A former star is listed in a class action lawsuit against WWE where this talent gave some details on the WWE travel issues from Saudi Arabia last year that caused numerous conspiracy theories as to what exactly happened that caused the delays.
The story at the time was that the majority of the WWE crew spent over 24 hours in the country due to issues with their plane in order to return to the United States. There was one theory that noted the Crown Prince, Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud , caused the plane to stay at the airport out of anger over Vince McMahon cutting off Crown Jewel TV feed in Saudi Arabia due to money issues.
Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri Trust filed an amended class action complaint against WWE. In the lawsuit, an anonymous former WWE wrestler came forward in order to give details of what he witnessed during this situation.
In the lawsuit, the star is referred to as CW-2 and notes that the talent worked for the company from 2012-2020. The talent was part of the crew and noted that part of the crew was stranded while other talents such as Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair in addition to McMahon were “in a hurry” to get out of Saudi Arabia on a separate flight.
When the plane that was supposed to take the rest of the WWE crew back to the United States was delayed, a stewardess told the star, CW-2, that “someone doesn’t want us to leave the country.” The stewardess also told the star that the pilot sounded distressed as well as there were a “ton of guards” blocking the exit.
The talent then went to talk with Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano for an update. Carrano allegedly told the talent that McMahon and Bin Salman got into an argument over late payments for the WWE Super ShowDown event in June of 2019.
Also, Carrano allegedly told the talent that McMahon did cut the Crown Jewel feed, which resulted in the Crown Prince to become very mad.
The talent listed in the lawsuit was part of the “Top 20” who flew back the United States ahead of the rest of the crew in order to work the SmackDown TV event.
Later, the talent and another co-worker went to Talent Relations in order to inform them that they wouldn’t be going back to Saudi Arabia because of this incident. While other stars attempted to do the same, the talent stated that WWE “abused their power” and “threatened careers.”
An employee of the Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) came forward to state that both WWE and MBC could not agree on the basic assumptions of a proposed deal. This employee stated that WWE had “wildly unreasonable expectations of the revenue it expected from a potential partner.”
This is where it was proposed that an $80 million annual licensing fee for a projection of 100 million “OTT” subscribers could be reached. At the time, MBC projected only 6.5 million subscribers. In order to appease WWE, they raised its expectations to 15 million subscribers.
This is when WWE decided to reduce the fee to $50 million, but MBC didn’t want to go above $14.5 million. As a result, the negotiations ended.
As it stands now, WWE hasn’t agreed to a new broadcasting deal in the Middle East and North Africa region.