WWE Crown Jewel News, Rumors: Vince McMahon Backstage, John Cena Tweets and MoreNovember 2, 2018
Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Vince McMahon in Attendance at Crown Jewel
WWE Chairman Vince McMahon was reportedly backstage for Friday's Crown Jewel event in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to PWInsider (h/t Marc Middleton of WrestlingInc.com).
Friday marked the second big WWE event in Saudi Arabia this year, as the Greatest Royal Rumble was previously held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, in April.
McMahon and WWE decided to move forward with the event despite public pressure to cancel or relocate following the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month.
Turkish officials believe high-ranking officials in Saudi Arabia planned the killing of Khashoggi, but Saudi Arabia claims his death was the result of a "rogue operation" by Saudi nationals.
John Cena Tweets Before Crown Jewel
Just hours before Crown Jewel began, John Cena posted a cryptic tweet on Twitter:
While it is unclear what Cena may have been referencing, there will undoubtedly be talk regarding whether it had something to do with Crown Jewel.
Cena was originally announced as part of the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel, but acting Raw general manager Baron Corbin replaced him with Bobby Lashley on Monday's episode of Raw.
That came after Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports reported that Cena had refused to work Crown Jewel in the wake of Khashoggi's death.
Cena is only a part-time performer for WWE due to his Hollywood commitments, but he did participate at the Greatest Royal Rumble in April, defeating Triple H in a singles match.
Kurt Angle Discusses Crown Jewel
Ahead of his participation in the World Cup tournament at Crown Jewel on Friday, WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle discussed the importance of the event.
In an interview with Al Arabiya English (h/t Joshua Gagnon of WrestlingInc.com), Angle compared Crown Jewel to Greatest Royal Rumble and mentioned how highly McMahon regards the show:
"I don't think much different. From a talent perspective, this is a pay-per-view level tournament. This is a SummerSlam or a Survivor Series level environment. You're going to get the best of the best of all performances. These shows are as important as the pay-per-views. We even do writing on TV that leads up to this. Vince McMahon has made it very clear that these shows are every bit as important as our biggest one. He wants to make that very clear to the talent that when you're over here you're not doing some live event or house show, you're over here performing as you would at WrestleMania."
Crown Jewel was a stacked show featuring Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman doing battle for the vacant Universal Championship, as well as Shawn Michaels making his in-ring return after eight years of retirement alongside Triple H against The Undertaker and Kane.
Angle fell to Dolph Ziggler in the opening round of the World Cup.
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