What did you think of the GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE? Post your feedback here and download our review later this evening on the Patreon feed.
What did you think of the GREATEST ROYAL RUMBLE? Post your feedback here and download our review later this evening on the Patreon feed.
Jesse from the 6
WWE doing business in Saudi Arabia is one thing. Apple does business there. Coca-Cola does business there. (The Canadian & U.S. governments sell arms there. Yippee).
However, this veered off into straight up propaganda and I found it very distasteful. I will not be watching any future shows from Saudi Arabia and if they keep crap like this up, I may cancel my network subscription.
Speaking of immoral decisions, where was Sami Zayn? Did they really leave him off the show because he’s of Syrian descent? If so, that is disgusting.
In terms of the actual wrestling, it was mostly boring. Opening match was fun with two veterans getting a good crowd reaction (which turned out to be rare over the course of the night). Ladder match was very good and the second half of the Rumble was good. Though with all the eliminations he racked up, I do worry that they’re giving Braun too much now. Vince will turn him into another Roman with this booking.
Wai, did you enjoy 'Taker’s match today as much as you did live in NOLA? (I think 'Taker is a boring old man and want him to go away, but maybe live he’s something special?)
Lara from Vancouver
If you’re going to do a 5 hour show for the explicit purpose of being propaganda is it too much to ask that it at least be a great show?
Reigns has to be dead now right? Even the “mark” audience of Jeddah gave him a mixed reaction and preferred Lesnar. Total disaster.
I greatly await the botchamnia episode made entirely of clips from this show and the eventual Wrestlecrap Induction.
Zero “Progressive” Cities out of 10.
Overall a fun show with some storyline progress and throwaway matches.
AJ/Nakamura was the best match of the night and built well to what will probably be a no DQ match at Backlash.
Surely Brock didn’t touch the floor first as he was still on the mesh of the cage panel? A good idea to save face for Roman but the execution left more confusion that was necessary.
The Rumble was fun as always. Not sure why the NXT guys were brought over when the likes of Zayn and McIntyre were not used. Daniel Bryan being eliminated was deflating again but at least it advanced the story with Cass. Strowman was definitely the right pick to win if they were not going with Bryan and we did see the greatest Rumble moment of all time from Titus!
Hopefully the story of the next year’s event will be the first Women’s match in the country - it definitely seems like that would be a great PR piece for WWE.
7 Titus slides out of 10.
Omri from Israel
Finally. I get to watch a WWE show live and NOT pull off an all-nighter. Overall I quite enjoyed the show even though I had to leave for about 45 minutes for the family dinner before Shabbat.
There were a few weird choices for the rumble match like the sumo guy, Dan Matha and the other giant who is apparently “from NXT” even though he was never seen there. I think they could’ve given those spots to people who can actually benefit from them like Lars or the AOP.
Question: I saw some people say that Sami Zayn is was not comfortable to work on this show because he’s Syrian, do you know anything about it?
Peter from Latvia
Felt weird to come home from work and start watching a show, when usually I can only catch it the following day.
The PPV felt phoned in, dying a slow death right after the HHH/Cena match. AJ/Nakamura was good, but still felt like filler for their match at Backlash. Roman/Brock at this point is trolling, with both using nothing but their 5 moves and at the end Roman’s feet visibly touched the ground first. Guess the rules are very flexible on a moment’s notice.
Also poor Titus, it seems like he just can’t catch a break. I could mentally see Vince losing his shit backstage and ordering to replay the unfortunate botch as much as possible.
Love your show, have a nice weekend!
Tyler from Orlando,
Thought it was a good show, but nothing crazy spectacular.
The 4 way ladder match disappointed me, I just expected more from those 4, they were likely told to just keep it simple.
Roman not winning absolutely baffled me, I was fine with a 1 year long title reign from Brock, but even I’m sick of not having a full time champ on RAW.
The rumble was really fun, lots of botches from guys like Primo, Lashley and of course the new Shockmaster - Titus O’Neil.
I gave the show 12 out of 20 because it had a good pace and it felt like a big deal in a different environment.
Shoutout to my brother Prodigy, with whom I sat in a PlayStation Party with while watching this event.
As someone living in Central Europe, I really loved the feeling of going to work this morning and knowing that I will go home and watch a live WWE PPV once work ends.
Normally, I’ll wait with watching a WWE PPV until I get home from work on the following Monday some 11-13 hours after the PPV is finished. This is the third WWE PPV I have watched live on a reasonable hour for me. The others were Beast in the East and NXT Takeover London. That alone made this show feel like a big thing to me and being hyped.
There is a lot of bad things when it comes to the ethics and morales of both Saudi Arabia and WWE in this partnership. There is also a lot of good things to say about this show having happened, and I mostlyfocus on that.
We have all seen big wrestling shows take place in North America and Japan. But seeing a show of this magnitude take place from Saudi Arabia of all places made me extremely happy. Them being able to draw 60 000 fans staying hyped and engaged for the duration of the whole evening for everything significant happening on this PPV makes me extremely hopeful for a future big PPV arena taking place in a stadium like Wemley Arena.
I missed the first match due to me working a bit overtime. I really enjoyed the Cruiserweight Championship match. As great the Cruiserweight Championship Tournament was leading up to WrestleMania 34, the climactic match of that tournament pales in comparison the showcase that was Cedric Alexander vs Kalisto.
If someone would have told me three weeks ago that a ten year old kid would become one of the Raw Tag Team Champions before vacating it, which would allow Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt become new Raw Tag Team Champions in Saudi Arabia of all places, I would’ve believed that someone would’ve dipped their magic mushroom in acid, ate it, and then slipped on piss before landing face first in shit which would lead to this speculation having a grain of possibility to it.
I have all the respect and admiration for the athletes in the business that put their bodies on the line for our entertainment. Jinder Mahal had a split second to make a quick decision after the incident with Whisper in the Wind, and I was sorry to see that unfortunate brainfart.
The Usos vs The Bludgeon Brothers passed by me by like a fart in the wind. It was only a minute shorter than the previous match, and that match felt like an eternity. But that may have been a result of the uneasiness of that particular spot in that match.
Let’s not deny that The Miz is a great star. On the contrary from the other IC Ladder Match participants, The Miz has never been a name that people throw around for different fantasy booking and/or dream match scenarios until the infamous moment with The Miz and Daniel Bryan on Talking Smack back in 2016. Even though Seth Rollins got to retain the title in a very unique fashion that I don’t think I’ve seen before, I am both sure and hopeful that The Miz will be in a program involving the WWE Championship contendership.
The WWE Championship last changed hands in London. That would may be why I was so certain that Shinsuke Nakamura would win the championship and I was very surprised to see that he didn’t. But with that said - the double countout finish was a fantastic compromise with everything said and done.
Seeing The Undertaker dishing out the Chokeslams and Tombstones made me incredibly nostalgic. The Undertaker is and has always been my absolute favourite character in WWE. Seeing the ways both Rusev and Aiden Englush flew and bounced around made me incredibly nostalgic.
The whole “escape through the cage door” part sounds as an as big of a plot hole as when they hold a graphics card and say “We have found the murderer’s hard drive” in a shitty, low budget crime drama. I still enjoyed the match. I wonder if they will go for Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns IV or if Brock Lesnar will get a new challenger.
The amount of surprise entrants surprised me. I was also surprised with how many relatively fresh performers there were. in contranst to WWE Legends as well as any of the earlier performers from the night. The dream match up with Daniel Bryan and Kurt Angle contained within the match will always be overshadowed by Titus O’Neil slipping and sliding all the way under the ring. The Shockmaster will probably not be known as the clumsiest doof in wrestling history anymore. I don’t know if I should be shocked or appalled over the fact that it BOTH surpassed the Shockmaster wall break AND the Taka Michinoku toss from Royal Rumble 2000 at the same time!
I was rooting for Bryan through out the whole thing and was sorry to not seeing him win. I expecting being the face of the new “Last time someone won a Royal Rumble while entering at #1” factoid. I was happy to see Braun Strowman being celebrated the way he was. This was probably the first time Braun Strowman was celebrated with prizes and cheers of that kind. He’s evolved so much in so few years that he certainly has deserved that place.
Regarding the segment with the Daivari brothers; I do absolutely not think that Vince McMahon is out of touch. That live crowd at that size ate that segment up and hated it with love and passion.
As a spectacle, I really enjoyed it. I am probably a lot partial to the airing times and the matches of significance and that’s why I rated it 16 debuting NXT Performance Center trainees of 20.
Michael from Newcastle, England
This show was about 2 hours too long. I really think WWE needs to realise quality over quantity. 2 hours TV, 3 hours PPV, 4-5 hours for mania. You’re just gunna put off casual fans that you’re so desperate to engage.
They show was alright. Nothing amazing but largely a house show on a bigger stage.
Nakamura and AJ was much better than mania. I had no issue with the ending. A double count out needs to happen every now and then and they have a match in a week so it keeps them both strong.
Reigns Lesnar felt a bit flat although again I didn’t mind the ending to that - despite the controversy. Pleased the commentators addressed it head on and didn’t just totally ignore it but I don’t wanna see reigns vs Lesnar again. MOVE ON PLEASE.
I hope HHH isn’t lying when he says that getting women on the card is hopefully the bigger picture and it’s better to work towards. I feel like they will push for it and try. Even cynically it looks good from a corporate POV.
Finally I will say that I wish the royal rumble match had a bigger stip than a trophy. I see no reason why the winner couldn’t get a title match and for example AJ vs Nakamura becomes a triple threat. Keeps the feud fresh after three matches in one month and there’s really nothing to loose especially when Braun dosent really have a program right now. I hope to see him wearing the POST wrestling winners pin next week.
Thank you both for the work your doing and keep it up
Meaningless, pointless, quiet, awkward, and the hard camera was full of bourgeois assholes who didn’t give a single shit. 2/20 fuck this show. Two points for Titus and Daniel Bryan being the iron man.
I couldn’t agree more with every single thing you just wrote!
Posting my feedback here because the other thread is unbearable to sift through:
As a wrestling this, this was fine and achieved it’s goal as being a spectacle unlike anything else taking place in the industry. It does impress me that WWE has such reach and that children seem to genuinely like many of these WWE Superstars. I found it paticularky cool to see a foreign market (to me, anyway) chanting Walk With Elias and do a This Is Awesome chant. It made me reflect on how Wrestling (and other entertainment) can bring people together as a place of cominality: a point that served to engratiate Saudi Arabia more to me than any paid tourism advertisement.
On the sociopolitical front - anyone who doesn’t understand how vastly different Saudi culture and that part of the world is is foolish. I don’t subscribe to your surprise, shock, or appallment by anything to do with this “deal”. I’m not suggesting the negative backlash is a form of Islamaphobia; but it does strike me as interesting that the world looks and passes judgement before they open their doors, and we’d do so after they start to westernize. We are getting our first view into this project by the Saudi Govt with WWE and I will be patient and understand the laws and norms of a country, so long as there’s is a path to progress. Imagine us all looking at America in the 60s like we view things today? Change at the magnitude taking place in Saudi Arabia takes time.
On a financial front: as a stockholder in WWE, I have zero issue with them taking a nice size check to run a show in a country that is looking to be more western and global. It’s an affluent market with kids who like the product who may grow up to be important consumers to the future global growth of WWE. Am I, as an investor, to trash a show that is a smart business move because I don’t like the way it wasn’t presented? The bottome line onthe business from is something Michael Jordan once said about s politics and sneakers. Just as both sides of the political sphere in the US buy Nikes, all global citizens can enjoy WWE. Who is WWE as a global business to say no to a country looking to expand its relationship based on some cultural differences?
Overall, the matches on this show were obviously not the talking points coming out of it, but for me, and my money, I have no problem with what WWE, so long as it’s round 1, and future rounds have more progressive steps each time. The thought that worlds apart there are kids enjoying the same product I do and cheering for the same guys I cheer for - commonalities have to begin somewhere and I thought it was neat to see the WWE be the source of that.
I totally concurr with MJ’s sentiments - western audiences seem to have an expectation that societies throughout the world can change as quickly as western cultures can and this simply isn’t a fair or realistic expectation to have in this case.
I loved the discussion you guys had at the start of the podcast about how people would feel about WWE delivering such political messages. To follow up on John’s point about how WWE previously has shown US nationalistic messages but without being directly paid by the government, I would like to point out that they have been sponsored by the US national guard for a large number of shows (I think they had a few years deal with them not long ago) which surely consitutes the same thing?
Obviously wrestling is wrestling but it is impossible to enjoy the WWE product without having a level of tolerance for US nationalistic jingoism, much like it is everybody’s racist uncle they try to avoid at family functions. In a business environment, if it’s OK for them to take this money from the US govt and show lots of pro army/republican propoganda such as tribute to the troops, Rusev making an entrance on a tank flanked by Russian soldiers/John Cena entrance videos featuring Ronald Reagan/ copious national anthemn playing before their “non political” shows (as Vince himself has often termed them) then in a worldwide environment surely other countries should be able to enjoy that same access?
Not that I endorse the political views on display in what was obviously a few very pro Saudi segmnets, but what else can WWE realistically be expected to say about their hosts? I do think that having equal platform is important, especially when strides are being made to modernise in a part of the world where that is not an easy task. If it’s wrong for Saudi to be able to pay to have their message put out there, surely it should also be wrong for the US national guard to be sponsoring the WWE? You could also argue that shows like tribute to the troops and other elements indirectly send a pretty strong nationalistic message (which can be recieved negatively in some parts of the world) and heavily politicise their product, tainting it to a large portion if their global audience in the same way that the oil rumble did this weekend.
I view this show as essentially a custom show that has clearly been paid very handsomly for. If the customer is paying an entertainment company a dumptruck full of money to put on a show, surely they should get that show however they want it? Shouldn’t the job of questioning, probing and editorialising be up to news organisations as opposed to that responsibility somehow falling on the WWE’s lap?
Whilst the show was far from perfect I thought it just revealed WWE (although really more free market capitalism as a concept) in all it’s deeply flawed and philosophically condradictory glory. Sure they might not agree with the client, but if they want the money they will drop all of their positive self identity at the drop of a hat. Sure we don’t have to like it but isn’t that just doing corporate business in 2018?
Undoubtedly, it is messed up women couldn’t be on the show. However this show seemed to go well as did the ones the women did wrestle on at the end of last year which surely indicated a door that has been opened for such progress to have a much larger platform in the future. It is messed up Sami Zayn wasn’t allowed on the show (if that rumour is true). If WWE truly is interested in being a global company, they need to have the conversation about what that means and the kind of globe they would like to promote, but this does not mean they have the power to instantly change cultural expectations in different markets.
Or maybe I’m talking nonsense. I have just sat through 6 hours of WWE PPV, I’d be lying if I tried to act like my brain hasn’t been turned to mush. Is the Jinder match still happening?
So what was up with those guys in the front row, not paying attention to the show? I thought they may have been security at first.
I didn’t watch the entire show as I really didn’t care for this glorified house show. I just watched the Royal Rumble match (as it has always been my favourite match throughout the years), and a few spots during the show that others pointed out, including Jinder’s mystery bump.
This show will go down in history as a stat, with Daniel Bryan lasting the longest in the Rumble, and Hardy/Wyatt winning the tag titles. Otherwise, there was nothing of importance here.
They were the Saudi Royals as well as the richest Saudis. They didn’t care about the event at all, appearing at the event was more about showing of status than anything. It was completely disrespectful to the performers in my opinion, but they got a big payday out of it so they may not even care.
I also thought someone mentioned the Saudi Royal family was going to be sat at the front during commentary. Although their apparent indifference may come off as disrespectful to us as a western audience, I don’t think that was the intention. I would imagine events like these, football games, boxing matches etc would be used more as a backdrop. The focus is on the company you are with, not so much on the event taking place as we would expect it to be. In a sense, isn’t that the original purpose for big events like this anyway for people to get together as a community and enjoy something? While a lot has been made of the behaviour of the front row, I haven’t seen too many people outside if John and Wai commenting on how super into the simple matches a lot of the kids and younger folks seemed to be. Also do you remember the Mayweather fight last year? (As someone who does not follow sports this is literally my only sporting reference point for real sports!) That’s likely how they viewed this event - you don’t stick around for the undercard, you come for the big matches. These folks have things to do, deals to make etc. They are not going to sit around for 6 hours staring forward - middle eastern culture is much more social and kinetic than that. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were getting up, talking to friends they maybe hadn’t seen in a while, taking care of biz on their phones and otherwise having a good time. Sure from a company standpoint it may not be ideal to have them doing this on hard camera, but who has paid who a boat load of cash to sit wherever they want and do whatever they want? WWE accepted this when they took the money. Again, we are looking at this through very western eyes, it is important to take a step back and try to view this show in it’s own context instead of projecting how we might have preferred to enjoy the show onto the audience.
When I had adult Lebanese students a few years ago they were always talking in glowing terms about Kamala, the Von Erichs and world class wrestling. Despite being teachers they would swear up and down that it was real back then, not fake like it is now! I would have loved to have been there myself at the oil rumble to have asked around and try to get a feel for how many folks there knew what they were watching. Truly one of the purest joys of following wrestling for me today is the different reactions it gets in different cultures througout the world.
I found watching the crowd and the backdrop fascinating for this event, it was a very different setting which I found very refreshing. It reminded me of a lot of the early Bischoff WCW stuff where they were trying out different venues for different aesthetics like Hog Wild in Sturgis and the mall of America, the club in Florida for Spring break etc. It was the first time to me in 18 years of watching that a WWE event felt truly worldwide and international which I think for how stale the product can be is quite an achievement. For me, the setting, the contrasts in audience attitudes and even the occasionally flat crowd reactions will make it memorable even if I do agree with most folks that the show itself was pretty ho-hum if taken in isolation, I certainly think in 5 years time I’ll have more memory of this show than backlash or probably even Wrestlemania due to it’s unique presentation.