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

WWE wrestler Bin Wang of China is deadlocked by opponent Wesley Blake during a taping of the WWE's NXT show at Full Sail University in Winter Park Florida

The promotion is defiantly moving forward with the event despite widespread criticism that the company is prioritising cashing in over acknowledging the human rights crisis in the country after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Hulk Hogan will host Friday's "Crown Jewel" event in Saudi Arabia, CBS Sports reports and Pro Wrestling Sheet report. However, on this week's edition of Monday Night RAW - a professional wrestling television programme - it was announced that Bobby Lashley would be taking his place.

The original plan was for John Cena to face Rey Mysterio in the early round and the belief is that Mysterio would have beat Cena because they want to market Mysterio as a superhero.

Wrestlers with less accumulated main event six-figure paydays or who are shakier ground with their clout with top management might have feared ramifications if they protested rather than trusting WWE management's decision. I will be covering the event live beginning with the Kickoff show. True, you can get a t-shirt with Hogan's brand on it at his Hogan's Beach Shop, but now you can also get an official one from WWE once again.

"Hogan should not have been brought back to the company ever", Traina wrote. Daniel Bryan was written out of the show as well after reportedly not wanting to be associated with it.

Just last week The Hulkster - real name Terry Bollea - hinted that he would be heading to Saudi Arabia and admitted he was so grateful to have been forgiven by the WWE Universe for his mistake so many years ago.

WWE has operated in the Middle East for almost 20 years and has developed a sizeable and dedicated fan base.

It has been reported that Renee Young will be the only female that is allowed to work the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in the Middle East, where she will be resuming her usual duties behind the commentary desk. He was the most prominent WWE personality to endorse the Saudi regime at that show.

"Similar to other US -based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia", the WWE said, "the Company has made a decision to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event".

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