The situation where much of the WWE crew, from wrestlers to production people alike, were stuck in Saudi Arabia for a number of hours unable to get back home following Crown Jewel, has gone from strange to really strange.
While WWE released a statement from Atlas Air, the airline chartering flights to get those who work for the company back home, claiming mechanical failure, there have been rumblings it was something different. Just this morning, Dave Meltzer went into detail on what he knows about the situation on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Some quick points he made:
- The statement WWE released saying there were wrestlers who tried to arrange for their own flight to get home to work SmackDown in time was “complete bullshit.”
- As of Sept. 30, WWE had not been paid for the last show the company ran in Saudi Arabia. However, it seemed they were paid at some point before the show.
- There was indeed something that happened with Vince McMahon. The talent apparently knew there was some sort of showdown with Vince where he wouldn’t allow the show to air on TV until WWE was paid. Then it was settled and the show aired on a delay.
- There was at least one person who believed the story that there were mechanical issues with the plane that held up travel. Everyone else didn’t believe it, and some even mentioned military police being around.
- Wrestlers have said they aren’t ever going back and others even said they can’t wait to get out of the company. Obviously, they could change their mind on that.
- There were many who were upset that Vince McMahon got out on a private jet and so many others were left behind.
There’s obviously a lot more to the story here, and it’s entirely possible we’re never fully made aware of it. Meltzer also said the wrestlers are essentially being pushed to go with the “mechanical error” story. We’ll see how that shakes out in the coming days/weeks/months/future shoot interviews.
Monday Night Raw, and the upcoming tour of Europe, is just around the corner as well.
To close all this out: