The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not reflect WrestlingIncs or its staff opinions
As I said last week The Greatest Royal Rumble was a very strange event for WWE. I have already discussed many social issues surrounding the event (no Sami Zayn?) And the ban on women shown on the show. Since I wrote everything about last week I will not review it again here. Let's talk about the actual show, which was bizarre on its own path. On the one hand it looked like a loaded big show with a lot of big-name matches; but the lack of building to most of these games made it a glorious house show. After looking at the event, it ended up becoming more of the latter. The show had big matches; but many of them had a lame finish that made the event feel more like a spot on the road to something bigger than a big event.
Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns: *
I really do not like this game. Reading wins the match in a controversial way makes me believe we get another match between the two. This comes after it already felt like the sweep had checked its course on the RAW episodes leading up to the Greatest Royal Rumble. I'm not sure people really want more of this sweep.
The match itself straightens sucks. It was a repeat of their brutal WrestleMania match; with the guys do not even go through the motions in a traditional match and only the spamming signature moves. The term "spotfest" is overused, but this match was really a spotfest. Toward the end of the match when Cole drove how many F5's Lesnar hit or how many Spears Reigns did, they completely devalue all their finished moves. It does not take much effort to just make big moves and hope the audience reacts. Throw in the botched finish that was all confused; and this was one of the worst world championships we will see all year long.
AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura: *** ½
They were on their way to a pretty good match up to goal, which came out like lame. Both guys worked hard and Nakamura seems more motivated in the ring that works as a straight heel and of course Styles is the perfect babyface. The double counting method was weak; and is a perfect example of how WWE did not really treat the event as a serious bigger show. The goals were clearly designed to just kill a certain amount of time until the match in Backlash, which is likely to be taken more seriously.
Greatest Royal Rumble: ** ¾
A very mixed bag. 50 is far too big of a speech for a rumble match; especially without major efforts as a future title shot on the line. The fact that many of the really big names in WWE had already worked on the show did not help because WWE had to use a lot of fillers for this match. A lot of American hard rock fans would have trouble recognizing some of the names of the field, even less the more relaxed audience in Jeddah. The last ten minutes or so were pretty good though; and the right guy in Braun Strowman won it. Strowman really looks like the guy to beat Lesnar, especially since Reigns has come up briefly twice in the last month.
The Undertaker vs. Rusev: ** ¼
This was better than I expected; even though we consider The Undertaker's performance at WrestleMania which was a low bar to clear. The undertaking did much more in this game and turned out to be better than he did at WrestleMania; Although Michael Cole claims that he was in the best shape of his life was just a tough excess. The match was still short; and it sucks kind of that the company does not stand behind a guy like Rusev who has so much charisma and fans love him.
Triple H vs John Cena: ** ¾
The crowd really liked this as the opener, and with the exception of The Undertaker they were easily the biggest stars on the show. The match was very safe and basic and felt like a match that had not built before they got into the ring. Both Triple H and Cena have slowed a lot in the ring and the match was very methodical. They did about ten minutes of basic things and then quickly went into some finishing places before Cena got the clean profit. It was not remarkable, but the audience ate it.
Find Balor vs. Samoa Joe vs. Seth Rollins vs. The Miz: *** ¾
The best match on the show; This was not the typical car accident that most of the multi-man steps match. Instead of ladders everywhere, they only had a ladder and the guys did not do anything crazy, which was the best. Everyone worked hard, with Samoa Joe as a matching star. Similar to a guy like Minoru Suzuki; Joe plays the role of cool baddass extremely well; and no matter what situation he is in, his character will never be compromised. The only negative in this was that goal mode was wrong, with Balor standing at the top of the ladder and having to wait for Rollins to get back on the apron, jumping up to the steps, scurry to the top and unlocking the title. If Balor was on the ground or the steps in the bottom it was not that bad. but Balor was in the arm's reach and he stood just like an idiot while Rollin did all that.
Bray Wyatt and Matt Hardy vs. The Bar: ** ¼
A fast match that did not really give any time to do anything spectacular. With the bar prepared for SmackDown, it was unlikely they would be RAW Tag Team Champions; so I think the predictable character of the game is damaging its overall quality. WWE will build the RAW tag team division around Wyatt and Hardy for the near future.
The Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Usos: ** ¼
Almost a carbon copy of the RAW Tag Team Championship match; although this felt shorter and had less heat, but the wrestling was better. Bludgeon Brothers gets the monster to hit SmackDown and basically squashed The Usos here. The bar on SmackDown can make a babyface turn and these two teams can have some really good matches.
Jimmy Mahal vs. Jeff Hardy: **
A rather boring game, with the most remarkable moment when Mahal was out of position to get a Whisper in the Wind from Hardy, but sold the move despite it not coming close to beat him. Mahal is a limited wrestler and Hardy did the best he could to make the match exciting; but not much would happen in this one.
Cedric Alexander vs Kalisto: *** ½
The match of the Cruiserweight Championship came just after the Triple H vs Cena match, and while the audience was not so interested in this match. Alexander and Kalisto did a lot more and had a really good game even without a big reaction from the audience. Kalisto looked particularly amazing and made a bunch of cool and unique spots that no-one else would do. WWE has shifted the division to 205 Live, which sucks because these guys really changed their donkeys, but they had a good match in Jeddah.
Matt Riddle vs. Keith Lee: **** ̵
Flip Gordon vs. Zack Saber Jr.: **** – PWG Neon Knights