Two major WWE stars pull out of controversial Saudi Arabia event

Nikki Bella

Yahoo Sports also noted that WWE wasn't backing away from the event in Saudi Arabia, despite the controversy stemming from its show in Riyadh in the wake of Khashoggi's mysterious death.

Due to the much-hyped WWE World Cup tournament taking place at this Friday's highly controversial WWE Crown Jewel Event, the necessary roster that made the trip overseas is much, much smaller.

After being advertised as part of the show in recent weeks, Cena was quietly removed from the match as part of Monday night's broadcast of WWE's flagship show "Monday Night Raw".

With the current situation tensions in the Kingdom, a situation that has seen two of WWE's top stars in Daniel Bryan and John Cena both refuse to travel for the show, WWE was reportedly considering cancelling it altogether, as well as looking for a new host venue, before deciding to carry on with their planned performance.

Rumours of Cena's non-participation began to circulate last week but his name was kept on the promotional campaigns in the hope that he would reconsider his decision.

Samoa Joe comes in for Bryan, and will fight for the WWE championship against Styles in Riyadh. "Regardless of what is going on in my universe, I was not going to miss this event for anything in the world".

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"If you wanna talk WWE, you're talking to the wrong McMahon", Linda told us. "What an honor and a privilege it is to be allowed to be a part of an event like today".

The last time that Hogan was on WWE programming was at WrestleMania 31 in 2015. Bryan's status appeared to be up in the air, according to multiple reports.

WWE has operated in the Middle East for almost 20 years and has developed a sizeable and dedicated fan base. WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan at 364 days, WWE Hall of Famer Randy Savage at 371 days, John Cena at 381 days, CM Punk at 434 days, WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales at 1027 days, WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino at 1237 days, Hogan again at 1474 days, WWE Hall of Famer Bob Backlund at 2135 days and Sammartino again at 2803 days.

A big development ahead of Crown Jewel.

Turkish officials concluded that Saudi Arabian agents awaited Khashoggi and killed him inside the consulate, removing his head and fingers in the process. "Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled".

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