Following WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last October, the flight home for the majority of WWE wrestlers and staffers was delayed for close to a full day. The reason given for the large delay from the company's end was "mechanical issues" from the flight.
On the contrary, there were unconfirmed reports that the flight was held up due to a monetary dispute between Vince McMahon and Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, and that McMahon had the Saudi TV feed of the event cut as a result.
An amended lawsuit filed by the Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri Trust against WWE now includes testimony from an anonymous former WWE wrestler, who stepped forward and detailed their account of what happened that day in Saudi Arabia."
(Forthcoming quotes were brought to light by WrestleNomics)
"A former WWE wrestler, who performed for the Company from 2012 to April 2020 and who participated in the October 31, 2019 Crown Jewel event, confirms the substance of the media reports."
"CW-2 (Confidential Witness 2, as they're referred in the documents) recalled that he was initially told the charter flight he was scheduled to leave on was delayed because the plane needed to be pulled around. After they boarded, they were removed from the airplane after 20-30 minutes. CW-2 explained that he spoke with a stewardess on the flight about the delay, who told him that "it seems someone doesn't want us to leave the country." CW-2 further explained that the pilot sounded 'distressed' when he informed the passengers that the flight was unable to take off. CW-2 recalled that then they were told that it was because of mechanical issues, but he recalled seeing a "ton" of guards wearing black "militia" attire and wearing guns that were blocking their exit and "staring at the wrestlers."
"CW-2 explained that he asked the Senior Director of Talent Relations, Mark Carrano, about what was going on and that Carrano told him that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and McMahon had gotten into argument over late payments in connection with the June 7, 2019 Super ShowDown event. Carrano also informed CW-2 that McMahon had cut the live feed for the Crown Jewel event and that this had made the Crown Prince "very mad".
The anonymous wrestler was one of those who got the next available flight out to Friday's SmackDown. The documents claim that he and another wrestler went to Talent Relations and said that they would never go back to Saudi Arabia. Also noted is that other wrestlers tried to do the same, but that WWE "abused their power" and "threatened careers".