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Here’s How WWE Wrote Daniel Bryan Out of Saudi Arabia PPV ‘Crown Jewel’ (Video)

WWE Championship challenger’s dismissal comes 24 hours after John Cena’s

On Monday, WWE wrote John Cena out of Saudi Arabia pay-per-view event “Crown Jewel.” On Tuesday, the pro-wrestling promotion scripted Daniel Bryan’s exit with an A.J. Styles victory and surprise Samoa Joe attack.

Neither Superstar’s dismissal was a shock.

Keep reading to see how Bryan earned his Friday off, and click here to learn more about Cena’s sudden change-of-plans.

After Styles got submission specialist Bryan to tap out to the calf crusher in an impromptu title match last night on “SmackDown Live,” the two baby faces (the pro-wrestling term for good guys) embraced in a hug. Heel (bad guy) Joe, dressed in street clothes (you know, presuming he wears his WWE merch on the street), jumped into the ring and brutalized Styles, locking him in the Coquina Clutch.

When Bryan intervened on his buddy’s behalf, he got the same treatment.

After both spent men were down for the count, Joe then did this:

“Samoa Joe has never made a threat he didn’t intend on following up on,” ringside color commentator Corey Graves said on the USA Network show. “I’m curious to see what this leads to.”

Turns out, it’s leading to a card change for Saudi Arabia. Allow us a moment to pick our jaws up from off the floor.

Oh by the way, WWE is still not saying the words “Saudi Arabia” — they’re going with “global pay-per-view event” for each mention.

A few segments later, Styles found (storyline) “SmackDown Live” General Manager Paige backstage.

“I want Samoa Joe,” he told her. “I filled my obligation defending my WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan, now give me Samoa Joe at ‘Crown Jewel.'”

“Consider it done,” Paige said.

Watch that exchange via the video below. Rivalry renewed, we suppose.

It had been rumored and reported for a few weeks now by wrestling blogs that Cena and Bryan would end up bailing on their commitments if WWE staged the show in Saudi Arabia as originally planned.

“As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly,” a WWE spokesman told TheWrap on Oct. 25, when we inquired about their statuses.

“Crown Jewel” in Saudi Arabia almost didn’t happen for anyone. On Oct. 11, a spokesman for the professional wrestling promotion told TheWrap that they are “currently monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia.

The brief statement was WWE’s first acknowledgement of the circumstances surrounding deceased Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabia native who had been critical of the country’s royal regime. U.S. and Turkish officials both believed that Khashoggi may have been murdered by his own government, or that he was killed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s knowledge. At the time, Khashoggi had been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers.

Saudi officials now acknowledge his murder, and have admitted that it was possibly premeditated. As the news of the horror progressed, it became less likely that WWE would go ahead with event in Saudi Arabia.

But WWE made the event official last week, when it included the following statement with its third-quarter 2018 earnings results:

WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said on Thursday morning in its third-quarter 2018 earnings release. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for Nov. 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.

“Crown Jewel” is the latest in WWE’s massive push into expansion in the oil-rich nation. It will follow April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” event, which took place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

These events are believed to pull in tens of millions of dollars for the publicly traded company.

This isn’t the first time there has been an outcry against WWE for accepting Saudi money to put on a live show over there. Due to local laws, women are not permitted to participate in Saudi Arabian wrestling events.

“Crown Jewel,” which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set to stream live on WWE Network Friday, Nov. 2 starting at noon ET.