As noted, Dolph Ziggler returned to WWE TV on this week’s SmackDown and will now face WWE Champion Kofi Kingston at the upcoming WWE Super ShowDown event in Saudi Arabia.
The original opponent planned for Kofi in Saudi Arabia was Kevin Owens in a rematch from Money In the Bank. Fightful reports that Owens has reportedly told WWE officials that he did not want to return to the Kingdom with the company. There’s no word yet on why Owens made the decision, but it could have something to do with his good friend and partner Sami Zayn. Zayn was pulled from WWE’s first event in the Kingdom, Greatest Royal Rumble, because he is of Syrian descent and the Kingdom has had a strained relationship with Syria for years.
Owens worked Greatest Royal Rumble but was injured for the second Saudi show in November, Crown Jewel. John Cena and Daniel Bryan pulled out of Crown Jewel because of the controversy surrounding WWE’s working relationship with the Kingdom due to the state-sponsored murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.
Stay tuned for updates on the Owens situation.