Another WWE Superstar Is Refusing To Go To Saudi Arabia


For some reason WWE keeps calling Super ShowDown, their upcoming Saudi Arabia show, “as good, or better than, WrestleMania.” Leaving aside the grammatical problems with that phrase, it’s also a massive insult to the entire women’s roster, particularly the three women who headlined WrestleMania. And as WWE continues their unfortunate partnership with the murderous regime of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, some male superstars are also refusing to take part.

Daniel Bryan, who pulled out of the last Saudi show, Crown Jewel, despite having a title match scheduled, won’t be attending Super ShowDown either. According to the Wrestling Observer at the time, Bryan didn’t want to go because he learned about the treatment of gay people in that country, and was also understandably bothered that Sami Zayn isn’t allowed into Saudi Arabia at all because of his Syrian heritage.

Now Kevin Owens has told WWE officials he won’t be going to Saudi Arabia either, as first reported on Fightful. There’s no exact reason given for his refusal, but there’s certainly a variety of good reasons to choose from, and it’s probably not unrelated to his longtime friendship with Sami Zayn.

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, that’s why Dolph Ziggler has suddenly returned to enter the WWE Championship picture (transcript courtesy of 411Mania):

So the Kofi Kingston thing, the story on that is Kevin Owens is not going to Saudi Arabia. Because of that, they needed to do something. Ziggler, this is a literal last minute thing, because Ziggler was booked in Australia for that weekend of Saudi Arabia and they just announced in Australia like an hour ago that he’s pulled. So this has all come down and WWE’s gonna send somebody else there or something. They couldn’t go with Daniel Bryan because he’s not going to the show either.

Once again, Saudi Arabian blood money has had a profound effect on WWE booking, whether you watch Super ShowDown or not. Roman Reigns, for his part, does appear to be going to Super ShowDown, despite reports that he wanted out of Crown Jewel before his medical leave. John Cena also pulled out of Crown Jewel, but since he’s barely around WWE anymore anyway, his absence is less noticeable. Considering the Saudi shows’ emphasis on big names of the past, however, it seems likely that he has an open invitation and continues to turn it down.