I was trying so hard to focus on the positives in WWE while advocating for pushing the conversation about Crown Jewel and the promotion’s dealings with Saudi Arabia now, during and after the event.
I was trying so hard — and then we got Hulk Hogan.
Let’s take this time to remember that after a car accident that Hulk Hogan’s son was in that killed another human, one of Hogan’s primary concerns was that he himself would be reincarnated into a black man
— Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful.com (@SeanRossSapp) November 1, 2018
Reinstating Hogan into the Hall of Fame after a cooling off period following his racist rant caught on tape was fine, in my opinion. He has an inarguable legacy as one of the top stars in the history of the wrestling business. What he did for WWE was of such importance it only makes sense to acknowledge it in the capacity of their self-selected Hall of Fame. It’s not an acknowledgement of him as a stand-up guy, but rather of his impact on the business.
But bringing him back into the fold as the host of one of the most controversial shows in wrestling history? This is beyond the pale. Were there any doubt about the importance of satisfying Mohammed bin Salman’s whims despite their public image or even basic decency, that has been laid to rest.
What’s the big deal in having a racist (source: Hogan’s own words) host a show to satisfy a man who executes an average of 16 people a month? Especially as Amnesty International explained what many of those executions are meant to accomplish:
These brutal executions are the latest act in the Saudi Arabian authorities’ ongoing persecution of the Shi’a minority. The death penalty is being deployed as a political weapon to punish them for daring to protest against their treatment and to cow others into silence.
Hell, at this point why not dig up the remains of Yokozuna and Weekend At Bernie’s him around for a match? The crown prince did want to see Yoko and The Ultimate Warrior on the Greatest Royal Rumble show, after all.
The lack of shame on these shows is mind-blowing and the lengths WWE is willing to go to appease a murderous regime seem to be endless.
At least WWE didn’t book a child-killing nightmare demon…yet.