April 26, 2018
By Joe Bourne
The much-anticipated Greatest Royal Rumble, otherwise known as Wrestlemania 2.0 to fans, takes place tomorrow in Saudi Arabia – and the WWE Universe have invariably voiced their excitement over this pay-per-view.
Undoubtedly, the most publicized match in the one-time exclusive event is the 50-man Royal Rumble, meaning that this is the largest wrestling contest since SmackDown’s historical 41-man Battle Royale in October of 2011.
The injection of multiple legends and part-time superstars into the 50-man match, such as Chris Jericho and Kurt Angle, has credited the event with a sense of exclusivity for viewers; ultimately, adding to the ample hype surrounding the bout.
Chris Jericho, otherwise known as the “61-minute man” in Royal Rumble terms after his 2017 participation period, boasts the most accumulative time spent in the Rumble at nearly 5-hours in 9 Rumble bouts.
However, Y2J, who has won 6 world titles in the WWE since his arrival back in 1999, has never won a Royal Rumble match – which will surely act as a fuel for the self-proclaimed “Greatest of All Time”.
Jericho appeared on RAW to celebrate the red brand’s 25-year anniversary back in January, as well as competing in a five-star rated clash with Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 12 in Japan; although, he has predominantly spent time outside of the ring over the past 10 months, opting to tour with his band Fozzy since his in-ring departure from the WWE back in July.
Nevertheless, despite primarily concentrating on his band, the Fozzy front-man and WWE Grand Slam Champion has not devalued the opportunity to perform in Saudi Arabia after opening up to CBS Sports’ In Your Corner podcast and labeling the occasion as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity”.
He said: “We have been there in 2015 but it seems like they are kind of trying to change the way things are done over there. It’s really cool to have been asked by WWE to be a part of it.”
Among those featured on the Greatest Royal Rumble advertisement, both Rey Mysterio and The Great Khali have been reported to appear in the 50-man bout, which would see the two polarized athletes compete in a WWE ring for the first time since 2014 – notwithstanding Mysterio’s surprise entry in the 2018 Royal Rumble.
Additionally, the former 4-time World Heavyweight Champion, Batista, has been reported to have taken a chunk out of his busy schedule in Hollywood to make an appearance at the event in Saudi.
Batista, who’s real name is Dave Bautista, expressed his desire to eventually make his way back to the squared circle on Talk Is Jericho, despite his somewhat negative stint in 2014.
“I miss it a lot; there’s nothing like it. There’s just this adrenaline rush that goes along with it” The Animal told Jericho on his podcast.
“I’ve talked to Vince about it and I’ve talked to Hunter about it. I’d come back and run a whole programme with Hunter”.
Aside from speculation, the superstars confirmed to be competing along Jericho in the historical match will be eyeing up victory, in order to launch their career to that next level.
Former 3-time WWE Champion Daniel Bryan, alongside the likes Braun Strowman and Dolph Ziggler, is among the favourites to win easily the most anticipated match on the card.
What To Expect
Feuds will inevitably occur during the Rumble match. After Kurt Angle’s mention to Kevin Owens regarding Jericho’s scheduled appearance in the 50-man Royal Rumble, I’m predicting that their feud, that roots back to the Festival of Friendship in February, will be continued for viewers sake during the match. This doesn’t necessarily have to tee up Jericho’s full-time return, but a face-to-face between the two former best friends seems likely after Owens’s recent path of destruction that landed him at RAW, with his counterpart Sami Zayn.
Likewise, their first meeting with Daniel Bryan will surely spark controversy after Bryan was forced to fire the two superstars off RAW. Shane McMahon has also recently been announced to be in the match, which will make the certain face-off all the more captivating.
The Top 3 Realistic Returns We All Want
1. Rey Mysterio. Aforementioned points about Mysterio’s return in the 2018 Royal Rumble don’t accurately reflect the unbelievable crowd reaction he received from the WWE Universe in Philadelphia. Mysterio was reported to be in talks with the WWE after his surprise entry at number 27; however, the Masked Man desires a more part-time contract to focus on his family life as well as his career. It would only make sense to have the Mexican-born sensation make another appearance in a WWE ring.
2. Goldberg. After being inducted into the Hall of Fame class of 2018, Goldberg teased the prospect of a return during the end of his speech – simply stating his notorious catchphrase “Who’s next?”.
3. Stone Cold Steve Austin. As more of a wildcard option, this is a lot less realistic than the superstars above; nevertheless, we can’t pretend that we wouldn’t want to see the Texas Rattlesnake compete in the squared circle once more. Austin looked in phenomenal shape during RAW’s 25th Anniversary show; therefore, age shouldn’t realistically be an issue. Reports have suggested that Austin was asked to compete in the 50-man Royal Rumble match, so only time will tell whether the 3-time Rumble winner decided to accept the offer.
The Only Place For Fantasy Wrestling
Join wrestling fans worldwide and myself on statementgames.com as we pick our predictions for the Greatest Royal Rumble. It is Free and the winner gets a chance at Raw or Smackdown tickets at any venue they want! As for one of my 10 statements I have locked in, Im going with:
Greatest Royal Rumble – Braun Strowman OR Big Show WINS RUMBLE
My sole prediction is that Braun Strowman will come out victorious. Strowman’s match at Wrestlemania was met with little praise from the WWE Universe after picking a 10-year-old boy from the crowd to eventually become a tag team champion. This move by WWE infuriated spectators. During his podcast, Stone Cold Steve Austin described the angle as “disrespectful” to both Sheamus and Cesaro, as well as being a “waste” of the NXT talent they could have used instead of the 10-year-old Nicholas.
Therefore, the correct usage of Braun’s sheer size, power and connection with the fans is overdue. I can’t see Braun being eliminated without an upheaval from the WWE Universe, so Royal Rumble triumph for the Monster Among Men is what I anticipate happening.
Come play along with me now!