The entire roster that flew out to Saudi Arabia arrived in the United States a few hours ago. Most of them will remain in the New York City area since Monday Night Raw is set to take place in Uniondale, NY.
WWE claimed that mechanical issues caused the long delays in Saudi Arabia but former WWE announcer Hugo Savinovich says the issues were not related to the plane at all. He says the issue was the Crown Prince ordered to have the wrestlers get off the plane in retaliation for McMahon cutting off the Crown Jewel TV feed in Saudi Arabia. The issue, according to Savinovich, arose due to McMahon being owed millions of dollars by the Saudi government for their previous shows. A lot of wrestlers are unhappy about what went down and many have sworn that they would never go back. Click here for more on what Savinovich says he heard about the situation.
Wrestlers were understandably upset because of the long travel and the long delays make their rough travel schedule even worse but a lot of the frustration is being directed at Vince McMahon.
I spoke to one wrestler who said the frustration with McMahon is that he left before the travel issues surfaced and there were rumors going around that McMahon's money issues with the Crown Prince left them stranded.
The feeling is that McMahon should have stayed with his crew until the plane was ready to leave. Instead, McMahon and his staff were one of the first people to board their private plane. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were among the people who left early because WWE provides a private plane for Lesnar, per the terms of his contract. They would have likely now known about the issues between McMahon and the Crown Prince.
In a tweet response about Friday Night SmackDown, Dave Meltzer pointed out that some wrestlers have lost respect for McMahon. He tweeted in response to another Twitter user about SmackDown: "Except it was a Vince show. Look, say whatever you want about Vince, and right now after this week a lot of the talent lost a great deal of respect for him, but this was a Vince show and it was good TV. The idea of pretending it wasn't is just baffling."
Triple H had a lot to do with the great episode of SmackDown with NXT talent but, at the end of the day, McMahon had to approve everything so he deserves credit for that. As more details get out about what happened in Saudi Arabia, all of that positive buzz for SmackDown is going to get overshadowed. The last thing WWE needs right now is more negative publicity but now with the talent back in the United States, more details about this story are likely to leak out.
At this point, if the money story is accurate, it's hard to see how this WWE relationship with Saudi Arabia will continue.
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