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COMPLETE WWE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE COVERAGE FROM SAUDI ARABIA

By Mike Johnson on 2018-04-27 16:56:00

Welcome to PWInsider.com's live, ongoing coverage of the first-ever WWE Greatest Royal Rumble from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia!

KICKOFF SHOW

The Kickoff Show opened with shots of the stadium.  The set up of the floor sections is vastly different from what we have come to expect from a Wrestlemania set-up as there is a LOT of free space on the floor.

The panel is Byron Saxton, Jerry Lawler and Booker T.  Jim Ross was advertised for the panel, so we will see if he was bumped up to another role or if he shows up later.

They ran down the card.

They discussed the four-way Ladder Match for the WWE Intercontinental championship and ran a video feature on the bout.

Saxton asked Lawler who he gave the advantage to.  He quipped, "All of them."  Booker said that Seth Rollins was going to do anything it takes to retain.  Byron noted that some of the competitors have never competed in a ladder match since coming to Raw.    Lawler said that everything hs gone The Miz's way lately and he shouldn't be ignored.

They aired a Miz promo.  He said that if he loses tonight, his daughter will be up all night crying.  He said that her father is a winner and tonight, he will seal his legacy as the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time, because he's awesome.

Booker was asked to predict who would win.  Booker predicted Rollins would retain his championship.

Lawler picked The Miz would be the victor.

They began discussing the Undertaker vs. Rusev Casket Match.

Jinder Mahal was interviewed backstage.  He blew off his recent losses on Raw, saying only men who have accomplished nothing bring them up.  He said he didn't have time to prepare for Jeff Hardy or Chad Gable, but has had weeks to prepare for tonight.  He said Jeff Hardy should be concerned and he was winning the U.S. title.  Good promo from Jinder.

The panel discusses the Raw Tag Team championship bout.

They went to a Bar promo where they knocked Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt and promised they were going to win the belts. Usual entertaining promo from these two.

When they returned from the promo, there was Jim Ross!

The panel interviewed WWE Champion AJ Styles, who was backstage.  They asked Twitter questions.  Styles was asked his strategy and attitude towards Nakamura.  Styles said Nakamura is a con artist and he's prepared for Nakamura's true colors and is prepared for him.   He was asked about teaming with Gallows and Anderson again.  Styles said they did something special in Japan and they are going to do it again on Smackdown.  Booker called Styles "Shinsuke" before catching himself and asking what went through his mind when Nakamura nailed him with the low blow.  Styles said he looked at Nakamura as a friend and everyone looked at him as a good person and it broke a lot of hearts, but tonight is an opportunity for a little payback.

They aired a video feature on WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.  The panel discussed the match.  Lawler said if at first you don't succeed against Brock Lesnar, quit.  He said he's concerned Brock has Roman's number.  Paul Heyman showed up and said he actually agreed with Lawler's opinion.  He put Ross on the spot about who would win.  Ross said anyone can lose, which led to Heyman cutting a good promo about the greatness of Brock.

They showed off the trophy that the winner of the Greatest Royal Rumble would win if victorious.  Booker said that if he knew that was going to be the prize, he'd have entered.  They made it clear that they don't know every competitor involved.

They aired a series of quick promos from WWE stars talking about why they were going to win today.

They closed out with a great John Cena vs. Triple H video that would make you think it was a huge, epic showdown blowing off a massive feud.

WWE GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE 2018 COVERAGE

The show opened with the national anthems of Saudi Arabia and The United States played.

After the opening video, they blew up a ton of fireworks.

Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton are the announcing team.

John Cena vs. Triple H

Big-time production for the entrances.  Lots of lasers for HHH.  Cena had rows of children dressed like him doing his "You can't see me" hand gesture.  He high-fived them, then charged to the ring.  When he hit the ring, they blew up more fireworks over the stadium.

The crowd was on fire for everything.  You could see lots of fans mugging for the hard cam in the crowd.

They locked up and Triple H got the better of him early.  They locked up again and this time, Cena powered him down to the mat.  They went for a test of strength and tried to better the other.  Triple H got the early advantage and forced Cena to his knees, but Cena made his way back up.  Triple H kicked him in the gut and shoulderblocked him down.  HHH mocked Cena by waving his hand in front of his face.

HHH goes for another shoulderblock but Cena is the one who takes HHH down.  Cena missed a charge in the corner and drilled him with a right hand.  HHH fired with another right hand.  HHH played to the crowd but was rolled up for a two count.  He cut off Cena for a two count.  HHH worked over Cena and whipped him hard into the buckles.

They noted that HHH was trying to keep the match methodical.  HHH went for another Irish whip but Cena battled back with a series of right hands.  HHH cut him off with a sleeper, trying to force Cena down to his knees en route to submission.   Cena fed off the audience and made his way to his feet.  He escaped and nailed a series of shoulder tackles.  He went for the Blue Thunder Bomb but HHH rolled through and tossed Cena off, cutting him off.

They battled back and forth with right hands.  HHH nailed a big knee lift for a two count.   Cena made a comeback and went for the Five Knuckle Shuffle but was caught with a back suplex.  HHH nailed the Five Knuckle Shuffle.  Can't say I've seen that before!  He scored a two count.    HHH went for a Pedigree but Cena backdropped him over the top to the floor.

Cena slammed HHH's face into the barricade, then sent him into a ringpost.  Cena tossed him back into the ring and ascended to the top rope.  Cent for something but HHH caught him with what they said was a spinebuster but it looked more like Cena fell short.  It looked better when they showed a replay from a ringside camera angle.  They battled back and forth with right hands.

Cena dropped HHH and locked on the STF in the center of the ring.  HHH tried to fight to the ropes.  Cena went to reposition HHH but was kicked away.  HHH nailed a spinebuster for a two count.  HHH worked over Cena in the corner but Cena cut him off, nailed the Five Knuckle Shufle and the AA, but HHH kicked up at the last second.

Cena went for another AA, but HHH escaped and nailed a Pedigree for a close two count.  Cena escaped a second attempt and went for another AA.  HHH hit a sunset flip but Cena rolled through and locked on an STF.  HHH was able to maneuever it into a Crossface.  Cena powered up from his knees, breaking the hold and nailed a final AA, scoring the pinfall.

Your winner, John Cena!

Good solid back and forth match that the crowd really loved.  They probably got away with doing a lot less than they would have done anywhere else, because they could work smarter and still get a big reaction from everything.

Cena addressed the live crowd on the mic after, saying it was an honor to be allowed to be a part of an event like today.  He said that regardless of what was going on "in his universe", he was not going to miss this event for anything in the world.  He thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their unmatched hospitality and thanked the fans for allowing him to be part of something so special.  He asked that they enjoy the rest of the night.

Coverage will continue on Page 2!

 


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