Fans were expecting the Sami and Kevin Show to make the trip for the Greatest Royal Rumble but when the time came there was no Sami Zayn in sight. This event was interesting in many ways but although WWE used a case of vertigo to explain his absence in the storyline, it didn’t help fans who were upset that The Underdog From The Underground was kept off of the Greatest Royal Rumble event.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that Sami Zayn had a week’s notice that he wasn’t going with the rest of the roster. This is the reason why they filmed a backstage segment after Raw went off the air where Zayn complained about the results of Bobby Lashley’s vertical suplex. Kevin Owens told Sami that he needed him at the Greatest Royal Rumble but it didn’t do any good.
No explanation was directly given to Sami Zayn about why he wasn’t going to Jeddah after he was previously advertised to be at the show. He wasn’t told that it was due to his Syrian background although this seems to be the case.
This assumption can be drawn by WWE’s official explanation of the event when they put out a release saying, “WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world.” This response was a pretty clever way of not admitting something while also not denying it at the same time
It was said that the entire situation was kept as secret as possible with a directive given out to not speak about the situation until after the event was over. After all, WWE didn’t want it to get out that a top Superstar wouldn’t be allowed to make the trip due to his cultural difference.
Maybe they can change some things around by the next time WWE travels to Saudi Arabia in November because anything is possible. But it’s still a shame Sami Zayn had to miss out on this experience.