WWE have confirmed a number of Smackdown stars will miss today’s show due to being stranded in Saudi Arabia due to flight delays.
Following last night’s Crown Jewel event in Riyadh the wrestlers on the blue brand were due in Buffalo for a live television broadcast tonight.
Now WWE have confirmed in a statement that several of their roster will not arrive back in the US in time for the show – but they have vowed that the “show must go on” regardless.
The company confirmed: “The WWE roster is delayed in its return from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, following a historic performance at yesterday’s record-breaking WWE Crown Jewel event.
“More than 175 Superstars, production crew and employees boarded a 747 charter flight back to the United States on Thursday. After the door closed, due to several aircraft problems including mechanical issues, all passengers sat on the tarmac for more than six hours. With SmackDown set to emanate live from Buffalo, N.Y., several Superstars felt so strongly that they arranged for their own separate charter in order to make it back to the U.S. for the show. Due to unforeseen issues, that charter will not land until after the live broadcast on FOX.
“The remainder of WWE’s Superstars, staff and crew will depart on a charter set to depart Saudi Arabia later tonight.”
The flight back to the US is expected to be around 14 hours.
A number of delayed stars have been keeping fans updated with their situation and also venting their fury on social media.
Mexican star ‘El Idolo’ Andrade wrote: “Bad day on Saudi Arabia, I hope to arrive before my birth.”
And former NXT tag team champion simply posted: “Never again”.
The Crown Jewel event in Riyadh saw heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury make his WWE debut.
And it was a successful one – the Gypsy King DEFEATED ‘The Monster Among Men’, Braun Strowman, landing a right hook on his opponent who was then counted out.
But the Lineal boxing champ was then brutally attacked after the bell sounded his victory by a raging Strowman.
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History was also made on the night when Natalya and Lacey Evans took part in the first ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia.
And Brock Lesnar stole the show by beating his former MMA nemesis Cain Velasquez in just 88 SECONDS.
The final match of the night saw The Fiend Bray Wyatt crowned Universal Championship by pinning Seth Rollins in the Falls Count Anywhere clash.