WWE is still in the middle of a lawsuit over the dealings with Saudi Arabia, and one former wrestler was questioned by the courts about the infamous delayed flight.
The currently anonymous wrestler confirmed that the flight was delayed and no one knew why. The staff on the flight gave them multiple explanations for why they couldn’t take off, including mechanical failures. The wrestler recalls seeing the plane surrounded by members of the Saudi Arabia military. When he asked the stewardess about the situation, she said, “It seems someone doesn’t want us to leave this country.” He described the pilot as being very distressed. He explained that the situation was being described by personnel as a hostage situation.
The wrestler then spoke to Senior Director of Talent Relations, Mark Carrano, about what was going on. Carrano explained to him that Vince McMahon and the Crowned Prince got into an argument over money owed to the WWE for a previous event. This argument made the Prince very mad. McMahon purposely did not air the first 30-minutes of the PPV as a result of their argument. In retaliation, the Prince was holding them hostage. He, also, mentioned that once they made it back home, wrestlers were scared to speak out about the situation in fear they’d be fired and have no where else to go for work. He adds that wrestlers who did speak out about it did so anonymously to journalists, and the WWE went out of their way to dismiss these stories as conspiracy theories.
The wrestler said that many other wrestlers went to management and told them that they would not go back to Saudi Arabia in the future, but the company abused their powers and implied that their careers were at stake if they didn’t go. Several other wrestlers took to Twitter to make cryptic messages aimed at being displeased with the situation and how the company handled it. There’s an aspect of the situation were Vince McMahon’s flight was able to leave the country and he abandoned the roster. The wrestler did not cover this portion and its just as likely that his flight left before he knew there’d even be issues.
For those of you keeping score at home, those are the original details that came out before word got around that the story was heavily overexaggerated. Several news outlets recanted on their stance of the situation or even stopped covering it altogether due to top stars doing interviews that disproved the above details. This led to several stories of top stars doing “Rah-rah” speeches backstage, including Seth Rollins being credited for one that he denied. Those rumors eventually led into Rollins’ heel turn as people were beginning to turn on him for many reasons, but among them was his pro-WWE stance during that time.
Regardless of what did or didn’t happen, the belief right now is that the issue between WWE and Saudi Arabia has been worked out.