By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The City of Warren Police and Fire Retirement System filed an amended class action lawsuit against WWE, Vince McMahon, and former executives George Barrios and Michelle Wilson on June 8 regarding the company’s negotiations for a television deal in Middle East and North Africa. The lawsuit essentially accuses WWE officials of not being forthright regarding the status of its MENA television negotiations.
The lawsuit includes statements from a former WWE wrestler who worked for the company from 2012 through April 2020. The wrestler details his experience during the airport incident that followed WWE Crown Jewel and left most of the WWE crew stranded overnight in Saudi Arabia. The former WWE wrestler alleges that a dispute between McMahon and the Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman was the true reason for the delay rather than the claimed mechanical issues. Read the full lawsuit here.
Powell’s POV: The wrestler’s account meshes with a number of online reports that were disputed by some in WWE. The wrestler claims that he saw a “ton” of guards wearing black “militia” attire and wearing guns that were blocking their exit and “staring at the wrestlers.” The wrestler recalled asking WWE’s Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano what was happening, and claims that Carrano told him that McMahon and the Saudi Prince got into an argument over late payments owed to WWE for the June 7, 2019 Super ShowDown event.
There is also a statement from an employee of Middle East Broadcasting Center who claims that WWE had “wildly unreasonable expectations” and that the two sides were never close to a deal. The lawsuit accuses WWE executives of not being honest when they claimed that they had an “agreement in principle” for a new MENA television deal.
The wrestler’s version of the Saudi airport incident is definitely a must read. At one point, he notes that he and other wrestlers told WWE management that they would not return to Saudi Arabia for future events, but company officials “abused” their “power” and threatened the future trajectory of their careers if they did not go. Credit to Wrestlenomics.com for being the first to report the details of the lawsuit.