It looks like John Cena’s career in Hollywood may have had something to do with him refusing to work Friday’s WWE Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia.
The belief is that Cena was advised that going to the Kingdom for the event would be looked at negatively in Hollywood when it comes to his transition into the movie world, according to the Wrestling Observer. Cena pulling out of the show was likely a smart move for his future in the non-wrestling entertainment business.
Regarding the World Cup tournament that Cena was scheduled for, the idea was to mix up the brands with RAW vs. SmackDown matches. There was a plan to do Cena vs. Rey Mysterio with Mysterio likely going over as the company wants to market him as a superhero this time around because of the lack of success they’ve had with trying to find the next Latin Superstar to replace him with.
WWE changed World Cup plans when Cena backed out and went with the brand-specific opening rounds, which will end with a RAW vs. SmackDown final. As noted, the first-round matches for the RAW brand will be WWE Intercontinental Champion & RAW Tag Team Champion Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley, who is replacing Cena, and WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler. The SmackDown brand will open with Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz and Mysterio vs. Randy Orton.
– WWE has not announced Rusev for a match at Friday’s Crown Jewel event but he was reportedly brought to Saudi Arabia with the rest of the crew, according to PWInsider.
Big Show also made the trip but he will be in the corner of SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Bar as they defend against The New Day. Drew McIntyre is also in Saudi Arabia but as noted, he will be in Dolph Ziggler’s corner for the World Cup first-round match against WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle. McIntyre and Ziggler have teased a Claymore Kick for the winner of the Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman match for the vacant WWE Universal Title.
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