WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

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WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 1st, '19, 08:04

Source: f4wonline.com

A delay in leaving has kept a large number of WWE talent stuck in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel.

It isn’t known what is causing the delay. Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio this morning that it has nothing to do with mechanical problems with the plane, nor is this regarding weather in Buffalo, New York, which is where the SmackDown roster is flying to for tonight’s television.

Meltzer also reported that around 12 wrestlers have been able to leave Saudi Arabia. Vince McMahon is believed to have already traveled home.

At this point, it seems unlikely that those who are still stuck in Saudi Arabia will be able to make it to SmackDown. The flight takes roughly 14 hours to travel from Riyadh to Buffalo.

Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin, The Revival vs. The New Day for the SmackDown Tag Team titles, Nikki Cross, Carmella & Dana Brooke vs. SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville in a six-woman tag match, and new Universal Champion Bray Wyatt appearing on Miz TV have been advertised for tonight's SmackDown.

Crown Jewel 2019 was the second WWE show to take place in Saudi Arabia this year and the fourth event in WWE's 10-year deal with the Saudi government. The deal began with the Greatest Royal Rumble in April 2018.



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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 1st, '19, 08:04

Bob-O;s Post








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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 1st, '19, 09:15


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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 1st, '19, 16:59

Hahahaha! "Special Surprises"...

I heard Peurto Rico got some special surprises last weekend instead of the advertised card...
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 1st, '19, 20:08

Bob-O wrote:
Nov 1st, '19, 16:59
Hahahaha! "Special Surprises"...

I heard Peurto Rico got some special surprises last weekend instead of the advertised card...
Ok, I take that back...

No spoilers, but that was hands down the best Raw/Smackdown I've seen in a very very long time. They delivered.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 3rd, '19, 10:03

Meltzer dives in a little deeper on Observer Radio...



Such a weird situation that boils down to whether there was anything wrong with that plane or not. People are saying the plane was actually being worked on, but Dave pointed out on WOR that these guys fly all the time and know what mechanical issues look like, and usually "mechanical issues" don't require Military Police who were also on the scene.

Also unexplained is why it took 24 hours to get these guys out of the country when they could have been easily re-routed through Europe. WWE is also trying to get statements from anyone they can to confirming the "mechanical issues" story, which seems odd considering that's what's been officially released thus far. If that were the case, you'd think these guys would be biting at the bit to confirm it... it feels good to shut down rumors, no? But, nobody's said a word beyond "happy to be home" and #nottop20 hashtags.

Really interested to see how this unfolds once people start talking...
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 3rd, '19, 12:34

the only thing that we would really want to know is IF there was an issue between Vince and SA, then what was it, otherwise, i'm sure by the time the next Blood Money in the Bank show comes around next year, everyone complaining will again go because they're fickle and greedy.

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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Big Red Machine » Nov 3rd, '19, 14:01

Bob-O wrote:
Nov 1st, '19, 20:08
Bob-O wrote:
Nov 1st, '19, 16:59
Hahahaha! "Special Surprises"...

I heard Peurto Rico got some special surprises last weekend instead of the advertised card...
Ok, I take that back...

No spoilers, but that was hands down the best Raw/Smackdown I've seen in a very very long time. They delivered.
Totally disagree.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 3rd, '19, 23:09

Wrestling Observer Report said that apparently, SA hadn't paid 60M to WWE and there was no TV deal ready for the show, and that this could had been the catalyst for Vince and SA having some rough trouble.



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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 5th, '19, 18:34

Big Red Machine wrote:
Nov 3rd, '19, 14:01
Bob-O wrote:
Nov 1st, '19, 20:08
Bob-O wrote:
Nov 1st, '19, 16:59
Hahahaha! "Special Surprises"...

I heard Peurto Rico got some special surprises last weekend instead of the advertised card...
Ok, I take that back...

No spoilers, but that was hands down the best Raw/Smackdown I've seen in a very very long time. They delivered.
Totally disagree.
I'm not surprised.

But for a show that piqued my interest SOLELY because I wondered what they were going to throw together last minute, I was glued to the whole thing. I don't remember the last time Raw or Smackdown "glued" me. Between the unpredictability of the night and enjoying McAfee's announcing, I was SAD when it ended... usually I'm relieved.

Sustainable? Oh my god, no. But, for a night that was thrown together quickly around last minute "surprises"... I'd say they delivered. I was thoroughly sports entertained, when I'd gone into this making fun of it (see above) expecting a night of recaps and segments wondering if they'd risk Zayn getting over by letting him and Bryan wrestle 20 minutes.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 6th, '19, 16:04

Corey Graves spoke about it on his podcast. His take seems logical, even looking past the WWE endorsed standpoint. As with most things, the truth is probably sitting somewhere between this and Meltzer's report. The #top20 plane actually makes sense now...
Corey starts straight into the Saudi plane controversy. He says that some rumours are true and some rumours are false. Says this isn't him towing the company line, this is him speaking as a human being who lived through it first hand as he was there.

Says that when he first visited Saudi (GRR) he had his reservations about the country the same as many others have, but the people there have been nothing but gracious, the food, the hotels etc.

Immediately after the end of Crown Jewel, everybody went straight to the airport. From the moment they got to the airport there were delays, but it was very hard for anybody to get concrete reasons as to why.

They heard everything from the fuel truck was parked on the runway and the guy who drove it wasn't there, there were literally 10-15 different reasons why they couldn't get on the plane.

Corey reiterates that this was his personal experience and what he heard, but they got on the plane. In their seats, ready to take off, the flight crew (gives a shoutout to them saying they were awesome people) came around and took their food orders for the flight, the pilots had been going back on forth (Corey was seated right outside the cockpit), they were speaking about some sort of mechanical issue. They sat for a while, pilots shut the plane down, then did a "restart" to see if that fixed the issue, it didn't. In the time it took to do these tests the flight crew had timed out of their shifts and everybody was informed that they would not be taking off.

They deplaned, at some point people from Management came and said hey, if we could get a group of you to SmackDown, would you be willing to do it.

Corey talks about the so-called "Top 20" and how there are people that seem to think that they were the "Top 20 in the company", but the people on that plane were the people advertised for SmackDown. Corbin, Roman Reigns, Revival, New Day, guys that had advertised matches on SmackDown who did not want to let anybody down. It had nothing to do with "Who was more important"

Corey talks about the "Vince McMahon left everybody behind" rumour. That's not true. If you work here, you know that every single week, as soon as the final bell rings and everybody is all good, Vince goes on his jet and goes home or to the next city because the guy is busy running WWE. Vince did exactly what he has done every single week without fail, this was no special night in terms of what Vince did.

Corey is annoyed that half of the rumours came from "The boys" on the plane. Says if you feel so insecure and you feel so strongly that you're gonna get on Twitter and complain because our flight got screwed, what's Twitter going to do? All it does is give fuel to these journalists so to speak, and then everybody puts their 2 cents in and starts coming up with their conspiracies. Says that shit happens.

Explicitly says that one of the people NOT annoyed was Randy Orton. If anybody has the right to speak his mind it would be Randy, but Randy understood that shit happens and Randy knew from his huge amount of experience that there was no point complaining.

It might be fun to speculate, but speculation isn't the truth.
Although, I will speculate, if the flight crew's shifts timed out during testing - what was the plan if they'd taken off on time? The flight crew's shifts would have timed out while they were in the air...
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 6th, '19, 17:40

it's a WWE produced show by a WWE hired drone. I wouldn't believe any of it, wwe wrestlers are know for 'cutting promos' with the exact wording that is written for them. That whole 'flight crew shift' sounds pretty stupid, even if it actually works like that, it's not like they need to fly with a specific crew only

I can totally understand that some people thought it was mechanical problems, and i'm sure a lot of the talent has drank enough flavor-aid to believe it when the office tells them to believe it. Hell, it's not that hard to hide whatever other motive as a mechanical problem to whip your dick around but not cause chaos, because from a summary of all reports, it just sounds like Vince and SA got into a dick whipping competition and it was SA that pulled their dick out last.

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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Big Red Machine » Nov 6th, '19, 19:03

cero2k wrote:
Nov 6th, '19, 17:40
it's a WWE produced show by a WWE hired drone. I wouldn't believe any of it, wwe wrestlers are know for 'cutting promos' with the exact wording that is written for them. That whole 'flight crew shift' sounds pretty stupid, even if it actually works like that, it's not like they need to fly with a specific crew only

I can totally understand that some people thought it was mechanical problems, and i'm sure a lot of the talent has drank enough flavor-aid to believe it when the office tells them to believe it. Hell, it's not that hard to hide whatever other motive as a mechanical problem to whip your dick around but not cause chaos, because from a summary of all reports, it just sounds like Vince and SA got into a dick whipping competition and it was SA that pulled their dick out last.
Again... this.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Bob-O » Nov 12th, '19, 13:59

Here's another take on things by a third party. I've never heard of them, but the article was an interesting third party read at worst. It basically supports all the stuff Lawler talked about but with sources, independent research, and more detail. They REALLY call out Meltzer and Brad Shepard...
With everything above confirmed to this reporter by people who were there, or from reputable sources laid out otherwise, we were unable to find anyone who could describe a feeling that the government planned the delay or was involved in the delay as a form of retaliation over business disagreements with the corporation. A stunning amount of misinformation seems to have been reported as fact regarding this yet no wrestlers I have found believe they were even treated poorly by Saudi Arabia, much less held against their will. Some complained about how hot it was, or being away from home, or just not having any information when they felt like they should have. However, from company guys to people who have been vocally displeased, there were no indicators of some ulterior motives behind the delay.
Another source for much speculation, which seemed to accompany his reporting to a detriment, was Dave Meltzer. Despite the official story of plane problems, Meltzer claimed he spoke with people on the flight who had other stories Curiously, we can't find any of those other stories. We can't find anyone who told them to Meltzer, either. Meltzer actually responded negatively to what now seems to be a valid criticism of his speculation surrounding the reasons for the delay.
Finally, and perhaps the most copied of Meltzer's speculations, drew into question why another plane wasn't simply prepared for the talent. As Vice.com itself repeated:

"Without knowing anything else about the situation, it would hard to believe that a company with the resources of WWE and a country as rich in dubiously-gotten money as Saudi Arabia couldn't combine their might to find a plane capable of making it to New York on short notice. To accept such a story, you'd have to possess a level of gullibility above even that necessary to buy into one of wrestling's traditionally nonsensical storylines."

Atlas air is the company that owns the chartered Boeing 747-400 with 160 business class seats that the WWE talent were to return on. The number of other Atlas air planes that were arriving or departing at the airport that day? Zero. What about that week? Also zero. Records from FlightAware.com showed this to be the only Atlas air flight days before or after at that airport. So, WWE would most likely have had to pay for entirely new tickets on different airlines and never recouped the money from Atlas. It wouldn't have been cheap, either. Business class tickets purchased on the day-of from Riyadh to JFK cost around $3,000 each. That would have cost the company just under $500,000 and that's assuming that many tickets could be found on short notice for the exact same trip. Even economy class runs around $1,000 each. And the company would have no way of knowing if, by the time the flight departed, their originally scheduled plane would be ready to go.
I do love a good conspiracy, but even I'll admit that keeping 120 larger than life personalities - many of whom either don't want or don't need to work there - quiet for this long is the biggest buzzkill pill to swallow.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 12th, '19, 15:10

never heard of NEA reports and whoever wrote that has way too many cat videos on twitter, so by all means i'll take this article like if it had been me writing it on our news section

. that last part about the plain I thought was pretty obvious, you can't replace a transatlantic plane out of the blue, but if you're really in panic mode about Smackdown, it's not that hard to get people to europe and to the US from there on. Would it be expensive? Sure, but you know what, they just got paid $60M dlls hours earlier, and surely PR that 'everything is ok' is FAR more important than a couple thousand dollars that are coin drops in WWE's purse.

This story also benefits from being reported days later. A lot of Meltzer and other's reports where on the spot, talking to the people on the plane that don't really know what's going on and can only give out their own perspectives. With days transpired, WWE has told everyone what to say, so yeah, it's gonna be hard to get the same stories as they got on the day. It's not like people have to swear on the bible when answering interviews from "nea reports"

At the end of the day, this article is also saying that there was something going on beyond mechanical issues, which is what all the reports were to begin with. I don't think anyone respectable in the industry ever said that there was a hostage situation.

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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by Big Red Machine » Nov 12th, '19, 17:44

Cero's analysis is spot on.

And forget Europe, they could have flown them to Jordan and you'd still be going in the right direction and have multiple working international airports.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by KILLdozer » Nov 12th, '19, 20:13

Fuck this shit and let me point you all in the right direction. I just finally finished Lucha Underground and after watching actual wrestling that gives a shit...I can't take most of WWE's obnoxious shit serious right now. Yeah I'm plugging my thoughts in the Ultima Lucha 4 topic lol.
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 12th, '19, 20:24

KILLdozer wrote:
Nov 12th, '19, 20:13
Fuck this shit and let me point you all in the right direction. I just finally finished Lucha Underground and after watching actual wrestling that gives a shit...I can't take most of WWE's obnoxious shit serious right now. Yeah I'm plugging my thoughts in the Ultima Lucha 4 topic lol.
Welcome, took you long enough. Now let me tell you about literally every other promotion in the world right now.

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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by KILLdozer » Nov 12th, '19, 21:19

cero2k wrote:
Nov 12th, '19, 20:24
KILLdozer wrote:
Nov 12th, '19, 20:13
Fuck this shit and let me point you all in the right direction. I just finally finished Lucha Underground and after watching actual wrestling that gives a shit...I can't take most of WWE's obnoxious shit serious right now. Yeah I'm plugging my thoughts in the Ultima Lucha 4 topic lol.
Welcome, took you long enough. Now let me tell you about literally every other promotion in the world right now.
I mean...I'm NOT watching all of your jcws, and apw, aew, tna, impact, hor, Roh, CCC, AAA, NJAJPW, But after watching so much LU for over a week lately, (3 and 4 in about a week and a half or less), and I've honestly been so uncaring about Raw and SD'S because as the classic fan says "I can't watch a match if I'm just not into the story and characters." ...

Well, much of their shit doesn't have anything or anything worthwhile behind it at all...idc about McIntyre...I could go on. Lana and Lashely is ridiculously bad content, plus where'd her accent go? The most they had going was "awh yeah CROWN JEWEL!", Now it's HAHAHAHAHA survivor series...but everything is still one sided booking as always...
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Re: WWE talent delayed in Saudi Arabia after Crown Jewel

Post by cero2k » Nov 12th, '19, 21:25

KILLdozer wrote:
Nov 12th, '19, 21:19


I mean...I'm NOT watching all of your jcws, and apw, aew, tna, impact, hor, Roh, CCC, AAA, NJAJPW, But after watching so much LU for over a week lately, (3 and 4 in about a week and a half or less), and I've honestly been so uncaring about Raw and SD'S because as the classic fan says "I can't watch a match if I'm just not into the story and characters." ...

Well, much of their shit doesn't have anything or anything worthwhile behind it at all...idc about McIntyre...I could go on. Lana and Lashely is ridiculously bad content, plus where'd her accent go? The most they had going was "awh yeah CROWN JEWEL!", Now it's HAHAHAHAHA survivor series...but everything is still one sided booking as always...
i wouldn't really expect anyone to watch it all except Red, but if you think WWE is meaningless, it's a good time to pick any other promotion to watch instead, just one.

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