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Saudi Arabia & Crown Jewel
This week has been dominated by the continuing drama surrounding WWE’s persistence in holding their Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia in two weeks time. The latest development within Saudi Arabia is that the country is now accepting responsibility for the death of Jamal Khashoggi within their Turkish consulate. WWE shows no signs of relenting on holding the event, although it has been reported that they have delayed the release of tickets for the event, which were due to be released on October 19th. However, photos seem to have been released showing the early stage of the Stadium preparations over in Saudi Arabia.
Only time will tell the outcome of this decision, however two issues of note must still be addressed. Firstly, the financial argument, which I covered here is no longer an issue – should these figures be correct – as Wall Street analyst Eric Handler says they are. Secondly, the argument from JBL and Randy Orton this week that WWE needs to hold this event to be able to effect change is completely fallacious. WWE held an event in the country 6 months ago, yet they’re still executing journalists. It is not for the WWE to act as the United Nations and nor have they tried. The Greatest Royal Rumble event was covered with false propaganda concerning the Saudi regime and the Crown Prince, a fact highlighted by HBO’s John Oliver last week.
With the WWE not standing to make too large a loss financially, but definitely taking a huge PR hit, it is surprising they are insisting on moving forward with the event. One would hope that sense would prevail in the end.
NXT UK Thoughts and Reactions
NXT UK Episode 1 is in the bag and I was pleasantly surprised, the small-time, intimate feel of the venue added quite a lot to making this feel like a different show to NXT.
Pete Dunne and Noam Dar were the clear show stealers of the night, putting on a great main event match for the NXT UK Title. The painful-looking joint manipulations and electric pacing was a great way to end this show.
A star is also waiting to be born in the form of Dave Mastiff, the behemoth that WWE snagged from the clutches of WOS Wrestling this year. A far-cry from everything else on offer on the card, Mastiff made short work of Sid Scala and asserted himself as a dominant force on the UK roster.
Hopefully more work is done on character development and storylines in the coming week, rather than simply matches for the sake of matches, but for a debut show I was very impressed.
In other UK Wrestling news, Rev Pro debuted their TV show, World of Pro Wrestling, on FreeSports this Friday which has received some praise from not just wrestling media but the mainstream press also. This is not the first time FreeSports has gone into the world of Pro Wrestling as they also aired the now defunct 5 Star Wrestling earlier this year.
Rev Pro is, however, a very popular brand in the UK with a fiercely loyal fan base. This shone through on this debut show and established a very good opening show with some famous faces such a Jushin Liger, Zack Sabre Jr and Kushida.
The word at the moment is that the reason behind the NXT UK debut being this week was due to the RevPro show debuting on Friday.
This week the rumour mill has been churning out names of numerous legends who are slated to appear on the WWE all-female Evolution PPV on October 28th. This list includes Madusa, Molly Holly, Ivory, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool .
It was also reported by Wrestling Inc. that WWE had reached out to Sable, one of the most popular female stars in WWE history, to try and get her to appear at the PPV in some capacity. However, it is said that an agreement could not be reached this time.