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30th Oct 2018

John Cena has pulled out of WWE’s controversial Saudi Arabia show

Wil Jones

There have been reports he was refusing to take part following the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

John Cena has been removed from the card for WWE’s controversial Crown Jewel show in Saudi Arabia.

WWE have been widely criticised for going ahead with the show this Friday, following the killing of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Khashoggi had been a vocal critic of the current Saudi regime. He had not been seen since entering the consulate on October 2nd, with the Saudi Arabian attorney general later admitting he had been killed.

Rumours had circulated that John Cena was refusing to appear at the show. He had been announced to be part of the eight man ‘WWE World Cup’ tournament (that only features US-born wrestlers *eye roll emoji*).

However, on this week’s edition of Monday Night RAW, it was announced that Bobby Lashley would be taking his place.

No official reason has been given, so it could possibly be due to injury or filming commitments. Given the stories that have been going around though, this seems unlikely.

Daniel Bryan has also been rumoured to have said he will not work the event, though at time of writing he is still scheduled to face AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.

WWE Crown Jewel is set to take place on Friday, at the King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. WWE has faced wide condemnation for not cancelling the event, including pressure from multiple US senators.

John Oliver dedicated a segment to savaging WWE over the decision on his Last Week Tonight show.

WWE has signed a ten year, multimillion-dollar deal to stage events in the country. The first event took place in April, with the female wrestlers unable to appear due to strict Saudi laws on women’s rights.