30th Apr2018

‘WWE Greatest Royal Rumble’ Results & Review

by Guest

Review by Ryan Kershaw

WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble… aka “Let’s get the Middle East to buy our product!”

greatest-royal-rumble-2018

Now, first things first, I have to give credit where credit is due, with this event in such a beautiful stadium and such huge names on the card, you’d be forgiven in thinking that this event was big or even meant something, it didn’t, it was a house show and nothing more. This was just a presentation to a different audience to kick-start a 10 year deal with the Saudi Sports Broadcasters. Do all other lifelong wrestling fans out there feel like they are being brushed aside for other audiences lately? Because I do! If it’s not a PPV (it wasn’t a PPV) in Saudi Arabia then it’s Jinder Mahal winning the WWE Championship. The only market that the true wrestling fans wanting to see explored in WWE was the Japanese market. So what did WWE do? They let the two biggest Japanese stars in the company lose extremely high profile matches at WrestleMania. I give it! But anyway, let’s get on with the show…

Triple H vs John Cena

Now I think we can all agree that these two titans of the WWE going toe-to-toe is an amazing way to start ANY show. It was slow, safe and an ordinary house show contest, but that didn’t really matter here. We all knew that this match didn’t mean anything. Both men won’t been getting a push out of this or even been seen on television for a while so it was simply a match, nothing more. There were the usual tests of strength and the slow pace that house shows bring, finished with a set of well-known moves to getting the crowd pumped. John Cena walked away with the victory after hitting ‘The Game’ with multiple AA’s. He then delivered a message to the live crowd thanking them for their support and hospitality. Isn’t he such a nice guy? A special mention does have to be made for this match though. The Saudi crowd. They popped hard for this one. They really got into the contest from start to finish and made it feel a little bit more special than it was, big props to them! But other than that there was nothing massive or breath-taking to report out of this one, it ticked all the boxes and was a nice way to open the show.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match – Cedric Alexander vs Kalisto

The crowd were already a little tired I think. Nothing the two high-flying competitors did could wake up the Saudi audience as they seemingly needed to rest after the HHH vs Cena match. To be fair, in American or British shows the Cruiserweight match is usually the quietest so I can’t blame the live crowd to be honest. Just like the match before it, this one went through the motions with nothing major or surprising happening in it. Cedric Alexander walked away with the win to retain his Cruiserweight Championship.

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match – The Bar vs Woken Matt & Bray Wyatt

We all knew how this one was going to go didn’t we? Seeing as the titles are called the RAW Titles, I’m guessing the team staying on Raw was going to win it, right? Indeed they did. The match was a bit of fun with Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt doing their crazy shtick. This one fell a bit flat and failed to hype up the crowd but a Matt Hardy Twist of Fate put Sheamus away to give Hardy & Wyatt the Raw Tag Team Titles.

United States Championship Match – Jeff Hardy vs Jinder Mahal

Much like his big brothers match before it, Jeff Hardy’s match fell pretty flat with the live Saudi crowd, but just like his brother, Jeff walked away with the gold. The match will be a talking point with wrestling fans around the world for one simple reason, THAT BOTCH! Jeff Hardy went for a Whisper in the Wind and completely missed, Jinder Mahal waited for a few seconds then decided to bump, it was extremely comical. No even the words Corey Graves could save it. In keeping with the event, this match felt just like a house sow contest but Jeff Hardy combined a Twist of Fate with his signature Swanton Bomb to retain the U.S Title.

WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match – The Bludgeon Brothers vs The Usos

They’re finding this easy aren’t they? The Bludgeon Brothers strolled to yet another easy victory here to retain the Tag Titles. At the start it look like Jimmy & Jay might be given a lot more offence than any other tag team had got in against Harper & Rowan, but no, not really. After Jey Uso had got a two count it was all Bludgeon Brothers from then on. With no women present in the Saudi show the Naomi storyline had to be put to one side in this one but the contest didn’t suffer too much as it didn’t offer a whole lot to begin with. Harper gave Rowan a slap in the face then they hit their double power-bomb to retain the titles.

Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match – Seth Rollins vs The Miz vs Finn Balor vs Samoa Joe

This one was pretty good actually. It didn’t have as much high spots or thrills and spills as a usual PPV ladder match, but as much as WWE wanted us to believe it was, THIS WAS NOT A PPV! Samoa Joe had the spot of the match and maybe the night as he snuck under Rollins to give his a power-bomb as the Champ was giving Finn Balor a suplex of his own. The Miz and Balor used the ladders most affectively in this match, both using them to hit their signature moves. The ending of the match saw Balor as the only man able to win as he started his climb up the ladder. Seth Rollins then spring boarded from the top-rope to the other side of the ladder to receive his Intercontinental Championship.

WWE Championship Match – AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura

One thing we can say about this, it was much better than the WrestleMania match 3 weeks ago. Still not a five-star epic by any stretch of the imagination but it was an emotional and hard hitting encounter. The match started slow and grew into itself with both men exchanging stiff and heavy blows in the centre of the ring. AJ Styles missed his signature forearm move and got hit by yet another low-blow by Nakamura. Both men countered the others finishing move then had a bar room brawl like fight onto the outside of the ring. AJ Styles showed a real mean side after the low-blow and hit Nakamura with a Phenomenal Forearm on the outside to end the match in a double count out. This match really summed up the event for me. Big names, big hype but meaningless by the end of the contest. Still an enjoyable match to watch though. Styles is still the WWE Champion and these two I’m sure will go from the dream match, to the rematch and now will be the grudge match.

Casket Match – The Undertaker vs Rusev

Just like at WrestleMania 34, The Undertaker looked great here. The 53 year old put on a fun and entertaining match with Rusev, with a little help from the tremendously underrated Aiden English. Rusev got a lot more offence in than many thought and when ‘The Deadman’ looked in control then in came Aiden English to help his Rusev Day master. With Taker down and out Rusev called for the Casket lid to be opened, Undertaker then sat up with the middle of the ring, Rusev turned around slowly sensing the ‘Deadman’s’ presence, Rusev got a choke-slam for his trouble. The Undertaker slumped the Bulgarian in the Casket before Aiden English attacked his from behind. English got a choke-slam and a tombstone pile-driver and was then placed on top of Rusev in the Casket with Taker slamming the lid shut for the win. Let’s hope this leads to a Rusev push and maybe we’ll even see The Undertaker a bit more this year.

Universal Championship Steel Cage Match – Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns

So WWE were waiting until now to have Roman Reigns defeat Brock Lesnar right? WRONG! Brock Lesnar once again prevailed to retain his WWE Universal Championship. However this one was very controversial. I actually thought that that the ending of this match was smart booking from WWE. Much like their Mania match, this was a hard hitting and physical contest. The match had way too many signature and so called finishing moves in it which does put a downer on the title fight but it was an enjoyable one to watch. At one stage Roman Reigns found himself inches away from escaping the cage and lifting the Championship but Paul Heyman smashed the cage door in his face. Both men had failed cage escape attempts before Roman Reigns gave a giant spear to Lesnar crashing through the cell wall and bumping hard on the floor outside of the ring. Due to Lesnar hitting the ground first he retained the title, but I’m sure this won’t be the last time that these two men square off in the ring and surprisingly I’m looking forward to see where they go with this.

The Greatest Royal Rumble Match – 50 Man Battle Royal

After nearly 5 hours of wrestling this 77 minute match had to do a lot to keep people interested and focused… it didn’t really. The match itself was okay, I wasn’t a terrible Royal Rumble, but the question I’d like to ask the fans is “does anyone care?” The winner got meaningless Championship belt and one of WWE’s over the top trophies. The match itself was kind of pointless. In saying that because of it having 50 entrants rather than the tradition 30, it smashed every record the Royal Rumble has. Most eliminations was taken by Braun Strowman at 13 eliminations. Daniel Bryan also broke a record as he stayed in the competition from entrant 1 all the way to the final 4, which took the ‘YES man’ 76 minutes. Some big names turned up, as reported, Chris Jericho (Number 50), Shane McMahon, Rey Mysterio and The Great Khali. There was a huge return with Hornswoggle making a dramatic return and truly changing the face of the WWE main event scene. I’m being sarcastic of course. Big Cass eliminated Daniel Bryan to add some heat to the Backlash encounter they have coming up before the 7ft tall star was finally eliminated by Braun Strowman to give The Monster Among Men the victory and become, uh, Greatest Royal Rumble Champion? Maybe? Who knows? I suppose we’ll have to tune in on Monday to find out.

A quick shout out to Titus O’Neil, hope he’s doing okay? If you don’t know already Titus O’Neil put the final nail in his own WWE career coffin as he feel over running to the match and fell underneath ring. What a ding-bat!

Overall I think this was a fun show to watch but defiantly not on the re-watch list. It just hammered home to me that WWE do not know how to book storylines and PPV’s right now.
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Do you agree that WWE simply do not know how to book shows right now? Do you disagree and think this was great? What would you like to see WWE do from here on out? Let us know in the comments below!

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