Corey Graves revealed some of the details about the Saudi plane rumors on his latest podcast, including most of the names of who was on the early Saudi charter flight.
During the second episode of After the Bell, Graves went into detail about the Crown Jewel trip and tried to put to rest some of the rumors regarding who was "left behind" and why a certain group of Superstars were chosen to board an early charter that left Saudi Arabia before everyone else got out.
After talking about the mechanical issues that forced everyone off the plane, Graves said, "They de-planed everybody and then at some point, people from management came around and said, 'Hey, if we can get a group of you guys to SmackDown, would you be willing to do it?" He said of course and there were a number of other stars asked the same question, all of whom were advertised for SmackDown that night or important to the show running without a hitch.
Graves said the nickname, 'The Saudi 20' came about because rumors suggested it was the most important people in the company, but that wasn't it at all. Graves said it boiled down to those who were advertised for Friday Night SmackDown on FOX so that fans got what they'd paid to see. Names included King Corbin, Roman Reigns, The Revival, New Day, Michael Cole, and guys that had advertised matches. Graves was set to announce and even a camera man was on the plane.
Those Not on the Saudi 20 Should Look In The Mirror
Graves said those that weren't on the Saudi 20 shouldn't be worried about their place in WWE. But, if they went public about not being on that flight and complained, they need to look in the mirror and get over themselves. He used Orton as an example of what should have been done by the rest of the roster. Orton could have complained, but he didn't because he knew why those names were on the early flight. Ironically, days later, Orton signed an extension with WWE.
Graves said it wasn't about who was important in WWE, only who was important to the SmackDown show that night.