Bengaluru, Oct 29: The Jamal Khashoggi controversy continues to create uproar amongst top nations in the world as WWE prepares to visit Saudi Arabia. On Friday night, one of the biggest global PPV events will take place in the country with a super match card. Behemoth names from WWE roster will perform on the show titled Crown Jewel.
Previously, there were doubts whether WWE would shift Crown Jewel to a separate venue under immense pressure. However, they released an official statement on Thursday night confirming that the event will be hosted as per the usual schedule. It is clear that millions of dollars turned out to be the big reason that Saudi Arabia Sports Authority was successful to keep the show intact in their country.
But the backlash continues, as two of the major players are not willing to participate at Crown Jewel. John Cena and Daniel Bryan are the two names who are reportedly not happy with WWE's moves and denied participating in their scheduled matches. Rumours suggested there could be more names in the list. But those are not big stars like these two to come up with personal agendas.
Robbie Fox from Barstool Sports confirmed on the social media that John Cena is 100 percent off the Crown Jewel PPV event. Officials kept on talking with Daniel Bryan keeping his status 50-50, as of now. John Pollock added that WWE was hopeful about coming to agreeable terms with Cena but he was unmoved from his position.
Additionally, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Daniel Bryan has also confirmed not to go to Saudi Arabia. He talked to the WWE management stating he won't work on the show due to Saudi Arabian government’s involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. While asking the truth about this, WWE released the following statement,
“As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly.”
The only good news is that John Cena is still being advertised for the World Cup tournament. Daniel Bryan has also been involved in the buildup for the WWE Championship match for the past few weeks hinting the match is on. But if the above reports are true, then we can expect big changes in the lineups on this week's Raw or Smackdown Live. Most probably Bobby Lashley will replace Cena in the upcoming show.
WWE is getting support from Ronda Rousey for Crown Jewel, though. She is a former Olympian and feels that sporting events are the only way how two countries could bond over. Here are her quotes to a TMZ interview supporting WWE's decision,
"I think that pulling out of the 'Crown Jewel’ would be the wrong move because I think that this is an opportunity to be able to share our cultures, and to define what we have in common and in times especially when, you know, times of adversity between two countries that’s the absolute wrong time to be able to pull away. I think that’s the time for us to be able to find what we have in common and be able to understand each other more.”
image caption: John Cena (left) & Daniel Bryan (extreme right) (image courtesy Youtube)