A number of NXT talent are being flown to Buffalo for tonight's SmackDown.
Those in WWE who are in Saudi Arabia have confirmed to us that the talent and production people in Riyadh for Crown Jewel will be flying home in about five hours, which would be 3 a.m. local time at 8 p.m. Eastern time.
Everyone is fine and right now are just passing the time until they can leave.
WWE released a statement this morning noting that the wrestlers who were in Saudi Arabia will be unable to perform on tonight's SmackDown due to issues in getting out of the country after Crown Jewel.
WWE claimed that more than 175 people boarded a 747 charter flight that was designed to get them into Buffalo, where the SmackDown crew would be there with time to spare and the others would be able to connect to return home.
WWE claimed due to aircraft problems and technical issues that the talent was stuck in the plane for six hours. The claim was that several talents felt strongly enough that they arraigned their own charter to make it for the show, but due to an unforeseen issue, their charter won't land until after SmackDown
WWE reported that tonight's SmackDown will go on featuring those who weren't in Saudi Arabia, including Daniel Bryan, The Miz, Carmella, Nikki Cross, and Dana Brooke, along with "additional surprises."
There were other issues involved but Vince McMahon, Kevin Dunn and Vince's personal staff were out of Saudi Arabia before they surfaced as they left earlier on Vince's private jet. Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman were able to leave the country immediately on the private jet Lesnar is given for these events.
About 20 people, said to be 12 top stars and eight key people in production, were arranged for a different flight to make the show, but due to other issues, they were not able to arrive in time and are landing in Newark.