With the highly-anticipated Greatest Royal Rumble now in the books, one of the greatest mysteries surrounding the event has gotten an answer.
Weeks before the grand event in Saudi Arabia, it was announced Rusev would face off against The Undertaker in a casket match. Literally one day later, WWE announced Chris Jericho would be replacing Rusev in the big match. The company then went back to Rusev not long after, moving Jericho to the 50-man Royal Rumble match.
At the time, there was no explanation as to why WWE moved around who ‘Taker would face off against. That is until now, as Dave Meltzer from the Wrestling Observer provided insight into what happened. (H/T 411 Mania)
According to the report, Jericho informed Vince McMahon that he would head to Fukuoku after the Greatest Royal Rumble to shoot an angle for his developing New Japan rivalry with Naito at Dominion. At that point, Jericho was apparently told the Prince of Saudi Arabia asked for Rusev instead.
Undertaker went on to bury Rusev softly into the casket alongside Aiden English, while Jericho saw a relatively quick out in the gigantic Rumble match.
Jericho’s grand return to New Japan came weeks after he acknowledged his relationship with the company was “pretty much finished.” For the second time in less than a year, Jericho’s surprise appearance in a New Japan ring resulted in his opponent leaving in a bloody heap.