John Cena Allegedly Refusing To Go To Saudi Arabia
By Dave Meltzer’s account, John Cena will not be participating in the upcoming WWE Crown Jewel PPV, to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on November 2. Cena’s absence is reportedly a protest over the WWE’s continued involvement with the Saudi state, a relationship that has brought the organization much bipartisan political consternation. In the wake of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi Consulate, WWE’s apparently unwavering commitment to Saudi-based programming has become less and less palatable to many. Including Cena and Daniel Bryan, who is also reportedly boycotting the show.
According to some Fox reporting, the WWE may be looking into alternative venues to host the event.
Meltzer speculates that Crown Jewel might not happen at all. Or, at least, that it will be held in a different country on a different date. Considering the fact that two of the company’s biggest draws have bowed out, with more likely to follow, it might be a prudent move for everyone. The WWE is hemorrhaging viewers quickly enough without this kind of scandal looming over it.
If they go through with the ill-advised standing plan, they will have to decide on someone to replace Cena and possibly Bryan.