Get caught up to speed with the latest news on Crown Jewel Travel Issues, Lesnar, NJPW/AEW And More!
Latest On WWE Travel Issues
As many of you had read throughout Friday, most of the WWE roster experienced travel issues with leaving Saudi Arabia after the Crown Jewel event, causing major changes to SmackDown. WWE PR would release the following statement regarding the issues:
“A chartered WWE passenger flight operated by Atlas Air is currently delayed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia due to a mechanical issue. The flight was scheduled to depart at 0300 local time on November 1. Our top priority is always to ensure our passengers arrive safely and on time at their destination. The aircraft is being repaired and will be inspected and certified before returning to service to transport our passengers to their final destination. We regret that operational disruptions delayed the flight and apologize to our passengers who were inconvenienced.”
However, many wrestlers vented their frustrations with travel on Twitter, and people such as Dave Meltzer are reporting that the issues were not mechanical related. The following was taken from a report on Cage Side Seats:
– The statement WWE released saying there were wrestlers who tried to arrange for their own flight to get home to work SmackDown in time was “complete bullshit.”
– As of Sept. 30, WWE had not been paid for the last show the company ran in Saudi Arabia. However, it seemed they were paid at some point before the show.
– There was indeed something that happened with Vince McMahon. The talent apparently knew there was some sort of showdown with Vince where he wouldn’t allow the show to air on TV until WWE was paid. Then it was settled and the show aired on a delay.
– There was at least one person who believed the story that there were mechanical issues with the plane that held up travel. Everyone else didn’t believe it, and some even mentioned military police being around.
– Wrestlers have said they aren’t ever going back and others even said they can’t wait to get out of the company. Obviously, they could change their mind on that.
– There were many who were upset that Vince McMahon got out on a private jet and so many others were left behind.
What a whirlwind few days for the stars that made the trip for Crown Jewel. Many wrestlers and their families have vented their issues with the travel on social media, and some state they will never return for a Saudi Arabia event again. WWE was under heat for holding events in the country in the first place, and I expect they will continue to do so now with the travel issues.
Chris Jericho Returns To NJPW
When Chris Jericho signed to AEW, the original talk was he could be exclusive to the company. However, that appears to not be the case. After Kota Ibushi and Tanahashi defeated Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI at the NJPW Power Struggle show on Sunday, a video aired with Chris Jericho wearing his Painmaker regalia. Jericho challenged Tanahashi to a match at the Wrestle Kingdom.
— Italo Santana (@BulletClubIta) November 3, 2019
Jericho does a great job of keeping himself relevant in pro wrestling. Whether it be NJPW, AEW, or wherever he decides to go, he is a draw. The match with Tanahashi should be an exciting one.
NJPW Working With AEW?
Speaking of NJPW and AEW, many fans have wondered if/when there would be a working relationship or talent exchange between the two companies. Nick Jackson was asked on Twitter recently regarding the potential of the two working together.
— The Young Bucks® (@NickJacksonYB) November 2, 2019
I would have to guess that NJPW is upset when most of the stars (Omega, the Bucks, Jericho, etc) left NJPW to form AEW. However, at some point and time, if there is money to be made between the two companies working together, I wouldn’t be surprised if they do so.
Brock Lesnar Originally The WWE Backstage Suprise ?
In Thursday’s shuffle, I discussed the news of the surprise guest that was going to be announced on SmackDown for the debut of WWE backstage on November 5th. According to Dave Meltzer, the Brock Lesnar quitting SmackDown and heading to RAW announcement was the the original surprise planned for Backstage, but plans were changed due to the Crown Jewel travel issues.
Many of us felt that there was an outside chance that the surprise would be the debut of CM Punk as a host or co host of Backstage, but that appears that it was never the case. WWE ignored the surprise discussion on SmackDown all together, so it looks like the original plan was for Lesnar to jump rbands.