WWE’s superstars and crew members made the trip out to the Middle East earlier in the week, knowing that they would need to rush back to the United States following the conclusion of Crown Jewel because of Friday Night SmackDown which would take place less than 24 hours later.
This morning there were rumors that WWE’s stars were unable to fly out of the country and were delayed for around six hours, which means that they will not make it back to America on time to be part of tonight’s broadcast since the flight takes around 14 hours.
While the company hasn’t mentioned any names when it comes to which superstars were delayed and won’t be part of tonight’s show, their official website released the following statement where they confirmed the travel issues and stated that there would be a special episode of the show tonight live from Buffalo, New York.
“The WWE roster is delayed in its return from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, following a historic performance at yesterday’s record-breaking WWE Crown Jewel event.”
“More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday. After the door closed, due to several aircraft problems including mechanical issues, all passengers sat on the tarmac for more than six hours. With SmackDown set to emanate live from Buffalo, N.Y., several Superstars felt so strongly that they arranged for their own separate charter in order to make it back to the U.S. for the show. Due to unforeseen issues, that charter will not land until after the live broadcast on FOX.”
“The remainder of WWE’s Superstars, staff and crew will depart on a charter set to depart Saudi Arabia later tonight. As always with WWE, the show must go on. Live at 8/7 CT on FOX, SmackDown will feature Superstars, such as Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Carmella, Nikki Cross, Dana Brooke — plus, additional surprises.”
It will be interesting to see which stars are part of tonight’s show and if NXT superstars are called in to make up the numbers for their fourth live episode of the show on FOX.