By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE addressed the flight issue that has led to a number of WWE wrestlers and crew members being stuck in Saudi Arabia. “More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday,” reads a WWE website story. “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 remainder of WWE’s Superstars, staff and crew will depart on a charter set to depart Saudi Arabia later tonight. As always with WWE, the show must go on. Live at 8/7 CT on FOX, Smackdown will feature superstars, such as Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Carmella, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke — plus, additional surprises.” Read the full story at WWE.com.
Powell’s POV: It’s nice to see WWE address the story and offer an official explanation for the delay. Hopefully things go smoothly and the remainder of the crew will leave Saudi Arabia tonight as planned. As for Smackdown, it’s interesting that they are only advertising talent that did not appear in Saudi Arabia. After this experience, I wonder if the list of talent who declines to appear in Saudi Arabia will grow. I guess we can toss out the advertised lineup at this point. Join me for live coverage of Smackdown as the show airs at 7CT/8ET.