WWE will be doing a storyline explanation tonight on SmackDown Live to explain why Daniel Bryan will not be going to Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. Robbie Fox from Barstool Sports was the first to break the news last week about Bryan’s status.
WWE was hoping that Bryan would change his mind but it was made clear to them over a week ago that he would not be flying to Saudi Arabia.
PWInsider reports that, as of yesterday, WWE was planning on not sending AJ Styles to Saudi Arabia and there were plans to have Styles wrestle Bryan at the Performance Center in Orlando so they could air it as part of the broadcast on Friday. That idea was dropped.
There has been a pitch to have Rusev take Bryan’s place on Friday. They could also do the match tonight on SmackDown Live to close out their feud and then have someone else (ie. Rusev) attack Styles to set up their match on Friday.
Bryan and John Cena are the only two WWE Superstars who have flat out said no to WWE about flying to Saudi Arabia but there are others who have privately said that they would rather not go on the trip. The issue is that Cena has more power to say no and Bryan has plenty of money saved and does not worry about WWE’s politics.