There has been an unexpected delay in travel plans for the WWE Superstars returning home from Saudi Arabia, and the hold-up may be enough to keep some of the roster from getting back in time for Friday Night Smackdown.
Talent has reportedly been stuck inside a plane for multiple hours, although the specific reason for what caused the delay is currently unknown. The news was first reported by Fightful Select, and in an update to the situation Pro Wrestling Sheet has confirmed that WWE has charted a secondary flight for some of the Superstars.
Right now, advertised for this week’s Friday Night Smackdown is a six-woman tag team match involving Mandy Rose, Sonya Deville, Bayley, Carmella, Nikki Cross and Dana Brooke. Obviously none of them are in Saudi Arabia so that’s one segment not in danger.
New Day vs. The Revival, and Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin are also advertised and all of them are in Saudi Arabia. You would think those names, as well as new WWE Champion Bray Wyatt and Universal Champion Brock Lesnar would be on the secondary plane if possible.
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3:20 AM – More information from Fightful.com. Vince McMahon, Hulk Hogan and Brock Lesnar all had earlier flights out on their own, so they’re already on their way back. Talent and WWE staff were still on the plane as of 2AM and were “hanging out and being fed”, while some were taken to a hotel.
3:40AM – Dave Meltzer has provided more updates on Twitter. 20 people in total, 12 being performers and the others staff, took off on a secondary flight. It’s a 14 hour flight, so if it goes perfectly and there are no more travel issues, or issues getting to the arena when they land, they might make it just in time for the start of Smackdown.
6:30AM – PWInsider.com reports that the “majority of those delayed” will not be on Smackdown this evening, and were instead checked into hotels in Riyadh. There is still no update on when they are set to come home. Another update from Meltzer also includes that the travel issues had “nothing to do with mechanical problems” with the original plane.