In case you have missed it (and I really do not know how you could have), the WWE is putting together one amazing super show, live from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, at the end of April. The show has been dubbed the Greatest Royal Rumble, on account it features a 50 man Rumble, the biggest ever for the match. Beyond that, WWE is showing us a plethora of title matches and the surprise of the card, a casket match between The Undertaker and Jericho (was Rusev, but that ship has sailed). So, as the event is rapidly approaching, it’s worth diving into things a little bit more as we get excited for this unique show.
Do you have any issues with the hype for the show?
If there is one gripe I would have, it’s this: there has been a notable absence of women in the event. As in, the country is uber-conservative, and the fans will miss out on seeing a single women’s match on the card. I get it, it’s a cultural thing and I am not trying to be culturally insensitive. I just wish that things were a bit more open in that sense, because there are some amazing talents in the women’s division, and they could wow the crowd.
Beyond that, no. I think the packages have been pretty intriguing. If anything, I hope now that WrestleMania is over with, we get a WrestleMania-esque set of RAWs and SmackDowns leading up to that show. I don’t think that is too much to ask, is it? I have a feeling the fans in Saudi Arabia are going to show up in droves, so WWE needs to really sell it to the fans who will, or might, tune in on the Network. For me, it’s a noon opening bell, which is a challenge as that is smack in the middle of the work day. For the folks in say, California, they will get to watch the Jeddah show with breakfast. Granted, we can all watch it on demand, but either way, there are millions (or at least a million?) subscribers that WWE wants to appeal to.
Do you have any issues with the card?
Two at the moment. Well, it was two, then WWE flipped the script. But I can add a new second….
First, the Rusev/Undertaker match. As has been suggested, this may be playing off the perceptions from the region that Rusev is going to be a heel there-even though stateside, he’s getting more and more over by the minute. So for me, I guess I have to take that into account. Because if the match was in America, I would NEVER be booking Rusev and Undertaker, because you don’t need Rusev buried, and at this point, you just let ‘Taker do what he wants as he enjoys his last ride. So while I am excited to see a casket match, something we haven’t gotten in a while…I am less jazzed about it given the opponent, regardless of location. And as much as I was baffled by the decision, apparently WWE has changed things up and turned a bizarre match into, quite honestly, a dream match, giving the fans a match of Chris Jericho versus The Undertaker. That type of call was the right one, because Jericho needs neither a win nor a loss. He can work with the best of them, and will sell like no one else. That match went from puzzling to promising.
My replacement number one is now the lack of women on the show. I guess that should have made the list regardless, but it’s here now.
The second? Brock and Roman, for the Universal Title, in a steel cage. I am of the opinion that the WrestleMania main event between these two sucked, on a level similar to Lesnar/Cena from SummerSlam. I get that the match was written that way, but nothing about it felt main event worthy. I think fans are fading on Brock, and fans are tired of Vince constantly shoving Reigns down our throats. I think at this point, Roman Reigns could save every resident from a burning orphanage and he still couldn’t get over. So, to have them in a cage to repeat that debacle? It’s not very exciting. Now, there are rumblings that for whatever reason, Vince/someone scrapped the initial plans for ‘Mania, and instead of Reigns winning it became Brock retaining, and it was a last minute change that people did not find out about until as late as possible. Whether true or not, I don’t know, but it’s interesting. Lesnar, with one foot out the door (something neither he nor Heyman have been shy about), signs an extension (though no one has confirmed how long). So, the obvious speculation here is….did someone request/decide to save the title change for a huge international event, to help make those events seem more meaningful as WWE looks to expand it’s international appeal? That’s my guess…though there is an easier way to do that: hold a PPV overseas again…something they have not done since SummerSlam was in Wembley. It can be done, it should be done, and somehow, it will work.
How does this card stack up?
Honestly, pretty nicely.
Even before WWE swapped Rusev for Jericho, that casket match was going to be a spectacle.
We have John Cena versus Triple H, in yet another major attraction match.
An Intercontinental Ladder match? Yes please.
Every major men’s title, basically, is up for grabs. I dare say….
Is this the Middle East ‘Mania?
Yes, yes it is. Minus the major women’s matches, I think this absolutely is. And, if it goes well, and if future events could be booked as well, I would think this could be the start of something (this is, as a matter of fact, the beginning of a ten year partnership between Saudi Arabia and WWE, so expect that this is the first of many.).
I dare say I am probably more excited about this card than I was for ‘Mania.
WNZ readers, what do you think of the Jeddah Rumble?