Desperate WWE using Hulk Hogan at controversial "Crown Jewel" Saudi Arabia show.
1. In the world of professional wrestling, it's always hard to figure out what's real and what's not. However, one truth has always stood the test of time: Vince McMahon does whatever Vince McMahon wants to do.
That was proven once again last week when WWE confirmed it would be going forward with its Nov. 2 Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia, despite several issues. There's the fact that Saudi Arabia denies women basic human rights and WWE is in the middle of capitalizing on its "women's revolution." There's the recent killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. And there are top superstars in John Cena and Daniel Bryan who are refusing to work the show.
However, none of that was enough to make the company cancel the show. You'd think after going through the controversy surrounding the event, WWE would now try to move forward without any problems. But that's not Vince McMahon's style. Never has been. Never will be. So McMahon put the cherry on top of the Saudi Arabia sundae by bringing Hulk Hogan back to the company so he could host the Crown Jewel show.
Now, I'm the type of person that's all for second chances, but, in my opinion, Hogan should not have been brought back to the company ever. In this kid friendly era off WWE television where everything is rated PG, how do you bring back a 65-year-old guy who was caught on tape saying the following:
"So it gets to the point where…I dunno if (daughter) Brooke was f-----g the black guy's son, or they've been hanging out. I caught them holding hands together on the tour."
"They were getting close to kind of (INAUDIBLE) the f-----g (INAUDIBLE). I'm not a double-standard type of guy," he continued. "I'm a racist to a point, y'know, f-----g n-----s — but then, when it comes to nice people..."
"I don't give a f--k if she (INAUDIBLE) an 8-foot tall basketball player. If we're gonna f--k with n-----s, let's get a rich one!"
And let's not forget the kicker. Hogan was saying all this while in bed after having sex with his then-best friend's wife.
THIS is the person WWE wants to bring back to host a show in Saudi Arabia? How is this even possibly happening?
Hogan was banned by the company in 2015 after these remarks became public. Earlier this year, WWE gave him a chance to address the locker room and apologize. Even after that, some wrestlers were not sold on Hogan's sincerity.
Bringing Hogan back at all is a slap in the face to these wrestlers. Bringing him back to host a show in Saudi Arabia is an epic case of tone deafness and reeks of total desperation after Cena and Bryan bailed on participating in the event.
2. This week’s Sports Illustrated Media Podcast features an in-depth interview with ESPN’s Tony Reali, who discusses the many ups and downs of his life and maintaining his infectiously positive attitude. On the professional side, Reali talks about his journey, going from Fordham to “Stat Boy” on Pardon the Interruption, to hosting Around the Horn since 2004 while previewing the many changes coming to ATH, which relaunches on ESPN Nov. 5.
On the personal side, Reali opens up about dealing with anxiety and addiction and trying to gain control of his life. He also talks about how he got through the devastation of losing one of his twin boys this summer during the lead up to childbirth. It is a powerful and honest conversation with a lot of it centered on mental health.
You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
3. They did Nathan Peterman real dirty here.
4. Pro tip for everyone regarding next Halloween: Go trick-or-treating at T.J. Watt's house. The Steelers linebacker gets an A+ for variety and size of the candy.
5. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Cleveland Browns.
Interesting note from OL Joel Bitonio: the players found out about Todd Haley and Hue Jackson’s firing from TVs around the facility. There was no team meeting with fired coaches before or after announcement.— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) October 31, 2018
6. ESPN's Frank Isola was Mike Francesa for Wednesday's Around the Horn. Watch for the Diet Coke swing at the end here:
Meanwhile the Dan Le Batard Show did its own version of Mike and the Mad Dog.
7. RANDOM YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE DAY: If you're on social media, you've probably seen the huge news of the day: Starbucks's holiday cups are officially back. I now turn things over to Larry David.
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