Greatest Royal Rumble
Date: April 27, 2018
Location: King Abdullah International Stadium, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole, Byron Saxton
It’s finally time for a show that feels like the build has been going on for months. This is one of the biggest cards the WWE has ever produced and it’s hard to say where a lot of the matches are going to go. We’ve got seven title matches, two big time singles matches and the fifty man Royal Rumble, meaning this show could run longer than Wrestlemania. Let’s get to it.
We open with the National Anthems of Saudi Arabia and the USA.
The stadium looks mostly full, though there are some very visible pockets of empty seats.
The opening video is a countdown with the other big matches shown in between the numbers. We switch to the regular opening video looking at the rest of the matches.
HHH vs. John Cena
The crowd is WAY into things to start, at least for HHH’s entrance. Cena has a tunnel of kids to run though, which is one of the universally good ideas. HHH shoves him down to start so Cena does the same for a staredown. We hit the test of strength until HHH kicks him in the ribs. They’re at a very slow pace to start until Cena gets two off a rollup. HHH grabs a sleeper but Cena fights back, only to get clotheslined down.
The facebuster gets two so Cena grabs the ProtoBomb but gets caught in a belly to back suplex. HHH does his own You Can’t See Me (plus a crotch chop) to set up the Pedigree, which is reversed into a whip over the corner. Back in and the spinebuster gets two on Cena, who slugs away and grabs the STF. HHH is in the rope in a hurry and hits another spinebuster (you don’t seen him repeat that too often) for two more.
Cena is right back with another ProtoBomb into the Shuffle, followed by the AA for a close two. Another AA is countered into the Pedigree for two in the most obvious sequence ever. The STF goes on but HHH reverses into a Crossface which is reversed into another AA. A catapult into the corner sets up the third AA to put HHH away at 15:52.
Result: John Cena b. HHH – Attitude Adjustment (15:52)
Post match Cena thanks the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and all of the fans who allowed him to be here.
Cruiserweight Title: Kalisto vs. Cedric Alexander
Cedric is defending. They fight over the wristlocks to start and then trade headscissors into safe landings. Kalisto sends him outside for a springboard flip dive but Cedric is right back in with a flip dive of his own. Back in and we hit the waistlock to keep Kalisto down, with Alexander muscling him down.
Kalisto fights up and scores with an enziguri, followed by a springboard crossbody for no cover. A wicked Michinoku Driver gets two on Kalisto but he kicks Cedric in the head again. Kalisto puts him on top and, after a slugout on the ropes, hits a springboard C4 for two. The Lumbar Check is countered into a sloppy hurricanrana but the Salida Del Sol is countered into the Lumbar Check to retain Cedric’s title at 10:08.
Result: Cedric Alexander b. Kalisto – Lumbar Check (10:08)
Raw Tag Team Titles: The Bar vs. Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt
The titles are vacant coming in due to Braun Strowman and a ten year old vacating the titles after Wrestlemania. Hardy wants to delete the Bar but settles for elbowing Cesaro down. Wyatt comes in and runs Cesaro over and it’s time for the applause. A neckbreaker gives Matt two but Sheamus shoves the Twist of Fate away. Matt gets shoved outside for no logical reason before Sheamus takes him back inside for a front facelock. It’s off to Cesaro for a chinlock as Cole points out that the fans here might not get Matt.
Cesaro gets two off a gutwrench suplex and there’s a double backbreaker to keep Matt in trouble. Matt rolls away though and the hot tag brings in Wyatt to clean house. With Matt down though, the double White Noise gets two and Wyatt is down as well. Sheamus loads up the Brogue Kick but Wyatt spiders up for Sister Abigail. The elevated Twist of Fate gives Matt the pin at 8:52.
Result: Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. The Bar – Elevated Twist of Fate to Sheamus (8:52)
We recap the US Title match, which was Jeff Hardy winning a quick title match over Jinder Mahal, who was fresh on Raw. Hardy then moved to Smackdown so Mahal is trying to get the title back in a Raw vs. Smackdown match.
US Title: Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal
Hardy is defending and has a bad knee coming in. Mahal runs him over to start but gets sent outside for a dive off the steps. Sunil Singh offers a quick grab of the leg though and Mahal gets in a shot to take over. We hit the chinlock for a good while until Jeff pops up for a Twist of Fate. Back up and Mahal tries a gutbuster but gets hit with the legdrop between the legs for two instead.
The Whisper in the Wind misses but Mahal goes down anyway in a horrible looking botch. Jeff hits the corner dropkick and another Twist of Fate, setting up the Swanton to retain at 6:19. Hardy’s knee injury from Smackdown was never a factor.
Result: Jeff Hardy b. Jinder Mahal – Swanton Bomb (6:19)
It’s time for the national prayer so we go to the Kickoff Show panel.
Video on the changes in Saudi Arabia, including how women are being treated better. I’ll be moving on.
Chris Jericho is ready to win the Greatest Royal Rumble over stars like Kurt Angle, Mark Henry, Rey Mysterio and MOJO RAWLEY. Jericho doesn’t know the interviewer’s name so Mike Rome JUST MADE THE LIST.
We run down the remaining card.
Daniel Bryan wants to win as well because he needs to be back in the ring.
Smackdown Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Bludgeon Brothers
The Usos are challenging with Rowan dropkicking Jey down early on. A pumphandle backbreaker gets two and we hit the fists crushing Jey’s head. Cole says this was made famous by the “late great” Sgt. Slaughter. In case this has you confused, Slaughter is very much alive. Harper misses a big boot in the corner and the hot tag brings in Jimmy to speed things up.
The running Umaga Attack hits Harper in the corner and Rowan gets knocked to the floor. There’s a double superkick to Harper and the Superfly Splash gets two. Harper runs Jey over and slaps Rowan to fire him up. The double powerbomb finishes Jimmy and retains the titles at 5:11.
Result: Bludgeon Brothers b. Usos – Double powerbomb to Jimmy (5:11)
We recap the Intercontinental Title match, which is just a video about ladder matches.
Intercontinental Title: Seth Rollins vs. The Miz vs. Finn Balor vs. Samoa Joe
Rollins is defending in a ladder match. It’s a free for all to start with Rollins hitting a double Blockbuster and some suicide dives, including one to knock out the Arabic announce team. The first ladder is grabbed but it’s Balor hitting a big flip dive to take everyone out. Joe can’t get a ladder in so Balor does it instead and goes up, only to have Miz make a save.
This time it’s Joe going up with Miz making another save, meaning he’s ticked off Joe. Joe starts wrecking people with the ladder until Balor hits a Sling Blade and the running dropkick to knock Joe into the ladder. Rollins breaks up a Coup de Grace onto the ladder onto Joe but gets planted on the worst part of a Tower of Doom. Miz hits Joe in the face with the ladder and goes up, only to be caught by Rollins.
Balor makes a save and takes a neckbreaker, followed by Miz shoving Rollins of the ladder. More ladder shots take out Rollins and Balor again but Finn is back up with a kick to the head. The Coup de Grace onto Miz on the ladder but Joe comes back in. The Koquina Clutch goes on for a few seconds with Balor slipping out and stomping on Joe again. Another ladder shot allows Balor to climb but Rollins springboards in and pulls the title down in a flash to retain at 14:29.
Result: Seth Rollins b. The Miz, Finn Balor and Samoa Joe – Rollins pulled down the title (14:29)
Video on the Saudi Arabia tryouts.
Four people who did well in the tryouts are presented to the crowd and talk about what it was like. Cue the Daivari brothers with Iranian flags (Saudi Arabia and Iran DO NOT get along) to say this is how real athletes look. The trainees clean house before a war breaks out.
We recap the Smackdown World Title match. AJ Styles beat Shinsuke Nakamura at Wrestlemania but Nakamura turned heel and attacked AJ’s groin for several weeks. Tonight is the rematch with Styles very ticked off.
Smackdown World Title: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Styles is defending. They fight over a wristlock to start. A quick trip to the floor leads to a hard lockup back inside and a COME ON from Nakamura. What might be the Wave breaks out as Nakamura kicks him down and grabs a long chinlock.
AJ fights up with a facebuster and a shot to the face to rock Nakamura. The fireman’s carry backbreaker gets two but Nakamura hits a facebuster. The Calf Crusher goes on for a bit until Nakamura rolls away for the break. Nakamura hits the running knees in the corner as the fans are trying to get back into this. AJ sends him head first into the buckle to slow Nakamura down but still gets pulled into the cross armbreaker.
Styles stacks him up for two and scores with the Pele for another double knockdown. The referee nearly gets knocked down so Nakamura gets ANOTHER low blow but AJ grabs the rope. Kinshasa is broken up with a forearm and they fight to the floor with a tackle taking Nakamura over the announcers’ table for a double countout at 14:28.
Result: AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura went to a double countout (14:28)
Post match AJ beats the heck out of Nakamura, including a slingshot forearm to the floor.
Cole: “Next up, the return of the Dead Man!”
Video on Undertaker. His opponent is never mentioned.
Rusev vs. Undertaker
Casket match. Undertaker, with a streak of red across his forehead, follows Rusev to the floor and slugs away. More right hands in the ring follow, one of which puts Rusev onto the closed casket. Rusev’s right hands have little effect so Undertaker hits the apron legdrop.
Aiden English won’t let the casket be closed so Rusev hammers away and even gets the Accolade on. Undertaker powers out and the slugout is on with Undertaker hitting the chokeslam. Rusev gets tossed into the casket, followed by a chokeslam and Tombstone to English. He’s thrown in next to Rusev and Undertaker slams the lid shut to win at 9:14.
Result: Undertaker b. Rusev – Undertaker shut Rusev in the casket (9:14)
We recap the Universal Title match. Brock Lesnar beat Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania in a surprise and tonight is the rematch inside a cage, possibly due to WWE knowing the American fans aren’t going to cheer him no matter what.
Universal Title: Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
Brock is defending inside a cage. Forty five seconds in and Lesnar is at three German suplexes. Number four is followed by the first F5 less than two minutes in. Reigns slips out of a second and hits back to back Superman Punches. The third rocks Lesnar but Reigns goes up. Lesnar makes a save and pulls Reigns back in, only to get powerbombed out of the corner. Reigns sends him into the cage and hits a spear.
Two more spears drop Lesnar for two and Reigns goes for the door, which Heyman slams onto his head. Another F5 gets two and Heyman throws in a chair. The gloves come off but Reigns hits the fourth spear for two. Reigns chairs him down and hits another Superman Punch. A big spear drives Lesnar THROUGH THE CAGE with Reigns following and rolling to the side, putting his feet on the floor. This means LESNAR wins at 9:15 though, because “his body hit the floor first”.
Result: Brock Lesnar b. Roman Reigns – Lesnar escaped the cage (9:15)
Greatest Royal Rumble
90 second intervals with Daniel Bryan in at #1 and Dolph Ziggler is in at #2. They waste no time in going for the eliminations but of course neither can go anywhere. Bryan can’t suplex him over the top and they grapple in the corner a bit with no one getting much of an advantage. It’s Sin Cara in at #3 for some rapid fire kicks.
The Swanton hits Bryan but Cara can’t get him out. Instead it’s Ziggler kicking Cara out but not being able to do anything with Bryan. Curtis Axel is in at #4 and goes after Ziggler in the corner, pulling him back in for some reason. Mark Henry is in at #5 and headbutts Axel out but Ziggler and Bryan can’t get him out. Mike Kanellis is in at #6 with Cole talking about how famous Mike’s wife is. He’s out in about three seconds thanks to a Henry clothesline, leaving Bryan to try and choke Henry.
Hiroki Sumi (a sumo wrestler) is in at #7 for the big showdown with Henry. This goes badly for Sumi, who is put out in short order, followed by Ziggler and Bryan getting together to dump Henry. Viktor is in at #8 and knees Bryan down but can’t slam him out. Instead Bryan armbars him over the top and we’re down to two again. Kofi Kingston is in at #9 and gets a nice reaction from the crowd. Things speed up a bit until Kofi is sent into the post, allowing Ziggler and Henry to pound away. Tony Nese from 205 Live is in at #10.
Some high flying drops a few people to little avail until Dash Wilder is in at #11. There’s still nothing going on here so Hornswoggle is in at #12 to help pull Wilder out, followed by a Samoan drop to Kofi. Ziggler superkicks Hornswoggle to break up the Tadpole Splash and Nese’s running knee is good for the elimination. Primo Colon is in at #13 and promptly botches a springboard attempt. More nothing goes on so it’s Xavier Woods in at #14 to give the fans something to cheer for. Woods gets sent to the apron and Kofi is sent over, landing on Woods’ back.
They climb up together with Kofi diving off both of them, meaning it’s time to dance. Tony tries to join in and gets dumped as the intervals are all over the place. Bo Dallas is in at #15 to do nothing either so here’s Kurt Angle in at #16 to get rid of Primo and Dallas. Angle dumps Ziggler as well before shrugging off New Day. Scott Dawson is in at #17 to go after Angle, leaving New Day to double team Bryan.
The short clock strikes again with Goldust in at #18. Bryan is put on the apron but slides through the legs for a sunset flip out of instinct. Konnor is in at #19 and goes after Kofi as Woods tries to amateur wrestle Angle. Corey: “You can call that the stupidest move in the history of wrestling. Elias is in at #20, giving us Bryan, Dawson, Woods, Kingston, Angle, Goldust, Elias and Konnor. After a quick concert, Elias dumps Kofi, Woods and Konnor at the same time.
Luke Gallows is in at #21 as Angle locks up Bryan’s ankle. There’s the Angle Slam but Elias dumps Angle. Rhyno is in at #22 and hits some forearms until it’s Drew Gulak in at #23. Everyone keeps brawling and it’s Tucker Knight in at #24. Drew’s sleeper is reversed into a flip over the top for an elimination and it’s Bobby Roode in at #25.
The Blockbuster drops Elias and a dropkick gets rid of Goldust. Dawson gets catapulted out and lands on the corner of the steps in a painful looking landing. Fandango is in at #26, sending Cole and Graves into one of their patented arguments about how Cole knew it was him. Some near eliminations go nowhere so it’s Chad Gable in at #27. The ring is starting to fill up and it’s Rey Mysterio in at #28 to wake things up a bit.
A hurricanrana gets rid of Gallows but Fandango breaks up the 619 to Roode. Mojo Rawley is in at #29 to get rid of Fandango and it’s Tyler Breeze in at #30, giving us Breeze, Bryan, Rhyno, Roode, Rawley, Elias, Knight, Mysterio and Gable. Breeze is out at Rawley’s hands in just a few seconds and Big E. is in at #31.
He throws pancakes at Knight and grabs an abdominal stretch before throwing him out. Karl Anderson is in at #32 for a spinebuster to Roode but Big E. throws him to the apron. Rey hits the 619 on Roode and it’s Apollo Crews in at #33. Gable gets tossed and lands on his face. Nothing else goes on until Roderick Strong is in at #34. Backbreakers abound and a jumping knee gets rid of Rhyno after a long run.
Randy Orton is in at #35 to the biggest pop of the match. He catches a diving Apollo in an RKO for the elimination and eliminations for Anderson, Rawley and Apollo in short order. Orton and Mysterio go at it until Heath Slater is in at #36. That goes nowhere and it’s NXT’s Babatunde (never been on the show but stands about 6’10 and weighs over 300lbs) in at #37. Kicks and choking ensue until Baron Corbin is in at #38.
Corbin pulls Elias to the floor and sends him into the steps before hitting Deep Six on Mysterio. A clothesline knocks Strong out of the air and Corbin dumps Roode. Strong is out as well and Titus O’Neil is in at #39….and slips on the way to the ring, falling flat on his face. Dan Matha is in at #40, giving us…and I won’t bother listing them because Braun Strowman is in at #41 so a lot of people are going out soon.
Babatunde and Matha are out, followed by Big E. Slater gets press slammed onto the NXT guys, leaving us with Strowman, Bryan, Orton, Elias, Titus and Mysterio. Braun shrugs them off as Bryan is nowhere to be seen. Tye Dillinger is in at #42 and Titus is tossed. A parade of finishers drops Strowman but he’s not tossed. Mysterio is out, followed by Dillinger and Orton at Elias’ hands.
Strowman is back up and knocks Elias to the down but not out. Curt Hawkins is in at #42 and tries to run back to the entrance, only to have Strowman run to the floor and bring him back. Strowman throws Hawkins inside and runs over Bryan, who was down at ringside and not eliminated. Elias sends Strowman into the post twice in a row but here’s Bobby Lashley in at #44.
The power game begins and Elias is eliminated, leaving us with Lashley vs. Strowman. That brawl doesn’t get very far as Bryan comes back in and hits the running dropkicks from corner to corner. Great Khali is in at #45 and looking even slower than ever. He chops everyone in sight but Strowman and Lashley get rid of him in just a few seconds, much to everyone’s benefit. A double clothesline put Strowman and Lashley down and MY GOODNESS Bryan’s chest is a complete mess. Kevin Owens is in at #46 and the big guys get Cannonballs. Bryan takes a Pop Up Powerbomb and it’s Shane McMahon in at #47.
Shane elbows Owens down and does the bad punching, followed by the tornado DDT. Bryan and Shane have the big staredown before kicking at Owens. Shelton Benjamin is in at #48 and starts beating on Bryan. Owens gets everyone to go after Strowman and it’s Big Cass in at #49. Wait what about Sami and Jericho? They were both announced for the match no? Shane hits the Coast to Coast on Braun and Cass grabs a fall away slam on Lashley. Chris Jericho is in at #50, giving us a final grouping of Jericho, Bryan, Lashley, Strowman, Owens, McMahon, Cass and Benjamin.
Jericho goes right for Owens and dropkicks Cass to the floor (not out). Shelton gets clotheslined out and there are the Walls to Owens. Cass is back in with a big boot to Jericho but Lashley can’t superplex him, instead dropping Cass down with a brainbuster. Bryan is back up with the YES Kicks and Shane loads up another Coast to Coast, only to have Strowman chokeslam him off the top through the announcers’ table.
Lashley and Jericho are tossed by Strowman as we make sure Shane isn’t dead. Owens is tossed and Bryan goes after Strowman but gets kicked in the head. Cass gets rid of Bryan after about an hour and fifteen minutes. Lashley and Jericho were eliminated somewhere in there so we’re down to Cass vs. Strowman. Cass charges at him but gets crotched on the ropes, followed by a running shoulder to give Strowman the win at 1:17:23.
Result: Braun Strowman Won the Greatest Royal Rumble last eliminating Big Cass (1:17:23)
Vince McMahon comes out to present the trophy and a Saudi official gives him a special title to end the show.
John Cena b. HHH – Attitude Adjustment
Cedric Alexander b. Kalisto – Lumbar Check
Matt Hardy/Bray Wyatt b. The Bar – Elevated Twist of Fate to Sheamus
Jeff Hardy b. Jinder Mahal – Swanton Bomb
Bludgeon Brothers b. Usos – Double powerbomb to Jimmy
Seth Rollins b. Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and the Miz – Rollins pulled down the title
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. AJ Styles went to a double countout
Undertaker b. Rusev – Undertaker shut Rusev in the casket
Brock Lesnar b. Roman Reigns – Lesnar escaped the cage
Braun Strowman won the Greatest Royal Rumble by last eliminating Big Cass
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 26 wrestling books. His latest book is the WWE Grab Bag.
Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. We are proud to offer our popular Wrestling Rumors app and encourage you to download it for an optimized user experience. It is available for Android and also on iOS. Thank you for reading!