Last week, WWE put on a government-funded show in Saudi Arabia and then most of the talent couldn’t get out of the country until way later than they thought. WWE wrestlers told people in the media that they were pawns in a pay dispute between Vince McMahon and Saudi Arabia and that they felt like hostages, and some were publicly upset about the whole situation. Today, Smackdown announcer Corey Graves gave his take on the travel delays on his podcast and told the roster they should have kept quiet about them.
Graves, who previously said that the Saudi Arabia shows aren’t political for WWE wrestlers even though wrestlers have refused to perform or been banned from performing on the shows for political reasons, said that “there were a litany of delays and no one seemed to get a surefire answer as to what was causing the delays.” He says there was an issue with fueling the plane, then with the pilots, then “a mechanical issue” – the reason WWE originally said talent was stuck in Saudi Arabia, and then the pilots had to be switched out.
Graves also said the twenty people who got out of Saudi Arabia earlier on a charter flight weren’t “the twenty most important people in the company” but were “the people that were advertised for SmackDown.” This is not what fans got the sense of from posts by guys like Luke Harper and Curtis Axel. It’s also not what WWE originally stated about the people who left Saudi Arabia earlier, which was that “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.”
The commentator then decided to take the talent to task for tweeting about the incident and talking to the media. (transcript from Fightful)
All these conspiracy theories that have been drawn up… and half of it comes from some of the boys that were on the plane. If you are that insecure and you feel so strongly that you’re going to get on Twitter and complain that our flight got screwed up, what’s Twitter gonna do? All it is is fuel for these ‘journalists,’ and then everyone puts their two cents in and starts coming up with their conspiracy theories. If you’re mad that your flight got delayed and you weren’t one of the Saudi 20, that’s on you. Quit crying about it on Twitter.
So the official lesson here for WWE wrestlers is that if you think your boss stranded you overseas because of a dispute with a government known for treating prisoners terribly and beheading a journalist, shut up about it! After all, the talent’s unhappiness not going to impact the company’s relationship with that government in the slightest.