Many WWE Superstars are stuck in Saudi Arabia following “mechanical problems” on the 747 charter flight back to the United States, and as a result, tonight’s episode of SmackDown from Buffalo, NY may be light on star power. As a result, WWE is promising “special surprises.”
— WWE (@WWE) November 1, 2019
“As always with WWE, the show must go on,” the statement reads. “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.”
Unfortunately, while WWE hasn’t explicitly said so, the absence of The Fiend’s name in the press release seems to suggest that the new Universal Champion is one of the Superstars stuck in Saudi Arabia, meaning tonight’s Miz TV segment with Bray Wyatt is probably not going to happen as scheduled.
With ratings steadily declining for Friday Night SmackDown, this fiasco is the last thing the company needed. And given the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s poor record with human rights and treatment of foreigners, it is causing some alarm in the wrestling community as to what’s actually happening. While WWE cites “mechanical problems,” outlets such as the Wrestling Observer Newsletter have noted that that may not be the case.
Several wrestlers have expressed their discontent with the situation on Twitter:
Bad day on Saudi Arabia, I hope to arrive before my birth…..
— “EL IDOLO” ANDRADE (@AndradeCienWWE) November 1, 2019
— Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) November 1, 2019
No matter how you slice it, this is a bad situation for WWE.
Friday Night SmackDown will air as scheduled tonight at 8pm ET on FOX.