Dax Harwood not keen to discuss this topic – In 2019, WWE’s charter plane bound for the United States from Saudi Arabia was held for several hours, causing turmoil for the “SmackDown” show scheduled for the following day in Buffalo. WWE initially cited mechanical issues as the reason for the delay, but reports and comments from wrestlers have since suggested that something more sinister may have been at play.
According to Dave Meltzer’s Wrestling Observer Radio show and tweets, the holdup was not due to weather or a mechanical issue with the plane, but rather a problem that WWE had with the Saudi authorities. Of the 175 people WWE brought to Saudi Arabia for the event, only 12 were able to get out on a second charter flight, while the rest remained on the plane for over six hours before heading to hotels. The second flight carried “top talent” in hopes of making it to Buffalo in time for SmackDown, but WWE confirmed that it would not complete the 14-hour trip in time for the show.
This unexpected turn of events left WWE scrambling to fill a two-hour show without a significant portion of its roster, as the women’s wrestlers did not make the trip to Saudi Arabia and several scheduled matches and segments were affected. The situation has caused much debate and speculation amongst fans and wrestlers alike, with some stars discussing their perspectives on the events.
One wrestler who was glad not to have been on the delayed plane was Dax Harwood, currently a member of AEW (All Elite Wrestling). Harwood and Cash Wheeler, then known as The Revival, were part of a tag team turmoil match at the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, which was eventually won by Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. When a fan asked Harwood’s former podcast co-host Matt Koon on social media what subject he wished they had covered, Koon responded with “Saudi Arabia plane.” Harwood then commented, “Honestly, I was afraid if I told the truth about what happened, I would’ve been found dead somewhere in my house.”
The incident has brought to light lingering tensions between WWE and the Saudi authorities, with reports of payment disputes for previous shows in the country. While WWE has not provided further details about the incident, the delay and its aftermath have raised questions and concerns amongst wrestlers and fans alike
Maybe save this for an episode of the @DarkSideOfRing in 20 years time 🙂 https://t.co/GEWlrhTr1s
— Craig (Dirtsheets.net) (@DirtSheetsCraig) April 24, 2023