AJ Styles gives his version of what happened in Saudi Arabia.
As fans know by now, many WWE superstars ran into issues getting out of Saudi Arabia following Crown Jewel. A large part of the roster ended up stuck in Saudi Arabia for an extra 24-plus hours for what was described by WWE as "several aircraft problems including mechanical issues." While there have been plenty of rumors and speculation as to the real story, nothing beyond "mechanical issues" has been said by WWE.
AJ Styles, who was part of the group stuck in Saudi Arabia, addressed the issues during his Mixer stream.
"We got to the airport, they weren't letting us board," he recalled. "What was the problem? Not real sure. I heard there was a fuel truck in the way and the guy who drove the fuel truck had left to go home. I know, this makes no sense. Why would he leave if he knows he has a plane that's leaving? Then there were some paperwork issues. Finally, after 4-5 hours, we get on the plane. Then the 'fuel something or another' was broken. People can say, 'It wasn't broken.' But I talked to the pilot and he said, 'Listen, there was a problem. That's a real thing.' The problem was, we spent all that time, from 1 o'clock to 6 or 8 in the morning, waiting to get on the plane and them telling us we can't go anywhere because the pilots had timed out. The pilots can only go so long before they're not able to fly because they're not able to go 24 hours at a time. They had to go to a hotel, we had to find a hotel. Were there guns and people like 'EVERYBODY OFF THE PLANE!' No, that never happened. Nobody threatened to kill us. Nobody was gonna get murdered."
There have been rumors and speculation that Vince McMahon and the Saudi government had gotten into a dispute over unpaid money, which led to the "mechanical issues" and WWE superstars being unable to get another flight out of Saudi.
AJ commented on the rumors saying, "I have no idea what happened between Vince [McMahon] and [Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman]. That's not my job to say anything. Was I pretty angry about not getting home because I missed my son's wrestling match? You have no idea. This was out of our hands and out of the pilot's hands. There's no point in getting mad about something I have no control of. We'll find out as we go along why things happened. Or we won't. I don't know what's going to happen going forward. I'll deal with it when I need to. But I'm not gonna throw WWE under the bus either. It's not gonna do me any good to throw anybody under the bus. Until I know more, I'm not gonna say anymore or say anything negative. If I did find out and I was offended, I would go to the source."
Fortunately, everyone trapped in Saudi made it home safely. But many were not happy with the situation. You can view Luke Harper's thoughts on the situation by clicking here. And you can view how many reacted while still in Saudi by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t to Fightful for the transcription.