WWE Rumors: John Cena Won't Wrestle in World Cup at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 24, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 10:  SiriusXM host Hoda Kotb talks with John Cena at the SiriusXM Studio on October 10, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Cindy Ord/Getty Images

John Cena is reportedly refusing to take part in WWE Crown Jewel if it is held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Nov. 2 as scheduled.

According to Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t Akhilesh Gannavarapu of WrestlingInc.com), the WWE creative team was told Monday that Cena would not compete at Crown Jewel and needed to be replaced.

Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports reported Monday that both Cena and Daniel Bryan were refusing to work Crown Jewel.

Meltzer had no information on Bryan but added that he was unsure if Cena's situation had changed since WWE continued to advertise him as part of the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel on Raw and SmackDown.

WWE has been under pressure to cancel or move Crown Jewel due to the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkish officials believe a team of Saudi agents killed Khashoggi due to his criticism of the Saudi government, but Saudi officials released a statement saying Khashoggi was killed in a fight at the consulate that began as a result of a "rogue operation," per BBC.

Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance and claimed he had left the consulate.

On Tuesday, Fox reported that WWE was looking at alternative locations to host Crown Jewel if it moves the event from Saudi Arabia. Fox added that the location and date of Crown Jewel are "in major jeopardy."

Meltzer noted that Crown Jewel is now "a lot less likely" to happen than it was last week.

If Crown Jewel goes on as scheduled and Cena does not make the trip, WWE will have to find a replacement for the one-night tournament that also includes Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, Dolph Ziggler, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy and The Miz.

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