WWE Shares Smackdown on Revenue and International Media Deal Jitters


[b]Saudi Arabia Owes Million Clamed
Former WWE Spanish-language announcer Hugo Savinovich spilled some details on what allegedly happened in Saudi Arabia to cause the long flight delays that forced the wrestlers to miss Friday Night SmackDown.

Savinovich currently works for the AAA promotion in Mexico and he is well-connected due to the friendships he’s built during his 40+ years in the wrestling business. He also says he has connections to people in various countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Savinovich regularly does wrestling show recaps on his Facebook page. On Friday night, he recapped Friday Night SmackDown and spoke about the death of his wife Diane. He also added some credibility to the speculation around the situation with the flight delays in Saudi Arabia that affected WWE talent. WWE’s claim is that the flight was delayed due to mechanical issue but the word going around among the wrestlers is that there was an issue unrelated to the plane that caused the delays.

Savinovich noted that Brock Lesnar (and Paul Heyman) were able to leave the country because Lesnar flies on a private plane. Lesnar and Heyman left a couple of hours after the show and before the travel issues with the rest of the roster surfaced.

Savinovich added that McMahon was not paid for two shows in Saudi Arabia. He says he doesn’t know the exact figure that is owed but he’s owed millions of dollars and it could be somewhere between $300 to $500 million that is owed to WWE. He added that McMahon retaliated by cutting off the Crown Jewel live TV feed in Saudi Arabia.

Savinovich went on to say that the Crown Prince was so upset by the feed being cut off that he ordered to have the wrestlers be taken off Atlas Air just before the plane was about to take off. Savinovich was very clear when he said that this is not a hearsay rumor and he heard this directly from someone who has direct knowledge of the situation.

Savinovich pointed out that if mechanical issues were the real reason for the plane being delayed then McMahon could have easily paid to get his wrestlers on another flight so they could get to SmackDown in Buffalo. However, as already stated above, Savinovich says the issues had everything to do with money and the Crown Jewel feed being cut off and the order from the Crown Prince in retaliation.

Several mainstream outlets, including CNN, reported on Thursday about WWE’s stock plunging due to concerns from stockholders about the company not being able to secure a new TV deal in the Middle East. It’s not clear if this is related to the money issues with Saudi Arabia but this is a story worth following. We’ll post updates on this story when we hear more.