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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

WWE Chairman Vince McMahon’s issue with Crown Prince lead to plane mishap in Saudi Arabia?

WWE had to plan SmackDown on the fly due to the delay. All the superstars finally landed in the United States on Saturday with several venting out their anger on Twitter.

other-sports Updated: Nov 06, 2019 11:33 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Delhi
Luke Harper with WWE superstars at the Saudi Arabia airport.
Luke Harper with WWE superstars at the Saudi Arabia airport.(WWE/Instagram)

Cain Velasquez, Brock Lesnar, Tyson Fury, Braun Strowman, Ric Flair, Roman Reigns, Hulk Hogan came to the Middle East to promote Crown Jewel. The WWE mega-event emanated from Saudi Arabia on Thursday where WWE hosted its annual show in Riyadh. The event went on as usual however there was a big issue when the superstars were returning back to the United States. WWE talent and personnel were left stranded at the Saudi Arabia airport for almost a day.

“More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday. After the door closed, due to several aircraft problems including mechanical issues, all passengers sat on the tarmac for more than six hours.”

READ | Brock Lesnar is leaving SmackDown and Rey Mysterio should be worried

WWE had to plan SmackDown on the fly due to the delay. All the superstars finally landed in the United States on Saturday with several venting out their anger on Twitter.




Karl Anderson’s wife had a more scathing response on her husband’s post.


Atlas Air, the charter company that WWE was using to fly talent to US, had to issue an apology for the mechanical issue that caused the delays. But there have been different reports coming out from the controversial incident.

Former WWE Spanish commentator Hugo Savinovich posted a video on Facebook and discussed the incident. Savinovich claimed that he has several connections with people in Saudi Arabia and got some inside the information regarding the situation. WWE may be claiming that a mechanical issue led to the delay but Savinovich has another take on it.

Savinovich claimed that Saudi Arabian government owed WWE millions of dollars for two of the shows that the company held in Saudi Arabia (h/t to He said that the amount could be between $300 to $500 million.

READ | ‘Don’t want to watch it,’ Brock Lesnar- Cain Velasquez match at WWE Crown Jewel criticised by Chris Jericho

“It was a very difficult and dangerous situation because of the fact that Saudi Arabia had already been in serious trouble when they killed that reporter in Turkey at the embassy. So the boys were a little bit - not a little bit, they were very, very concerned,” Hugo added. “Vince (McMahon) had left the country already and Brock (Lesnar) had his own plane. It was just about big, big money, millions of dollars that this guy did not send and Vince got upset and cut the feed for South Arabia,’ Savinovich said on THE HANNIBAL TV.

“And that has the Prince upset, and it stopped them from leaving the country and got them off the plane,” Hugo continued. “So basically what they’re doing is they’re originally trying to make it look like it was just a mechanical situation, but an executive from the company - well, my wife had died, so they were just calling to comfort me. At the same time, I was told not to mention any names but they were concerned, they were very concerned.”

“A friend of mine that is from Saudi Arabia, that I’ve known for years and years since the era of VHS tapes that I used to do from Puerto Rico, he also gave me the scoop about what happened at the airport,” Hugo explained. “So a lot of people will be talking more about it. The boys are very upset, so I don’t know what the deal is.”

“Of course, we always know that money talks. And if Vince gets the millions of dollars, and maybe the Middle East - that big TV contract, because it didn’t happen and in one day he lost over 200 million dollars (in stock value). So, it’s a very complicated situation but the talent was, you know, I don’t want to use the word kidnapped but he ordered a kidnapping and the guys were stopped from leaving the country.”

WWE is still maintaining that a technical issue was the reason behind the delay but the news floating around is concerning. The Saudi Arabian deal was already controversial for WWE and now things are going further down for the professional wrestling giants.