SAUDI ARABIA (CelebrityAccess) Saudi Arabia’s ambitious 20-year plan to develop live entertainment in the company but the recent killing of media figure Jamal Khashoggi has thrown it into disarray, with World Wrestling Entertainment the latest concern to remove itself from the Arab kingdom.
WWE was expected to host its Crown Jewel event at Riyadh’s King Saud University Stadium Nov. 2, but two of the event’s stars, John Cena and, possibly Daniel Bryan, are refusing to travel to Saudi Arabia because of recent events, according to Complex.com. Cena has told WWE’s creative team that they need to find a replacement for the WWE World Cup Tournament, per a Wresting Inc. report. Meanwhile, tickets were to go on sale Oct. 19 but are yet to be released.
UPDATE: WWE is currently in the process of frantically scouting locations to move Crown Jewel to. This is NOT definite confirmation that it’s out of Saudi Arabia, but the location and date are unquestionably in major jeopardy right now.
— Robbie Fox (@RobbieBarstool) October 23, 2018
Cena’s decision to back out comes after “Last Week With John Oliver” ran a piece showing Cena thanking Saudi Arabia for hosting the first-ever event and after US senators urged the WWE to cancel it.
Last Week With John Oliver speaks on WWE’s deal with Saudi Arabia in the latest episode. pic.twitter.com/fo1OLglY1i
— ʜᴇᴇʟ ʙʏ ɴᴀᴛᴜʀᴇ (@HeelByNatureYT) October 15, 2018
The potential WWE cancellation would occur after WME parent company Endeavor reportedly pulled out of a $400 million investment from the Saudi government and businesses like Google, Uber and Viacom distancing themselves from the country.