WWE Crown Jewel was a historic event, but it was overshadowed in some ways by the controversy that followed in regards to Superstars not being able to leave Saudi Arabia.
Vince McMahon was out of Saudi Arabia very quickly after the Crown Jewel show was over. He had no idea that there was an issue with the Superstars’ flight. After six hours on the tarmac, the Superstars weren’t going anywhere for an entire day.
There was a private charter plane that brought twenty people back early. That plane experienced its own delay and nobody made it back until SmackDown was almost over the next day. The charter had twenty people on it and roughly a dozen Superstars.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that WWE paid for that charter flight. This is in spite of them saying that those Superstars pulled their own money together because they felt so strongly about not missing the show.
We were told that, in fact, nobody paid a dime for the flight and WWE both arranged and paid for it, which makes the WWE’s wording in the release strange.
WWE paying for a flight out of Saudi Arabia for only twenty people might not have been a good look at the time. Perhaps they decided to say that the Superstars and staff pulled their own funds together as a way to excuse why WWE didn’t pay to have everyone else brought back as well. Either way, everyone made it back from Saudi Arabia and we are very happy about this.