Although it was not on the level of the infamous “Flight From Hell” from the 2002 trip back to the United States from the United Kingdom, this week’s trip from the U.S. to Saudi Arabia will apparently rank high in WWE folklore among those that flat out sucked.
On the latest issue of his Wrestling Observer Radio podcast, Dave Meltzer (@DaveMeltzerWON) spoke at great length about the overwhelmingly negative reaction he received from those currently working in WWE about the trip to Jeddah this week for the WWE Super ShowDown 2019 live WWE Network special on Friday afternoon at the King Abdullah Sports City’s King Abdullah International Stadium.
“The people who have been in contact with me … I know one person told me they had a good time and they were happy, and a couple of others were just like, ‘this really sucked,'” Meltzer started, before getting into some of the particulars, including the way Kevin Owens handled the situation.
“Most of the people knew they shouldn’t have gone but they didn’t, you know, how Kevin Owens did it — and that was actually brought up to me — how Kevin Owens did it shocked them,” he added. “Because one thing is Daniel Bryan is a top guy and they already let him get away with it once and he’s still one of the highest paid guys there.”
The longtime editor of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter continued, touching on a couple of other specific examples.
“Aleister Black and Sami Zayn were [WWE’s] calls,” Meltzer said. “That was the company’s calls that wasn’t their calls, so they didn’t go, but Kevin Owens was his call, and he’s a high guy, but people didn’t think that a guy like Kevin Owens could do that …and he did.”
Meltzer would go on to reference one particular WWE performer who told him that if it were up to him, he would never make that trip again.
“Most guys don’t wanna rock the boat. Some guys wanted to go but I heard most didn’t think they should go. It was an awfully long trip. One person told me if it were up to him he would never go back again, but it’s not up to him so it doesn’t matter. Others were like ‘it sucked.'”
As far as the 50-Man Battle Royal is concerned, apparently not a lot of effort was put into it. This should come as no surprise as there was no confirmation of the match or any of the participants until the last couple of days before the event.
“There were people who very much understood that the booking was horrible throughout so much of the show,” he continued. “For the guys in the Battle Royal it was like very much going through the motions because the whole thing was just thrown together and there were no showcase spots or anything like that.”
He continued, “So people there were in kind of not a great mood because you’re flying in there for this kind of match that can’t be good because there’s no thoughts put into it and you’re just kind of there as a piece of meat.”
Apparently a lot of the response Meltzer received from WWE talents was during a lay over the crew had on their way back to the United States, where they fly straight to work WWE non-televised live events in California, with shows in Fresno and Stockton on Sunday before the WWE RAW taping in San Jose and a WWE SmackDown Live non-televised house show in Reno, Nevada on Monday, and the WWE SmackDown Live taping in Sacramento, California on Tuesday.
“I’m sure we’ll hear a lot in the next 36 to 48 hours about this trip,” Meltzer concluded.
As always, we will keep you posted right here at LordsofPain.net as more information on this story surfaces.
Follow LordsofPain.net reporter Matt Boone on Twitter @MattBoone1984.