The Greatest Royal Rumble Review
Updated on: May 3, 2018 6:19 pm IST
The Greatest Royal Rumble was held in King Abdullah International Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The match card featured 10 matches with every title on the line except the female titles. The biggest match of the card was the 50 man Royal Rumble which was also the main event. With the current roster as well as legends making n appearance in the biggest WWE event in the Middle East.
From the look of the venue and the stage, it was clear that the WWE didn’t hesitate to pull out all the stops for this event. Respecting the Saudi culture that prohibits females from participating in sports, the event had no female wrestlers performing. Triple H has stated that maybe in a few years that will change as the WWE are the current leaders in female wrestling.
The event was action packed with quite a few surprises for the fans and awesome moments that fans will be talking about for the weeks to come. The matches were solid and the action was fast and there was even some storyline building. Here’s a look at the entire event and match card at what went down at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
Triple H vs John Cena
What better way to kick off a show by giving the fans two of the biggest names in wrestling. Both John and HHH are admired by the fans and loved by the kids. The perfect Heel vs Face match. There was neither storyline involved nor future feud, just two legends facing off in front the fans that love them. The best match to get the crowd excited for the rest of the night.
The match started out with HHH making his entrance in his normal HHH badass style. John was out next to a huge pop while HHH greeted the fans by the ringside. A huge amount of fireworks were set off at both entrances.
The match started with a test of strength with a lock-up broken by a hard shove by HHH. Another lock up this time with John showing his strength. Both these men lost their last match, John lost to the Undertaker and HHH and his wife Stephanie vs Kurt and Ronda Rousey at Wrestlemania 34.
Mid-match HHH mocked John with his “You can’t see me” taunt. HHH did his signature spine-busters and clotheslines. Triple H had control of the face to build up John who was the babyface of the match. There were a few moments where Cena showed some power but was not for long as HHH got back into the driver seat. HHH mocked John by doing John’s signature “Five Knuckle Shuffle”.
The highlight move of the match was when John went to the top rope but after the jump was caught by HHH into a powerbomb. Quite a few false finishers after the AA and Pedigree. John hit HHH with the AA for the pin.
Post-match John talked about what an honor and privilege it was to be performing in Saudi Arabia.
Cedric Alexander vs Kalisto for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship
The Second match and first title match of the night. For the WWE Cruiserweight Championship, the Champion Cedric Alexander faced Kalisto. This was the first time Cedric faced Kalisto in a one on one match.
The match started off with some really fast, slick counters. A head scissors by Cedric on Kalisto which Kaliso landed on his feet. Both men showing of their fast moves and counters. Many high flying moves at the start off the ropes by Kalisto. Cedric performed an amazing dive over the top rope on Kalisto.
Mid-match Cedric got Kalisto into a lock and both men were in the middle of the ring for quite some time. Kalisto tried to break out but Cedric had his hands locked tight. Cedric tried keeping the high flying Kalisto grounded. But after the break, Kaliso went back to his high flying persona.
An amazing swing DDT by Kalisto on Cedric. A few really close pinfalls on both men. A quick innovative Spanish Fly by Kalisto on Cedric of the top rope. These were some of the moves by Kalisto showing why he should be the champion.
Near the end of the match, Cedric counters Kalisto’s Salida Del Sol into the Lumbar Check for the win, retaining the title. Though this match didn’t have the fans engaged, the match was of excellent quality and showmanship. Both Cedric and Kalisto proved why they are the life of 205 Live. The back and forth, the counters and reversals were spot on. Kalisto proved to be one of the best new generation high flyers in the company.
The Bar vs Matt “Woken” Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
First to come out were “Woken” Matt and Bray Wyatt followed by the Bar, Sheamus, and Cesaro. The match started with Cesaro and “Woken” Matt yelling their respective catchphrase “the Bar” and “Delete” respectively. Matt takes control f the match then tags in Bray who too is in control against Ceasro.
A little bit of double team by Baron Bray which ends soon as Bray tags in Matt. A big of a double team by Matt and Bray on Sheamus. The match continues with Matt and Sheamus as the legal men. Double kick by Sheamus and Ceasro on Matt followed by a double Clothesline.
While the referee was distracted the other man on the side of The Bar, took cheap shots at whoever was in the ring. Another double team by Sheamus and Ceasro on Matt. Matt was able to hit a Side Effect on Sheamus and hot tag in Bray. An angry and full of steam Bray comes in and unleashes fury on Ceasro. Bray hits a hard Crossbody on Ceasro for a near pin.
Sheamus and Ceasro hit a double team White Noise on Bray but Matt saves the match. Bray is able to hit Sheamus with Sister Abigail and tags in Matt. Matt and Bray hit Sheamus with a double team Twist of Fate for the pin.
Now “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt are the new Raw Tag Team Champions., together called the Deleter of Worlds. The match was solid and a perfect example of the chemistry between the men of both teams. The Bar will be shifting to Smackdown Live due to the superstar shake-up. It’ll be interesting to see how the WWE will push Matt and Bray as the new Tag champions and who they will face in the future.
Jeff Hardy vs Jinder Mahal for the United States Championship
Jinder had won the United States Championship at Wrestlemania 34 but lost it during the first segment of Monday Night Raw to Jeff Hardy. This started a feud between the two even though they are on different brands. Jeff came out first to a huge pop followed by Sunil Singh who introduced Jindar to boos.
The match was in Jeff’s control from the start including a sweet spot where Jeff ran across the top of the barricade and jumped Jinder with a clothesline. Sunil as usual interfered in the match while the referee’s back was turned. Jinder tried to keep Jeff on the ground to slow his momentum.
Jeff gets some speed back mid-match but it isn’t long lasting. During the entire match, the commentary team were hyping up the fact that Jeff was injured. This match saw the huge botch as Jinder stood up while Jeff was setting up Whisper in the Wind, leading to a Nobody home when he landed the move.
Jinder tried to go for a pin while grabbing Jeff’s jeans but couldn’t get it. Jeff was able to hit Jinder with a Twist of fate and get to the top rope for the Swanton Bomb which he landed perfectly. A three count and Jeff retained the championship.
The match was pretty good with Jeff doing most of the hard work. Apart from that botch by Jinder, the match was standard at best. They could’ve gone on more or had more spots but WWE decided to keep it short which isn’t a bad thing. The title stayed with Jeff which is a good thing as he can elevate the title and take it to new heights on Smackdown Live. Smackdown has been teasing us with a feud with either Shelton or Randy in Jeff’s future.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs The Usos for the WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship
The Usos come out first followed by The Bludgeon Brothers, Rowan, and Harper. The feud that started at Wrestlemania 34 and has continued since with the last loss of the Brothers to the Usos when Naomi interfered.
Jey and Rowan started the match and immediately set the tone of the match as a speed meets brute strength. Brute strength and hard hits is what the Bludgeon brothers used to overpower the Usos. The Bludgeon Brothers kept the force on Usos for the majority of the match.
Jey makes a tag to Jimmy who comes in with full steam and goes after both Harper and Rowan. Jimmy continues this steam even against Harper. Both Usos double team Harper and Rowan with double team kicks.
While both Usos try to get to the top rope they are stopped by the Bludgeon brothers and seeing their opportunity they took out both the Usos. A quick double team finisher on Jey Uso and the Bludgeon Brothers won the match retaining the Tag Team titles.
The match was very short but the fast paced action and the strength of the Bludgeon Brothers made up for the lack of length. Both team looked strong and were booked pretty good. The Usos looked incredible with their chemistry and high flying action. The Bludgeon Brothers looked like a force to be reckoned with.
Seth Rollins vs Finn Balor vs The Miz vs Samoa Joe for the WWE Intercontinental Championship in a Ladder Match
The most anticipated match and for good reason, Seth, Finn and the Miz put on the match of the night at Wrestlemania 34. This felt like a rematch with the addition of Samoa Joe and a ladder stipulation. Regardless, the fans knew this was going to be an exciting treat. The chemistry between the wrestlers was remarkable. At Wrestlemania 34 they played off and countered each other’s moves flawlessly.
The champion, Seth Rollins came out first to a huge pop followed by Samoe Joe then the Miz and last Finn Balor. The match started out with a brawl, Seth going after Samoa while Finn went for the Miz. Seth hit Samoa and the Miz with a double blockbuster from the second rope. Samoa goes after Finn for a while. The champion Seth takes out Finn and hits the Miz with a suicide dive.
Samoa Joe goes for a ladder which is also grabbed by Seth and the Miz, they team up and shove the ladder into Joe. Seth takes out Finn with a suicide dive through the ropes and onto the Saudi announce table. Even Finn does a suicide dive over the top rope onto Seth and the Miz.
With a ladder in the ring Joe and Finn fight over it. Joe sets Finn for a powerbomb but Finn counters and slams Joe onto the ladder followed by a double stomp on Joe’s chest. Joe and Finn continue their fight while Seth and the Miz are outside the ring.
Miz and Seth get in the ring and Seth sends Miz face first into the ladder. Miz tries to form an alliance with Joe, Joe shakes the Miz’s hands before hitting him with a shoulder tackle. While Finn and Seth fight for the belt up top the ladder, the Miz and Joe push the ladder causing both men to fall on the top rope.
Joe takes the lead by slamming first Seth the Finn on the ladder. He continues this and even takes the ladder in his hands and hits the Miz with it. While Seth is setting up Finn for a suplex off the top rope, Joe gets underneath and powerbombs Seth which results in Finn getting a Superplex. Miz gets in from behind and hits the Skull Crushing Finale on Joe, face first into the ladder.
Miz takes up the ladder and hits Seth and Finn with it. After taking out the Miz and Joe, Finn set up the ladder and climbed to the top. Seth was able to perform an impressive leap from the top rope onto the ladder and climb up faster than Finn. He was able to take off the belt before Finn could even reach it. Seth retained the title.
The match was excellent in every way, it was perfectly spaced out with enough time given so that each man could shine. Though lacking insane spots and bumps the match will definitely be remembered for the amazing action and the incredible finish.
Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour, and Fisal
A small segment is shown as Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour, and Fisal take the ring. These four were from the WWE training seminar which was held in Saudi Arabia a few prior to the event. While the four were celebrating being the hometown boys making it into the WWE, Ariya and Shawn Daivari came down to the ring waving an Iranian flag.
The brothers’ trash talked the four young men and called them fake athletes. Not wanting to hear anymore from the brothers, the four men take turns and beat the two up and send them back and soon start their celebration once again.
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship.
The much-anticipated rematch between the Phenomenal One and the King Of Strong Style. This feud has skyrocketed since their last encounter at Wrestlemania 34. Post match, Nakamura who had lost hit AJ with a low blow and cemented his heel turn. Since then he started blindsiding AJ during his matches and hitting him with a low blow. During their last encounter in a 6 man tag team match, while AJ was down, Nakamura hit AJ’s tag partners, Gallows, and Anderson with Kinshasa.
The match debuted Nakamura’s new “Heel” theme song as he entered the ring followed by AJ Styles entrance. The match started with Nakamura working and focusing on AJ’s arm. AJ countered and locked in Nakamura’s arm. Then things went at a slow pace with the two locking up in the middle of the ring. Mocking and challenging AJ leads to a fast quick bit of action with AJ hitting Nakamura with a dropkick.
The match went slow again with AJ eating a boot from Nakamura. The match featured a few moments that showed the technical side of both wrestlers, not just punching and kicking but thinking and planning their moves. While AJ was down by the apron, Nakamura showed his Heel side by brutally kicking AJ and only stopping so that he doesn’t get disqualified.
The two kept exchanging moves and blows, with no one has the lead. Aj builds momentum and takes down Nakamura. Nakamura counters and sets AJ up for the Kinshasa but AJ counters and gets Nakamura into the Calf Crusher. Nakamura gets to the rope and breaks the hold. Nakamura sets AJ up on the top rope for a suplex but AJ escapes and pulls Nakamura face first into the turnbuckle.
AJ gets ready for the Phenomenal Forearm but nearly misses hitting the referee as Nakamura ducks out of the way. While the referee has his back turned AJ is hit with a low blow by Nakamura. Trying to get the pin Nakamura is disappointed as AJ grabs the rope and breaks the count. Nakamura sets up once again for Kinshasa by it cut off by AJ. Both men roll to the floor.
They brawl on the outside with AJ jumping on Nakamura over the Saudi announce table. Both men keep brawling while the referee keeps counting. The referee hits the count of 10 and the match ends with a double count out. The men keep fighting and AJ hits Nakamura with a chair and then a Phenomenal forearm off the top rope to the floor.
The match was better than their match at Wrestlemania 34, the moves were better, the storyline was better, everything was better. This is the best feud of 2018 till now and it will only get better. If the WWE can pull the feud even longer and matches will get better.
The Undertaker vs Rusev in a Casket Match
The second match of the evening with no build up or storyline. The last we saw of the Undertaker was at Wrestlemania 34 against John Cena which turned out to be a squash match which the undertaker won in 2 minutes and 45 seconds.
The match started with Aiden English announcing Rusev’s arrival and walked down to the ring with Rusev to be by the ringside. The announcement team told us that this was the first Casket match in over 3 years. Taker then made his entrance, got into the ring and made the referees raise the casket’s cover.
The match started with a frightened Rusev outside while the Undertaker waited inside. Rusev got in then got out once again but didn’t know that the Undertaker came behind him and caught him with a right hand. Rusev got the upper hand and stomped the Undertaker. Thinking he had the Undertaker down he tried to take a break when suddenly a recovered Undertaker came behind Rusev.
The Undertaker unloaded with big right hands with Rusev caught in a corner. The Undertaker lands Old School on Rusev. Taker throws Rusev on the Casket but being closed, Rusev rolls over it. They Brawl on the outside. Undertaker is able to get Rusev inside the Casket but Aiden holds the lid away from Undertaker being able to shut it.
Ruse and the Undertaker exchange blows while the fans chant. Rusev is able to put some offense on the Undertaker while he’s down. Rusev locks the undertaker in the Accolade and when he thinks the Undertaker has passed out, orders the referees to open the Casket. While his back is turned, the Undertaker sits up. They exchange blows again with the Undertaker ending it with a chokeslam. The Undertaker throws Rusev into the Casket and Chokslams an interfering Aiden English. The Undertaker Tombstones English and throws him into the Casket with Rusev and closes it to win the match.
The match was good and better than the one at Wrestlemania 34. The Undertaker was showing his age and the wear and tear of his life dedicated to the company.
Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Championship inside a Steel Cage
Roman came out first followed by Brock, the Steel Cage was already lowered over the ring and was ready. The match started with a stare down and the moment Roman went for Brock he got behind Roman and hit him with the first of many German Suplex. After four German Suplexes, Brock hits Roman with an F5.
Roman is able to break away and hit Lesnar with five superman punches. Roman is able to avoid another F5 and slams Lesnar into the cage walls. Roman was able to hit Lesnar with three spears but wasn’t able to get the pin. Roman asked for the door to be opened and tried to get out but was stopped by Paul Heyman.
Brock goes to hit Roman with a chair but gets hit with a spear. Roman takes the chair and hits Brock with the chair then a superman punch.
The finale saw the best moment of the event, Roman spearing Brock out of the cage to the floor beneath.
The match was another German-Suplex spot fest. No big moves, no spots, nothing hardcore inside a steel cage. Worst match of the night and a waste of time.
50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble
The greatest Royal Rumble match is here featuring the largest roster of 50 participants. This was the selling point of the whole event and it was finally time for the show.
The first to come out was Daniel Bryan followed by Dolph Ziggler at #2. The two exchange strikes and Ziggler end it with a dropkick. #3 is Sin Cara who gets some good offense on both men. #4 is Curtis Axel who goes after Ziggler. #5 is Mark Henry who eliminates Axel. Henry is attacked by Bryan and Ziggler. #6 is Mike Kanellis who is a waste as he gets instantly eliminated by Mark Henry. #7 is a sumo from Japan Hiroki Sumi, another profound waste of space as he and Mark face off. Mark eliminates the sumo with easy before he himself is eliminated by Ziggler and Bryan.
#8 is Victor from the Ascension. He gets a chance to run wild for a while before getting eliminated by Daniel Bryan. #9 is Kofi of the New Day. He goes after Daniel and Ziggler. #10 is Tony Nese who goes after Kofi and they brawl. #11 is Dash of the Revivals. He goes after Daniel and Nese. #12 is Hornswoggle which is a cool entry for a loved character. He helps eliminate Dash from the outside. Nese eliminates Hornswoggle after he gets a superkick from Ziggler. #13 is Primo who is yet another waste and a perfect reason why a bigger royal rumble doesn’t mean a better one. #14 is Woods from the New Day. Woods and Kofi have a wacky elimination spot. Nese gets distracted with the New Day dancing and then gets eliminated by them.
#15 is Bo Dallas and #16 is Kurt Angle. Kurt hits everyone with a German Suplex and then eliminates Ziggler. #17 is Dawson of the Revival and #18 is Goldust. The brawl in the ring comtinues. #19 is Konnor of the Ascension and #20 is Elias.
Elias eliminates Kofi, Woods, and Konnor. #21 is Luke Gallows. Kurt and Bryan finally brawl for a bit. Bryan is able to escape the ankle lock but gets an angle slam. #22 is Rhyno and #23 is Drew Gulak. #24 is Tucker Knight form NXT. #25 is the glorious one, Bobby Roode. Bobby goes wild for a while and eliminates Goldust and Dawson. #26 is Fandango and #27 is Chad Gable. The brawl in the ring starts to slow down and become less with all the eliminations taking place.
#28 is the legend, Rey Mysterio. He eliminates Gallows and hits an impressive Tornado DDT on Chad Gable. #29 is Mojo who eliminates Fandango. The ring is still crowded and the action starts to slow down. #30 is Tyler Breeze who gets eliminated by Mojo soon after entering the ring. #31 is Big E who rushes to the ring and offers Tucker pancakes but he refuses and they brawl and soon Tucker is eliminated by Big E.
#32 is Karl Anderson. He gets some time to shine before cut off by Big E. #33 is Apollo and #34 Roderick Strong. Big E and Strong eliminate Rhyno. #35 is Randy Orton and hits Apollo with an RKO and eliminates Anderson. #36 is Heath Slater and #37 is Babatunde from NXT. #38 is Corbin. He hits Rey with Deep Sx and goes after the other men in the ring.
#39 is the greatest Royal Rumble entry. Titus WORLDWIDE who makes a meme as he slips and falls before entering the ring. He falls and slides under the ring in what is going to be the best moment of the entire night. The sight was so hilarious that the entire commentary desk was in tears and sources say Vince was too as they replayed the same clip over and over.
#40 is Dan Matha from NXT and #41 is the Monster among men Braun Strowman. Braun eliminates Babatunde and Matha and later Slater and Big E. Showing this level of strength everyone attacks Braun. #42 is Tye Dillinger. Braun Eliminates Titus and Tye. After a dropkick from Orton, Rey is able to hit his 619 on Braun. #43 is Curt Hawkins and #44 is Bobby Lashley. The brawl in ring continues with Daniel taking on Braun. #45 is the Great Khali who chops everyone in his way. Lashley and Braun team up to take Khali out.
#46 is Kevin Owens and #47 is Shane McMahon. Kevin cannonballs Lashley and Braun and hits Bryan with a powerbomb. #48 is Shelton and #49 is Big Cass. Shane is able to hit Cost to Cost on Braun. #50 is Chris Jericho.
The match continues with Kevin brawling with Jericho while the others find someone to hit. The last three are Big Cass, Daniel Bryan, and Braun Strowman. Big Cass eliminates Bryan after Bryan was in the ring for 76 minutes. This will surely add to their storyline. Braun eliminates Cass and wins his first Royal Rumble.
Braun is given a trophy and a championship belt for his victory. The match was as expected, long, bloated and slow. The winner was the best wrestler to win. Though it lacked any surprise entrances and any returns it was still okay. Not bad but still not that good. Braun winning will elevate his monster status. Big Cass eliminating Bryan will add to their feud and the others got a great chance to perform. The entire show was good at best not memorable.