Reports went viral about WWE roster being stuck for 24 hours in Saudi Arabia due to the plane suffering a mechanical failure. Most of the roster members could not make it to the United States due to this and as a result, SmackDown did not have any of the marquee names on the show. Most of the NXT roster superstars filled up the void by showing up which made the show a success, anyway.
But the bigger controversies surrounded by Saudi Arabia authority holding the superstars back in their country. Most of the superstars expressed their frustrations on social media regarding this.
Now the latest indication is that the ‘mechanical dispute’ might have been spread to cover up the real story. According to the report from Wrestling Observer Radio, a financial dispute between WWE and the Saudi government might actually be to blame. (via sescoops.com)
“They had not been paid for the last Saudi show, the Super ShowDown show that was the last Saudi show, as of September 30th.” Dave Meltzer continued, “They did say (on the investors call) they received $60 million after September 30th, which is when the report closed but before October 31st, and so this would be a couple of hours before (Crown Jewel) started. So, there was talk about money owed, and there was clearly money owed but exactly what happened that led to Vince McMahon having whatever happened that led to the delay.”
This eventually led to another dispute between WWE and Saudi Arabia’s sports authority. The Boss did not allow the Crown Jewel PPV to air on live TV in the host country itself. The beginning portion did not stream live. Later, the two parties reached an agreement and the program went on air,
“The talent all knew the story that there was some sort of showdown and Vince would not allow the thing to be televised and then it was evidently settled in some form and then the show aired like one person said 2 hours but I think it was like 40 minutes late.”
As noted earlier, a lot of WWE talents were unhappy with the fact that Saudi Arabia harassed them for almost 24 hours. They have also expressed their desire not to visit the country, at all in the future. From what we understand, if the dispute does not get resolved from its root, there could be more conflict waiting in the future.