Match Ratings For WWE Greatest Royal Rumble 2018, Podcast Notes From Sean Ross Sapp

John Cena defeated Triple H in 15:45

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  • It'd be HILARIOUS if the audience members in the front row got to take those big ass seats home like the WWE PPV chairs
  • Gotta be honest, I wouldn't have watched this pre-show if I knew there were zero matches.
  • John Cena gets a great reaction and fireworks. Like nobody is paying attention to this match. WWE obviously trying to avoid hard cam shots until the fuckery stops behind them
  • Sleeper hold in the opening match of a 42 hour show!
  • Triple H steals Cena's back suplex and Five Knuckle Shuffle.
  • Cena goes for a flying huracanrana or something and Triple H catches him with an ugly ass powerbomb/spinebuster thing.
  • Cena applies an STF and HHH gets out and hits a good spinebuster this time.
  • AA by Cena, but HHH kicks out. Pedigree, two count. STF countered into the crossface, then an AA, catapult AA. Cena wins.
  • This was a house show main event. 
  • Woke Cena. "what an honor it is to be ALLOWED to be a part of this event." They will also likely use him saying "no matter what is going on in my universe, I had to be here" on Total Bellas.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Cedric Alexander (c) defeated Kalisto in 10:15

  • Early on you see why Cena/Triple H probably didn't want to follow this. 
  • The athleticism is on display big time early on. Kalisto hits a slingshot springboard somersault senton to the outside.
  • Cedric Alexander with a beautiful tope con hilo, then we go to a bear hug.
  • That camera angle was really cool.
  • Cedric's dropkick is insane, but when Kalisto gets going, he's unbelievable. 
  • Cedric sells being loopy really well. It's not easy for everyone to transition from offensive footwork 
  • SDS countered into the Lumbar Check. Cedric retains!

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship
Deleter of Worlds defeated The Bar to become WWE Raw Tag Team Champions in 8:50

  • A Senor Benjamin reference is made. 
  • It always looks like Matt Hardy is hurting, but he's walked this way since 2003. 
  • Running Senton and a Leg Drop combo from DOW.
  • I mentioned recently that we don't often see old-school hand holding double clotheslines anymore. The Bar just did a hugging double clothesline.
  • I would say it's good that Matt is tagging again at this stage, for his body, but he's gonna be the babyface in peril a lot.
  • The Bar has adopted the Decapitator, and Matt Hardy is no longer modifying the Side Effect for an easier bump.
  • Sheamus sets up for his kick, but is creeped out by the crabwalk. Sister Abigail, elevated Twist of Fate.
  • DOW pick up the win.


WWE United States Championship
Jeff Hardy (c) defeated Jinder Mahal (w/ Sunil Singh) to retain the United States Championship at 6:10

  • Mahal works over Hardy, and tries to do a gutbuster reversal spot and Hardy doesn't get what he's putting down. 
  • Whisper in the Wind WHIFFS, but they act like it still hits. Jinder Mahal is outperforming Jeff Hardy right now, and he's still terrible.
  • Hardy is sloppy on a Khallas reversal, too. 
  • Twist of Fate, Swanton. Pin. This was dogshit bad.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championships
The Bludgeon Brothers (c) defeated The Usos in 5:05

  • Pumphandle backbreaker by Rowan, but the Usos take over with superkicks and suicide dives.
  • The Usos hit corner boots in stereo, then Superkick Party. The Uso Splash can't win it
  • Full Nelson Powerbomb wins it for the Bludgeon Brothers


Backstage Crappenings

  • Chris Jericho is there and puts TOM ROME on the List, then the cameraman..
  • We see a video about progression in Saudi Arabia.
  • Daniel Bryan interviewed backstage


Intercontinental Championship
Ladder Match 
Seth Rollins (c) defeated Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and The Miz in 15:05

  • Seth has new gear, and it's odd to see Miz there by himself. 
  • Balor gets a tope con hilo early, then double stomps Joe on a ladder.
  • Balor and Rollins get pushed off a ladder in a 1990s spot. Miz tries to make a partnership with Joe. It doesn't work.
  • Joe slams Balor on a ladder, and throws Rollins into another one. 
  • Mini Tower of Doom. Another dove cries.
  • Skull Crushing Finale on the ladder! OUCH JOE.
  • This is a good, 1990s style ladder match so far. Four characters I care about competing for a title that matters.
  • Coup de Grace on Miz, who is laying on a ladder. Then a double stomp on Joe for a Coquina Clutch reversal. 
  • Finn Balor is climbing the ladder, but Rollins just springboards to the ladder and grabs it quicker. 
  • No over the top rope spots in this match, but solid.

Saudi Arabia vs. Iran

  • This is cornier than the dump that I take after a Cracker Barrel meal.
  • Saudi Arabia tryout guys are confronted by the Daivari brothers, who put over Iran. This gets the most heat of anything on the program.
  • There is heavy, long term religious and political conflict between these two sides.
  • Saudis beat up the Iranians. One of the Saudis milked the body slam, which was good. 

WWE Championship
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura goes to a double countout at 14:25

  • Do not miss hearing Michael Cole call Nakamura "Shin."
  • Nakamura works so much better as a heel in WWE. He eats a great Styles dropkick early.
  • There are several new camera angles being used, and I like it. 
  • Stellar work and counters, and Styles rolls into a Calf Crusher. 
  • Nakamura doesn't turn his hips on a lot of his kicks, including the enziguri. i wonder why.
  • A Nakamura armbar is stacked into a pin, then Pele Kick. Nakamura PENIS PUNCHES Styles, though. Styles is in the ropes.
  • Both men battle outside and get counted out. Styles hits Nakamura with a chair and slingshots outside with a forearm

Casket Match 
The Undertaker defeated Rusev (w/ Aiden English) at 15:34

  • Aiden English gets a nice "Rusev Day" reaction. 
  • The Undertaker's entrance is always a thing I'm interested in early, and give up on.
  • Rusev powders out but comes in and lands strikes. Stupid camera cuts for when he and Taker both do them.
  • Old School hits. Rusev gets creeped out by the casket.
  • Rusev got more offense than Cena already. They brawl outside the ring, leading to an apron leg drop.
  • Rusev goes int he casket, but Aiden English won't let him close it.
  • Boo-yay punch spot that Rusev sells well. He comes back with a spinning heel kick. 
  • I wondered if the Cena match with Taker was because Taker wasn't healthy enough for a full-on match, but here he is. 
  • The Accolade isn't locked in, and Taker misses a chokeslam. He manages to land one after another strike trade. 
  • Rusev is in the casket, but English interferes. Chokeslam, Tombstone. Both English and Rusev are beaten.
  • This match wasn't great from a wrestling perspective, but the crowd liked it, so whatever.
  • Fireworks for The Undertaker after the win. The Undertaker is 1-0 in Saudi Arabia

WWE Universal Championship 
Steel Cage Match
Brock Lesnar (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) defeated Roman Reigns at 9:15

  • Roman Reigns will never get the reaction you want him to, so you might as well go to the drawing board and come up with something compelling for him, instead of forcing the same shit you did with Cena for a decade that compromised the quality of the program because BABYFACE.
  • Two German Suplexes right away. F5, but Reigns hits three Superman Punches.
  • Reigns uses the cage to counter an F5 and tries to get out. Lesnar tries to scale the cage too, but gets powerbombed.
  • It's lit. Samoa Joe looking on.
  • Three spears and Lesnar kicks out.  Reigns asks for the door to be open. The cage door opening is one of the dumbest gags in wrestling.
  • Heyman slams it in Reign's face, F5, kickout. Heyman tosses Lesnar a chair, but a spear hits. Another kickout. 
  • Roman Reigns spears Brock Lesnar through the cage, and they both fall out. However, Lesnar hit first, but Reigns' feet hit first. 
  • This show has been so pointless. Spear, Punch, F5, Suplex isn't a good match anymore.
  • Not only did WWE render much of today pointless, but eliminated any doubt of the result of multiple Backlash matches 

Braun Strowman wins last eliminating Big Cass

  • The winner gets a trophy and championship belt. Was it that hard to give the winner a title match on Raw or SD?
  • Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler kick it off. Methinks Vince McMahon views Daniel Bryan as 1992-93 Bob Backlund.
  • Remember how many pointless people were in the 40-man Rumble? Well Sin Cara is number 3. He hits a Swanton bomb and a bow and arrow backbreaker on Ziggler, but gets superkicked and tossed. 
  • Curtis Axel has his old music and some clotheslines. What an ovation for Mark Henry. He tosses Axel.
  • Daniel Bryan SCREAMING when hung up in the ropes. What a sell.
  • Mike Kanellis main eventing a WWE PPV in front of 50,000! He's tossed out in two seconds. He pretended to lock arms with Maria, who wasn't there. 
  • Who in the shitting piss is Hiroki Sumi. He and Henry -- they are both overweight TIME FOR A FACE OFF. Henry eliminates him. Too bad Fallah Bahh is under contract, because he's good. Ziggler and Bryan toss out Henry.
  • Viktor comes out, gets some shine, eliminated by Bryan. Kofi Kingston is next, followed by Tony Nese. Dash Wilder is next.
  • HORNSWOGGLE BACK! He helps eliminate Wilder and kicks Kofi in the shin and does a Samoan drop. Ziggler superkicks Swoggle, but Nese finishes him off. 
  • Primo. Then Xavier Woods. Kofi backpacks Xavier on the apron, and staves off elimination. They go to the top rope and Kofi launches off of Xavier onto Ziggler, Primo and Bryan. Nese dances with New Day and gets eliminated. This was a stupid ass spot.
  • Bo Dallas is next. He and Primo are eliminated by Kurt Angle, who gets the "You Suck" treatment. He eliminates Ziggler with a belly-to-belly, who lasted over 20 minutes. 
  • Scott Dawson, Goldust, Konnor. Elias comes out and starts to sing, but sees an opportunity and dumps out Konnor and New Day. Elias' awareness rating on WWE 2K19 gonna be at 99.
  • Luke Gallows in. We see Angle and Bryan going at it and Bryan flips through a suplex and kicks Angle, but eats an Olympic Slam. Elias tosses out Kurt Angle!
  • Former ECW and NWA Champion Rhyno, Drew Gulak, El Hijo Del Henry O. Godwinn aka Tucker Knight is in next. Gulak reverses a hanging suplex, but gets shucked off the back of Knight and eliminated.
  • Bobby Roode comes out and eliminates Goldust, then Dawson goes too. Fandango enters after, as does Chad Gable. Gable electric chairs Knight.
  • Rey Mysterio looking like he just left a Celtics playoff game is out and tosses Luke Gallows with a rana. Fandango throws Rey onto Gable, where he hits a spinning DDT. Incredible spot.
  • Mojo Rawley eliminates Fandango, and then Tyler Breeze in a comedy spot. Big E frisbees pancakes at Tucker Knight and throws him out after the Big Ending. Karl Anderson comes out and mixes it up with him after that. 619 on Roode in time for Apollo Crews to make it ten guys in the least until the throws out Gable HARD.
  • Roderick Strong is next and hits an insane gutbuster on Big E, and sends Rhyno packing.
  • THE SNEK Randy Orton is #35. There's a scary looking RKO on Crews. He, Mojo and Karl Anderson are all gone. 
  • Daniel Bryan has now lasted 50 minutes, as Heath Slater makes his way out. Babatunde is. He ran all the way around Roode to shoulder block him. 
  • Elias falls outside and Baron Corbin attacks on his way in. Roode and Strong both eliminated by Corbin. Titus O'Neil is the 39th entrant and he falls FLAT ON HIS FACE and under the ring WOW. Dan Matha has a tough act to follow.
  • Whatever amount the Saudis paid for this show -- Titus O'Neil gave them their money's worth. 
  • BRAUN at #41. He immediately jobs out Babatunde and Matha. Big E picks Strowman up, but he's gone. So is Heath Slater, who is caught by all of those guys. Everyone gangs up on him, including Tye Dillinger. 
  • Was hoping Nicholas would come help Braun but the ungrateful prick is in school or something. Braun's okay, because he eliminates Tye and Titus. A 619 and RKO hit on Braun, but Corbin punches Rey out of the ring, then Orton clotheslines Corbin out, then Elias dumps out Orton!!!
  • Hawkins is forced in the ring after Braun chases and SLAPS HIM DOWN. He's eliminated. Lol. Braun attacks Bryan outside the ring. 
  • Bobby Lashley comes out and eliminates Elias, and faces off with Braun Strowman. They end up in opposite corners and get the shit kicked out of them by Daniel Bryan. He has now broken Rey Mysterio's 2006 Royal Rumble match time record.
  • The Great Khali is number 45. Lashley and Strowman eliminate him.
  • WWE didn't double up on any of the wrestlers who competed on the undercard. Kevin Owens is in the ring and powerbombs Bryan. 
  • Shane McMahon is the next entrant, and Owens is SEETHING. Bryan and Shane use Yes Kicks on Owens.
  • Shelton Benjamin at #48. There were 8 camera cuts during Shelton Benjamin's mounted punches to Shane McMahon. Shane almost falls on a Coast To Coast on Braun. Strowman helped out Shane there. Big Cass #49. Chris Jericho #50. 
  • Jericho and Owens slug it out. and Jericho gets a Lionsault. Shelton skins the cat but is eliminated after a Codebreaker. Walls of Jericho on Owens.
  • Bryan incapacitates Owens, and Shane gets thrown through a ring announcers table by a Strowman Chokeslam off the top rope. The camera work was trash. Braun eliminates Lashley and Jericho. Owens, too.
  • Bryan and Strowman battle it out, but Cass eliminated Bryan after 1 hour, 16 minutes. 
  • Cass tries to put Strowman out, but gets crotched and eliminated. He shrieks! Haha. Strowman wins. 
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