The Remaining WWE Roster Finally Left Saudi Arabia, As NXT Saved Smackdown At The Last Minute

Good news for everyone who has been worried since yesterday morning about the WWE Superstars and other employees who were unable to leave Saudi Arabia after Thursday’s Crown Jewel. WWE’s pre-Smackdown statement yesterday afternoon promised that they would leave for home last night, and we can now confirm that that’s what happened.

As reported by PWInsider, the flight was delayed by a couple of hours, but did take off. As of this writing, we’re still waiting to hear that it landed, but there’s no reason to anticipate further problems. Here are a few tweets that help establish the narrative.

Meanwhile, as you know by now, an invasion from NXT saved last night’s Smackdown and led to an exciting episode in the absence of most of the Smackdown roster. That move also required a chartered flight, to get the Florida-based NXT roster to Buffalo, New York. According to John Pollock of Post Wrestling, it happened with no margin for error:

Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer noted that, as you could guess from watching, Triple H was the “key driver of Smackdown” aside from the opening Brock Lesnar segment. However, he was also clear that Vince McMahon was back and ultimately making all the final decisions, including letting the NXT wrestlers get wins over the Smackdown roster. With a three-way Survivor Series on the way, of course, we’re likely to see NXT get “comeuppance” for looking so strong against Smackdown last night.