WWE Crown Jewel has been a mess for a while with the news that Washington Post columnist and Virginia native Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey.
WWE signed a very lucrative 10-year deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where they are required to produce two shows a year in the Middle East and with the news about Khashoggi's original disappearance surfacing a month ago, the WWE have come under pressure to pull out of the show.
Vince McMahon and co. resisted. Just last week, the company said: ""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."
John Cena pulled out of the event last week and the company replaced him in the Crown Jewel with Bobby Lashley on Monday Night Raw. Acting general manager Baron Corbin's logic was Cena never qualified for the tournament, so Lashley is now in, even though he's just lost to Finn Balor twice in a row, and he is not in.
Anyway, another name mentioned with missing the show was Daniel Bryan, as first reported by Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports.
According to Mike Johnson at PWInsider.com, Bryan has officially pulled out of the event and WWE are looking for an alternative superstar to face AJ Styles for the WWE title.
Mike Johnson's report is below:
While WWE has not officially confirmed Bryan's status, PWInsider.com has confirmed that Bryan made it clear he would not be traveling to the event and WWE began making alternative plans last week.
As of yesterday afternoon, WWE had planned to not send WWE Champion AJ Styles to Saudi Arabia and production plans were being put into place that would have seen Bryan wrestle Styles inside the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida with the match airing as part of the Crown Jewel broadcast on Friday. We are told that in the midst of production plans being made yesterday for that bout, the idea was dropped. All signs are that Styles will be going to work Crown Jewel.
Credit to Bryan and Cena for sticking to their guns, but will this harm Bryan's route to the title in the long run?
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