DJ Khaled Set to Host Nickelodeon’s 2019 ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

DJ Khaled had big shoes to fill, in all ways.

The star DJ and music producer will take over from John Cena as host of the “Kids’ Choice Awards” next month, Nickelodeon announced on Tuesday.

Khaled will bring a party atmosphere to the annual slime-filled awards show for his inaugural hosting gig on March 23, thanks to his signature catchphrases and gregarious personality.

Also Read: Nickelodeon to Revive ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader’ With New Host John Cena

“Father of Asahd is here to let you know the biggest party of the year is about to go up!  That’s right, March 23 – I’m your host, DJ Khaled for the Nickelodeon ‘Kids’ Choice Awards.’ I’ll see you soon!” the musician said in a statement.

This year’s top nominees include “Avengers: Infinity War,” “Black Panther,” Cardi B and “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation.”

First-time nominees include Jason Momoa, Emilia Clarke, James Corden, Noah Centineo, Bebe Rexha, Tyra Banks, Neil Patrick Harris and “Riverdale.”

Khaled himself is nominated for three awards: Favorite TV Judge, Favorite Male Artist and Favorite Collaboration.

Also Read: John Cena on Nickelodeon Conquest Plans, From ‘TMNT’ Villain to Hosting ‘Kids’ Choice Awards’

This year’s show also introduces five new categories for voting: Favorite TV Host, Favorite TV Judges, Favorite Superhero, Favorite Gamer, and Vote For A Cause.

Nickelodeon’s 2019 “Kids’ Choice Awards” airs live on Saturday, March 23, at 8 p.m. (ET/PT) from the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

See the full list of nominees below.

TELEVISION
Favorite Funny TV Show

The Big Bang Theory

BUNK’D

Fuller House

Henry Danger

Modern Family

Raven’s Home

Favorite TV Drama

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

The Flash

Riverdale

Stranger Things

The Walking Dead

Favorite Reality Show

America’s Got Talent

American Idol

American Ninja Warrior

Dancing with the Stars: Juniors

Double Dare

The Voice

Favorite TV Host*

Ellen DeGeneres (Ellen’s Game of Games)

Kevin Hart (TKO: Total Knock Out)

Liza Koshy & Marc Summers (Double Dare)

Nick Cannon & JoJo Siwa (Lip Sync Battle Shorties)

Ryan Seacrest (American Idol)

Tyra Banks (America’s Got Talent)

Favorite TV Judges*

Simon Cowell, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel (America’s Got Talent)

Luke Bryan, Katy Perry, Lionel Richie (American Idol)

Len Goodman, Bruno Tonioli, Carrie Ann Inaba, (Dancing with the Stars)

Sean “Diddy” Combs, DJ Khaled, Meghan Trainor (THE FOUR: BATTLE FOR STARDOM)

Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton (The Voice)

Jennifer Lopez, Derek Hough, NE-YO (World of Dance)

Favorite Cartoon

ALVINNN!!! and The Chipmunks

The Boss Baby: Back in Business

The Loud House

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

SpongeBob SquarePants

Teen Titans Go!

Favorite Male TV Star

Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas Sinclair, Stranger Things)

Grant Gustin (Barry Allen/The Flash, The Flash)

Jace Norman (Henry Hart/Kid Danger, Henry Danger)

Jim Parsons (Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory)

Karan Brar (Ravi Ross, BUNK’D)

Neil Patrick Harris (Count Olaf, A Series of Unfortunate Events)

Favorite Female TV Star

Candace Cameron Bure (DJ Tanner-Fuller, Fuller House)

Kaley Cuoco (Penny, The Big Bang Theory)

Millie Bobby Brown (Eleven, Stranger Things)

Peyton Elizabeth Lee (Andi Mack, Andi Mack)

Raven-Symoné (Raven Baxter, Raven’s Home)

Zendaya (K.C. Cooper, K.C. Undercover)

FILM
Favorite Movie

Aquaman

Avengers: Infinity War

Black Panther

Mary Poppins Returns

The Kissing Booth

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Favorite Movie Actor

Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther, Black Panther)

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America, Avengers: Infinity War)

Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers: Infinity War)

Dwayne Johnson (Will Sawyer, Skyscraper)

Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Aquaman)

Noah Centineo (Peter Kavinsky, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before)

Favorite Movie Actress

Emily Blunt (Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Returns)

Joey King (Elle Evans, The Kissing Booth)

Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia, Black Panther)

Rihanna (Nine Ball, Ocean’s 8)

Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War)

Zoe Saldana (Gamora, Avengers: Infinity War)

Favorite Superhero*

Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther, Black Panther)

Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America, Avengers: Infinity War)

Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Avengers: Infinity War)

Jason Momoa (Arthur Curry/Aquaman, Aquaman)

Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man, Avengers: Infinity War)

Scarlett Johansson (Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow, Avengers: Infinity War)

Favorite Butt-Kicker

Chris Pratt (Owen Grady, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom)

Danai Gurira (Okoye, Black Panther)

Dwayne Johnson (Will Sawyer, Skyscraper)

Emilia Clarke (Qi’ra, Solo: A Star Wars Story)

Michael B. Jordan (Adonis Johnson, Creed II)

Zoe Saldana (Gamora, Avengers: Infinity War)

Favorite Animated Movie

The Grinch

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Incredibles 2

Peter Rabbit

Ralph Breaks the Internet

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Favorite Male Voice from an Animated Movie

Adam Sandler (Dracula, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation)

Andy Samberg (Johnny, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation)

Benedict Cumberbatch (Grinch, The Grinch)

Channing Tatum (Migo, Smallfoot)

James Corden (Peter Rabbit, Peter Rabbit)

Shameik Moore (Miles Morales/Spider-Man, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

Favorite Female Voice from an Animated Movie

Gal Gadot (Shank, Ralph Breaks the Internet)

Hailee Steinfeld (Gwen Stacy/Spider-Gwen, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

Kristen Bell (Jade Wilson, Teen Titans GO! to the Movies)

Selena Gomez (Mavis, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation)

Yara Shahidi (Brenda, Smallfoot)

Zendaya (Meechee, Smallfoot)

MUSIC
Favorite Music Group

The Chainsmokers

Fall Out Boy

Imagine Dragons

Maroon 5

Migos

twenty one pilots

Favorite Male Artist

Bruno Mars

DJ Khaled

Drake

Justin Timberlake

Luke Bryan

Shawn Mendes

Favorite Female Artist

Ariana Grande

Beyoncé

Camila Cabello

Cardi B

Selena Gomez

Taylor Swift

Favorite Song

Delicate (Taylor Swift)

In My Blood (Shawn Mendes)

In My Feelings (Drake)

Natural (Imagine Dragons)

thank u, next (Ariana Grande)

Youngblood (5 Seconds of Summer)

Favorite Breakout Artist

Billie Eilish

Cardi B

Dan + Shay

Juice WRLD

Kane Brown

Post Malone

Favorite Collaboration

Girls Like You (Maroon 5, featuring Cardi B)

Happier (Marshmello, featuring Bastille)

I Like It (Cardi B, Bad Bunny, J Balvin)

Meant to Be (Bebe Rexha, featuring Florida Georgia Line)

No Brainer (DJ Khaled, featuring Justin Bieber, Chance the Rapper, Quavo)

SICKO MODE (Travis Scott, featuring Drake)

Favorite Social Music Star

Baby Ariel

Chloe x Halle

Jack & Jack

JoJo Siwa

Max & Harvey

Why Don’t We

Favorite Global Music Star

Africa: Davido

Asia: BLACKPINK

Australia/New Zealand: Troye Sivan

Europe: David Guetta

North America: Taylor Swift

Latin America: J Balvin

United Kingdom: HRVY

OTHER CATEGORIES
Favorite Video Game

Just Dance 2019

LEGO The Incredibles

Spider-Man

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Super Mario Party

Favorite Social Star

David Dobrik

Emma Chamberlain

Guava Juice

Lilly Singh

Miranda Sings

Ryan ToysReview

Favorite Gamer*

DanTDM

Jacksepticeye

Markiplier

Ninja

PopularMMOs

SSSniperWolf

How Do You Want to Help?

Help Animals (pet rescue, wildlife preservation, service animals, and more)

Help the Environment (disaster relief, clean water, recycling, and more)

Help People in Need (homes, food, care, and more)

Help Prevent Bullying (positivity, emotional support, respect, and more)

Help Schools (supplies, after-school activities, arts/gym/STEM, and more)

Related stories from TheWrap:

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‘All That’ Revival Ready at Nickelodeon, Kenan Thompson to Executive Produce

‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Spinoffs in the Works at Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon to Revive ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader’ With New Host John Cena

Nickelodeon to Revive ‘Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader’ With New Host John Cena

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Nickelodeon is bringing back “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” with new host John Cena, who will also executive produce.

The original game show was hosted by stand-up comedian Jeff Foxworthy and aired on the Fox broadcast network. “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” was created by Mark Burnett and hails from MGM.

The format of “5th Grader,” which has been adapted in several countries, sees adult contestants answer questions as if they came from an elementary grade school quiz. There were actual (smart) fifth graders on stage to help out, or to make the adult look dumb — sometimes both.

Also Read: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ Spinoffs in the Works at Nickelodeon

The first “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader” aired from 2007 to 2015, over which Foxworthy amassed 111 episodes. In 2010, the show was nominated for — but did not win — a Daytime Emmy Award.

Nick is dropping a ton of news this morning. The kids’ network is also planning several “SpongeBob SquarePants” spinoffs and reviving “All That” with original cast member and breakout star Kenan Thompson (“Saturday Night Live”) as executive producer. That sketch comedy show also expects to bring back other original cast members.

Additionally, Nickelodeon has acquired the rights to develop TV series based on Paddington Bear and the recent “LEGO” movies.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘All That’ Revival Ready at Nickelodeon, Kenan Thompson to Executive Produce

Nickelodeon in Talks for ‘Star Trek’ Animated Series From ‘LEGO Ninjago’ Writers

Nickelodeon, Netflix Partner on ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ and ‘The Loud House’ Animated Films

Judy Greer Joins Paramount Players’ ‘Playing With Fire’ Opposite John Cena

Read on: Deadline.

EXCLUSIVE: Judy Greer is set to star opposite John Cena in Paramount Players’ upcoming Playing With Fire from director Andy Fickman.
The Halloween star will play Dr. Amy Hicks in the pic who is the love interest to Cena’s John Carson. In Pl…

Does ‘Bumblebee’ Have a Post-Credits Scene?

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

(Some spoilers ahead for “Bumblebee”)

The “Transformers” franchise appeared to be on a downturn after 2017’s “Transformers: The Last Knight” dramatically underperformed at the box office. Enter “Bumblebee,” which currently holds a 95 percent fresh rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, easily the best mark of the series.

Travis Knight’s prequel, set in 1987, cost less than any of its predecessors and looks to revitalize the “Transformers” brand this holiday season. It also sort of resets the stage a little bit by doing away with the endless retcons of the Michael Bay sequels. This is not a franchise that has anything resembling airtight continuity, but “Bumblebee” nonetheless is still a part of that continuity, and is geared to get the franchise back on its feet.

Given that “Bumblebee” is the sixth movie in the series and Paramount surely would hope to keep this train rolling, you can’t help but wonder if the film sets up further movies in the series — either a direct sequel to this movie or by looking further down the line — with a post-credits scene. The trope is so prevalent that even “Transformers: The Last Knight” adopted the practice, really the first time a “Transformers” movie had openly considered what the next movie might hold.

Also Read: ‘Bumblebee’ Film Review: Michael Bay’s Exit From the Director’s Chair Leads to the Best ‘Transformers’ Yet

So there’s precedent for a post-credits scene in a “Transformers” film, but does “Bumblebee” itself have one?

Sort of. “Bumblebee” features an epilogue scene that might set a record for how soon a movie has served a stinger after the credits begin — the movie only lists one credit (for director Travis Knight) before jumping into the bonus scene. This scene reveals that Optimus Prime has arrived on Earth and shows Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld) saying goodbye to Bumblebee. In the sequence, the movie also sets up the original 2007 “Transformers” film a little bit, with Bee turning himself into the Camaro form that Shia LaBeouf’s character buys from Bernie Mac in that movie.

So nothing too earth-shattering here — this is pretty much just a normal epilogue rather than a tease for the future, though of course with more Autobots arriving on Earth there’s certainly potential for more “Transformers” adventures in the two decades between when “Bumblebee” and the original 2007 film are set. We’ll see!

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Bumblebee’ Film Review: Michael Bay’s Exit From the Director’s Chair Leads to the Best ‘Transformers’ Yet

First ‘Bumblebee’ Trailer Is Heavy on Feels, Light on ‘Transformers’ Action (Video)

‘Bumblebee’ Director Travis Knight Wants to Make a Character-Driven ‘Transformers’ Film

‘Bumblebee’ Film Review: Michael Bay’s Exit from the Director’s Chair Leads to the Best ‘Transformers’ Yet

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

It’s been 11 years since Michael Bay took the reins of the live-action “Transformers” movies, and in that time he has infused these films with a particular, cacophonous audio-visual aesthetic that has more in common with a rollercoaster at a rave in a war zone than what we would otherwise consider conventional, cinematic storytelling. His approach has its fans, but with “Bumblebee,” we can finally see what a filmmaker other than Michael Bay could do with the concept of alien machines that transform into stuff.

And it turns out they could do wonders.

“Bumblebee,” directed by Travis Knight (“Kubo and the Two Strings”), is the best “Transformers” movie so far, going all the way back to the 1986 animated film. And although one could argue that that’s a relatively low bar, since narrative coherence and recognizable character development are all it really takes to best its predecessors, saying so is more than merely damning “Bumblebee” with faint praise. This really is a sound, satisfying, enjoyable action movie for the whole family.

Watch Video: Optimus Prime Sends Your Favorite Transformer on a Mission in New ‘Bumblebee’ Trailer

“Bumblee” kicks off on the planet Cybertron, a massive technological wonder where a civilization of sentient robots is in the middle of a brutal civil war. Optimus Prime (voiced, as always, by Peter Cullen) signals a hasty retreat for his Autobot resistance and commands his soldier B-127 (voiced by Dylan O’Brien) to flee to Earth to prepare the planet to become the Autobots’ new base of operations.

B-127 lands in the middle of a military exercise, led by Agent Jack Burns (John Cena), which immediately turns into a robot hunt, as the poor alien races through the forest, desperately trying to evade capture. And just when it seems like he might be able to reason with these humans, a Decepticon called Blitzwing arrives, blows everyone to hell, rips out B-127’s voice box, and leaves our hero broken, his memory erased, and impersonating a beat-up Volkswagen Beetle as a defense mechanism.

In a storyline straight out of a “Herbie” sequel, B-127 gets purchased by teenage amateur mechanic Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld), who’s still mourning the death of her father, even though her mother has remarried and her little brother has clearly moved on. So a giant robot that can also transform into a convenient compact car immediately becomes her new best friend. She renames him “Bumblebee,” they bond, they get into comic misadventures, she begins a mildly romantic friendship with her neighbor Memo (Jorge Lendeborg Jr., “Love, Simon”), and eventually they all run from two more Decepticons who have arrived on Earth with evil intentions.

Watch Video: Sick New ‘Bumblebee’ Footage Teases Transformers ‘Origin Story’

Unlike Bay’s “Transformers” films, which were steeped in nostalgia for 1980s products but filmed with a 21st century blockbuster aesthetic, “Bumblebee” is a 1980s genre film through-and-through. The screenplay by Christina Hodson (“Unforgettable”) embraces the familiar structure of every classic “magical friend” movie, from “E.T.” all the way to “Mac & Me,” and leaves it up to Knight, his cast and his VFX team to make the film feel new and distinctive.

Challenge accepted: “Bumblebee” plays like a loving throwback, with genuine and funny performances, and direction that finally makes the Transformers characters feel real. The overwhelming and distracting detail from the previous films has been stripped away, leaving Bumblebee, Optimus Prime, and the villains Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux) with an aesthetically pleasing design that highlights the performance of the characters.

These Transformers demonstrate complex human emotions, from fear to elation to shame to fury, and the attention paid to making them behave like recognizable creatures makes even conventional comic set pieces play better than they sound. The inevitable scene where Bumblebee is all alone in Charlie’s house, accidentally making an enormous mess and then making it even messier by trying to stop, is a whimsical highlight because he genuinely looks distressed. It also works because Knight films the sequence like a silent-comedy routine, whereas Bay previously treated a similar scene in the first “Transformers” as though it were a cinematic panic attack.

Watch Video: First ‘Bumblebee’ Trailer Is Heavy on Feels, Light on ‘Transformers’ Action

“Bumblebee” is such a massive stylistic and tonal shift for the “Transformers” franchise that it’s incredibly hard to even discuss it without resorting to comparison. If “Bumblebee” were the very first entry in this live-action franchise, it might seem small and derivative of 1980s kids films. But as a course correction for the series, pulling the previously complex mythology way back and starting over from scratch, it’s enormously effective.

Knight’s do-over reminds us why a whole generation loved “Transformers” in the first place. Yes, they were cool toys, but they were toys with built-in personalities. We didn’t want to own a Transformer; we wanted to team up with them, to be part of their secret world where machines have lives of their own and get into fantastic adventures. To that end, Steinfeld grounds “Bumblebee” beautifully, with a rich and specific performance that never once treats the bizarre sci-fi events with ironic detachment or cynicism. It’s her world, and now there are robots in it, and she adapts accordingly.

And, of course, the action kicks butt. Knight seems keenly aware that most of the middle of his film will be a lengthy family flick about a teenager hanging out with her car, so he front-loads his movie with gigantic set pieces. The war on Cybertron is huge, yet coherent. Knight and his VFX team animate the battle in extended shots that focus on a single character, giving fan-favorite Transformers like Optimus an opportunity to shine right alongside robots with very little screen time, like Soundwave.

Of course, the action picks up again for the big climax, when the whole world is at stake and all the robots are fighting each other and some alien widgets have to be pried out of other widgets. But we always know exactly what’s happening and why it matters, because the film is skillfully constructed and edited with a modicum of restraint.

“Bumblebee” is, again and easily, the best “Transformers” movie. Heck, it’s probably the only genuinely good “Transformers” movie, with nary a caveat to be found. But it’s also a lively and earnest 1980s nostalgia trip, made with affection for the era and its characters and its soundtracks and its storytelling styles and, yes, even its toys. If this is where the new “Transformers” franchise is headed, then let the transformation continue.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Bumblebee’ Director Travis Knight Wants to Make a Character-Driven ‘Transformers’ Film

‘Transformers: The Last Knight’ and ‘Fifty Shades Darker’ Lead 2018 Razzie Award Nominations

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What Franchise Fatigue? Sequels Like ‘Transformers’ Still Rake in Cash Outside US

WWE Hall of Famer Edge on Why Hollywood Loves to Work With Wrestlers

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Adam “Edge” Copeland won 31 championships during his time in WWE — that’s more than Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena or Dave Bautista. But can the “Vikings” star find crossover success in Hollywood comparable to those heavyweights? He’s sure trying, and the easy-to-work-with rep his predecessors have laid is helping pave the path for Copeland’s own transition.

“Wrestling is a very demanding thing,” he told TheWrap. “But you’re also your own manager. You book your own rental cars, you book your own hotels. You carry your own bags. Your day begins as soon as you wake up and it ends when you get to bed. And it could be in a Motel 6 because there are no other hotels open and it’s 4 o’clock in the morning. That keeps you humble and it keeps you hungry.”

Directors notice and appreciate that self-sufficiency and modesty, Copeland said. He doesn’t need to say this next part — we will — neither of those are exactly the norm in Tinsel Town.

Also Read: WWE ‘Raw’ Won’t Run Long on USA Network Anymore

Of course, to make it as a television and film actor, you also have to possess certain chops. And something the man that went by “Edge” for so many years (and titles) has in common with guys like Cena and The Rock, particularly, is having been a top promo guy in his day. For the uninitiated, a wrestling “promo” is basically an interview or a monologue setting up the storyline and psychology of matches.

“I think the best promo guys make it sound like it’s not a promo,” Copeland said. “Instead of it sounding like — and obviously the era changed — it wasn’t the ’80s where, like, a Hulk Hogan promo or a Warrior promo or a Macho Man promo worked, because that’s what it was then. It has since become more of a nuanced thing. And it has to sound conversational.”

“It still has to be big and Ultimate Warrior-esque at times because that’s its nature. But there’s a lot more levels and layers now,” Copeland, who started acting on Syfy’s “Haven” as a tie-in to its “SmackDown,” continued. “And I think if you made it to the top with your promos as part of the package, it’s because you could speak and you made it sound like it wasn’t this rehearsed thing. Because a lot of the times it probably isn’t. A lot of the times you probably have bullet points and you’re feeling it. And when you can start to feel an audience and react to what’s happening organically and be able to keep all of those plates in the air, I think it is good training to a set and having a script and going, ‘Right, OK, I can adapt on the fly if the director sees this scene happening a different way. I can adapt on the fly if the other actor takes it this direction’ because you are used to adapting on the fly live.”

Also Read: Brock Lesnar Has Extended His WWE Contract Through WrestleMania 35

In other words, the whole thing is improv within the framework of a defined character. Think that might translate, casting agents?

“One of the amazing things about acting now is that you can try different things and have choices,” Copeland said. “And it may not be how you pictured it going. And just being able to adapt and just try those different things. It’s been really fun.”

Find out if Copeland pulls off this next step in his career when “Vikings” returns to History channel on Nov. 28. And check back with TheWrap soon for more from our interview with Edge.

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Here’s How WWE Wrote Daniel Bryan Out of Saudi Arabia PPV ‘Crown Jewel’ (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

On Monday, WWE wrote John Cena out of Saudi Arabia pay-per-view event “Crown Jewel.” On Tuesday, the pro-wrestling promotion scripted Daniel Bryan’s exit with an A.J. Styles victory and surprise Samoa Joe attack.

Neither Superstar’s dismissal was a shock.

Keep reading to see how Bryan earned his Friday off, and click here to learn more about Cena’s sudden change-of-plans.

Also Read: Here’s How WWE Replaced John Cena for Saudi Arabia’s ‘Crown Jewel’ (Video)

After Styles got submission specialist Bryan to tap out to the calf crusher in an impromptu title match last night on “SmackDown Live,” the two baby faces (the pro-wrestling term for good guys) embraced in a hug. Heel (bad guy) Joe, dressed in street clothes (you know, presuming he wears his WWE merch on the street), jumped into the ring and brutalized Styles, locking him in the Coquina Clutch.

Where the heck did HE come from?!?!@SamoaJoe is BACK and he wants to put @AJStylesOrg to ????!!! #SDLive #WWEChampionship pic.twitter.com/L9OxVw5hix

— WWE (@WWE) October 31, 2018

When Bryan intervened on his buddy’s behalf, he got the same treatment.

After both spent men were down for the count, Joe then did this:

Get the picture? #SDLive @SamoaJoe pic.twitter.com/ayfEYmFb5k

— WWE (@WWE) October 31, 2018

Also Read: ‘Crown Jewel’: John Oliver Powerslams WWE in Fake Saudi Arabia Promo (Video)

“Samoa Joe has never made a threat he didn’t intend on following up on,” ringside color commentator Corey Graves said on the USA Network show. “I’m curious to see what this leads to.”

Turns out, it’s leading to a card change for Saudi Arabia. Allow us a moment to pick our jaws up from off the floor.

Oh by the way, WWE is still not saying the words “Saudi Arabia” — they’re going with “global pay-per-view event” for each mention.

Also Read: WWE to Stage Next Week’s ‘Crown Jewel’ Event in Saudi Arabia as Planned

A few segments later, Styles found (storyline) “SmackDown Live” General Manager Paige backstage.

“I want Samoa Joe,” he told her. “I filled my obligation defending my WWE Championship against Daniel Bryan, now give me Samoa Joe at ‘Crown Jewel.’”

“Consider it done,” Paige said.

Also Read: Why WWE Hasn’t Plugged Saudi Arabia as the Location for ‘Crown Jewel’ for 2 Weeks

Watch that exchange via the video below. Rivalry renewed, we suppose.

#WWEChampion @AJStylesOrg wants @SamoaJoe at #WWECrownJewel…and he’s going to get him! #SDLive pic.twitter.com/6o90OVBdku

— WWE (@WWE) October 31, 2018

It had been rumored and reported for a few weeks now by wrestling blogs that Cena and Bryan would end up bailing on their commitments if WWE staged the show in Saudi Arabia as originally planned.

“As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly,” a WWE spokesman told TheWrap on Oct. 25, when we inquired about their statuses.

Also Read: Roman Reigns Reveals 11-Year Leukemia Battle, Relinquishes WWE Universal Championship (Video)

“Crown Jewel” in Saudi Arabia almost didn’t happen for anyone. On Oct. 11, a spokesman for the professional wrestling promotion told TheWrap that they are “currently monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia.

The brief statement was WWE’s first acknowledgement of the circumstances surrounding deceased Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabia native who had been critical of the country’s royal regime. U.S. and Turkish officials both believed that Khashoggi may have been murdered by his own government, or that he was killed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s knowledge. At the time, Khashoggi had been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers.

Saudi officials now acknowledge his murder, and have admitted that it was possibly premeditated. As the news of the horror progressed, it became less likely that WWE would go ahead with event in Saudi Arabia.

But WWE made the event official last week, when it included the following statement with its third-quarter 2018 earnings results:

WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said on Thursday morning in its third-quarter 2018 earnings release. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for Nov. 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.

Also Read: WWE ‘SmackDown Live’: Jimmy Uso Performs Mid-Match Tribute to Cousin Roman Reigns (GIF)

“Crown Jewel” is the latest in WWE’s massive push into expansion in the oil-rich nation. It will follow April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” event, which took place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

These events are believed to pull in tens of millions of dollars for the publicly traded company.

This isn’t the first time there has been an outcry against WWE for accepting Saudi money to put on a live show over there. Due to local laws, women are not permitted to participate in Saudi Arabian wrestling events.

“Crown Jewel,” which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set to stream live on WWE Network Friday, Nov. 2 starting at noon ET.

Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Crown Jewel’: Vince McMahon Taps Out on Saudi Arabia Question During WWE Q3 Earnings Call

WWE Roster, Legends Send Love and Support to Their ‘Superman’ Roman Reigns

John Oliver Piledrives WWE Over Saudi Arabia Ties (Video)

WWE Star John Cena Will Not Take Part In Saudi Arabia Crown Jewel Event

Read on: Deadline.

John Cena, one of the WWE’s household names and a crossover star in Hollywood films like Trainwreck, will not take part in Friday’s Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia.
The company last week confirmed that it will move ahead with the event de…

Here’s How WWE Replaced John Cena for Saudi Arabia’s ‘Crown Jewel’ (Video)

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Well, we finally know what WWE Superstar John Cena’s (kayfabe, the pro-wrestling term for treating staged events as “real”) excuse for skipping Friday’s WWE pay-per-view event in Saudi Arabia is.

On Monday’s “Raw,” (storyline) general manager Baron Corbin (storyline) rewarded Bobby Lashley for his (pre-planned) beatdown of Finn Balor with a slot in the PPV’s World Cup Tournament.

“Wait a minute,” Lashley responds in the trainer’s room, where Balor-rival Corbin is nursing an injury. “I thought that tournament was already full? Who am I replacing?”

“Someone who didn’t qualify,” Corbin responds. “You’re gonna replace John Cena.”

Also Read: ‘Crown Jewel’: John Oliver Powerslams WWE in Fake Saudi Arabia Promo (Video)

Watch the clever (storyline) coverup here:

.@BaronCorbinWWE was impressed with @fightbobby‘s performance tonight on #Rawpic.twitter.com/hwDTCumVHS

— WWE (@WWE) October 30, 2018

Cena was the only competitor in the eight-person field who did not win a World Cup Tournament qualifying match — he’s just a huge star that WWE (and, likely, the Saudi royal family) wanted at the high-profile event.

Ironically, now Lashley is the only one who technically didn’t win an official qualifying match. Due to disqualification, he didn’t even win last night’s regular match against Balor.

Also Read: ‘Crown Jewel’: Vince McMahon Taps Out on Saudi Arabia Question During WWE Q3 Earnings Call

It has been rumored and reported for a few weeks now by wrestling blogs that Cena would end up bailing on his commitment if WWE staged the show in Saudi Arabia as originally planned. He has a blossoming movie career to protect.

“As always, we maintain an open line of communication with our performers and will address each situation accordingly,” a WWE spokesman told TheWrap on Oct. 25, when we inquired about Cena’s status.

Reps for Cena, who opened April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” event in Saudi Arabia with a win over Triple H, never got back to us.

The question now shifts to what “SmackDown Live” wrestler Daniel Bryan will do. Bryan is currently scheduled and being advertised to challenge for A.J. Styles’ WWE Championship at “Crown Jewel,” though he has also reportedly told WWE he’s out.

Also Read: WWE to Stage Next Week’s ‘Crown Jewel’ Event in Saudi Arabia as Planned

“Crown Jewel” in Saudi Arabia almost didn’t happen for anyone. On Oct. 11, a spokesman for the professional wrestling promotion told TheWrap that they are “currently monitoring the situation” in Saudi Arabia.

The brief statement was WWE’s first acknowledgement of the circumstances surrounding deceased Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabia native who had been critical of the country’s royal regime. U.S. and Turkish officials both believed that Khashoggi may have been murdered by his own government, or that he was killed with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s knowledge. At the time, Khashoggi had been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers.

Saudi officials now acknowledge his murder, and have admitted that it was possibly premeditated. As the news of the horror progressed, it became less likely that WWE would go ahead with event in Saudi Arabia.

But WWE made the event official last week, when it included the following statement with its third-quarter 2018 earnings results:

WWE has operated in the Middle East for nearly 20 years and has developed a sizable and dedicated fan base,” the company said on Thursday morning in its third-quarter 2018 earnings release. “Considering the heinous crime committed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the company faced a very difficult decision as it relates to its event scheduled for Nov. 2 in Riyadh. Similar to other U.S.-based companies who plan to continue operations in Saudi Arabia, the Company has decided to uphold its contractual obligations to the General Sports Authority and stage the event. Full year 2018 guidance is predicated on the staging of the Riyadh event as scheduled.

Also Read: WWE ‘SmackDown Live’: Jimmy Uso Performs Mid-Match Tribute to Cousin Roman Reigns (GIF)

“Crown Jewel” is the latest in WWE’s massive push into expansion in the oil-rich nation. It will follow April’s “Greatest Royal Rumble” event, which took place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

These events are believed to pull in tens of millions of dollars for the publicly traded company.

This isn’t the first time there has been an outcry against WWE for accepting Saudi money to put on a live show over there. Due to local laws, women are not permitted to participate in Saudi Arabian wrestling events.

“Crown Jewel,” which will take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, is set to stream live on WWE Network Friday, Nov. 2 starting at noon ET.

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‘Crown Jewel’: John Oliver Powerslams WWE in Fake Saudi Arabia Promo (Video)

Read on: TheWrapTheWrap.

Sunday’s “Last Week Tonight” aired a fake TV commercial for this week’s WWE pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia, “Crown Jewel.”

It was not very supportive of the pro-wrestling promotion’s decision to stage the middle-eastern event as planned following the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Watch the video below.

New Crown Jewel promo, from @LastWeekTonight pic.twitter.com/lTGImhwfV6

— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 29, 2018

Khashoggi was killed earlier this month at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he had an appointment to pick up wedding papers. U.S. and Turkish officials both believe it was a planned murder orchestrated by the Saudi government, which Khashoggi had been critical of in his role as a Washington Post columnist.

Also Read: ‘Crown Jewel’: Vince McMahon Taps Out on Saudi Arabia Question During WWE Q3 Earnings Call

Oliver isn’t just piling on WWE last minute either. On last week’s “Last Week Tonight” he took WWE to task over the fact that they hadn’t canceled the show immediately following the Khashoggi news.

This Sunday, the HBO host slammed WWE over a questionable cemetery promo for the event featuring The Undertaker and Kane shoveling dirt into a grave. Oliver also poked fun at the weird position John Cena currently finds himself in. Per unconfirmed reports, the company’s top baby face (the wrestling term for a good guy) has said he’ll bow out of “Crown Jewel” should it take place in Saudi Arabia, which is happening Friday.

Also Read: Matt Damon and Jimmy Kimmel Keep Up Their Fake Feud at the World Series (Photo)

Cena, who has been busy turning his superstardom into a movie career, is still advertised to appear in the show’s eight-man World Cup Tournament, though some wrestling reporters expect that storyline to change on this week’s TV. Reports have indicated that Daniel Bryan will also bow out of the event, in which he’s booked for a WWE Championship match against A.J. Styles. WWE has not commented on either reported adjustment to the card.

“WWE Crown Jewel” will stream live Friday starting at noon ET on WWE Network. Cable shows “Raw” and “SmackDown Live” begin at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network on Mondays and Tuesdays, respectively.

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