When I changed Retro Redress to Art of Redress, I was worried that I wouldn’t write as much about video games. I promised myself that I’d try – video games was the first thing I’d written about and they would always be the primary focus of this blog.

However, WWE basically said “Hold my beer” and added another supershow to April’s schedule. Another five hour show in the same month as Wrestlemania…with a 50 man Royal Rumble as the main event? I’ll try and keep my promise in May…

I watched this event in two sittings – the mistake I used to make was trying to condense five hour shows into one evening and end up either skipping through the card or falling asleep and missing the big matches. My main worry was that Greatest Royal Rumble would just be a big ‘house show’ (the name given to the untelevised shows the WWE runs as part of their tours) and not be worth two nights of my life. Fingers crossed…

John Cena vs Triple H was the opener, which shows you how loaded this card is. It was weird not hearing the crowd chant “John Cena sucks!” during his entrance…to be honest, it’s weird seeing WWE in front of a different audience who aren’t as cynical as the usual crowds. I thought the match was OK, pretty much exactly what you would expect from these two in 2018. I wasn’t sure on how to grade this match at first, but before the second sitting I decided to go with a 3/5. Sure it was a ‘house show’ style match, but it was well executed, me and the Saudi crowd were entertained and the nearfall from Cena’s first AA was excellent.

The Cruiserweight title match between Kalisto and Cedric Alexander was a good wrestling match (3/5), but I struggled to get invested in the action . I don’t watch 205 Live and I didn’t watch the Cruiserweight Classic either – I just don’t trust WWE with cruiserweights. I remember the division’s run in the 2000’s and the awful way it ended, so I haven’t really got the heart to go back to watching WWE Cruiserweight wrestling. To be honest, I find WWE Cruiserweight wrestling to be underwhelming, especially compared to New Japan’s Junior Heavyweight scene. The matches are toned down and the ceiling on being in the Cruiserweight division seems to demoralise talent – look at Austin Aries and Neville for example. To be fair, I think the blame is on me here – I should probably watch 205 Live and get into the Cruiserweight divison more, as there are some excellent wrestlers there. I just don’t have either the time or the trust in WWE to invest in 205 Live.

Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy vs The Bar was an odd one for me (2.5/5). Seeing Wyatt as a midcard face in a tag team feels weird to me – he seemed pretty motivated here and was the best part of the match. Dare I say it, the Hardy/Wyatt team actually seems beneath him. I do like Matt Hardy and the ‘Woken’ character, but it feels like it’s becoming a parody at this point. This was a pretty run of the mill match, with Wyatt/Hardy winning fairly easily…The Bar were an afterthought here, which I hope leads to a split and a singles run for Cesaro…

Jeff Hardy vs Jinder Mahal wasn’t one I was looking forward to. I don’t rate Mahal and I don’t get the love of Jeff Hardy – he’s inexplicably popular despite his sloppy, spotty offence and being as reliable as a British summer. I tried to give this one a chance but the botched Whisper In The Wind (so botched, the announcers didn’t even try and cover it) and the fact the match was beyond pointless made me go below the average mark, to 2/5

The Usos vs Bludgeon Brothers (2.5/5) what you would expect from these two teams – the fast, frantic offence of the Usos and the power based dominance of the Bludgeon Brothers. I think the Usos deserve better than being jobbed to the Bludgeon Brothers…as WWE’s most consistent tag team, they deserve to have the division built around them. There was nothing wrong with this, but there wasn’t anything I hadn’t seen before either.

The four way ladder match for the Intercontinental Title was the first match that really felt like a big deal. (3.5/5) It wasn’t as good as the Miz-Balor-Rollins IC title match from ‘Mania, but the additional of Samoa Joe added to the match and there was a lot of effort here too. I liked the finish of Rollins jumping onto the ladder from the turnbuckle like a cat and yanking the title down before Balor could react. It’s not something I’ve seen before and it was quite logical…even though Balor just kind of watched Rollins take the title…

AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura was kinda frustrating to be honest. Nakamura’s heel turn made the match more interesting and I was enjoying it more than their ‘Mania match. Then, both men got counted out just as the match was starting to pick up…I guess we’ll see this match again at some point, but we could have got a better finish here. 3/5 seems fair to me, it would have been higher if the match had been longer though.

The Casket Match between Rusev and Undertaker was everything I feared it would be. Rusev defeated easily? Check. Taker looking old and slow? Check. Minimal action? Check. Michael Cole saying nonsense like “This is the best ‘Taker has ever looked!” Check. I found myself dozing off during this one, it was that or develop sympathy pains for Rusev’s career. Surely, someone less valuable, like Heath Slater or Curt Hawkins could have been used here? Even Jericho would have been better, as Jericho is pretty much bulletproof when it comes to wins and losses. I’ll go 2/5 here – as dull and obvious as the action was, there was nothing awful here, plus Aidan English was great here as Rusev’s cornerman/singer/interference runner. English and Rusev deserve a lot better than this rubbish…

The steel cage match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal Title was the usual ‘finisher spam’ match Brock’s Universal Title defences are. I found myself enjoying it more than the one-sided ‘Mania match and I quite liked the ‘controversial’ ending. I actually thought Roman had won – he rolled onto the floor first while Lesnar was lying on the cage wall. Throw in Heyman slamming a door on Reigns’ head (a classic cage match spot done well)and I’ll go to 3/5.

So, onto the Greatest Royal Rumble…there was little logic to the whole thing, if anything ‘The Greatest Rumble’ reminded me of the New Japan Rumble they have at Wrestle Kingdom. It was just lots of wrestlers thrown out there with little rhyme or reason. The right guy won (Braun) but the whole thing was pretty forgettable. I thought Daniel Bryan looked great though and I’m glad to see him back in the ring. I’ll go 2.5/5 – there were some entertaining moments, but nothing of any substance…a good summary of the entire evening actually….

Overall – Greatest Royal Rumble scores 2.70/5.00. It’s the worst show I’ve seen this year, but on reflection I’m wondering if it was meant to be a big PPV standard show or just a glorified house show, a show designed to introduce the WWE live experience to Saudi Arabia. It didn’t need to be five hours long either way. I would have made the Rumble a 30 man Rumble (probably keeping the winner of this Rumble and the last twenty minutes which were fine), and just had Brock – Roman, Styles – Nakamura (but have a finish), Cena  -HHH and the IC title match. I think this would have been a much better experience for the live crowd and us viewers at home….

 

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