Last week we shared the story that John Cena had reportedly pulled out of WWE’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia this Friday, which ended up being confirmed on Monday’s Raw when he was replaced by Bobby Lashley in the World Cup tournament. Now it’s looking like another report will be confirmed on Tuesday’s Smackdown Live: the report that Daniel Bryan, who is scheduled to face AJ Styles in a WWE Championship match at the event, won’t be making the trip.
This has been rumored for almost as long as the Cena story, but PWInsider is saying that Bryan made it clear he wasn’t making the trip, and that WWE began making alternate plans as of last week.
As of now — a few hours before Tuesday’s Smackdown — alternate plans rumored include:
- a match taped at the WWE Performance Center to be aired as part of the event on Friday, which is apparently already off the table
- a match taped at tonight’s Smackdown to be aired as part of the event on Friday
- Bryan and Styles are supposed to have a “confrontation” on Smackdown, so an angle could be shot to explain Bryan’s absence and/or the match not happening
- an angle shot at Smackdown to be part of the show on Friday, explaining why Bryan suddenly won’t be able to compete
- Rusev replacing Bryan in the match
As you can see, there’s a lot of “I don’t know, maybe THIS?” happening, especially on the Internet right now, but here’s what we know: Bryan won’t be making the trip, and WWE’s got to come up with a reason why he won’t. We’ll keep you updated on any events or announcements from tonight’s show. Let’s hope this doesn’t result in Bryan being “in the dog house” or any sort of losing streak.