WWE Talent Likely to Miss 'SmackDown' Due to Flight Delay in Saudi Arabia

Most of the WWE stars spent their Halloween in Saudia Arabia as they took part in the event Crown Jewel. But the talent that was in Saudi Arabia likely won't be back for the show SmackDown that will air at 8 p.m. Friday night. The WWE announced early Friday morning the charter plane the company arranged for everyone to get back to the U.S. has been delayed due to mechanical issues.

"More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday," the WWE said in a statement. "After the door closed, due to several aircraft problems including mechanical issues, all passengers sat on the tarmac for more than six hours. With SmackDown set to emanate live from Buffalo, N.Y., several Superstars felt so strongly that they arranged for their own separate charter in order to make it back to the U.S. for the show. Due to unforeseen issues, that charter will not land until after the live broadcast on FOX."

The interesting thing about this is what WWE announced isn't the same thing reported from Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer Radio show. He said the delay has nothing to do with the weather or mechanical issues.

"Some notes since nobody can say anything. WWE had a problem in Saudi Arabia. Talent was not allowed to leave on their flight and most are still there. 20 people, 12 of which were talent, have left but the rest are still there," Meltzer tweeted.


According to Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported those 12 people left on a separate charter flight. However, with the trip being 14 hours, it's unlikely they will make in back in time for SmackDown. Before the delay, the WWE announced three matches for the show - Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin, The Revival vs. The New Day and a six-woman tag team match. The women did not make the trip, but the men did. But WWE has a plan as they announced there will be "surprises" for the show.

The delay is not a good thing, but the event in Saudi Arabia seemed to be a success. One of the most notable things about Crown Jewel is it featured the first-ever women's match in the country with Natalya defeating Lacey Evans.