With reports, rumors and speculation rampant, WWE is working to contain the story surrounding their latest show in Saudi Arabia, Thurs., Oct. 31’s Crown Jewel.
After word got out Friday that most of the wrestlers and crew who worked the event were held up in Riyadh, talk followed about the travel issues being at the direction of the Saudi government. Then we heard allegations of a disagreement between Vince McMahon and a member or members of the Royal family, which were supposedly over monies owed on the ten year contracts signed between the Kingdom and WWE last year. The story goes that the financial dispute caused McMahon to have the local broadcast of the show delayed, and social media activity confirms there was an issue with the Crown Jewel broadcast in the region.
The idea that the KSA was behind in paying for past events gained steam because the lucrative contract wasn’t explored in depth on last week’s conference call with investors, and an SEC filing for the quarter discussed on the call which explained a decline in cash generated from operating activities as being due in part to “the timing of collections associated with our Super ShowDown event which was held in the second quarter of 2019.”
With the chatter not dying down despite a statement from the charter company backing WWE’s report that a mechanical issue with the plane was the cause of the travel delay, a WWE spokesperson spoke with Forbes’ Alfred Konuwa:
“WWE was reached for comment and swiftly denied these allegations, confirming to me its strong relationship with its partners in Saudi Arabia. WWE tells me the feed issues were entirely unrelated to any issues with payment. They reinforced that mechanical issues were a cause of the flight delay and Atlas Air, the charter company, issued an apology in that regard as well.”
Will that end the conversation? We’re guessing no, but we’ll find out.