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WWE Greatest Royal Rumble live results, news & recap

After weeks of discussion, controversy and hype, The Greatest Royal Rumble takes place this afternoon in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The event is stacked to the point that it could be compared to WrestleMania, which only took place a few weeks ago. The marquee bout is a 50-man Royal Rumble bout, with the winner receiving a giant trophy.  This would make it the biggest Royal Rumble of all time, breaking the 40-man record back in 2011.

Seven title matches will also go down, including a WrestleMania rematch pitting Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and challenger Roman Reigns in a steel cage match. Lesnar shocked the world by retaining the title over Reigns weeks ago. The question heading into this match is if Lesnar held on to the title only to lose here, or if he’s in the WWE as champion for the long haul.

Other key matches include The Undertaker vs. Rusev in a casket match and John Cena vs. Triple H. Title matches include WWE Champion AJ Styles facing Shinsuke Nakamura in another WrestleMania rematch, Jeff Hardy vs. Jinder Mahal for the United States title, a ladder match with Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins defending against Samoa Joe, The Miz and Finn Balor, Cesaro & Sheamus vs. Matt Hardy & Bray Wyatt for the vacant Raw tag team titles, The Usos vs. The Bludgeon Brothers for the SmackDown tag team titles and Cedric Alexander vs. Kalisto for the Cruiserweight title.

Join us for live coverage as the show starts at noon Eastern time on the WWE Network.

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They played the national anthems of both Saudi Arabia and the United States before the show started.

John Cena defeated Triple H

Really good match. There were parts where moves and execution looked wonky, but for the most part this was very well laid out and ending up having a great opening match.

They started things slow, with a test of strength and a few shoulder blocks. Triple H gained control until Cena stopped him as he tried to whip Cena into the corner but Triple H locked him in a sleeper. Triple H went for a pedigree, but Cena escaped and hit the blue thunder bomb. Cena went for the five knuckle shuffle but Hunter hit a suplex and crotch chopped Cena for good measure.

Hunter went for the pedigree but Cena threw him into the turnbuckle where he landed on the floor hard. Cena jumped off the of tope but Hunter grabbed him in midair and hit a powerbomb. Cena fights back and takes Hunter down with the STF. Hunter fired back with a spinebuster and mounted him with punches on the top rope. Cena grabbed him, took him down and hit the blue thunder bomb and a five knuckle shuffle. Cena followed with the AA, but Hunter kicked out.

Cena went for another AA but Triple H countered with a pedigree for another near fall. Cena went for a second AA, but Hunter kicked out. Cena immediately transitioned to the STF again but Hunter countered with a crossface. Cena, using his strength, deadlifted him for an AA, slingshotted Hunter into the corner then hit another AA for the win.

Cena took the mic after the match. He said it was an honor to be here and wouldn’t miss anything in the world for this. He thanked the kingdom of Saudi Arabia for their well being and everyone in the building for making something special tonight.

Cedric Alexander defeated Kalisto to retain the Cruiserweight title

This was good. Kalisto is incredible with his offense and looked great throughout the bout. Crowd was into the high spots, but not so much into the match. 

Things started off with a hot exchange, with Kalisto getting the upper hand. He took Alexander out of the ring and hit a springboard senton to the floor. Alexander countered and, in the same situation, hit a tope con hilo on the outside, wiping out Kalisto.

Alexander drilled Kalisto with a dropkick, then settles things down with a bearhug. Kalisto escapes to the apron and hits a crossbody, a seated hurricanrana and a tilt-a-whirl DDT. Alexander fired back with a Michinoku driver. He went to the top rope but Kalisto kicked him in the temple. The two fought for a bit before Kalisto planted Alexander with a springboard spanish fly.

After a great exchange in the ring, Kalisto went for the Salida del Sol but in midair Alexander countered and hit the lumbar check to retain the title.

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt defeated Cesaro and Sheamus to win the Raw tag team titles

There wasn’t much to this. I guess calling it solid would suffice, but it wasn’t a particularly interesting match.

Things are kept even early, though eventually the Bar gets the advantage and works over Hardy with frequent tags. Wyatt gets the hot tag and clears house, wiping Sheamus with the Sister Abigail. He tags back in Hardy and they hit their elevated twist of fate finish to win the titles.

Jeff Hardy defeated Jinder Mahal to retain the United States title

This didn’t last long, and ranged from boring to not that good at all. Their match on Raw recently was a million times better.

Singh interfered early, allowing Mahal to get the heat. Hardy grabs Mahal for a twist of fate attempt but Mahal escapes. Hardy counters with a clothesline. Hardy went for a whisper in the wind and totally missed, but then Mahal took a bump anyway in a really bad botch.

Singh jumps on the apron and distracts Hardy long enough for Mahal to try for the Khallas, but Hardy escapes. He hits the twist of fate and follows with the senton for the win.

They aired a video talking about Saudi Arabia's recent commitment to sports and entertainment ventures. Draw your own conclusions. Videos with Chris Jericho and Daniel Bryan followed. It was weird with Jericho because he did all the cues that people would normally react to, but no one reacted so it fell flat.

The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The Usos to retain the SmackDown tag team titles

Another short match. I think it worked better here between these teams as the Bludgeon Brothers have been pushed as a dominant force on SmackDown, and the quick match here continued that.

Bludgeons started off strong, destroying Jey Uso early. Rowan hit a big splash and put Jey in a vice grip. Rowan hits the turnbuckle but tags in Harper. Jey sends him packing quickly and tags in Jimmy, who takes out both Harper and Rowan with dives.

Jey is tagged back in as the Usos double team Harper. Jey hits a splash. Rowan on the outside takes out Jimmy and Jey on the outside. Rowan throws Jey back in the ring and tags himself in as he hits a big splash. Harper and Rowan then hit the killer bomb to retain.

Seth Rollins defeated Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and The Miz in a ladder match to retain the Intercontinental title

This was great. Unlike in modern day WWE matches where there were ladders everywhere, there was only one here and I really liked that. Everyone used the ladder for lots of great, impactful shots. Nothing absolutely crazy, but definitely a great ladder match that the crowd was into.

Rollins hit a double blockbuster on Miz and Joe. Balor and Rollins went at it and hit a suicide dive on both sides of the ring. A ladder is brought out as Miz and Rollins take out Joe, but Balor flies out of the ring with a tope con hilo that wipes out both Rollins and Miz.

Balor attacks Samoa Joe in the ring with the ladder. Rollins grabs the ladder and sets it up. Balor climbs up with him, but Joe and Miz come in and shoves the ladder down, sending them to the floor. Meanwhile, Miz wants to form an alliance with Samoa Joe, but he responds with a headbutt. Joe sets up a ladder that falls to the floor as he goes to grab Balor, so instead Joe hits an exploder.

Balor fires back with a slingblade then dropkicks Joe into a ladder set up in the corner. The ladder falls on Joe as Balor looks to go for the coup de grace. Everyone comes in and instead there’s a tower of doom spot. Miz then hits Joe with the Skull Crushing Finale on the ladder. He goes to climb, but Rollins meets him up there. Miz throws him down, but Balor immediately climbs up. Miz gets the better of it and uses the ladder to beat everyone up.

Balor makes a comeback, laying out Miz and hits a coup de gras on Miz, who was on top of the ladder. Balor and Joe battle. After some great back and forth, Joe lays him out with a uranage. Balor climbs the ladder, but Rollins springboards to the top of the ladder and grabs it from under Balor’s nose for the win in a great finish.

They introduced four WWE tryout participants: Nassar, Hussein, Monsoour and Fisal. They were cutting promos when Shawn and Ariya Daivari came out. Shawn was waving the Iranian flag. Ariya cut a promo on all of them, calling them trainees and wannabes and put over Iran. Shawn focused on Fisal, who retaliated. Hussein hit a powerslam on Shawn, then Nassar threw him out of the ring. This got over well with the crowd, obviously.

AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura went to a double count out

This was really good until the finish. The work was about on par, probably even better than WrestleMania and the crowd was hot for it, hotter than any match up to this point. The finish was lame, but it’s clearly to set up a match for Backlash so it makes sense.

They start off slow. Nakamura targets Nakamura’s knee then takes him down to the floor with a knee to the back of the head on the apron. Nakamura went for a reverse exploder but Styles laid him out with an inverted spinebuster. Styles kips up and hits a splash. Styles tries for the Styles clash but Nakamura made it to the ropes.

Nakamura connects with a kick and looks to go for the kinshasa but Styles cradles him. Styles counters a Nakamura charge into a calf crusher, but Nakamura makes it to the ropes. He fights back setting up Styles in the corner and hitting a knee to the gut. Nakamura takes Styles to the top rope, but Styles slides underneath and grabs the knee, taking him down.

After a hot back and forth, Nakamura captures Styles in an armbar but Styles counters with a cradle and connects with a pele kick. Styles goes for the phenomenal forearm, but Nakamura moves out of the way. Styles almost hits the referee, and in the confusion low blows Styles and rolls him up. Styles grabs the ropes right before three.

Styles and Nakamura go it to the outside, where they brawl into the announce table and outside of the ring. The referee counts to ten, ending the match.

Styles takes Nakamura over the barricade and lays into Nakamura, throwing him back into the ring. Styles goes for the phenomenal forearm, but Nakamura bails as Styles stands tall.

The Undertaker defeated Rusev in a casket match

This was short, but longer than the Cena bout. It was okay, but nothing noteworthy in terms of an actual match. It was what you would expect from a standard Undertaker match these days.

Rusev didn’t like the casket being open and stalled before getting into the ring. Undertaker worked him over. He did the rope walk spot and threw him on top of the casket. Rusev takes Undertaker out of the ring and shoves him into a nearby barricade, but Undertaker fights back and hits a legdrop. He rolls Rusev into the casket, but Aiden English distracts him. Rusev escapes and when Undertaker enters the ring, takes him out with a big kick.

The two trade punches as Rusev lays out The Undertaker. They fire back with even more punches until Undertaker hits a chokeslam and throws Rusev into the casket. English comes in and gets a chokeslam and the tombstone. He rolls English into the casket with Rusev and closes it for the win.

Brock Lesnar defeated Roman Reigns to retain the Universal title

This was better than their WrestleMania bout. Still a lot of finisher spamming, but it wasn’t a dull match. The finish was pretty damn lame. This feud already felt dead the moment Brock pinned Roman at WrestleMania, and to possibly do a third match between these three feels like unnecessary overkill. Not only do people not care about Roman Reigns, but in storyline they really shouldn’t care anyway because he’s already lost to Lesnar twice.  

Lesnar dominates early. He goes for the F5, but Reigns fires back with Superman punches. He goes for a spear in the corner, but Lesnar grabs him. Reigns hops on the cage and tries to escape, but Lesnar grabs and drags him back in. Lesnar tries to escape, but Reigns grabs him and plants him with a powerbomb.

Back in the ring, Reigns hits a spear, then a second, and a third. Heyman distracts Reigns and smacks him with the open steel cage. Lesnar hits the F5, but Reigns kicks out. Heyman throws a chair in as Lesnar takes off his gloves. As Lesnar looks to use the chair, Reigns hits another spear. He grabs the steel chair and repeatedly strikes Lesnar, then follows with a Superman punch.

Reigns hits another spear that sends both men through the cage and to the floor. Lesnar hit the floor first, so Lesnar wins the match.

They announced a Nakamura/Styles rematch and Rollins vs. Miz for the Intercontinental title for Backlash.

Braun Strowman won the Greatest Royal Rumble match

This was a lot of filler, as you would expect from a roughly ninety minute match featuring fifty wrestlers. Overall I thought it was solid, though not as good as the match back in January. Just watch the Titus slide, though. That’s all you really need to see.

DANIEL BRYAN and DOLPH ZIGGLER are number one and two, respectively. SIN CARA follows at number three and lays out Bryan with a swanton bomb. Ziggler went for a zig zag, Sin Cara blocked it but Ziggler clotheslined him out of the ring. CURTIS AXEL entered at number four, and MARK HENRY entered at five. Henry eliminated Axel as MIKE KANELLIS came in at six and may have broken a record with how quickly Henry eliminated him. Number seven was HIROKI SUMI, a sumo wrestler. He went toe to toe with Henry, but Henry also disposed of him. Bryan used the distraction to eliminate Henry from the match. VIKTOR was in at eight. He and Bryan wrestled on the apron for a bit before Bryan took him out of the match. KOFI KINGSTON was number nine and ran wild. TONY NESE was in at ten 

DASH of the Revival was in at eleven, and HORNSWOGGLE was in at twelve. He helped eliminate Dash, then grabbed Kingston and laid him out with a samoan drop. Hornswoggle went to the top rope for the tadpole splash but Ziggler connected with a superkick. He bit Ziggler, but was distracted enough to eat a big boot from Nese to send him out of the match. PRIMO COLON was in at thirteen, XAVIER WOODS at fourteen. Primo tried to eliminate Kingston, but held onto Xavier’s shoulders and hung on. They climb to the top rope and, using Kingston, Woods launches off with a clothesline, wiping out a few of the participants.

BO DALLAS enters at fifteen, then KURT ANGLE follows at sixteen. Angle eliminates Bo Dallas and Primo. Ziggler tries to charge, but Angle belly to belly suplexes him to the floor to eliminate him. DAWSON enters at seventeen, then GOLDUST at eighteen and KONNOR at nineteen. ELIAS was number twenty, playing the guitar. He was about to perform a song, but then saw an opportunity to eliminate not only Konnor but also both Woods and Kingston. LUKE GALLOWS  is number twenty one as Angle and Bryan work with one another, Angle hitting the Angel slam. Elias sneaks up from behind and eliminates him. 

Twenty two is RHYNO, twenty three is DREW GULAK. TUCKER KNIGHT is in from NXT at twenty four. Gulak tries to take Knight out with the dragon sleeper, but Knight grabs him and throws him to the floor. BOBBY ROODE is twenty five. Roode dropkicked Goldust out of the match, then slingshotted Dawson out as well. FANDANGO is twenty six, CHAD GABLE in at twenty seven. He lifted Knight on his shoulders and hit an electric chair in a cool spot. REY MYSTERIO in at twenty eight, who eliminates Gallows. 

MOJO RAWLEY is twenty nine as he quickly eliminates Fandango. TYLER BREEZE is number thirty. Mojo Rawley meets him on the apron and tries to shove him off, but falls in Fandango’s arms. He gets back up, but Rawley shoves him again, eliminating him. BIG E is thirty one and he and Knight go at it. E connects with the Big Ending and eliminates him. KARL ANDERSON is thirty two, APOLLO CREWS at thirty three, who eliminates Gable. RODERICK STRONG from NXT is thirty four, RANDY ORTON at in thirty five and runs roughshod on everyone, including planting Crews with an RKO. He eliminates Crews, Rawley and Anderson. HEATH SLATER is thirty six. BABATUNDE from NXT is number thirty seven, then BARON CORBIN, who eliminated Roode and Strong. 

TITUS O’NEIL ran to the ring at 38, an in an amazing spot that can never be duplicated, somehow tripped and slipped all the way under the ring. I am still trying to recover from that. DAN MATHA from NXT is thirty nine, but BRAUN STROWMAN at forty comes in and eliminates the NXT guys and Heath Slater. 

TYE DILLINGER comes in at forty one as Strowman eliminates Titus and Dillinger. Orton and Mysterio team up and take out Strowman. Corbin and Mysterio battle it on the apron, but Corbin gets the better of it and eliminated him. Orton eliminates Corbin, then Elias throws out Orton. CURT HAWKINS is forty three. He runs away from Strowman but gets pawed to the floor. After taking out various people on the outside. Strowman eliminates Hawkins as BOBBY LASHLEY enters at forty four. He and Elias go at it, with Lashley hitting a bad side slam then throws out Elias. Lashley and Strowman tease as he takes out both of them.

THE GREAT KHALI enters at forty five. He chops some people, then is quickly dumped out by Lashley and Strowman, who then go at it. KEVIN OWENS is forty six. At this point, Cole mentions has reached the record for the longest lasting participant in a Royal Rumble in history. SHANE MCMAHON is in at forty seven as Owens focuses in on him. Shane lays him out, leading to a showdown between him and Daniel Bryan, but instead they focus on Owens. SHELTON BENJAMIN is number forty eight.

Owens points out they have to get rid of Strowman as everyone focuses on him. BIG CASS is number forty nine as Daniel Bryan motions for him to come in. Shane McMahon climbs to the top rope and hits a giant coast to coast, sending Braun out of the ring. CHRIS JERICHO enters at fifty as he zeroes in on Kevin Owens. He eliminates Benjamin as Bryan work on Owens. He tells Shane to get to the corner as he goes for a coast to coast on Owens, but Strowman dashes to the apron, grabs him and throws him into the announcers table, eliminating him.

Strowman eliminates Jericho, Owens and Lashley. Bryan tries to eliminate Strowman, but Cass jumps him and eliminates him after an hour and sixteen minutes, leaving him and Strowman as the final two. Strowman crotches him then hits a giant shoulder block, eliminating him and winning the Rumble.

Vince McMahon and a Saudi official were in the ring. Strowman is given the trophy and a championship title that was never mentioned on commentary. Fireworks display as the show ends. I think overall the show was good, with some fun matches (opener, ladder match) and solid wrestling overall.