- Feb 25, 2012
It’ll be interesting to see how they handle this on Smackdown tonightDaniel Bryan will not be traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform on this Friday's WWE Crown Jewel PPV, PWInsider.com has confirmed with several sources. Word that Bryan would not work the show was first reported by Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports.
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 yesterday 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.
Bryan is advertised to face off with Styles on tonight's Smackdown Live broadcast, so the company has several choices in front of them. They could run an angle to take Bryan out of the match and have AJ Styles face someone else at Crown Jewel (we've heard Rusev's name mentioned as a possible replacement) or simply tape the Styles vs. Bryan match at tonight's taping to insert into the Crown Jewel broadcast. The company could also change direction and have the match on Smackdown tonight in order to close out the storyline and move Styles on to another challenger. They have several options open to them as of this writing and we are told no final decision had been made as of last night.
Bryan would follow John Cena, who also was removed from the show officially yesterday. Neither Cena nor WWE have commented on Cena's reasons but there has been tremendous scrutiny on WWE for moving forward with the show, which is being produced as part of a ten year agreement with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia after the murder of Washington Post columnist and Virginia native Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey while Khashoggi was there to pick up paperwork needed for his pending marriage.
On 10/25, WWE issued the following statement as part of their 2018 third quarter earnings report: "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."
The WWE Crown Jewel event officially sold out within three hours after going on sale this week. The show will stream live on the WWE Network this Friday at 12 PM Eastern.
Mysterio wouldn’t be a bad replacement...Always following Cena....
Rusev would be lame, try do a dream match with Styles that'll shut up naysayers into watching. Either Mysterio or I don't know maybe Ricochet and watch them rasslin fans who were boycotting this immediately re-up their subscriptions.
Not disagreeing really, I just think people know they have a better chance at shaming companies out of it using social media and stuff than our governmentsThe fact that people care more.about this stupid show and not raising the same fuss that both the US and Canada are still selling them weapons is just head scratching.
Fuck sakes, even John Oliver did this two weeks in a row.