According to Dave Meltzer on a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio Program, Daniel Bryan has once again decided to turn down going to Saudi Arabia for The Super ShowDown Event on Friday, June 7th. At The Greatest Royal Rumble Event in Saudi Arabia last April, Bryan wrestled on the show, but he turned down working last November’s Crown Jewel Event in Riyadh.
It was reported in The Wrestling Observer Newsletter at the time that Bryan turned down wrestling at the show because he had learned about Saudi Arabia’s treatment of homosexuals as well as about Sami Zayn not being allowed in the country. Zayn was reportedly not allowed to work The Greatest Royal Rumble Event because of his Syrian ancestry, which Bryan felt was racist. Saudi Arabia cut ties with Syria in 2012 and Zayn had started a #SamiForSyria mobile clinic in Syria in 2017. At the time, the following statement was issued by WWE regarding Zayn’s absence from the event:
“WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world.”
As first reported by Fightful, Kevin Owens will also not be going to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown. WWE Champion Kofi Kingston is scheduled to defend his WWE Title against Dolph Ziggler on the show. On a recent edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio Program, Meltzer noted that Ziggler being booked was a last minute decision as he was scheduled to be in Australia that weekend for The Oz Comic-Con. It was announced right before SmackDown LIVE went on the air this past Tuesday night that Ziggler would not be appearing at The Oz Comic-Con, as seen below. His replacement has yet to be announced.
Unfortunately due to a schedule change, @WWE Superstar @HEELZiggler is unable to travel to @OzComicCon Melbourne. Stay tuned for another @WWE Superstar announcement within the next hour! #WWEAustralia pic.twitter.com/jCvxUm44kK
— WWE Australia (@WWEAustralia) May 22, 2019
It is unknown at the moment why Owens will not be going to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown, although he is best friends with Sami Zayn. Owens competed at The Greatest Royal Rumble Event last April, however he was injured when Crown Jewel took place last November. The only other Superstar that refused to work Crown Jewel was 16-time World Champion John Cena, who is not scheduled to compete at WWE Super ShowDown either.
According to John Pollock Of Post Wrestling, Aleister Black & Sami Zayn will not be going to Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown as well. As mentioned above, Zayn was pulled from WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble Event in 2018 because he is of Syrian descent and The Saudis have had strained relations with Syria for several years now. There is no official word yet on why Bryan, Owens & Black are not going to The Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia for Super ShowDown, but more information will be provided once it is made available.