A source indicated to BodySlam.net Managing Editor Brad Shepard that WWE Superstar Sami Zayn was not expected to travel to Saudi Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble event, unless something unexpected changes.
WWE told Sami he wouldn’t be needed on the show and shot a segment backstage where he implied to Kevin Owens that he wasn’t feeling well and may not appear in the Royal Rumble match in Saudi Arabia.
The indication backstage is that he wasn’t included because he’s a Syrian Muslim. Saudi Arabia-Syria relations have long been strained.
The Superstars have been given a lengthy list of rules to follow while they are in Saudi Arabia, to accommodate the Saudi culture.
WWE’s 10-year deal with the Saudi government is speculated to be generating massive revenue for WWE. The timing is interesting because of the public focus on the women’s revolution versus the culture in Saudi Arabia, where women do not have equal rights. No women in WWE were flown over to Saudi Arabia to assist with or perform at the event.