Back on the November 1, 2019, edition of Friday Night SmackDown, NXT invaded the main roster as numerous WWE Superstars experienced travel delays in Saudi Arabia after the Crown Jewel pay-per-view. WWE's official statement blamed the delays on "mechanical issues" but reports gave a different story where the company and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman had gotten into a dispute over late payments from Super ShowDown. This led to Vince McMahon cutting the live feed to Crown Jewel and the crown prince retaliated by not allowing the wrestlers' chartered flight back to the United States to take off.
An anonymous ex-WWE Superstar confirmed the reports in an account they gave as part of the Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City, Missouri Trust's lawsuit against WWE. The account also provided additional details as they revealed the pilot sounded distressed and Senior Director of Talent Relations Mark Carrano told them the crown prince and McMahon had gotten into an argument over late payments from Super ShowDown, and bin Salman was "very mad" after Vince cut the live feed to Crown Jewel. The wrestling behemoth also allegedly "abused" their "power" and threatened to end Superstars pushes if they refused to travel to the middle eastern kingdom in future.
WWE issued a statement through their outside counsel Jerry McDevitt to Forbes yesterday in which they claimed the allegations of a hostage situation are "phony" and came from a "disgruntled former wrestler with no knowledge of the facts."
McDevitt stated: "These false allegations were originally made in two suits filed by two different law firms. After the Court appointed a third firm to be lead counsel, WWE provided all three law firms with specific detailed facts from the persons with actual knowledge of the situation, including the phony allegation about the plane. The first two law firms then dropped their lawsuits to avoid sanction motions, but the third firm chose to ignore the specific facts they had been provided, and instead cited an unnamed disgruntled former wrestler with no knowledge of the facts. WWE is preparing its response to the lawsuit and will be moving to have it dismissed."