It’s time to move on from WrestleMania and look ahead to WWE’s next two major shows: The Greatest Royal Rumble event at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27 and the Backlash pay-per-view event on May 6th at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ. Following this week’s episodes of Raw and Smackdown, we learned of the first three matches announced at Backlash. Both shows will air live on WWE Network with the Greatest Royal Rumble starting at 12pmET (7pm local time in Saudi Arabia).
The big news with the Greatest Royal Rumble event is that The Undertaker is going to have his second match of the year (after crushing John Cena at WrestleMania) when he competes against Rusev in a Casket Match. The news was broken by WWE’s official Arabic website early this morning. You can see the tweet below.
نذكر بالخبر الهام .. أندرتيكر سيواجه روسيف في نزال "التابوت" بأعظم رويال رامبل بالمملكة العربية السعودية .. التذاكر ستكون متاحة من يوم 13 أبريل المقبل و المزيد من التفاصيل سيتم الاعلان عنها لاحقا .. تفاصيل الخبر هنا: https://t.co/ImWTojTFiS
— WWE MENA (@WWEmena) April 11, 2018
RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA and STAMFORD, Conn. — Following his triumphant return at WrestleMania, The Undertaker will take on Rusev in a Casket Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, which takes place at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. AST. The object of a Casket Match is for a WWE Superstar to trap their opponent inside the casket and close the lid.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will stream live on WWE Network on Friday, April 27, at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, with a special, one-hour Greatest Royal Rumble Kickoff starting at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. It will also be available on pay-per-view outside of the Middle East with regional broadcast information forthcoming.
What we know about the Greatest Royal Rumble event is that there will be seven title matches, a 50-man Royal Rumble match and so far two special attraction matches. Here’s the rundown.
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Roman Reigns
50-man Greatest Royal Rumble
The names announced so far include: Chris Jericho, Kurt Angle, Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Bray Wyatt, Big Show, Kane, The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods), Dolph Ziggler, Elias, Baron Corbin, Apollo, Shelton Benjamin, Chad Gable, Goldust, Titus O’Neil, Sin Cara and Mojo Rawley. There are 20 names announced, so they will need 30 more names.
I assume there will be a prize for the winner that may include a championship opportunity, but nothing has been announced yet.
Triple H vs. John Cena
Casket Match: The Undertaker vs. Rusev
WWE Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. an opponent yet to be named
Intercontinental Championship Ladder Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Finn Balor vs. The Miz vs. Samoa Joe
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: The Bludgeon Brothers (c) vs. The Usos
For the Vacant Raw Tag Team Championships: Sheamus and Cesaro vs. the winner of Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt vs. The Revival – That match will take place on Raw next week.
WWE United States Championship: Jinder Mahal (c) vs. an opponent yet to be named
WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Cedric Alexander (c) vs. an opponent yet to be named
There will be no women performers on the show due to laws in Saudi Arabia. It sucks and there are people online complaining about it, but there’s not much WWE can do about that.
TJR Thoughts: That’s a ten-match card with a 50-man Royal Rumble that will probably run close to 90 minutes if they keep the intervals the same as the regular Royal Rumble match. It’s probably going to be a four-hour show that could be even longer than that.
Here’s what has been announced for Backlash on May 6th so far:
Roman Reigns vs. Samoa Joe – That could be a Universal Championship match assuming Reigns beats Lesnar for the Universal Championship at Greatest Royal Rumble one week earlier.
Intercontinental Championship: Seth Rollins vs. The Miz – This is Miz getting a singles rematch even though he is getting a title shot at the Greatest Royal Rumble event prior to this.
United States Championship: Jinder Mahal vs. Randy Orton – Orton won a match on Smackdown this week to get the title shot even though it was owed to him as a rematch.
That’s all for now. It will be a lot to digest as we get closer to both shows.