Professional Wrestling has been an international sport continuously crowded in controversy. After what had seemed like a long period since the WWE’s last incident, Vince McMahon has been accused of treating his athlete’s like hostages. It was reported that wrestlers with the franchise won’t fly to Saudi Arabia because of payment issues between Vince McMahon and Crown Prince Mohammed Salman. It resulted in athletes being stranded in airports for more than 24 hours, with social media supporting their rights to entry or return flights. Stars were quoted with saying they couldn’t wait to get out of the WWE, which is a direct shot to McMahon after the launch of AEW Wrestling.
Vince McMahon and his representatives claim that the delays were the result of mechanical errors with the plane. However, most employed with WWE do not buy his reasonings towards the situation. It was a controversial situation to bring the Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment league to Saudi Arabia, who recently allowed for new forms of entertainment to enter the country. Vince received backlash for accepting the Crown Prince’s offering, considering he banned the women’s division of WWE from entering Saudi Arabia. He also banned Sami Zayn, a Syrian-Descent Professional Wrestling from participating in the Saudi Arabia WWE Event. After twelve months, the Crown Prince changed his mind and lifted the ban.
The Ignorance of Vince
Numerous athletes with WWE have boycotted the Saudi Arabian Shows since this new controversy began, including John Cena. This isn’t the first time that professional wrestlers with Raw or Smackdown have expressed their concerns over Vince McMahon’s ethics. One such instance was back in 2004 when an Italian Professional Wrestler was cast as a Muslim Terrorist named Muhammad Hassan. That character was clouded in controversy for prejudicial stereotypes and was eventually removed from the WWE for the ignorance displayed towards the attacks on September 11th.
Vince McMahon nearly lost his leadership position with the WWE after the character Muhammed Hassan played his final match. Vince played out a story that saw Hassan spread his arms out in pray while being on his knees, then summoning multiple camouflaged-faced men who took down the undertaker. Afterwards, this group carried Muhammed left the ring for the final time by being carried over the group’s heads. Three days later, the London Bombings occurred, which wounded 700 Hundred individuals and took the lives of 52 people. McMahon would immediately apologize, expressing that the character was used to stop stereotypes. Most didn’t believe these claims, with McMahon almost being charged an act of hatred.