Undertaker in Riyadh fuels speculation of controversial Saudi WWE appearance

Undertaker in Riyadh fuels speculation of controversial Saudi WWE appearance
Fans may be in for an upset after the WWE reportedly decided to sideline its legends in favour of Tyson Fury for its upcoming event in Saudi Arabia.
2 min read
21 October, 2019
Will the 'Dead Man' make an appearance in Saudi Arabia? [Getty]
Recently-surfaced images of WWE legend The Undertaker and CEO Vince McMahon in Saudi Arabia has fuelled speculation that the 'Dead Man' will make an appearance at the upcoming 'Crown Jewel' show on October 31.

Speculation swirled that The Undertaker would be seen that the Riyadh show alongside fellow WWE legends Goldberg and and John Cena.

But news that heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury will now be headlining the show has buried fans' hopes of seeing the wrestling icons, with the sports entertainment giant deciding that the trio are "not needed" for the Saudi show.

According to The Wrestling Observer, Fury's fight with Braun Strowman on Halloween means that The Undertaker, Goldberg and Cena will only be used "as needed" for future events.

'Saudi blood money

Saudi Arabia’s latest line of international sports and entertainments events has been dogged by controversy following the Khashoggi murder, which prompted business leaders and heads of state and business to boycott a major investment conference in Riyadh last year.

In October last year, former British-Yemeni superstar boxer, Prince Naseem Hamed took an unexpected political stance during Saudi Arabia's first professional boxing event, where he highlighted the war in neighbouring Yemen to a packed out stadium in Jeddah.

The British-born boxer, who is of Yemeni origin, then went on to chant a popular Arabic nationalistic slogan while on the ring, stating "With our souls and our blood, we sacrifice for you O' Yemen".

"Yemen is going through some hard times, please do not forget to pray for Yemen," he added, speaking in Arabic.

The following month, Saudi Arabia hosted the World Wrestling Entertainment's [WWE] controversial 'Crown Jewel' event, prompting some fans to accuse the sports entertainment firm of accepting "Saudi blood money".

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reforms are seen by some as an attempt to blunt public frustration over an economic downturn and high youth unemployment.

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