Backstage news regarding Bryan pulling out of Crown Jewel Submitted by Aaron Rift on 11/01/2018 at 11:20 AM
It appears that Daniel Bryan worked the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia but is against doing the Crown Jewel event became of what he learned about the country. According to Dave Meltzer of F4WOnline.com, Bryan learning about the country's treatment of homosexuals and not allowing people like Sami Zayn to work the show were factors. Meltzer noted, "Evidently Bryan, who knew little or nothing about Saudi Arabia until he got there, largely felt he couldn’t go back under those circumstances."
Bryan reportedly asked to lose to The Miz at Super Show Down but it's unknown if Bryan made that request because of the Saudi Arabia situation or if he felt it wasn't the right time to end the feud with Miz.
When Bryan said he wasn't going to work Crown Jewel, WWE attempted to keep the story a secret but the news eventually leaked out via Barstool Sports.
WWE kept promoting Daniel Bryan (and John Cena for the matter) after the news broke because there was still a chance that Crown Jewel would be moved out of Saudi Arabia.
According to Meltzer, WWE considered various ideas for Bryan vs. AJ Styles including doing a live match at WWE's Performance center with the use of technology similar to a green screen:
"The idea is if they did it live, they could make it appear to be taking place in Saudi Arabia, or it could just be an empty arena match. The plan was not to air it before the people in Saudi Arabia but for those watching on the WWE Network."
When WWE did go through with Bryan vs. Styles on Smackdown Live, the company attempted to keep the plans a secret as much as possible.