Furious wrestlers hit out at WWE after ‘false’ statement explaining Saudi Arabia flight delays before Smackdown
WWE wrestlers are furious with the company for seeming to infer that those who were stranded in Saudi Arabia following Crown Jewel were “too lazy” to make other plans to get back in time for SmackDown.
Just 24 hours after appearing at a pay-per-view event in Riyadh, Vince McMahon’s stars were due in Buffalo for another live television broadcast.
But a number of wrestlers were left stranded in the Middle East after Crown Jewel, with the official explanation being due to plane mechanical problems.
Yet most of WWE’s top brass including Brock Lesnar, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, and Tyson Fury all avoided travel delays after reportedly flying out on private aircrafts.
And various others took issue with the company releasing a statement that “several Superstars felt so strongly that they arranged for their own separate charter in order to make it back to the U.S. for the show.”
Some also felt insulted by WWE implying that those stranded were “too lazy” compared to the likes of star attractions Lesnar and Paul Heyman, who both made it in time to appear on SmackDown.
Curtis Axel wrote on Twitter, “Not the #Top20? [middle finger emoji] I’m #1 at home! We don’t leave each other behind. @WWE”.
On his Instagram, Luke Harper said: “Larry, I’m home. I guess I didn’t want it enough to pay for my own charter, but I’m home now. #NotTop20”.
WWE Producer Tyson Kidd sarcastically replied: “Next time we’ll pool our money together instead of being lazy.”
Eric Young added: “I’ll pitch in guys. Next time I’ll have more pride in myself and take it upon myself to be better! What a world. What a F’N UNIVERSE”.
WWE icon and AEW World Champion Chris Jericho even stirred the pot by commenting: “Shame on you lazy embarrassments to the company…Glad everybody made it home safely!”
According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Radio, many stars also felt “deserted” by Vince McMahon, after the Chairman left Saudi Arabia with his personal staff on an earlier flight.
Former WWE Spanish-language announcer Hugo Savinovich claimed in a Facebook video that the plane that was delayed following Crown Jewel was more than just a mechanical error.
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He revealed that McMahon pulled the TV feed for the event from airing in Saudi Arabia due to money owed to him from previous shows held there.
Savinovich went on to say the Crown Prince was so upset by this that he ordered that the wrestlers be taken off Atlas Air in retaliation.
Dave Meltzer added that one person in WWE has been trying to get footage from as many superstars as possible to back up their statement that the Saudi debacle was down to mechanical issues.