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Csonka’s WWE Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 Review

April 27, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s WWE Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 Review  

Csonka’s WWE Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 Review

– John Cena defeated HHH @ 15:40 via pin [***¼]
WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Cedric Alexander defeated Kalisto @ 10:22 via pin [***½]
WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt defeated The Bar @ 8:58 via pin to become the new Raw tag team champions [**½]
US Championship Match: Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Jinder Mahal @ 6:10 via pin [*]
WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos @ 5:05 via pin [**]
WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Champion Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor, The Miz, and Samoa Joe @ 14:40 [***¾]
WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura went to a double countout @ 14:35 [***¼]
Casket Match: The Undertaker defeated Rusev @ 9:35 [**]
WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match: Champion Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns @ 9:15 via escape [*]
50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble: Braun Strowman @ 77:23 [**½]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can read my preview for the show at this link.

– The open with the Saudi Arabian national anthem and then the US Anthem.

– Cole, Graves, & Saxton are on commentary.

– The venue & staging looks great.

Triple H vs. John Cena: Hot crowd to kick off the show. HHH overpowers Cena to begin. They lock up, and Cena shoves HHH down. They work into a test of strength, HHH take a cheap shot and hits a shoulder tackle. He mocks Cena, who fires back with a shoulder tackle. HHH avoids a charge and lays in rights. HHH continues to mock Cena, and follows with a clothesline for 2. HHH lays in rights, and then whips Cena to the corner. Cena now fires back with rights, but HHH locks on a sleeper. Cena escapes, hits the shoulder tackle, but HHH cuts him off with a clothesline. They trade strikes now, HHH hits the knee buster for 2. Cena hits the proto bomb, but HHH counters the shuffle into a backdrop suplex and he hits the shuffle for 2. Cena counters the pedigree and dumps HHH to the floor. Cena works him over on the floor, but back in HHH counters his flying fameasser into a powerbomb for 2. Cena lays in rights, and locks in the STF. HHH fights, but Cena looks to pull him back, allowing HHH to hit a spinebuster for 2. HHH lays in corner strikes, but Cena escapes and hits the proto bomb. The shuffle and AA connects and HHH kicks out at 2. Cole faking amazement that someone kicked out of an AA was funny. HHH counters thee AA and hits a pedigree and Cena kicks out. Cena counters a second pedigree and locks on the STF. HHH transitions out into a crossface, but Cena powers up into an AA. He hits another and that’s that. John Cena defeated HHH @ 15:40 via pin [***¼] HHH remains the smartest man in wrestling, coming out first to ensure the mega pop. They worked a smart, minimalist match, which the crowd ate up because they wanted to see stars. It was a good match to kick off the show, with a house show style beginning and a PPV quality closing stretch.

– Cena cuts a promo and says it was an honor and privilege to be here, and thanks Saudi Arabia for their hospitality.

WWE Cruiserweight Championship Match: Champion Cedric Alexander vs. Kalisto: Kalisto is back to wearing pants. They work some slick counters to begin, Alexander hits a head scissors, but Kalisto lands on his feet and he hits a head scissors. He dumps Alexander to the floor, and hits a dive to the floor. Back in and Kalisto heads up top and Alexander avoids him, kicks him to the floor and Alexander hits a beautiful tope. Back in and Alexander grounds the action. Alexander then follows with a dropkick for 2. He grounds Kalisto again, Kalisto tries to fight to his feet, but Alexander keeps him grounded. Kalisto hits an arm drag, and enziguri. The springboard high cross follows. He hits a short RANA and tornado DDT for 2. Alexander cuts off Kalisto, and hits a Michinoku driver for 2. Alexander misses a charge and gets cut off with a head kick. Kalisto follows him up and Alexander blocks the RANA and powers him up, only for Kalisto to hit lo mein pain, and covers for 2. They trade chops and kicks, Alexander hits an uppercut and back elbow. Kalisto counters the lumbar check, but Alexander counters salida del sol into the lumbar check for the win. Champion Cedric Alexander defeated Kalisto @ 10:22 via pin [***½] While they didn’t have the crowd like the opener, this was a very good back and forth match to keep the show’s momentum going strong, we’re 2 for 2 so far in terms of good matches..

WWE Raw Tag Team Championship Match: The Bar vs. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt: Matt and Cesaro start us off. Matt takes early control, tags in Wyatt and they double team Cesaro. Sheamus tags in and they double team Wyatt, but Wyatt wipes out Sheamus with a lariat and tags in Matt. Double teams follow, they dump Cesaro and Matt hits a neck breaker for 2. Cesaro cuts off Matt, allowing Sheamus to attack. He takes Matt to the floor and Cesaro works him over. Sheamus continues the attack, and back in the Bar works double teams in their corner, taking the heat and isolating Matt. Cesaro now grounds the action; Sheamus tags in and continues the attack. The Bar continues to wok quick tags, leading to near falls. Cesaro knocks Wyatt to the floor and hit the decapitation on Matt for 2. Matt tries to fight back, and hits a side effect. Wyatt gets the hot tag, he runs wild and hits the running cross body on Cesaro for 2. Sheamus cuts him off, allowing Cesaro to cover for 2. They hit double team white noise, but Matt makes the save and hits a twist of fate. Matt and Cesaro to he floor, Wyatt hits sister Abigail on Sheamus and Matt tags in and the double team twist of fate deletes Sheamus. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt defeated The Bar @ 8:58 via pin to become the new Raw tag team champions [**½] This was a perfectly solid match, with the expected outcome, due to the superstar shakeup.

US Championship Match: Champion Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal: Sunil Singh is out with Mahal. Mahal attacks at the bell, but Jeff hits a dropkick and kicks him to the floor. Jeff runs on top of the barricade to hit a clothesline. Singh distracts Jeff, allowing Mahal to take control. The neck breaker follows and then a knee drop for 2. Mahal grounds the action, drastically slowing things. Jeff manages to fire back and hits a clothesline. He follows with rights, counters a gut buster with a leg drop to the balls, and covers for 2. Jeff up top and misses whisper in the wind, Mahal sells it anyway. Jeff hits a kick, and hits a corner dropkick. Singh distracts Jeff, and Mahal cradles him with the tights for 2. Jeff hits twist of fate and swanton to retain. Champion Jeff Hardy defeated Jinder Mahal @ 6:10 via pin [*] This bad and easily the worst thing on the show so far. Neither guy looked good at all.

– I think it’s prayer time as we go to the panel and video packages.

– We get a Chris Jericho cutting a promo on the rumble match. Jericho calls Mike Rome “Todd,” and says he’s not falling for his games, and puts him on the list.

– We kill more time with a Daniel Bryan interview. He’s glad to be back and to be here tonight. He’s here to win the rumble match.

WWE Smackdown Tag Team Championship Match: Champions The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Usos: Jey and Rowan start us off, as Rowan hits a dropkick and then tags in Harper. They work over Jey with ease, continuing with quick tags and isolating Jey in their corner. Rowan hits a splash for 2. He grounds things, working the cranium crunch. Jey eventually avoids a charge, Rowan posts himself and Jey dumps Harper. Jimmy tags in and hits a dive onto Harper ad then one on Rowan. The high cross follows and Jimmy then hits the Samoan clambake on Harper. Harper cuts him off, but Jey tags in and he hits an enziguri and the Usos connect with double team kicks and then superkicks to the champions. Jey hits the big slash and covers for 2. Jimmy & Jey head up top, but Rowan cuts off Jey and then Jimmy. The Bludgeons fire up and hit the killer bomb on Jimmy to retain. Champions The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos @ 5:05 via pin [**] This was ok for what it was as the champions continue to be a dominating force, which I appreciate.

WWE Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Champion Seth Rollins vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe: They all brawl at the bell, Balor works over Miz and Joe immediately cuts him off. Rollins hits double blockbusters on Miz & Joe. He takes Balor to the floor and follows with a suicide dive. He hits one on Miz and now gets a ladder. We get floor brawling as Balor wipes out Rollins & Miz with a dive. Joe cuts him off and slides the ladder in. he looks to climb, but Rollins puts a stop to that. Joe drop toeholds him onto a ladder, and follows with chops on Balor. Balor battles back and slams Joe into the ladder. He looks to climb, Miz stops him and climbs. Rollins stops him, and dumps him to the floor. Rollins and Balor fight to climb, they battle up top and Joe & Miz topple over the ladder. Miz immediately begs off, and tries to make a del with Joe. Joe says fuck off and attacks him. Joe sets a ladder in the corner and it falls down so he slams Balor onto it. He tosses Rollins into the ladder, and then hits Miz with it. Balor battles back with sling blade, lays a ladder on Joe and heads up top. Rollins cuts him off, Miz joins in and Joe takes him out with a ladder shot. We then get a tower of doom. Joe brings in a new ladder, but Miz cuts him off and hits a skull-crushing finale onto the ladder. Miz is all alone and climbs, but Rollins rushes back in and climbs with him. They battle up top. Rollins knocked off, and Balor climbs and Miz cuts him off. Miz pulls Balor to the mat and hits the neck breaker combo. The DDT to Rollins follows. Joe is down on the floor. Miz works over Rollins & Balor with a ladder, Balor cuts him off and knocks him on the ladder, and hits the top rope double stomp. Balor looks to climb, but Joe is back. Balor hits an enziguri and climbs; Joe stops him and locks on the choke. Balor rolls out and hits the standing double stomp. Joe stops his climb and hits an STJOE. Joe climbs, but Balor topples over the ladder. Balor climbs, but Rollins springboards back in onto the ladder and snags the title and retains. Champion Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor, The Miz, and Samoa Joe @ 14:40 [***¾] This was an overall very good, but not memorable ladder match. It was safe, and safe is fine, but it really lacked some memorable spots and drama down the stretch to take it to the next level. The finish was really cool and fun, protecting the losers.

– The introduce Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour, and Fisal, four guys from the WWE training seminar in Saudi Arabia this week. Ariya & Shawn Daivari arrive, waving an Iranian flag. They run down the trainees as fake athletes, and put over Iran. The trainees kick their asses and send them packing. YAY HOMETOWN GUYS!

WWE Championship Match: Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: Nakamura takes early control, looking to work the arm. Styles counters out, and Nakamura powders to the floor. Back in and they work to the ropes. Styles gets frustrated and rushes Nakamura, and they again work to the ropes. Nakamura challenges Styles to attack, and Styles hits the dropkick out of the international. Styles follows with kicks, covering for 2. Nakamura hits a boot and then attacks the knee and lays the boots to Styles. To the floor and Nakamura hits knee strikes, and takes control. Back in and Nakamura lays in kicks in the corner. The knee drop follows for 2. Styles fights to his feet, and hits a wheelbarrow suplex. Styles follows with clotheslines and a sliding forearm. The ushigoroshi follows for 2. Nakamura fights back with a spin kick, and follows with knees. The suplex follows, but Styles avoids the Kinshasa and gets a roll up for 2. The calf crusher follows, Nakamura fights, and makes the ropes. Styles is frustrated, and walks into a head kick. Nakamura counters the springboard and hits knee strikes, covering for 2. They work up top, and Styles slides out and sends Nakamura to the buckles. They trade strikes, the crowd gets into this Styles avoids kicks but Nakamura looks for an arm bar, Styles stacks him up for 2. PELE by Styles, and both men are down. Styles goes springboard, but Nakamura avoids him, COCK PUNCH by Nakamura and Styles makes the ropes. Nakamura looks for Kinshasa, but Styles cuts him off and Nakamura rolls to the floor. Styles follows, an tackles Nakamura over the announce table. They brawl on the floor and we get a double count out. This feud must continue. Champion AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura went to a double countout @ 14:35 [***¼] This was a good match, slightly better than their Mania match. The finish is fine as it keeps the feud going, but the matches have largely been a disappointment. The feud is good and hopefully the next match can really deliver.

– Styles works over Nakamura post match and springboards to the floor and wipes him out.

– English is out to sing Rusev to the ring.

Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Rusev: Vegas has set the over/under at 5-minutes. Rusev bails immediately for some stalling. Taker follows him to the floor, works him over and they fight into the ring. Rusev lays the boots to Taker, Taker no sells and works him over with strikes. Taker goes old school, and tosses Rusev onto the casket and he freaks out. More stalling. Rusev then pulls Taker to the floor, and slams him to the barricade. Taker quickly fires back, and hits the apron leg drop. Taker rolls him in the casket, but English distracts Taker, saving Rusev. Back in and Rusev hits a superkick. He works over Taker in the corner, they trade strikes and Taker drops Rusev. Rusev battles back with a spin kick, and follows with elbow drops. He looks for the accolade, locks it in, and Taker is down. Nope, Taker sits up and they trade strikes. Taker hits the chokeslam. Taker dumps Rusev in the casket, Taker chokeslams English and tombstones him. He’s also put in the casket; buried softly brother. The Undertaker defeated Rusev @ 9:35 [**] This was ok for what it was, the crowd loved Taker as he played the hits, and Rusev got in more than I though the would.

WWE Universal Championship Steel Cage Match: Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns: They turned down the sound again on Roman’s entrance. Heyman is out with Lesnar, and does the intro for Lesnar. They circle and Lesnar hits a German and another. A third and fourth follows. Lesnar hits an F5 and just laughs at Reigns. Reigns escapes another and hits superman punches. Lesnar catches him but Reigns climbs the cage. Lesnar follows and drags him back in and sends Reigns to the mat. Lesnar looks to climb out, Reigns cuts him off and hits a powerbomb. Reigns then slams Lesnar to the cage repeatedly. The spear follows, Reigns hits another, and then a third. The cover gets 2. Reigns looks to bail out the door, but Heyman slams the cage into his face. Lesnar hits an F5 for 2. Heyman slides a chair to Lesnar, he takes off the gloves and Reigns cuts off Lesnar with a spear for 2. Reigns lays in chair shots to Lesnar as we get 27 camera cuts. Fuck off Kevin Dunn. Reigns hits a superman punch, and then spears Lesnar through the cage. Lesnar wins. Champion Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns @ 9:15 via escape [*] This was another finisher spam fest, with none of the intensity of Mania, and another disinterested crowd. Yeah, that Roman plan is working great. He fails again after weeks of Joe eviscerating him on the mic, and explaining why Reigns is a loser. The finish was botched as Reigns actually hit the floor first, and commentary panicked to cover for it. Unfortunately, Joe will pay for it at Backlash. This was trash.

50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble: They claim 90-second intervals, but we all know how that goes. Bryan is #1, Ziggler is #2. My pick of Bryan seems unlikely now unless we get a miracle. They trade strike and Ziggler hits a dropkick. Ziggler tries to toss Bryan, but he fights him off. #3 is Sin Cara. He hits a moonsault press to both, and then slams Ziggler down with a one armed powerbomb. Cara runs wild, hits an enziguri and then a swanton. Ziggler then eliminates him. #4 is Curtis Axel. He works over Ziggler, and #5 is Mark Henry. He takes his time, and eliminates Axel. Ziggler & Bryan attack Henry. #6 is Mike Kanellis. Henry eliminates him instantly, possibly record breaking. Ziggler attacks Henry, and #7 is sumo Hiroki Sumi from Japan. He and Henry have the hoss face off. Henry tosses him, and then Ziggler & Bryan toss Henry. #8 is Viktor of the Ascension. He gets to run wild a bit; Bryan fights him off and eliminates him. #9 is Kofi. He works over Bryan & Ziggler, but Bryan cuts him off with kicks. # 10 is Tony Nese.

Nese attacks Kofi, they all brawl and #11 is Dash of the Revival. He attacks Nese, and then Bryan. #12 is Hornswoggle. He helps eliminate Dash. He attacks Kofi, and hits a Samoan drop. He heads up top and Ziggler superkicks him and cuts him off. Nese eliminates Hornswoggle. #13 is Primo. He immediately slips on the ropes and blows a spot. Nese fights him off as Ziggler & Bryan brawl. #14 is Woods. Kofi is on Woods’ shoulders on the apron for a wacky near elimination spot. Woods climbs up top with Kofi on his back, and Kofi hits a high cross. Nese dances with New Day and they toss him. #15 is Bo Dallas. He works over Woods as everyone randomly brawls. #16 is Angle. Angle starts throwing Germans, and tosses Dallas & Primo. He then eliminates Ziggler; thanks Kurt. New Day attacks, but Bryan makes the save and they battle New Day. #17 is Dawson on the Revival. New Day works over Bryan and #18 is Goldust. He hits a snap slam on Woods, almost tosses Bryan, and #19 is Konnor of the Ascension. New day works over Konnor, as Goldust works over Bryan. Angle beats on Woods as #20 is Elias.

Elias talks his way to the ring. He teases a tune and eliminates Woods, Kofi, & Konnor as thy battled along the ropes. #21 is good brother Luke Gallows. Angle and Bryan finally brawl, Bryan counters a German and lights up Angle with kicks. Bryan escapes the ankle lock, but eats an Angle slam. Elias dumps Angle. #22 is Rhyno. Gallows works over Bryan; #23 is the reverend Drew Gulak. He attacks Bryan, and they trade strikes with Dawson. #24 is Tucker Night of heavy Machinery. He lays in strikes, but Gulak cuts him off. Tucker tosses Gulak. #25 is Bobby Roode. Roode runs wild for a bit, and eliminates Goldust & then Dawson. #26 is Fandango. It breaks down into mass brawling, slow mass brawling. #27 is Chad Gable. He works over Tucker as Bryan attacks. #28 is Rey Mysterio. His left arm is all wrapped due to his arm injury. He eliminates Gallows, and hits a tornado DDT on Gable. #29 is Mojo. He dumps Fandango. We need some eliminations as it’s filling up and getting slow. #30 is Tyler Breeze. Mojo eliminates him.

Bryan lays in kicks on Tucker, but Gable cuts him off. #31 is Big E. he rushes the ring, and offers Tucker pancakes. He refuses and they brawl. Big ending by Big E and he tosses Tucker. #32 is good brother Karl Anderson. He gets some shine until Big E cuts him off. #33 is Apollo. He takes down Gable and tosses him quickly. Bryan works with Apollo and #34 is Roderick Strong. He dropkick s Elias backbreaker to Roode, and one for Rey. The pop up gut buster connects on Big E and Strong eliminates Rhyno. #35 is Orton. Orton runs wild, and RKOs Apollo and tosses Anderson and Mojo, and then Apollo. #36 is Heath Slater. He works over Elias, Orton attacks Rey as #37 is Babatunde from NXT. He hosses around, working over Roode. #38 is Corbin. He lays in rights to all, and hits deep six on Rey. Strong cuts him off, and tosses Roode & Strong. #39 is Titus, who falls on his way to the ring. Amazing. #40 is Dan Matha from NXT.

#41 is Braun. Vince is dying of laughter as they replaying Titus falling. Braun tosses Babatunde and Matha. He also tosses Big E and Slater. Everyone attacks Braun and #42 is Tye Dillinger. Braun tosses Titus and Tye. Orton dropkicks him and Rey hits a 619 and Orton RKOs Braun. Rey wipes out Orton and Corbin, and Orton are tossed. #43 is Hawkins. He runs away but Braun chases him down. He tosses him back in and then tackles Bryan on the floor. Braun eliminates Hawkins and then posts himself as Elias avoided a charge. #44 is Lashley. He runs wild on Elias, and then drops Elias before tossing him. He and Braun battle now, Bryan back in and land corner dropkicks to both. #45 is Great Khali. He eventually makes his way to the ring. He chops Lashley, Bryan, and Braun. Lashley & Braun then toss him. Khali’s entrance was longer than his in-ring time. Bryan’s chest is a welted mess from chops. #46 is Kevin Owens. He hits cannonballs on Lashley & Braun, Bryan looks to toss him, but fails. The pop up powerbomb follows. #47 is Shane McMahon. He works over Kevin, laying in shitty strikes. The DDT follows and Shane dances. He comes face to face with Bryan. They then lay in kicks on Kevin, and #48 is Shelton. He works over Shane and Bryan. Braun cuts him off and Kevin tries to work with him and they all swarm Braun. #49 is Big Cass. He trips over bodies as he tries to attack Bryan, and Shane hits a coast-to-coast on Braun. Shane landed badly, grabbing his head. Cass slams Lashley and #50 is smart businessman Chris Jericho.

Jericho has a light up scarf now. Kevin throws a fit and they brawl. The lionsault connects. Shelton gets tossed, and Jericho locks on the walls on Kevin. Cass breaks that up, and Lashley hits a suplex on Cass after almost dropping him. Bryan lays in kicks on Kevin and tells Shane to get backing. Bryan follows with running kicks on Kevin, Braun chokeslams Shane from the apron through an announce table. Thanks for coming Shane. Braun tosses Lashley, and then Jericho, and then Owens. Bryan attacks Braun, Cass is also still in. Bryan looks to eliminate Braun, but Cass takes him out with a big boot. Cass tosses Bryan after 76-minutes. Well that advances their angle. Cass & Braun brawl, Braun cuts him off and crotches him up top and then eliminates him. Braun Strowman @ 77:23 [**½] The 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble match came off about as expected, it felt long, slow and bloated a lot of the time, but had its fun moments. Bryan got to play iron man, Cass eliminated him to continue their feud, and Braun winning made compete sense. It was perfectly solid as a one time thing, but couln’t hold up to the great rumble matches we got in January.

– Braun is presented his trophy and championship belt for winning.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Average
The 411
The WWE Greatest Royal Rumble event was a mixed bag of a show, there was some good wrestling, some solid wrestling, and unfortunately, some bad wrestling. They did a great job of making the show feel like a big-time event, but I wouldn’t say it’s a must-see event; it was an overall average show to me. HHH vs. Cena, Alexander vs. Kalisto, the ladder match, and Styles vs. Nakamura are the matches I’d cherry pick if short on time.