Randy Orton on John Cena's Exit from WWE Crown Jewel: 'Does He Still Wrestle?'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistOctober 31, 2018

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 23:  Randy Orton enters the ring at the WWE SummerSlam 2015  at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on August 23, 2015 in New York City.  (Photo by JP Yim/Getty Images)
JP Yim/Getty Images

WWE Superstar Randy Orton offered a tongue-in-cheek response when asked Wednesday about John Cena pulling out of Friday's Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

In an interview with TMZ Sports, Orton took a jab at Cena's status as a part-time competitor:

"Does he still wrestle?" Orton asked, before adding, "I didn't know he pulled out."

Cena was initially announced as a participant in the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel, but acting Raw general manager Baron Corbin replaced him with Bobby Lashley on Monday.

That came on the heels of a report by Barstool Sports' Robbie Fox, who tweeted that Cena and Daniel Bryan refused to work the show in Saudi Arabia.

Their reported refusal came after Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Turkish officials believe Saudi agents murdered Khashoggi, but Saudi officials claim his death was a "rogue operation" not sanctioned by leadership.

Bryan was also written off Crown Jewel by moving his WWE Championship match against AJ Styles to Tuesday's episode of SmackDown Live. Instead, Styles will face Samoa Joe at the event.

Orton will be part of the World Cup tournament, and in terms of his reasoning for making trip, The Viper said it's financially motivated: "I've got five kids. I gotta go make that dollar. If they want me in Saudi, I'm going to Saudi."

When WWE last held an event in Saudi Arabia in April, Cena faced Triple H at the Greatest Royal Rumble.

Cena hasn't been seen much in WWE since then due to his Hollywood commitments, and WWE has yet to announce his next scheduled appearance.    

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