The WWE Crown Jewel pay-per-view aired live on the WWE Network on Thursday, but after the show WWE issued a statement noting that talents were stranded in Saudi Arabia due to “aircraft problems.
Former WWE announcer Hugo Savinovich later came forward and claimed that WWE was owed millions of dollars for two of the Saudi Arabia shows, to the amount of $300 to $500 million dollars.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that WWE wasn’t paid for Super ShowDown on June 7 as of September 30. It was also noted that in the third quarter earnings call that WWE avoided answering questions about Saudi Arabia, but did mention getting a $60 million payment after September 30, but before October 31. However, Meltzer noted that there was “clearly money owed” by the Saudis before Crown Jewel on Thursday.
Vince McMahon made the call not to televise Crown Jewel live on TV in Saudi Arabia. The dispute was settled at some point during the show, and it aired 40 minutes late in Saudi Arabia. Talent was apparently told money was owed.
According to Dave Meltzer, many people contacted him, and while one person believed the story about mechanical issues on the plane, the majority of the talent that reached out to him didn’t believe the story.
It took 24 hours before talents could get out of the country, and military police were present while they waited. A second flight was also delayed.
It’s being reported that some talents have said they will never go back to Saudi Arabia and some have said that they can’t wait to get out of the company.
It was noted that talents were very upset that Vince McMahon and his staff left Saudi Arabia on a private jet while they were stuck in the country.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman left on a private jet, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Jimmy Hart left on a private jet. Tyson Fury also got out on one of the jets, but Cain Velasquez was one of the talents who got stuck in Saudi Arabia.