Following WWE’s decision to move forward with the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia, John Cena and Daniel Bryan are reportedly pulling out of the show.
Multiple reports have confirmed that Cena and Bryan will not be making the trip to Saudi Arabia for their scheduled matches at Crown Jewel. After WWE’s decision to continue with the event, Cena’s decision was reportedly unchanged despite the company trying to convince both men to go.
WWE issued this statement on the matter: “As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly.
On Monday, Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports reported that Cena and Bryan were “refusing” to work Crown Jewel, and Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer confirmed that WWE creative were told Cena would not make the show.
WWE is reportedly preparing for both men’s exits this coming week. Cena will be replaced in the World Cup tournament on Monday Night RAW and Bryan’s WWE Championship match with AJ Styles will be advertised leading into Crown Jewel with Daniel not actually participating.
The WWE has taken a lot of heat for this deal with Saudi Arabia following the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate in Turkey. WWE initially said it would “monitor the situation,” but after weeks of investigations and the conclusion the Saudi government is responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the Connecticut-based company announced it was still moving forward with Crown Jewel.
"WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” began a statement in the company’s Q3 earnings published on its corporate website. “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.”
Fans will have to wait for Monday Night RAW and SmackDown Live next week to see how WWE handles Cena and Bryan’s boycott of Crown Jewel.
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