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Greatest Royal Rumble Recap & Review

WWE Greatest Royal Rumble
#WWEGRR

Original Air Date: April 27, 2018
Event Date: April 27, 2018
aired live on the WWE Network

City: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Venue: King Abdullah Sports City Stadium

Commentary: Michael Cole, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Arabic Commentary (ringside): Sultan Alharbi, Faisal Almughaisib, Jude Aldajani
Ring Announcer: Greg Hamilton

Theme Song: “When Legends Rise” by Godsmack

 

Ring Area
The national anthem of Saudi Arabia is played over the sound system in the stadium, followed by the national anthem of the United States.

Video
All of tonight’s matches are briefly previewed in the show’s opening video.

 

Match 1
Triple H vs John Cena
(referee: John Cone)

Show/Hide Results

Result: John Cena wins via pinfall after an Attitude Adjustment
Time: 15:45

Match Thoughts
Good match. There weren’t any surprises here, but it was a very solid match. I think this was more about history than anything else. The history between these two men, and the history of this match being the first of the Greatest Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Cena says he is honored to be allowed to participate in tonight’s event. He thanks the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their hospitality.

Video
“The Best of Both Worlds” video for the upcoming co-branded PPVs.

 

Match 2
Cruiserweight Title Match
Kalisto vs Cedric Alexander (Cruiserweight Champ)
(referee: Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Cedric Alexander wins via pinfall after a Lumbar Check and retains his title
Time: 10:14

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Both men seemed extremely energetic for this match. They started quickly and never really let the pace fall. This had some very nice and exciting moves as well as more than a little bit of flying. The finish was great.

 

Match 3
RAW Tag Team Title Match
Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt vs Cesaro & Sheamus
(referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Matt Hardy pins Sheamus after an assisted Twist of Fate
Time: 8:50

Match Thoughts
Good match. I don’t think the result was entirely a surprise, but the match was fun. The buildup to the finish felt like it dragged a little compared to most of the rest of the match, but it was still good.

 

Match 4
US Title Match
Jeff Hardy (US Champ) vs Jinder Mahal w/ Sunil Singh
(referee: Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jeff Hardy wins via pinfall after a Swanton Bomb and retains his title
Time: 6:10

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. Nothing really wrong with it, but it felt kind of short and uneventful. Not a bad match though. And this was another one where the winner felt like a foregone conclusion based on what happened in the Superstar Shakeup.

 

Kickoff Panel
Byron Saxton joins Jerry Lawler, Jim Ross, and Booker T as they talk about the first part of tonight’s show.

Video
The social changes in Saudi Arabia are looked at.

Backstage
Mike Rome welcomes Chris Jericho. Jericho is happy to be here, and he’s happy to share the ring with 49 other superstars. Jericho also starts putting people on The List.

Backstage
Mike Rome welcomes Daniel Bryan. Bryan is ready to win the biggest Rumble match in history.

 

Match 5
SmackDown Tag Team Title Match
The Usos vs The Bludgeon Brothers (SD Tag Champs)
(referee: Ryan Tran)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Rowan pins Jimmy Uso after an assisted powerbomb from Harper, The Bludgeon Brothers retain their titles
Time: 5:09

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. The Usos built a little offense, but I think they could have done a lot more. If given more time, I think this match could have been great. With its short duaration, this ended up being a fairly dominant performance from the Bludgeon Brothers.

 

Video
Buildup for the IC Title ladder match.

 

Match 6
Intercontinental Title Ladder Match
Seth Rollins (IC Champ) vs Samoa Joe vs The Miz vs Finn Balor
(referees: Chad Patton, John Cone)

Result: Seth Rollins wins by leaping onto the ladder from the ropes and taking the title before FInn Balor
Time: 14:35

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Match Thoughts
Good match. I liked the suddenness of the finish, and the action building up to it was good. I’m not surprised by the outcome, even though I was pulling for someone else to win. Half of the people (the SmackDown people) didn’t really even seem to have a chance to win, so it was really down to two men in my eyes. Despite that, I liked the match.

 

Ring Area
Mike Rome welcomes four prospects from recent tryouts in Saudi Arabia: Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour, and Fisal. As some of them speak, Ariya and Shawn Daivari interrupt and approach the ring. Ariya says none of the prospects are true athletes. The Daivari brothers are from the strongest nation in the world, Iran. Ariya shoves Fisal, so Fisal shoves Ariya. Shawn then gets beat up by the other prospects.

Video
Buildup for the WWE Title match.

 

Match 7
WWE Title Match
Shinsuke Nakamura vs AJ Styles (WWE Champ)
(referee: Jason Ayers)

Show/Hide Results

Result: the match ends in a Double Count Out
Time: 14:26

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Nothing was settled here, but it will certainly lead to a great final match between Styles and Nakamura. I liked the action, and despite one super obvious setup to get the referee in the way of a move, everything about this was well done. Ultimately this was a plot point within the larger story, but it was a good one.

 

Video
The Undertaker is a legend.

 

Match 8
Casket Match
Rusev w/ Aiden English vs The Undertaker
(outside referees: Dan Engler, Danilo Anfibio)

Show/Hide Results

Result: The Undertaker wins after closing both Rusev and Aiden English in the casket
Time: 9:40

Match Thoughts
This was fun. It was more about spectacle and maybe a but of nostalgia more than anything else. Undertaker was methodical as Rusev tried to keep the pace up. I enjoyed this more for the moments and the reactions from Rusev than for the action itself.

 

Video
Buildup for the steel cage Universal Title match.

 

Match 9
Universal Title Steel Cage Match
Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar (Universal Champ) w/ Paul Heyman
(inside referee: Chad Patton; outside referee: Darrick Moore)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Brock Lesnar wins via escape when Reigns spears him through the cage and to the floor
Time: 9:13

Match Thoughts
This was about what I expected. It was pretty much nothing but big moves, kickouts, and a “controversial” finish. The finish was kind of fun, but it also doesn’t work terribly well. It makes it feel like a bad call on the ref’s part rather than an unfortunate result for one guy because he’s just too powerful. Or whatever. The match was fine for what it was.

 

Match 10
Royal Rumble Match
(referees: Ryan Tran, Darrick Moore, Jason Ayers, Dan Engler)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Braun Strowman wins
Time: 1:17:18

Entry OrderSuperstarTime in RumbleEliminationsEliminated By
1Daniel Bryan1:16:063Big Cass
2Dolph Ziggler0:21:442Kurt Angle
3Sin Cara0:01:170Dolph Ziggler
4Curtis Axel0:02:000Mark Henry
5Mark Henry0:03:283Daniel Bryan, Dolph Ziggler
6Mike Kanellis0:00:030Mark Henry
7Hiroki Sumi0:00:470Mark Henry
8Viktor0:00:500Daniel Bryan
9Kofi Kingston0:16:351Elias
10Tony Nese0:07:132Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston
11Dash Wilder0:01:260Daniel Bryan, Tony Nese, Hornswaggle
12Hornswaggle0:01:001Tony Nese
13Primo0:05:110Kurt Angle
14Xavier Woods0:09:581Elias
15Bo Dallas0:01:340Kurt Angle
16Kurt Angle0:08:003Elias
17Scott Dawson0:11:440Bobby Roode
18Goldust0:10:050Bobby Roode
19Konnor0:02:260Elias
20Elias0:34:045Bobby Lashley
21Luke Gallows0:09:160Rey Mysterio
22Rhyno0:16:220Roderick Strong
23Drew Gulak0:01:480Tucker Knight
24Tucker Knight0:10:081Big E
25Bobby Roode0:17:442Baron Corbin
26Fandango0:03:420Mojo Rawley
27Chad Gable0:08:160Apollo Crews
28Rey Mysterio0:20:251Baron Corbin
29Mojo Rawley0:08:522Randy Orton
30Tyler Breeze0:00:160Mojo Rawley
31Big E0:14:001Braun Strowman
32Karl Anderson0:04:250Randy Orton
33Apollo Crews0:03:271Randy Orton
34Roderick Strong0:06:011Baron Corbin
35Randy Orton0:10:584Elias
36Heath Slater0:07:390Braun Strowman
37Babatunde0:05:540Braun Strowman
38Baron Corbin0:07:083Randy Orton
39Titus O'Neil0:04:430Braun Strowman
40Dan Matha0:02:020Braun Strowman
41Braun Strowman0:22:1613WINNER!
42Tye Dillinger0:00:290Braun Strowman
43Curt Hawkins0:00:200Braun Strowman
44Bobby Lashley0:14:382Braun Strowman
45The Great Khali0:00:340Braun Strowman
46Kevin Owens0:10:430Braun Strowman
47Shane McMahon0:08:080Braun Strowman
48Shelton Benjamin0:04:230Chris Jericho
49Big Cass0:07:221Braun Strowman
50Chris Jericho0:03:181Braun Strowman

Match Thoughts
This was fun. I don’t think it was the most exciting Rumble match ever, but I enjoyed it for the most part. LIke a lot of Rumbles, the order of the participants felt overly choreographed at times. I like to believe it’s random, but when Owens, Shane McMahon, Jericho, and even Big Cass are all stacked at the end to create some SmackDown drama, it pulls me out of my suspension of disbelief. I did like some of the surprises, though there weren’t very many surprise entrants. I also like that this wasn’t for any title shot, so it felt a little more open in regards to who realistically had a chance to win.

 

Ring Area
Vince McMahon and a representative from Saudi Arabia present Braun Strowman with a trophy and a championship belt.

 

Show Impressions
This was a long show, but it kept me mostly entertained. I liked a lot of the matches to varying degrees, but after everything was finished, it didn’t feel like this accomplished much of anything. No titles changed hands (not including the vacant RAW Tag Titles being won), and in the grand scheme of things it felt like this could have been just a glorified house show. A VERY glorified house show, but a house show nonetheless. I don’t feel like anything that happened here will have much of a bearing on ongoing story lines. It was a fun show though.

Match of the Night
IC Title Ladder Match
I think this might have been the most fun and memorable match for me. The Cruiserweight Title match was also very good. A lot of the other matches were good, but some of the finishes made it so I have a hard time picking them.

 

Official Results:http://www.wwe.com/shows/greatest-royal-rumble/2018

 

 

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