What makes something great? It’s difficult to quantify as there is no exact formula for greatness but it is something you can spot rather easily. We know something is great when it’s above the standard quality or, in general, is just really, really good. So what makes something the greatest? Well, obviously that the something in question has to be better than just great. It has to be better than the other great things that have came before it. Why am I saying this? It’s because the WWE had the gumption to create a show called the Greatest Royal Rumble a week ago and I’m hoping someone over at their offices reads this so they can inform Vince McMahon what the word “greatest” means.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t understand why the WWE thought the Greatest Royal Rumble was a fantastic idea in theory. It was the biggest Royal Rumble event in history with 50 participants entering. A standard Royal Rumble usually has 30 entrants and the idea of upping the number of wrestlers in it by 20, which is huge! Also, the Royal Rumble itself has always been one of my favored WWE pay-per-view events as it’s routinely very exciting and I can get to see some top-notch talent all in one match. But the WWE missed the mark with the Greatest Royal Rumble, proving that bigger doesn’t always mean better.
Before I go discuss the actual “Greatest” Royal Rumble (note the quotation marks) match itself, I have to mentioned that it was rather depressing to see that there weren’t any Women Superstars in the show. I understood why they weren’t allowed as they held the “Greatest” Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia and the area does frown upon females there. Not judging the culture itself and I kind of do agree with the WWE’s decision to not go against the grain in this situation but I still found it sad that the likes of Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch and even Natalya couldn’t be in the show because of where it’s being held.
I do have to say that I enjoyed most of the undercard, even though they did feel like glorified house show matches. In fact, it was stacked with some interesting matchups. The opening with Triple H and John Cena started slow but really built up into a crescendo of some decent spots. The Cruiserweight match was okay and so was the match for the RAW Tag Team Championship. I thoroughly enjoyed the ladder match for the Intercontinental Championship and, even though I know it was hokey, the Casket Match with the Undertaker and Rusev Day.
There were also some matches on the card that sucked hard. There’s the actual “Greatest” Royal Rumble (again, quotes) but I’ll get into more detail later. The AJ Styles vs Shinusuke Nakamura for the WWE Heavyweight happened again, making this a Wrestlemania rematch but it appears they didn’t learn anything from the negative comments from their first encounter. I even think this sucked harder because of the double countout finish crap they pulled here. I’m hoping they’re doing this so they can build to a really great match down the line. The Smackdown Tag Team Championship match was a snoozefest and so was the one for the Intercontinental belt.
Also, in another Wrestlemania rematch, Roman Reigns faced off against Brock Lesnar in a cage match and, sad to say, this was had one of the worst botches ever since it really looked like Roman Reigns landed first because he put his hands up before landing on the floor since, technically, Brock Lesnar was still on top of the fallen steel cage wall while Roman Reigns rolled to the actual flooring! This was already a terrible match but the finish just made it much worse.
Now, that’s a lot of matches. This actually added to the issues to what made the “Greatest” Royal Rumble a very uneventful match. For one thing, this led to the entire show being over 5 hours long! That’s roughly how long this year’s Wrestlemania lasted! Normally, this would be fantastic because more wrestling should be a good thing. The problem is the exhaustion the viewers like myself felt. It wouldn’t be so bad if I honestly cared for the matches because they had legitimate beef with each other. You know, actual wrestling storylines were part of the reason why they were fighting but this wasn’t the case. You can tell these matches were slapped together because the WWE wanted their marquee names battling each other to give the live audience more bang for their buck.
Unfortunately, this meant that these big named WWE Superstars weren’t going to participate in the actual “Greatest” Royal Rumble match as they already competed earlier in the day! Only a few big named stars were then available to compete in the 50-man over-the-top-rope extravaganza the show was named after! Sure, there were some big names that still entered. Guys like Daniel Bryan, Braun Strowman, Kevin Owens and the New Day were able to compete. Even some Legends like Rey Mysterio and Chris Jerico made the trip as well. Fan favorites, for sure, but why couldn’t the WWE convince the John Cenas or the Triple H’s to surprise the crowd and actually compete in the “Greatest” Royal Rumble match, even if they did already have a match earlier?
The lack of big names did make it look like the WWE had to scrounge for Superstars to enter the darned thing. Hornswoggle, Mark Henry and The Great Khali made their return and, while they did get a somewhat decent pops from the crowd, I can’t help but think they needed much more star power. Instead we got a whole bunch of NXT guys and a couple of oddities. There was even a sumo wrestler who participated in the “Greatest” Royal Rumble! What’s the deal with that? Is sumo wrestling big in Saudi Arabia?
It also seemed like they were just rushing things through. Although they announced a new entrant will come in every 90 seconds per the standard Royal Rumble rules, there were times when they didn’t follow this rule. I get that the “90 second interval” isn’t followed as well during the “regular” Royal Rumble event but it seemed glaringly obvious for the “Greatest” Royal Rumble. There were instances when a wrestler just barely makes it in the ring and they, a few seconds later, the countdown for the next participant would start!
I’m not saying that the “Greatest” Royal Rumble was a total bust. There were some cool moments. Daniel Bryan coming in at number 1 and then making it to the very end, while actually doing stuff in the middle and not just taking a rest in the corner, was amazing to say the least. I found the spot where Hornswoggle performed a Samoan Drop to Kofi Kingston really entertaining. But the most entertaining performer of the “Greatest” Royal Rumble has to be Titus O’Neil. Not because he dominated and started eliminating everyone. No, Titus O’Neil stole the show with his amazing entrance!
While I loved it and I hope Titus gets something out of this embarrassing spot, it’s pretty sad when the best spot in a show is an accidental pratfall. The “Greatest” Royal Rumble was far from being the greatest or even a “great” Royal Rumble. I guess the WWE thinks that bigger is better and making a Royal Rumble with the most number of entrants would have made it the “greatest.” But this certainly wasn’t the case. The quantity of wrestlers in a Royal Rumble doesn’t mean it will be a quality show. Since the WWE did make a deal with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, there is a strong possibility that this will be an annual thing but I hope not if this will be kind of boring crap they’ll be making. I would even suggest that they just hold an actual pay-per-view there and not just slap together something in a tizzy because of a contract. As it stands, the “Greatest” Royal Rumble didn’t live up to its name.
Do you think the Greatest Royal Rumble lived up to the name? Let me know in the comments section below!