Earlier this month we learned that the biggest Royal Rumble ever is heading to Saudi Arabia on April 27th. Now we’ve got a couple more details about the event, including how serious WWE is taking it, and a couple of confirmed names for what is literally being called the Greatest Royal Rumble. The Jim Duggan Entry No. 13 theory is getting tested for the third time this year.
According to PWInsider, the game plan is to make the first-ever non-January Royal Rumble a major priority. File that under “uh, yeah,” as a major annual event adding 20 superstars to the field and holding it overseas are clear signals that this is a big deal for the Universe.
Perhaps the wildest of note of all is we’ll be seeing the first Royal Rumble to happen outside the month of January — this is going to really screw with our internal clocks, as we’re not used to counting down from 10 so often in a one-hour time frame in any other month.
The event is being produced by Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s social and economic reform program, that WWE has a 10 year pact with. This will be the debut effort from the partnership, hence the use of the phrase “major priority”.
Past Rumble winners John Cena, Triple H, Roman Reigns, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Randy Orton are already confirmed. So are The New Day, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, and Bray Wyatt. At least one Superstar currently missing in action will be there as well: Chris Jericho.
Considering the “major priority” approach, it’s a safe bet this this event will not operate outside of storylines. And the things we love most about the Rumble will most certainly remain intact. The countdown clock, the eliminations, the surprise entrants. But the Rumble’s greatest asset is perhaps how high stakes the match is, with a WrestleMania main event up for grabs.
What’s at stake for the winner of the Saudi Arabia version? A main event at SummerSlam is a possibility, though it’s four months away. Perhaps a televised title match later that month? A Money In The Bank-ish contract? Let your freak fantasy booking flag fly, because we just don’t know at the moment.
An event like this should most definitely land on the WWE Network, though that hasn’t been confirmed yet. Assuming it is, prepare to stretch all of your Royal Rumble traditions, most dangerously stuff like this.