The WWE 'Crown Jewel' Controversy, Explained
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In March 2018, the WWE signed a 10-year contract with Saudi Arabia’s General Sport Authority (GSA) to hold wrestling events within the kingdom. On November 2, in Riyadh, WWE will air the latest of these events, Crown Jewel, following April’s Greatest Royal Rumble.

The November event has come under fire following the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey on October 2. Despite the Saudi government’s response to the incident, and the ensuing global controversy surrounding the murder, WWE has decided to push forward with the event, issuing this statement:

“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”

Here’s the most important fallout surrounding WWE’s Crown Jewel.

Linda McMahon distances herself from the event

On October 30, Linda McMahon, head of the Small Business Administration under President Donald Trump, and former WWE executive, was asked by TMZ  in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport her thoughts on the WWE not cancelling Crown Jewel amid the Khashoggi investigation.

“If you wanna talk WWE, you’re talking to the wrong McMahon,” McMahon began, referring to her husband and chairman and CEO of the WWE Vince McMahon. She continued, “I don’t run it and I’m not responsible for it … ya gotta talk to Vince.”

McMahon’s response, despite being very short, made it clear she was distancing herself from the event and the WWE itself. 

Cena and Bryan pull out

While fans and political commentators voiced their opinions on Crown Jewel, the stars competing in the event itself stayed mum. Then rumors began to fly about both John Cena and Daniel Bryan pulling out of the event. This past week, those rumors were seemingly confirmed when both were officially written out of Crown Jewel by the WWE, despite having high-profile matches scheduled for the show. Neither Cena nor Bryan has issued an official statement on why they aren’t competing.

The same week, the WWE added Hulk Hogan the roster of stars performing at the event. This addition hasn’t widely publicized by the WWE, despite Hogan making comments about going to Saudi Arabia in November this past month.


Stocks dip

Throughout the build-up to Crown Jewel and the unfolding of the Khashoggi murder, stock in the WWE began to dip from September’s historic highs. WWE shareholder return has gone down 19.6 percent in the past seven days.

What people are saying

The response to Crown Jewel has been mixed, with fans on both sides of the issue. Many commentators and fans within the pro-wrestling community are lauding the stars for standing up for their values. 

WWE and ECW wrestler Tommy Dreamer took to Facebook to voice his opinion, echoing a similar event in North Korea in 1995, claiming that, again, wrestlers owe the event to the fans, despite the politics involved.

WWE Hall of Famer Mark Henry voiced his disappointment in Cena for pulling out of the event. Talking with TMZ, he called the recent events in the Middle East “a horrible situation” when asked whether or not the WWE should’ve cancelled the Crown Jewel. When asked if he thought Cena and Bryan made the wrong decision by pulling out of the event, Henry said, “I wouldn’t ever say that person is making the wrong decision. I’d say, that’s not the decision that I’d make. I would stand by my guns and I would do what’s good for business.”

His rationale is that Cena and Bryan’s job is to wrestle and to leave the political decisions up to the countries involved, saying the wrestler’s commitment is to their fans.

“I’m a firm believer in not leaving people out to dry,” Henry said. “Our fans, they wanna see you. Give our fans what they want.”

Comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight John Oliver has been talking about the WWE’s relationship with Saudi Arabia extensively as part of his larger coverage of the Khashoggi murder.


Oliver even made a mock Crown Jewel promotional video criticizing the WWE’s decision to continue on with the event.

As more and more companies are cutting business ties with Saudi Arabia, it is unclear whether the WWE will continue to honor its 10-year contract with the kingdom.

Crown Jewel is set to premiere on the WWE Network at 12 p.m. EST on November 2, with a kickoff show at 11 a.m.



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30-Minute Protein Pasta

Brian Klutch

Anchovies contain lots of iron, which helps with the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. 

Boil a pot of salted water.
Coat sauté pan with olive oil on low heat. Add tomatoes, capers, olives, garlic, ancho- vies, and tuna. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until anchovies melt into sauce.
Cook pasta 1 minute less than box instructions. Drain pasta, reserving about 1⁄2 cup of the pasta water. Put pasta back in pot on low; add 2 tbsp pasta water and sauce and stir to coat, adding more pasta water if needed for desired consistency.
To serve, season with salt and pepper and sprinkle on pecorino (if using); drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil.

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Most people chalk urinary incontinence and excessive urgency up to age. We get old, stuff stops working, we wake up to wet sheets. Cue jokes about adult diapers and investing in “Depends” futures. It’s not entirely out of line. Aging matters. There’s just more to it. Like other aspects of “aging,” incontinence and unreasonable urgency don’t just “happen.” Aging may hasten or accompany the decline, but it’s by no means inevitable, unavoidable, or unmitigated.

There are surgical treatments available, many of which involve the implantation of balloons and slings and rings and hammocks. Those are beyond the scope of this post, which will focus on exercises and other less invasive interventions and preventive measures.

What’s the Deal With Urinary Incontinence?

The most well-known type is stress incontinence. When you do anything intense enough to create pressure, such as a sneeze, a particularly boisterous laugh, a trampoline session, a power clean, or a box jump, the pressure escapes through the weakest point of your body—your slack pelvic floor muscles which support and enable bladder function. The result is inadvertent leakage.

The most common type is urgency incontinence. That’s when you can control your bladder well enough, but you feel like you have to go more frequently than you’d like. This can disrupt sleep and place you in uncomfortable situations.

There’s also prostate-related urinary incontinence. If men have incontinence, it’s usually because of prostate issues or prostate surgery altering the normal flow and function of their urinary tract. Today’s post won’t deal with this explicitly, although many of the exercises I’ll discuss that help women treat incontinence can also help men treat prostate-related incontinence. For more info on this, revisit my post on prostate health from a few weeks back.

Both stress incontinence and urgency incontinence usually have the same cause: pelvic floor dysfunction. The pelvic floor acts as a taut, supple sling of muscle and connective tissue running between the pelvis and the sacrum that supports the pelvic apparatus, including organs, joints, sex organs, bladders, bowels, and various sphincters. We use it to control our urination, our bowel movements, even our sexual functions. It’s very important.

What Goes Wrong?

It gets weak and tight and pulls the sacrum inward (the tail gets pulled toward the front of the body), interfering with urination and urinary control.

What causes pelvic floor dysfunction?

Childbirth is one potential cause, but it’s not a foregone conclusion. Women who have vaginal deliveries are more likely to display more pelvic floor dysfunction than women who have cesareans, while a more recent study found that tool-assisted vaginal delivery and episiotomy were the biggest risk factors for vaginal delivery-associated incontinence, not vaginal delivery alone. Allowing passive descent in the second stage of labor, rather than active pushing from the get-go, might also reduce the association.

Muscular atrophy of the pelvic floor muscles. The pelvis is where the magic happens. It’s where we generate power, walk, run, procreate, dance, and move. To keep it happy, healthy, and strong, we have to move. And then keep moving. Through all the various ranges of space and time and possible permutations of limbs and joints. That’s what all our muscles expect from the environment. It’s what they need. When that doesn’t happen, they atrophy—just like the other muscles.

Who Develops Incontinence?

Stress incontinence is more common among women than men. And most women with stress incontinence are older, although childbirth can increase the incidence.

Signs of Poor Pelvic Floor Function

Besides urinary incontinence and urgency incontinence—which are pretty tough to miss—what are some warning signs of poor pelvic floor function?

Low-to-no glute activity when walking. According to expert Katy Bowman, the glutes play a crucial role in pelvic floor function and incontinence prevention.

Lack of lower back curvature. This suggests your pelvis is being pulled inward due to poor glute activity and/or overly tight pelvic floor musculature.

Muscle atrophy elsewhere. If the muscle’s disappearing from your arms and legs, what do you think is happening in other areas?

What Can You Do?

Work On Your Squat

If you can’t sit in a full squat, with shins fairly vertical and heels down on the ground, you need to work on your form.

I suggest reading this old post by Kelly Starrett describing optimal squat form. He focuses on performance and strength training, but the technique applies equally to basic bodyweight squatting for pelvic floor health.

One thing to emphasize: go as low as you can without reaching “butt wink” threshold. The butt wink is when the pelvis begins rotating backward underneath the body. If you’re butt winking all over the place, you’re shortchanging your glutes and preventing them from balancing out the pelvic floor situation. Stop short of the butt wink.

Squat a Lot

You don’t have to load up the bar, although that’s a great way to build glute strength. In fact, I’d refrain from heavy squatting if you’re currently suffering from urinary incontinence, as the stress placed on that region of the body during a heavy squat can make the problem worse and cause, well, leakage.

I’m mainly talking about everyday squatting: while playing with the kids, picking up dog poop, unloading the dishwasher, brushing your teeth, cleaning the house, gardening. If you can incorporate squatting while using the bathroom, perhaps with a Squatty Potty or similar product, that’s even better. Katy Bowman recommends women squat to pee in the shower as an integral part of her therapy for pelvic floor disorder.

Squat To Use the Toilet (or At Least Get Your Feet Up)

I wrote an entire post almost ten years ago exploring the virtues of squatting to poop. Not only does it improve symptoms in hemorrhoid sufferers, reduce straining, and alleviate constipation, but squatting to poop turns out to relieve a lot of excessive pressure on the pelvic floor musculature.

Not everyone’s going to hoist themselves up over the toilet standing on a stack of thick books, or go all out and build a Southeast Asian-style squat toilet in their bathroom, or even get the Squatty Potty. It’s probably the best way to do it—and it’s certainly the most evolutionarily concordant way to poop—but it’s not totally necessary. What matters most is getting those feet up and those knees above your hips. If you can achieve this by placing your feet on a stool (not that kind of stool) as you sit on the toilet, it should do the trick.

Take a Walk and Feel Yourself Up

Next time you walk, rest your palms on the upper swell of your butt cheeks. Every time you step through, you should feel your glutes contract. If they contract, awesome. You’re unconsciously using your glutes to propel yourself forward. If they don’t, you’ll have to train them to contract when you walk.

Do this by going for a ten minute walk (minimum) every single day while feeling your glutes. Consciously contract them enough and feel yourself up enough and the resultant biofeedback will make glute activation a passive behavior, like breathing. Eventually you’ll start doing it without thinking. That’s the goal.

Do Kegels—Differently

The classic therapy for pelvic floor disorder is to train the pelvic floor muscles directly using kegels. This is the muscle you contract to stop yourself from peeing midstream. “Doing kegels” means contracting and releasing that muscle for sets and reps. A common recommendation is to hold for ten seconds, release for ten seconds, repeated throughout the day. Waiting in line? Kegels. Eating dinner? Do some kegels. Remember that man at the DMV last week who would randomly tense up and start sweating as you both waited for your number? He was probably doing kegels.

It’s definitely part of the story—studies show kegels work in men, women, and seniors—but it’s not enough.

Consider  Katy Bowman’s take on the subject. She thinks kegels by themselves make the problem worse by creating a tight but ultimately weakened pelvic floor muscle that pulls the sacrum further inward. Combine that with weak or underactive glutes that should be balancing the anterior pull on the sacrum but don’t and you end up with rising pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence.  She recommends doing kegels while in the squat position to ensure that the glutes are engaged and all the other contributing muscles are in balance.

Do More Than Kegels

The bad news is that we don’t have controlled trials of Katy Bowman’s protocols with deep squats and frequent daily movement and going barefoot over varied surfaces and squat toilets. We mostly just have basic “pelvic floor exercises,” which usually just mean “kegels.” The good news is that even these suboptimal exercise therapies seem to work on anyone with incontinence, whether they’re just coming off a pregnancy, a 70th birthday, or a prostate procedure. Young, old, middle-aged, male, female—exercise works.

Actually, we do have one small study that suggests kegels will work much better if you balance them out with exercises that target the glutes and hips. In the study, women suffering from urinary incontinence were split into two treatment groups. One group did pelvic floor muscle exercises (kegels). The other group did pelvic floor muscle exercises, plus exercises to strengthen the hip adductors, the glute medius, and glute maximus. Both groups improved symptoms, but the group that did the combo exercises had better results.

For hip adduction, you can use that hip adduction machine where you straddle the chair with legs spread and bring your knees together against resistance. Another option is to use resistance bands. Attach one end of the band to a secure structure and the other to your ankle. Stand with legs spread, then bring the banded leg inward toward the unbanded leg; you should feel it in your inner thigh. Do this for both legs.

For glutes, you have many options. Glute bridges, hip thrusts, squats, deadlifts, lunges, resistance band glute kickbacks.

If you want to get deep into this subject and really learn the optimal exercises for pelvic floor dysfunction, I’d pick up a copy of Katy’s Down There For Women.

Get Strong and Stay Strong

One of the strongest predictors of urinary incontinence is physical frailty. The more frail—weak, fragile, prone to falling, unable to handle stairs, unsteady on one’s feet—the man or woman, the more likely they are to suffer from urinary incontinence. This mostly comes down to muscle atrophy; the frail tend to have low muscle mass all over, including the pelvic floor.

Studies show that strength training improves urinary control in both men coming off prostate procedures and women.

The best option is to never get frail in the first place. If you’re younger and in shape, keep training and moving. Don’t lose it. If you’re younger and trending frail, get training and moving. Don’t squander the time you have. It goes quickly. If you’re older and frail, you have to start today. Fixing this doesn’t happen overnight. Being frail makes it harder to do the things necessary to get strong, but that doesn’t absolve you of the responsibility.

The Bottom Line

None of this stuff is a guarantee against incontinence. Guarantees don’t really exist in life. But I’d definitely argue that anyone who employs all the tips and advice mentioned in today’s post will have a better shot at maintaining bladder control than their doppelganger in some parallel universe who never tries anything—the earlier the better.

If you have any experience with urinary incontinence, let us know in the comments down below. What worked? What didn’t? What worked for a while, then stopped?

Thanks for reading—and sharing here. Happy Halloween, everybody.



Bernstein IT. The pelvic floor muscles: muscle thickness in healthy and urinary-incontinent women measured by perineal ultrasonography with reference to the effect of pelvic floor training. Estrogen receptor studies. Neurourol Urodyn. 1997;16(4):237-75.

De araujo CC, Coelho SA, Stahlschmidt P, Juliato CRT. Does vaginal delivery cause more damage to the pelvic floor than cesarean section as determined by 3D ultrasound evaluation? A systematic review. Int Urogynecol J. 2018;29(5):639-645.

Kokabi R, Yazdanpanah D. Effects of delivery mode and sociodemographic factors on postpartum stress urinary incontinency in primipara women: A prospective cohort study. J Chin Med Assoc. 2017;

Handa VL, Harris TA, Ostergard DR. Protecting the pelvic floor: obstetric management to prevent incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse. Obstet Gynecol. 1996;88(3):470-8.

Dokuzlar O, Soysal P, Isik AT. Association between serum vitamin B12 level and frailty in older adults. North Clin Istanb. 2017;4(1):22-28.

The post Urinary Urgency and Incontinence: Why It’s Not Just Age appeared first on Mark’s Daily Apple.

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AJ Styles going against Daniel Bryan on Smackdown.
Courtesy WWE

After losing to The Usos last week, it was pretty obvious that AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan weren’t particularly happy to see each other on the latest episode of Smackdown Live.

While Bryan claimed he had nothing but respect for the champ, it was clear there was still some tension after Styles hit him with a Pele kick and let The Usos slip his grasp. That tension hit a boiling point when Styles admitted that kick wasn’t an accident: He did it on purpose.

After a furious Bryan lashed out at Styles, “The Phenomenal One” decided that instead of waiting until Crown Jewel, he wanted to fight Bryan for the WWE Championship right then and there on Smackdown. Commissioner Shane McMahon showed up right as Styles and Bryan were ready to throw down, but to everyone’s surprise, he didn’t stop the fight. Instead, he made it official.

The two WWE superstars quickly brought the heat in the ring, with both of them showing off their trademark speed and finesse. While Bryan was able to land a suicide dive on Styles, “The Phenomenal One” landed a Styles Clash which he converted into a calf crusher, forcing Bryan to tap out.

After the match, Styles and Bryan shook hands and shared a hug, making it clear there were ultimately no hard feelings. However, the positivity was short-lived as Styles got an unwelcome guest in the form of Samoa Joe.

Joe, clearly still furious at losing to Styles in the past, brutally attacked the champion and stuck him in the Coquina Clutch. When Bryan came to Styles’s aid, he got stuck in the devastating submission hold as well.

After the match, Styles went immediately to Smackdown General Manager Paige to tell her he wanted his championship match at Crown Jewel to be against Samoa Joe. While Paige was initially reluctant, she eventually agreed.


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