WWE’s first major Event Special in the Middle East offers the Saudi Arabia fan base the best of the best to rival their WrestleMania card, as the world prepares for WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia – The Greatest Royal Rumble, the WWE Network special three weeks after an eventful, yet underwhelming WrestleMania 34 event, gives the WWE Universe a sense of excitement after the recent Superstar Shakeup and the up incoming Backlash event one week later. This event is headlined by a 50-man Royal Rumble with potential surprises a plenty, seven championship matches and two special matches giving a showcase to the Saudi Arabia audience that is worthy of a WrestleMania card. Despite the controversy surrounding the Women’s wrestlers not participating on the card, this show with the given time and effort by the writers, producers and wrestlers combined could very well overshadow WrestleMania.
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Kalisto
The WrestleMania pre-show match that Alexander and Mustafa Ali had was a solid match. It wasn’t an extravagant showcase, however it did its best to really showcase the Cruiserweight Championship in great light. Pending on how the writers and producers place this on the card, it is like that this will be a part of the undercard. Kalisto is a talented wrestler, a former Cruiserweight, United States and NXT Tag Team Champion. For only being in the WWE for a short while, Kalisto is a reliable worker and with the given time could really show what he can do and he did that on the April 24th, 2018th edition of 205Live winning a gauntlet match involving Ali, TJP, Drew Gulak and Tony Nese. This match will be a solid opener for the show (if they decide to go this route) and with the time give, this should be a fast pace and high action match with the participants involved.
Winner: Cedric Alexander
WWE United States Championship Match: Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Jinder Mahal
A rematch after the 16th of April 2018th edition of Monday Night Raw saw Jinder Mahal losing the championship via open challenge to Jeff Hardy. The following night on Smackdown Live, Jeff Hardy was acquired by the blue brand bolstering the upper mid card and main event picture adding the “Charismatic Enigma” in the mix. Immediately after losing the championship, Mahal invoked his rematch clause for GRR, with the match being set for the event. This match on paper does seem unimpressive due to the fact that to many Jinder isn’t a strong worker by any means. However, if their match matches their Raw match mentioned earlier, there shouldn’t be any worry about this match. Jeff is a reliable worker and Jinder has shined with experienced workers that have a wrestling style that really matches well with him, so this should be a solid effort between the two.
Winner: Jeff Hardy
Raw Tag Team Championships: The Bar vs. Bray Wyatt and “Woken” Matt Hardy
This match somewhat loses its luster due to the fact that this match has two Smackdown superstars in The Bar. The way that the storyline is going to, it makes the most sense that The Woken crew of Wyatt and Hardy winning the titles and going about their business on the Raw brand. The Bar looks to be in a bit of a feud with The New Day and at this point and juncture, The Bar winning isn’t the likely outcome.
Winner: “Woken” Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt
Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers vs The Usos
This is one of the few matches that seems to be a repeat match at Backlash (alongside the WWE Championship). Due to their rematch clause, The Usos are at the forefront to challenge for the Tag titles at GRR. Despite their upcoming match, the fact that the women aren’t going to be touring with the male roster, this changes the outcome of the championship match since Naomi is a vital part of their storyline. Without Naomi, there is not clear reason for The Usos to win at the event and on top of that 50/50 booking will rear it’s ugly head and give the Bludgeon Bros the victory.
Winner: The Bludgeon Bros.
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
The opening match at WrestleMania 34 consisted of Miz, Balor and Rollins. These three men did an excellent job of starting the show off extremely strong. The Miz kept up with the indie wrestlers and can very well do the same with the addition of Samoa Joe. Joe heading in to the event has the clearest path with a potential inter promotion match with Roman Reigns at Backlash and since this looks like a one off match due to Samoa Joe’s move to Smackdown Live. This match on paper looks to be a showstopper. These four men are some of the most reliable workers in the game today and these four are able to give the audience a great showcase of why the Intercontinental Championship is the workhorse title.
Winner: Seth Rollins
Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Rusev
What a journey that this match has had and it hasn’t even started yet. At first, this was the match that was going to be at the event. Then after a few Twitter moments with Rusev showing character traits that possibly offended the likes of Michelle McCool and possibly The Undertaker, this match was changed to Chris Jericho instead. However, after Michelle stated that she was not offended and people got it twisted, the match between The Deadman and The Bulgarian Brute was back on. This match is interesting because this is a high profile match for Rusev. Despite this may seems like Taker’s match to lose, Rusev is in a trustworthy position to face off against Taker. Rusev is a great worker and on paper this could be a good match. However, The Undertaker didn’t wrestle longer than five minutes at Mania so this match isn’t expected to last longer than 12 minutes. This could showcase Rusev in a good light, however this is a match Taker rarely loses and this isn’t expected to change.
Winner: The Undertaker
John Cena vs. Triple H
One of the better rivalries of the last 15 years. John Cena and Triple H combine 30 World Title reigns, 12 WrestleMania main events, 4 Royal Rumble wins and their dedication to WWE is second to none. Cena and Hunter are the polar opposites but their in-ring chemistry proven in matches at WrestleMania 22 and Night of Champions 2008 are some solid work. This match despite it being a one off will showcase some of the best work of the night. It will give fans a sense of nostalgia and the crowd will be split down the middle as both Cena and Hemsley are some of the most provocative and and polarizing stars of the last three eras in WWE (Attitude, Ruthless Aggression and PG). This match will most likely have Triple H play the heel and Cena play the face. It would make the most sense on paper to have the face go over to make the fans happy.
Winner: John Cena
WWE Championship Match A.J. Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Despite a less than stellar WrestleMania match between the two, Styles and Nakamura will meet against each other with the WWE Championship on the line. Shinsuke has been one of the most intriguing wrestlers on either brand due to the excellent heel work that he’s been doing. His disregard towards Renee Young, the change of his theme music and the hitting Styles in the lower region on numerous occasions. Nakamura is right now the hottest wrestler in the WWE ranks because of his character change. The issue with their last match was the limitations they had. Granted, it was face versus face and those matches depending on the styles of the wrestlers may not work. When Styles faces off against Nakamura at Wrestle Kingdom 10, Styles was the heel and Nakamura the face. Also, they were in a company who took pride in in-ring work as well as timing out moves. The main roster doesn’t do them any favors when it comes to time. However, if they are given the freedom to be themselves in the ring, this match could very well be a great showcase of what brought them to WWE. This match right here can be one that ends in shenanigans. This match could end in a disqualification or count out and give these two the stage to compete at Backlash.
Winner: A.J. Styles via Disqualification
The reason that this could be is that Styles character is pretty prideful. Whether he’s a face or a heel, Styles pride gets him in situations that really gets him fired up and then he’s in a odd spot. What could happen is that after Nakamura humiliates Styles, the Champion goes to Shane McMahon or Paige and says he wants Nakamura and then the rematch happens at Backlash with Nakamura getting the victory after the third attempt giving Smackdown a heel champion and more potential matchups in the main event picture.
WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs Roman Reigns
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar isn’t a match that the American fan base or the die hard fans are looking forward to. To be frank, it is hard to blame anyone for feeling this way. Their match at WrestleMania 34 wasn’t a bad match, it was actually a solid match. However, the fans did not want nor cared for this match and with the fact that this is going to be a different country, it just seems that this is another hard attempt to get Roman Reigns over. This match should be hard-nosed, violent and hard hitting from these two. This match should be able to get Reigns the victory but via a escape with the Steel Cage stipulation. That way, Lesnar still looks strong and Reigns finally gets his championship that he has been chasing for an entire year.
Winner: Roman Reigns
The Greatest Royal Rumble
50 Men will enter this match. There should be plenty of surprises, fun moments and the chance to enhance a superstar. There are many potential people in this match that could very well win. Samoa Joe, Big Cass and Daniel Bryan coming off injury would make a field good story for either one of them. A legend like Mark Henry giving the great ending of his career could be another great story. However, the wrestler that needs this the most is “The Monster Among Men.” Braun Strowman. Braun Strowman is probably one, or even the most popular wrestler on the roster. He is a versatile, talented big man who has truly showcased himself as a main event talent on the Raw brand. Braun winning this Rumble will give him a boost into the right direction and put him in regard as one of the top guys in the company.
Winner: Braun Strowman