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Watch Hulk Hogan Return to WWE at Saudi Arabia’s ‘Crown Jewel’ (Video)

Wrestling legend just ran wild on Riyadh, brother

Hulk Hogan is officially back in sports entertainment, and the “Crown Jewel” host just welcomed the WWE Universe to Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Watch the Hulkster cut a promo to open the controversial pay-per-view:

And here is more of his arrival:

Plus, a pretty good photo op for those ringside:

Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was booted from WWE after video of him using the N-word surfaced in 2015.

He was reinstated with the organization in June 2018. Hogan apologized to the locker room at the time.

“Crown Jewel” in Saudi Arabia almost didn’t happen for Hulk or anybody. On Oct. 11, a spokesman for the professional wrestling promotion told TheWrap that they are “currently monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia.

The brief statement was WWE’s first acknowledgment of the circumstances surrounding deceased Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabia native who had been critical of the country’s royal regime. U.S. and Turkish officials both believed that Khashoggi may have been murdered by his own government, or that he was killed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s knowledge. At the time, Khashoggi had been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers.

Saudi officials now acknowledge his murder and have admitted that it was possibly premeditated. As the news of the horror progressed, it became less likely that WWE would go ahead with event in Saudi Arabia.

But WWE made the event official last week, when it included the following statement with its third-quarter 2018 earnings results:

WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said on Thursday morning in its third-quarter 2018 earnings release. “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 Nov. 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.

“Crown Jewel” is the latest in WWE’s massive push into expansion in the oil-rich nation. Today’s event follows April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” event, which took place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

These events are believed to pull in tens of millions of dollars for the publicly traded company.

This isn’t the first time there has been an outcry against WWE for accepting Saudi money to put on a live show over there. Due to local laws, women are not permitted to participate in Saudi Arabian wrestling events.

“Crown Jewel” is currently streaming live on WWE Network.