John Cena will not compete at WWE's Crown Jewel World Cup tournament event in Saudi Arabia on November 2, and will be replaced by Bobby Lashley, WWE authority figure Baron Corbin announced during Monday Night RAW. "Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very hard decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh", WWE said in the report.
WWE ran a segment Monday night during "Raw" in which acting general manager Baron Corbin was so impressed by Bobby Lashley's emphatic win over Finn Balor that Corbin said Lashley had earned a spot in the eight-man World Cup event (as opposed to Cena, who simply had been announced as a participant without having to qualify).
WWE Crown Jewel has been a mess for a while with the news that Washington Post columnist and Virginia native Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey. He appeared in WWE's "Greatest Royal Rumble" earlier this year in Saudi Arabia, defeating Triple H in the show's opening match.
There are still several major names on the card, including Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Kurt Angle, Seth Rollins, Dolph Zigler, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio. He also made a speech in front of 60,000 people at King Abdullah Sports City Stadium, according to ESPN. I want to send a genuine thank you to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. for its unmatched hospitality that extends far beyond this evening. Less than 24 hours after Cena was officially pulled from the card, pro wrestling website PWInsider has confirmed that SmackDown Live's Daniel Bryan will also be skipping Friday's event. Part of the immediate fallout related to that decision were the rumors from various outlets that Cena had informed the company that he was refusing to make the trip amid the happenings over in Saudi Arabia. "Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled".