WWE is making their presence felt in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble on April 27.
Greatest Royal Rumble Details
The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has instituted a major investment effort to get accelerated sports activity in his country, and earlier this year entered into a ten-year deal with WWE as part of that.
WWE pushed the event as hard as any they've ever promoted on television, referencing the program at least a dozen times on the most recent episode of WWE Raw. According to those that Fightful.com spoke to, WWE is looking to make this a special event to reflect the “too good to be true” money that they're being paid for the event, as the amount is significant. As of now, only this event has been planned for the agreement, and we don't know how future shows in Saudi Arabia will be configured.
What we do know is that a special stage is being constructed for the event, special attraction talent has been booked, an unusual Friday was booked, and that many championship matches were added to make the Greatest Royal Rumble seem like a once-in-a-lifetime event, just three weeks after WWE's annual WrestleMania extravaganza.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will be headlined by its namesake – an over-the-top-rope elimination match where two men start in the ring, and are joined at set intervals by new competitors, until only one man is left standing. “The Greatest Royal Rumble” will feature a 50-man iteration, the largest in history. Typically a 30-man match, the initial version had only 20, but has had as many as 40 entrants for a one-time project in 2012. Thus far Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Kane, Big Show, Bray Wyatt, Kurt Angle, Baron Corbin, Chris Jericho, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, Sin Cara, Elias, Chad Gable, Goldust, Apollo, Titus O’Neil, Mojo Rawley, Dolph Ziggler are all set for the match.
Greatest Royal Rumble: Title & Non-Title Matches
That's far from the only major attraction set for The Greatest Royal Rumble. In a rematch of two WrestleMania main events, WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar will defend his title against former WWE Champion Roman Reigns.
Two big non-title matches have also been booked. Triple H vs. John Cena will go down on television for the first time in years, in a match that once headlined WrestleMania 22 way back in 2006. The Undertaker will be in action against “The Bulgarian Brute” Rusev, in Undertaker's signature Casket Match – his first in over a decade.
Even though WWE is heading overseas, the United States will still be represented, when new Smackdown talent and United States Champion Jeff Hardy will provide former champ Jinder Mahal with his rematch for the title. Mahal and Hardy switched brands, and Randy Orton is waiting in the wings for the winner, as he's also owed a title rematch in the coming weeks.
The Usos look for revenge against the Bludgeon Brothers, and hope to take back their Smackdown Tag Team Championships after weeks of torture. The currently vacant WWE Raw Tag Team Titles will be decided when former champions The Bar will take on the Deleter of Worlds, which serves as both a contractually obligated rematch for the former, and a tournament prize for the latter. WWE Cruiserweight Champion Cedric Alexander will also seek to successfully defend his newly won title.
In all, seven title matches in all are confirmed, including many that have major ramifications moving forward. With some matches already set for the following week's WWE Backlash show, and a WWE Superstar Shakeup that has sent several of the booked Superstars to new brands, we'll witness many rare interpromotional matches between WWE's Raw and Smackdown brands. The Raw Tag Team Championship, the Intercontinental Championship, The WWE United States Championship will all be contested with stars from both Raw and Smackdown participating.
Speaking of the Intercontinental Championship, it will be decided for the first time since 2016 in a ladder match, where one of the four combatants will have to scale a ladder to capture the title, handing from the ceiling. This will be the seventeenth Intercontinental title ladder match in WWE history, which dates back to the origins of the match in the company as Shawn Michaels faced Bret Hart and Razor Ramon respectively in the first three WWF ladder matches for the title.
Fightful.com will have full, live coverage and discussion of the Greatest Royal Rumble, which kicks off at Noon eastern time on Friday, April 27 from Jeddah Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah International Stadium on the WWE Network. Fightful.com will also have a live, post-show podcast immediately following the event. You can see the current card below:
Greatest Royal Rumble (50-man Royal Rumble Match)
Entrants: Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Kane, Big Show, Bray Wyatt, Kurt Angle, Baron Corbin, Chris Jericho, Big E, Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston, Shelton Benjamin, Sin Cara, Elias, Chad Gable, Goldust, Apollo, Titus O’Neil, Mojo Rawley, Dolph Ziggler, The Great Khali, Shane McMahon, Kevin Owens, Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry & more to be announced.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
John Cena vs. Triple H
Finn Balor vs. Seth Rollins vs. Samoa Joe vs. The Miz
Vacant WWE Raw Tag Team Championships
The Bar vs. Deleter of Worlds
WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Champions
Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The Usos
The Undertaker vs. Rusev
WWE Cruiserweight Championship
Cedric Alexander (c) vs. Kalisto
WWE United States Title Match
Jeff Hardy (c) vs. Jinder Mahal