— The Sami Zayn situation of not being able to wrestle in Saudi Arabia was kept secret before and during the show. Zayn was told about a week earlier that he would be doing an injury angle to explain his absence but wasn’t told exactly why he wouldn’t be on the show. He has reportedly told people privately that he still hasn’t been told by WWE why he was not allowed to wrestle.
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— As noted before, there was a directive given to the announcers and others with rules on what not to do or say, mostly in relation to customs and things like never blow off a handshake as it could insult the person, etc. One of the directives was also to not mention Sami Zayn or anything about him.
— For what it’s worth, Zayn – a Canadian who comes from Syrian heritage – wrestled in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for three straight nights with no issues. He wasn’t even part of the main roster at that time but WWE wantd to use him as a Middle Eastern star. Now in 2018, he wasn’t even allowed to wrestle in the same country, which clearly shows that things are not progressing, but rather that they are getting worse.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Subscription information & prices available at f4wonline.com