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VINCE THANKS SAUDI ARABIA, BACKSTAGE NOTES AND MORE FROM GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE

By Mike Johnson & Paul Jordan on 2018-04-27 20:29:00

Vince McMahon thanked Saudi Arabia for the Greatest Royal Rumble:

Since this seems to be the subject of a number of questions, that was indeed the planned finish to Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns.

The backstage interviews on the show were not broadcast live in the stadium as they were part of a break in the live show to give the audience a chance to pray.  That's why the Chris Jericho lines didn't get a big reaction from the audience - they couldn't see or hear it.

Aiden English was OK after taking a tombstone from Undertaker that appeared to spike his head into the mat.  We were told that when he was removed from the Casket, his selling was so good that fans watching actually thought he was legitimately injured.

The original plan for Hornswoggle was for him to work a singles match on the Kickoff Show against Robbie Araujo, who has worked in the past for WWE as Wee-BL.  At some point in the last day, the decision was made to put Swoggle into the Rumble instead, so Araujo went all the way to Saudi Arabia but didn't wrestle.  Hornswoggle commented on his return via Twitter:

For those who asked about Drew McIntyre not being on the show, we are told that it was likely that McIntyre was brought to the main roster too close to the show for a work visa to be worked out.

Sami Zayn was not there, for those who have asked.  I don't know that he was ever advertised for the show, either.  When asked about Zayn not appearing, WWE stated, "WWE is committed to embracing individuals from all backgrounds while respecting local customs and cultural differences around the world."  Zayn is of Syrian descent and there is a long history of cultural and political problems between Syria and Saudi Arabia.

As you might imagine, everyone backstage lost it when Titus O'Neil tripped running to the ring.  Management immediately made the call to run the replay as live, the camera shot missed it and the commentators were cracking up.  Nia Jax commented on Titus' trip:

The most heat live at the show, by far, was for the Daivaris after they declared themselves as being from Iran.  Ariya commented on the segment on Twitter:

We have been told by three readers who attended the show that security was seen confiscating any signs as fans entered the Stadium.   

WWE released the following videos after the Greatest Royal Rumble:

Battered Daniel Bryan breaks Royal Rumble Match record: WWE Exclusive, April 27, 2018

Mojo Rawley says WWE and Saudi Arabia opened eyes with historic event: WWE Exclusive, April 27, 2018

Rey Mysterio surprises Saudi Arabian fans with his special ring gear: WWE Exclusive, April 27, 2018

Roderick Strong "shocks the system" in the 50-Man Greatest Royal Rumble Match: April 27, 2018

 

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