As WWE continues on the controversial road to Crown Jewel, taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, an interesting story has developed regarding the Greatest Royal Rumble PPV, which was the company’s first event in Saudi Arabia back in April of this year.
Fans might recall that initial advertisements for the Greatest Royal Rumble called for Rusev to face The Undertaker in a Casket match. However, shortly after the announcement was made, the match was scrapped in favor of Chris Jericho facing The Dead Man in the bout. Finally, it was announced weeks after the match change that WWE would be reverting back to the original match plan, which was to feature Rusev vs The Undertaker. The bout ended up taking place, and The Undertaker picked up the win.
The numerous creative changes for the Casket Match in Saudi Arabia left many WWE fans scratching their heads, and reports at the time indicated that Saudi officials requested that Rusev be placed back in the match as they were fans of “Rusev Day”, so Vince agreed and reverted back to The Bulgarian Brute as Undertaker’s opponent.
However, in a new interview with Inside The Ropes, via The Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Chris Jericho shed some new, interesting light on the Casket Match conundrum.
During the interview, Jericho revealed that he was offered big money to compete in the Royal Rumble match at Greatest Royal Rumble, and so he agreed to do the match. However, he later received word that he would instead compete against The Undertaker in the Casket Match, so Jericho agreed to the creative change. Jericho then revealed he called Vince McMahon at around the same time all this was taking place, out of respect, to let him know he would be facing Tetsuya Naito at the NJPW Dominion event, and Vince seemed fine with the idea.
Low and behold, just a short time after Jericho informed Vince he would be competing for NJPW, Y2J was pulled from the Casket Match in Saudi Arabia and was replaced by Rusev. Jericho said Vince texted him and explained to him that the Saudi officials wanted Rusev instead of Jericho, but that does not appear to be the case, as Jericho believes he was pulled from the match against Undertaker because Vince was upset with him working for NJPW.