Later this week, WWE hosts its biannual Saudi Arabia show Crown Jewel, a show largely condemned by the majority of the wrestling community due to the country’s human rights history.
SmackDown commentator Corey Graves will also be making the trip, because he is a man and is therefore allowed to attend the show.
He spoke to Sports Illustrated about the show, and how other talent feels about making the trip to Saudi Arabia.
“It’s a long, grueling trip over there, but most of the talent like it because it’s a pretty good pay day. To me, it’s super exciting to have these totally unusual attractions like Cain Velasquez-Brock Strowman and Tyson Fury-Braun Strowman. If you take any sort of political feeling out of the equation, aren’t you, as a fan of WWE, aren’t you curious and excited to watch these attractions? It is what it is. This is not about politics for the talent, it’s about doing what we do best on the planet all over the planet. Everyone that works for any company has things they love and things they don’t love, but what we’re all focused on is having to fly back to SmackDown in Buffalo the next day.”
He was also asked about his upcoming new podcast called “After the Bell”.
“Nobody else has this access. If it’s relevant, I can say, ‘Hey Triple H, what did you think of the competition on Wednesday night?’ I’m not going to make it my point to talk about everything beyond WWE, but if it’s relevant to what’s going on and it’s hot in the business, then we’ll discuss it. I can give a perspective that won’t be available anywhere else. I’m most excited to give current superstars a bigger platform to show who they are as people beyond characters.
“Most of the podcasts I’ve heard are from people who left WWE, but this is different. I’m working from the inside and I have access to the talent. Look at Seth—he’s had some social media speed bumps recently and got in a few spats that painted him in less than a great position, but you’re dealing with Twitter and 140 characters. Now we’ll have time for an actual conversation without an agenda, and I’m really excited to see where it goes,” he said.