The opening segment of tonight’s Smackdown Live from Atlanta turned into a WWE Championship match between current champion AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan.
During the match, Bryan went for a suicide dive and “hurt” his left knee in the process. During the rest of the match, Daniel was favoring his left knee, which led to Styles applying his Calf Crusher submission forcing Bryan to tap out.
Samoa Joe to replace Bryan this Friday at Crown Jewel
After the match, Styles and Bryan shook hands, only for Joe to come out of no where and attack Styles applying the Coquina Clutch. Bryan ran back out to help Styles, but he was then attacked by Joe. Joe worked over Bryan’s knee.
Later in the night, Smackdown Live GM Paige booked Styles defending the WWE Championship against Samoa Joe for this Friday at Crown Jewel.
It was first reported last week by Robbie Fox of Barstool Sports that Bryan, along with John Cena, was refusing to work the Crown Jewel event this week in Saudi Arabia. A report earlier today stated that Bryan informed WWE officials he wasn’t making the trip.
Bryan isn’t the only WWE star not going to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel. During last night’s RAW, John Cena was written out of the World Cup tournament for this Friday and it was announced he would be replaced by Bobby Lashley instead.