World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) Crown jewels event will be without one of the biggest names in the history of the profession, John Cena. The multi-time World Champion will be replaced by Bobby Lashley. Cena’s denial to go for the event comes as a protest at the aftermath of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s Turkish consulate.

The event which is to be held in Saudi Arabia was hit with obstruction amidst crisis caused by the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the country’s Turkish consulate, several fans, government officials and even some wrestlers either voiced or indicated that the company should pull out of the event.

The controversy has affected the WWE and the company’s ten-year agreement with Saudi Arabia has taken a blow as a part of the on-going international criticism of the nation pertaining to poor human rights issues.

However, the WWE confirmed in their third quarter of the financial reports, that the event will go on to take place.

Here’s the statement from WWE in their press release:

“WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base. Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for November 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. The full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.”
the WWE has been wary in their promotions of the event, where only the ‘Crown Jewels’ events is advertised and not the name of place, i.e : Saudi Arabia.

The WWE’s decision to resort to financial low as the reason to back out of the event amid the on-going tension will be subjected to criticism.