
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    People need to stop looking at companies as something with morals. That has only ever been a thing for PR. Most of the time, they really use it as a write-off. Pick a cause. "Champion" it. Profit.

    Just because they happen to be taking money from them, doesn't mean they are giving them anything other than entertainment.

    Side note, should we all have protested WCW back in the day for Collision in Korea?

    “Stoop to your own level. Your nature. Trust yourself. And most importantly... You have to learn what laws are really laws and not… Oppression."

  38. #38
    There are 2 things happening here.

    1 WWE doing business
    2 WWE praising the Saudi government while it does business.

    Number 2 is where I find a a problem.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macho Mourn View Post
    People need to stop looking at companies as something with morals. That has only ever been a thing for PR. Most of the time, they really use it as a write-off. Pick a cause. "Champion" it. Profit.

    Just because they happen to be taking money from them, doesn't mean they are giving them anything other than entertainment.

    Side note, should we all have protested WCW back in the day for Collision in Korea?

    First off, YES! Yes we should've protested WCW for Collision in Korea, especially since it's likely a good chunk of the population was forced to go to the show. Secondly, just because people fucked up twenty years ago by not protesting/putting more attention on that WCW show (which they should've) doesn't mean we should just turn a blind eye now. If anything it should be sign that people should be speaking up. I quite frankly don't have time for bullshit whataboutism's or "well this company is doing this so that means it's okay WWE is." No. Bullshit. It just means there's more entities that need to know what they're doing is wrong.


  40. #40
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    For me I probably wouldn't have given it much thought. But if companies don't want to be held to a moral standard, they shouldn't make claims to having one for the sake of profit. Once they do that I think any fans who want to hold them to that are well within their rights.

    I don't think I'll watch the show, but I have to admit it's a fairly empty gesture unless I also decide to cancel the subscription for the network. Especially given I have not seen either of the last two PPV offerings yet either, so it's not like I'm desperate to keep up and am missing something that means a lot to me.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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