A class action lawsuit between the Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri and the WWE has shed some light on the mysterious situation following the Crown Jewel 2019 event. For those who don't recall the vast majority of WWE's roster was stuck in Saudi Arabia for nearly a full day following the WWE Network event. WWE claimed the delays were caused by technical malfunctions, directly contradicting reports from Wrestling Observer's Dave Meltzer stating Saudi Arabia officials were preventing the wrestlers from leaving due to a financial dispute with WWE. The lawsuit, according to Meltzer, was filed by investors claiming WWE has allegedly misrepresented the situation between WWE and Saudi Arabia.
The lawsuit includes two witnesses, both of whom had their names kept anonymous — an former WWE wrestler (who was released back in April) and Middle East Broadcasting Center (MBC) employee.
Meltzer read a document from one of the lawsuits during a recent podcast, in which the wrestler confirmed the vast majority of what he originally reported (h/t Dominic DeAngelo of WrestleZone for transcript).
"The individual explained that following Crown Jewel on October 31, 2019 he along with other WWE personnel were scheduled to leave that King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh where the event was held and head to a private airport to take a charter plane to Buffalo for SmackDown," Meltzer read. "He was told that the charter flight he was scheduled to leave on was delayed because the plane needed to be pulled around. After they boarded they were removed from the airplane. After 20 to 30 minutes, he explained he spoke with a stewardess on the flight about the delay who told him 'It seems someone doesn't want us to leave this country.' He further explained the pilot seemed very distressed when he informed the passengers that the flight was unable to take off. He recalled that they were told because of a malfunction issue but he recalled seeing a ton of guards wearing black militia attire and wearing guns that were blocking their exit and staring at the wrestlers.
"He became aware that something was wrong and explained that a number of other personnel were referring to the event as a hostage situation. He explained he asked Senior Director of Talent Relations, Mark Carrano about what was going on and Carrano told him 'That Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Vince McMahon had gotten into an argument over late payments in conjunction with the June 7, 2019 Super ShowDown event. Carrano informed the person that McMahon cut the live feed for the Crown Jewel event and this made the Crown Prince very mad."
6/8/2020 - AMENDED COMPLAINT against George A. Barrios, Vincent K. McMahon, Michelle D. Wilson, World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. with JURY DEMAND by Firefighters Pension System of the City of Kansas City Missouri Trust (141 pages)— Wrestlenomics (@wrestlenomics) June 14, 2020
The wrestler then explained why more employees did not come forward after the story broke.
"The wrestler stated that after he returned WWE put out a letter that attempted to remove all blame from the company and that in his opinion, many wrestlers were scared of speaking out due to limited job opportunities in the industry and WWE's comparatively high salaries," the document read. "He said that many spoke on the condition of anonymity to journalists and the WWE denounced these stories as conspiracies and laughable. Nevertheless, after the events he said that he and a co-worker went straight to talent relations and said that they would not go back to Saudi Arabia. He said that other wrestlers tried to do the same, but the WWE abused their power and threatened the future trajectory of their careers if they did not go."
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