It seems the WWE's Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia—scheduled for Nov. 2—is in doubt after John Cena, and possibly Daniel Bryan, allegedly told organizers they were out. This follows the continued investigation into whether the Saudi government played a role, or outright ordered, the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Part of that allegation was confirmed by Dave Meltzer, who said on Wrestling Observer radio that Cena informed WWE's creative team he was out on Saudi Arabia and they needed to find a replacement for the WWE World Cup Tournament, per a Wrestling Inc. report. Meltzer also said the event is in jeopardy and it's more likely than the week previously to be canceled, delayed, or moved. Another sign the show might not happen is that tickets haven't gone on sale yet despite the fact they were supposed to become available Friday, Oct. 19.
And there's been an update that appears to confirm the show is in peril, with the original source of the Cena story saying organizers are scrambling for a different locale, though there's been no definitive cancellation or venue change announced. The Wrap reports that WWE is expected to decide Wednesday whether to ove forward or fall back
Despite this, on Monday's televised Raw, Cena was once again used to advertise the World Cup Tournament, which is happening in Saudi Arabia.
While it's not specifically mentioned, there are some clues to why Cena would drop out so close to the date of the show. On last Sunday's episode of Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver showed Cena thanking Saudi Arabia for hosting their first-ever event in the country back in April.
On top of all that, U.S. senators have urged Trump to pressure the WWE into putting the event on hold because of the Khashoggi murder, according to the Independent Journal Review News. When IJR asked about the upcoming event, Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut—where WWE headquarters are located—didn't pull any punches.
"This is a brazen assault on the freedom of the press and a slap in the face to the United States, if this murder occurred as it seems it did," he said. "I’d hope that they would be rethinking their relationship with the kingdom especially with respect to events coming up in the next weeks, like [WWE's Crown Jewel event]."