Afternoon Update: WWE removes Saudi Arabia from Crown Jewel listing again, lots of legends added to Evolution women’s battle royal, Seth meet & greet, Ranallo misses NXT TV taping, Crown Jewel petition, Ventura inspiring Trump

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor

Kelly Kelly (art credit Grant Gould © PWTorch)


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-WWE has removed Saudi Arabia as the listed location on their Events Schedule listing on again. On Wednesday, they listed Saudi Arabia as the location of the event with a ticket sales launch date as Friday (yesterday). That was removed yesterday. WWE remains quiet. WWE remains silent on this issue otherwise, but if they run Crown Jewel as originally scheduled in Saudi Arabia, they’d have the distinction of being the first U.S. entertainment company to run an event in Saudi Arabia since U.S. resident and Washington Post columnist Khashoggi’s brutal murder. Forbes published an article with a timeline of what it called a “nightmare week” for WWE: WWE’s Nightmare Week With Saudi Arabia’s Crown Jewel PPV: A Timeline. Excerpt:

WWE’s 10-year deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as part of its Vision 2030 plan, is estimated to be worth in the neighborhood of $450 to $500 million. WWE appears determined to move forward with what has quickly become a tumultuous business relationship. … Endeavor, which owns WWE combat sports competitor UFC, dropped out of its $400 million deal with Saudi Arabia, putting even more pressure on WWE to follow suit.

-There is a petition to move Crown Jewel out of Saudi Arabia titled: “Demand WWE Cancel 10-Year Contract With Saudi Arabia.” It has over 10,000 signatures. Excerpt:

WWE is an American institution and should not affiliate with countries that murder journalists simply for expressing their opinions, not to mention the fact that the women of WWE aren’t even allowed to perform. WWE has a responsibility to represent American values.  Sign my petition demanding WWE cancel their contract with Saudi Arabia and put American values in front of corporate greed.

-The Washington Post published an editorial this afternoon responding to the highly suspect explanation Saudi Arabia has given for the now-confirmed death of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey earlier this month: The Saudi explanation for Jamal Khashoggi’s death is a fable. Still Trump plays along.

-Seth Rollins is doing a “Meet & Greet” at Sunday afternoon from noon to 2 p.m. at the Xfinity Store by Comcast in Somerville, Mass. (145 Middlesex Ave Unit 5B, 02145). He’ll sign autographs and take pictures.

-WWE has added Ivory, Molly Holly, Kelly Kelly, Maria Kanellis, Alundra Blayze and Michelle McCool to the women’s battle royal at next Sunday’s WWE Evolution PPV event. Torrie Wilson had been previously announced. Current roster members are also in the battle royal: Asuka, Ember Moon, Nia Jax, Dana Brooke, Alicia Fox, Peyton Royce, Billie Kaye, Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Lala, Tamina, Naomi, and Carmella.

-Mauro Ranallo missed the NXT TV tapings this Wednesday because he was win New York accepting the Mental Health Advocacy award from Fountain House. Mauro posted on Twitter:  “Much love to my @shosports fam for coming out and supporting me last night as I received a #MentalHealth advocacy award from the FANTASTIC folks at @fountainhouse in New York city. Fountain House is the standard bearer for mental health care!”

-The author of “TrumpMania: Vince McMahon, WWE, and the Making of America’s 45th President” Lavie Margolin talked with me on this week’s Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Podcast “Interview Friday” about Donald Trump’s connections to pro wrestling. In researching the book, he uncovered one related to Jesse Ventura. “One of the tidbits that made researching the book so enjoyable was going through newspapers and news archives, and one of the things I was really fascinated by is Trump spoke at at least one rally on behalf of Ventura. … It had to stick in his head there was a dark horse candidate who was a bombastic talker. What you forget about is Ventura actually had political experience and had proven himself already in Minnesota to be a political candidate, but as an outsider who had success, I think Ventura inspired Trump.” Listen to the episode on Stitcher HERE or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app.

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NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S TORCH TODAY UPDATE: Afternoon Update: WWE’s potential losses if they pull out of Saudi Arabia, Impact Ratings update, Impact addresses timeslot change, weekend schedule for WWE & NXT & NJPW, Booker T in-ring update, Shimmer

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