Shane Helms was recently a guest on The Angle Podcast, where he spoke about being in Saudi Arabia during the travel delay that eventually led into the NXT Invasion storyline that occurred during an episode of SmackDown. Helms was asked for his explanation of what happened (transcription courtesy of Andrew Thompson at Post Wrestling).
“The media really blew it out,” he said. “Like unless they completely hid everything from me… all the talk about the plane, we had the one plane. It wasn’t like in America when you own American Airlines and there’s a bunch of planes out there. We had the one, and we couldn’t interchange the flight crew because we brought them with us. You know what I’m saying? And the flight crew has to get a certain amount of rest and the pilot has to get a certain amount of rest and when the thing with the plane happened, the mechanical difficulties and now the pilot didn’t have enough rest, that’s a federal law that they can’t just go, ‘Hey I’m okay, I can make it.’ You can’t do that, and like I said, we brought him with us. They didn’t have just another pilot they can call and go, ‘Hey, we need you to fly to America. We got a bunch of angry assholes out here.’ But… and then that being said, they put us in five-star hotels, they were feeding us silly and I didn’t know about any of the drama that was being reported on social media whatsoever and I remember I was literally taking a picture of a dessert because we’re back at the hotel, and it was aggravating being delayed but I’ve been traveling for quarter of a century now so, delays happen.”
Helms went on to say that while it was an inconvenient situation, it didn’t seem to be as bad as some had rumored. “You either get angry or you roll with it. What are you gonna do? And so anyway, we’re back at the hotel and I’m over there with my phone taking a picture of a dessert tray to send back home, and then I get this text, because I guess — I mean maybe I didn’t have WiFi while we were on the buses from the… maybe from the terminal or something,” he said. “I can’t remember exactly what happened but I hadn’t messaged home in a few hours and so then I get this message from my woman and she’s upset and she’s like, ‘I heard you guys are trapped’ and I’m like, ‘What?’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, I’m stuffing my face with this cake. That’s how trapped I am. If this is trapped, I’m gonna stay over here.’ But you know, then you hear all the weird stories so I can’t really tell you 100 percent for certain I know exactly what happened but I know I was treated fine. They treated us fine. A lot of the guys kind of get hysterical of anything. Some of the younger guys, you know? But I’ve had so many travel snafus, it was just another day at the office for me.”