– As we all know, Daniel Bryan recently decided against going to Saudi Arabia to participate in the Crown Jewel event, and with WWE’s late confirmation that the pay-per-view was in fact moving forward with the original location as scheduled, the company needed to look at alternative ways to deal with Bryan’s absence.
While John Cena backed out of the event as well, his WWE World Cup spot was simply given to Bobby Lashley this past Monday night during RAW. As for Bryan, storylines were written where SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon decided to shake things up a bit and have AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan battle it out on the show Tuesday night for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, versus waiting for the Crown Jewel event on Friday. Samoa Joe would attack Styles after (cleanly) defeating Bryan, and Joe versus AJ for the title was booked that night for Crown Jewel.
Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer noted that while the WWE was mulling around various ideas on how to deal with Bryan not wanting to go to Saudi, one concept that popped up was the idea of doing an ‘empty arena’ gimmick match that would be taped and then aired during the Crown Jewel broadcast.
Why didn’t they go ahead with it? Meltzer noted that the WWE didn’t want to call attention to the fact that the Bearded One was against participating in the show, and went a route that was as quiet as possible; however, the ‘empty arena’ match was hanging as a strong candidate until as late as Monday night of this week.
– Since Dean Ambrose turned on partner Seth Rollins on the October 22nd edition of Monday Night RAW, after winning the brand’s tag team titles, the program for the tag championships have hung in the balance. After all, it’s hard to defend titles when both partners are angry at each other, and with the build up around Evolution and now Crown Jewel, a program around those tag titles has once again sat on the backburner.
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The Wrestling Observer Newsletter recently stated that the WWE may launch a RAW tag team tournament, with the finals being spotlighted at this year’s Survivor Series.
Interesting idea, and only time will tell. With so much going on in the WWE right now, it’s obvious that fans will have to wait for the fallout to Crown Jewel, including crowning a new Universal Champion, before the WWE dives into anything related to their tag division.