Daniel Bryan, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and Aleister Black will not be appearing at the upcoming WWE Super ShowDown event on Friday, June 7th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Dave Meltzer reported in the latest edition of The Wrestling Observer Newsletter that Black’s absence was a company decision due to some of his tattoos having a religious connotation. Black has generally kept quiet regarding the meaning behind his body art, although he did reveal the meaning of his back tattoo in an interview with The Daily Star in 2017.
“I don’t really talk about the meaning of my tattoos, but I will give you that one,” Black said. “The being on my back is Lilith, in some folklore she is the first woman to ever rebel against paradise. The reason she is there for equality, equality for every man and woman – which is the most important thing there is.”
Bryan is likely not appearing at the event for the same reasons that he skipped last November’s Crown Jewel show in Riyadh. While he wrestled at WWE’s first big show in Saudi Arabia, The Greatest Royal Rumble, last April, he had since learned more of the country’s treatment of homosexuals. Bryan was also upset that Sami Zayn was not being allowed on those shows because of his Syrian ancestry, which he felt was racist. Saudi Arabia cut ties with Syria in 2012, and Zayn had started a #SamiForSyria mobile clinic in Syria in 2017.
WWE issued the following statement at the time 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.”
According to The Observer, company sources stated that Owens is declining to work the show because his family asked him not to go. It was noted that there may have been other reasons, including Zayn not being allowed to work the show. Owens had been in a program with WWE Champion Kofi Kingston. Dolph Ziggler was pulled out of an appearance in Australia the weekend of Super Showdown and will now face Kingston for the title.
The only other star that refused to work Crown Jewel was John Cena, who is not scheduled for WWE Super ShowDown.
WWE Super ShowDown takes place on Friday, June 7th, at the King Abdullah Sports City’s King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Source: Wrestling Inc.