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.
According to PWInsider, Daniel Bryan will not participate in WWE's Crown Jewel event in Riyadh this Friday. Following pressure on the wrestling entertainment company to cancel the show in Riyadh, a representative for WWE released a statement to the media saying, "We are now monitoring the situation".
John Cena was originally set to compete in the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel on Friday, but this week on Raw acting General Manager Baron Corbin announced that Bobby Lashley will be replacing him in the tournament.
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He noted that troops of 102 Guards Battalion in whose Area of Responsibility the incident occurred rushed to the convoy's rescue. They also pelted the troops with stones and other risky items.
"WWE has operated in the Middle East for almost 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base", the company said in a statement alongside third-quarter financial results.
Because no official reason has been given, some have speculated that Cena may have pulled out due to injury or filming commitments, but it's widely suspected that the wrestler boycotted the event in Saudi Arabia over the gruesome killing of Khashoggi. Cena did appear for WWE in Saudi Arabia earlier this year at the Greatest Royal Rumble back in April, defeating Triple H in the opening match. "Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled".
"What an honor and a privilege it is to be allowed to be a part of an event like today", Cena said at the time. "Regardless of what is going on in my universe, I was not going to miss this event for anything in the world". Bryan is on the card and set to face A.J. Styles for the WWE Championship.