Speculation has been rife all week that Bryan would not be competing at the show following the murder of New York Times journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
John Cena, another name speculated to be pulling out, was replaced in the WWE World Cup last night by Bobby Lashley, and it is thought some kind of pre-taped segment may rule Bryan out of Friday’s match.
Bryan is supposed to be facing AJ Styles for the WWE Championship, but this news would mean that AJ will either not defend the title, or defend it to someone with zero build.
At one point, an idea for their match to take place in the performance centre was pitched, but this was quickly dropped.
It is thought that Bryan will perhaps be attacked in a backstage segment, and that his attacker will take his place.
It has been rumoured that Rusev may fulfil this role. Should AJ retain, he would then feud with Bryan at a later date.
Failing this, the match may instead be brought forward to tonight’s episode of SmackDown Live, leaving AJ open to face a new opponent on Friday.
The loss of Bryan and Cena for Crown Jewel will be a massive blow for WWE, given that the two men are two of the biggest draws in the company.
Given how controversial this show is, it’s hardly surprising that some superstars do not want their names to be involved.