In what was an unexpected and surprising WWE return, Dolph Ziggler came back to WWE for the first time in months to attack WWE Champion Kofi Kingston on SmackDown Live last night.
Ziggler used a chair to destroy Kingston and then cut a promo later in the show, putting over how great Kingston has been this year but saying it should have been him.
Dolph Ziggler then said that he would fight Kofi Kingston for the WWE Championship at the Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia on June 7.
— Get The Tables (@GetDaTables) May 22, 2019
This came out of nowhere and now the real reason Dolph Ziggler returned was just revealed.
Dave Meltzer reported that Kevin Owens was supposed to fight Kofi Kingston in a WrestleMania 35 rematch at the Super Showdown in Saudi Arabia. However, Fightful reported that Owens told WWE he did not want to work in Saudi Arabia.
“Ziggler, this is a literal last minute thing, because Ziggler was booked in Australia for that weekend of Saudi Arabia and they just announced in Australia like an hour ago that he’s pulled,” Meltzer said.
— WWE (@WWE) May 22, 2019
He is the latest WWE superstar who does not want to compete in Saudi Arabia due to protest, following John Cena and Daniel Bryan. While Bryan did not work out of protest, Cena was told by people in the know that working the Saudi Arabia shows could have a negative impact on his Hollywood career.
Sami Zayn, who is of Syrian descent, will also not work the show nor will Aleister Black, according to Post Wrestling.
With Owens out, WWE had to find a quick replacement and brought back Dolph Ziggler rather than bringing someone already on the roster in for the match. This allowed WWE to not interrupt other storylines to replace Owens.