Before Thursday, the feeling was that WWE management could convince Cena not to pull out of the show because many felt that WWE would be forced to pull out of Saudi Arabia by the State Department. That hasn’t happened and looks very unlikely at this point.
Daniel Bryan is also reportedly refusing to go to Saudi Arabia and a WWE source confirmed that to us today. Robbie Fox from Barstool sports was the first to report on Cena and Bryan refusing to participate in the event. Bryan is advertised to challenge for the WWE Championship against AJ Styles and Cena is one of the top stars advertised for the World Cup.
One person close to Cena said he was troubled by the news about the death about Jamal Khashoggi and he realizes that being associated with the event could have an impact on his movie career and the money being paid for this event is not worth any backlash he would receive from the mainstream press.
A decision will have to be made within the next few days Bryan and Cena. In response to this news, WWE issued a brief statement on the matter: “As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly.”
It is interesting that WWE has yet to directly comment Cena and Bryan’s status for the show.