The question heading into SmackDown Live on Tuesday night was how they would get out of doing AJ Styles vs. Daniel Bryan for the WWE Championship this Friday at Crown Jewel. That's because Bryan has refused to work the show given the controversy going on with Saudi Arabian government and the murder of a Washington Post journalist (Jamal Khashoggi).
It didn't take long for us to figure out the answer. Styles and Bryan opened SmackDown this week with an in-ring segment together, which involved Styles calling Bryan out to the ring to address their upcoming match.
Bryan said when he looks at Styles, he doesn't see a friend or a respected colleague: all he sees is the WWE Championship. Bryan said that title is what he dreamed about when he wasn't wrestling and the only thing standing in his way is Styles.
He went on to tell Styles that it's not personal but he's going to take the title from him this Friday at Crown Jewel.
Styles then said "I'm sorry because I lied to you last week." He said that the Pele Kick that he hit Bryan with last week wasn't an accident, it was meant to him. He said it's nothing personal but he looks forward to doing it again this Friday.
Bryan mocked him, acting shocked that Styles meant to kick him. Bryan said he doesn't like, he's 100 percent honest and said right now, he feels like hitting Styles on purpose. Styles asked him what is stopping him? He said they don't have to wait until Crown Jewel, they can do the match tonight on SmackDown in Atlanta.0comments
Out came Shane McMahon. He said that everyone has seen this before, two competitors wanting to have their match early but it never seems to happen. McMahon said since he's back and this is SmackDown Live, they're going to do the match tonight.
This was what had been rumored all weekend when reports started to circulate that Bryan had refused to travel to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel. The storyline pushed on SmackDown indicates that, indeed, Bryan will not be working Crown Jewel this Friday.