Afternoon Update: Bryan reportedly off Crown Jewel, Stephanie McMahon comments on Crown Jewel decision, Associated Press covers WWE’s Saudi Arabia decision, MLW on FITE TV, Cody on MSG show, Jeff Cobb signs with ROH


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-Stephanie McMahon spoke about WWE’s decision to run Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia after all rather than move it or delay it or cancel it entirely. “Moving forward with Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia was an incredibly tough decision, given that heinous act,” she told Sky News. “But, at the end of the day, it is a business decision and, like a lot of other American companies, we decided that we’re going to move forward with the event and deliver Crown Jewel for all of our fans in Saudi Arabia and around the world.”

-The Associated Press ran a story today with the headline: “WWE sticks with Saudi Arabia deal despite backlash from fans.” The headline suggests a contrast with Stephanie McMahon’s framing of the decision as doing it “for all of our fans in Saudi Arabia and around the world.” The story notes that WWE stock has fallen over the last month (at a faster rate than the stock market itself, by the way this month. “WWE’s stock price has fallen the last month after steadily rising this summer, dropping from $94.22 per share on Oct. 1 to $66.16 on Monday.” That’s a drop of 29.7 percent. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down 8.9 percent over the same 30 day span. Exceprt of AP story:

WWE hasn’t wavered in the face of public pressure even while other companies have rethought their business ties to Saudi Arabia. Endeavor, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, pulled out of a deal that would have had Saudi Arabia invest $400 million. …

WWE has been bolstered by a family-friendly transformation over the last dozen years, and the company has eliminated many of the bloody, concussion-causing chair-shots to the head and foul language that scared off advertisers. The company has tried to clean up drug use with a wellness policy that nabbed even top wrestlers with violations. WWE placed a heavy emphasis on charitable and goodwill efforts with the military , cancer foundations , anti-bullying programs and Make-A-Wish, and strived to bond with the sports community. WWE routinely sends championship belts to World Series or Super Bowl winners that are raised high by beaming athletes on parade routes.

“This goes completely against what they have spent years trying to make the WWE brand about,” Keller said. “I think fans bought into that and are feeling betrayed and let down. People who thought this was a company that meant to do good are now looking at this as a blood-money grab.”

Mainstream America will always look with a raised eyebrow at wrestling — sports entertainment, as WWE calls the profession — and nearly 70 years of popularity means little to critics when the company steps out of line.

“There’s a lot of things they can do to make the world a better place that don’t involve having to plug their nose and play propaganda pieces for a government with the track record of Saudi Arabia,” Keller said. (READ FULL STORY HERE)

-Daniel Bryan will not be facing A.J. Styles in Saudi Arabia, according to a report today. There was reportedly talk of having Bryan wrestle Styles at the Performance Center and air it during Crown Jewel. Now it appears they will run an angle tonight on Smackdown to write Bryan out of the match, but Styles is expected to still go with a role yet to be determined. Stay tuned tonight. In the last few weeks, various reports indicated Bryan wasn’t keen on going to Saudi Arabia on moral objections, but he had not spoken about it publicly. I’ll be covering Smackdown Live tonight on and also hosting the Wade Keller Pro Wrestling Post-show streaming live and taking your calls about five minutes after Smackdown ends, then available for download a couple hours later.

CHECK OUT THE NEW WADE KELLER PRO WRESTLING POST-SHOW covering last night’s Raw. Wade Keller is joined by Matt Koon along with an on-site correspondent…

-On Stitcher HERE
-On Apple Podcasts HERE
-Or search “Wade Keller” on your podcast app of choice

-MLW premieres on FITE TV today. MLW Fusion: Episode 27 features a bout between “Filthy” Tom Lawlor and former World Heavyweight Champion Shane “Swerve” Strickland. Read our PWTorch reports by Kris Karcher on MLW TV shows HERE.

-Shane Strickland defeated SCHAFF to retain the DEFY Championship in the main event of the Oct. 27 DFY event in Seattle, Wash. at Washington Hall. All on the card, Artemis Spencer defeated Rey Fenix. During the match, Spencer was kicked in the face causing his mouth to spill blood. He later went to hospital to receive numerous stitches. In other matches: “The Weirdo Hero” Randy Myers defeated Maxwell Jacob Friedman, Doc Kliever & Drexel beat The Amerikan Gunz (Leon Negro & Sonico), Ethan HD & Mike Santiago defeated Mexablood (Flamita & Bandido) to retain the DEFY Tag Team Titles, and Brody King beat Jeff Cobb. Jeff Cobb gave a speech noting it was his last match with the promotion since he’s signing an exclusive for the U.S. with ROH.

-WWE Mixed Match Challenge tonight on Facebook Watch features A.J. Styles & Charlotte vs. Rusev & Lana and Ember Moon & Braun Strowman vs. Alicia Fox & Jinder Mahal.

-Cody Rhodes says he will not be on the ROH/New Japan event that sold out Madison Square Garden on WrestleMania weekend next year, in response to a Twitter post suggesting Nick Aldis vs. Cody III might take place at that event with the NWA Title on the line.

Please send news tips and live event results to Thanks!

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: Afternoon Update: WWE Network 99 cent offer, WrestleMania ticket pricing and on-sale date details, 2019 WWE house show main events, Baszler compliments Triple H, Cody on WWE future, Smackdown rating drop


2 Comments on Afternoon Update: Bryan reportedly off Crown Jewel, Stephanie McMahon comments on Crown Jewel decision, Associated Press covers WWE’s Saudi Arabia decision, MLW on FITE TV, Cody on MSG show, Jeff Cobb signs with ROH

  1. I am real disappointed in Bryan for not going to Saudi Arabia to wrestle AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. Not going is complete and total BULL CRAP and I have lost all respect for Bryan as well as Cena. Bryan should never again have any championship run and he deserves to be buried and lose most of his matches going forward. Bryan and Cena both think they are too good to go to Saudi Arabia along with the rest of the wrestlers. I am no longer a fan of Bryan and he deserves to be punished and buried by WWE for this and this proves he is no team player and a complete self centered jerk.

    • I commend both Cena and Daniels for sticking to the their moral guns and doing what the believe is right. To make a decision of this magnitude must have been hard. But I believe a majority of th fans understand and will move on especially since both of these men have given of themselves for so many years and I believe more superstars will eventually come to their senses in future events to the point where the WWE will find a better compromise. Good luck to both parties!

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