Major update on Saudi Arabia prince holding WWE stars hostage; extension of deal
Bengaluru, November 5: The post-Crown Jewel situation between WWE and Saudi Arabia has become a soap opera over the past couple of days. It reached such an extent that rumours started floating that there won't be any more global shows in the middle-east country, moving forward.
There were talks that the Saudi Kingdom officials have even considered putting an end to their deal with the WWE after having a massive fallout with the company’s owner, Vince McMahon. However, that’s not happening, as of now.
Once Crown Jewel 2019 edition was over, the WWE roster was in a hurry to get back to the United States, as early as possible since they have to perform on SmackDown, the very next night. As per the released statement from WWE.com, a 'mechanical issue' was the reason why the flight could not take-off. But that's not the actual story as per the insider scoops.
According to Brad Shepard of Bodyslam.Net, Vince McMahon was scheduled to have a meeting with the Crown Prince regarding WWE’s TV deal in Saudi Arabia and the Prince opted for a no-show. The Boss was already furious with the fact that Saudi Arabia did not pay the money for the June pay-per-view event Super ShowDown. So he decided to cut off the live feed of Crown Jewel for the local audience.
The prince reacted in a similar way where he barred the WWE superstars from boarding on the plane and let them fly towards the USA. The superstars became victims of the situation as they had to wait for almost 24 hours and then have a journey for another 20 hours. Once they returned home, they lashed out on Saudi Arabia treating them in such a bad manner. Most of the top superstars have reportedly confirmed of not going back to the country, ever again,
“The top talent names mentioned to me were Roman Reigns, Kofi Kingston, Andrade, Braun Strowman and Rey Mysterio. I’m also told numerous mid-card talents have quietly expressed their unwillingness to return as well – not to Vince McMahon though.”
Shepard also noted that the sports authority of the country has considered pulling out of the lucrative deal with the WWE, too,
"I’m told the GSA was scheduled to have a big meeting with Saudi Vision 2030 and is considering scrapping the entire deal with WWE after Vince (McMahon) ordered the delayed broadcast. There’s an internal belief that may just be an excuse to try to get out of the deal with WWE.”
As mentioned earlier, Saudi Arabia Crown Prince hasn’t paid WWE for this year’s Super ShowDown and even for the Crown Jewel PPV, yet. So Vince McMahon was not keen on making another trip either until the paychecks get cleared. However, it seems the two parties have reached an agreement, as of late to keep WWE’s Saudi deal intact.
The promotion have confirmed that they have extended their partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority through 2027, to include a second annual large-scale event. There’s no word on what this second-mentioned event could be. But it is likely to be a third annual PPV event in a calendar year.