To give a positive boost to their partnership with Saudi Arabia, WWE recently announced the Greatest Royal Rumble event. This show is scheduled to take place at the King Abdullah Sports City venue in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27. Wide discussion has occurred regarding whether the event will be aired on the WWE Network, which Roman Reigns potentially confirmed in a recent interview.
This event will be the biggest Royal Rumble event in WWE history. Although the company has put together numerous battle royals over a span of decades, the annual Royal Rumble event, which occurs every January, traditionally holds 30 participants. In the very beginning, the Royal Rumble had 20 competitors.
In 2011, WWE attempted to expand the match by including 40 participants, but they went back to the 30-man match moving forward. The match in 2011 was won by Alberto Del Rio, with Santino Marella being the runner-up.
Not only will this Royal Rumble in Saudi Arabia move away from the typical January spot, but it will also be the second Royal Rumble of the year and feature 50 participants from both Raw and SmackDown Live, as well as most likely NXT and 205 Live. Names such as Roman Reigns, John Cena, and even The Undertaker are all scheduled to appear at this event. As of now, there are no perks of winning the match, and fans expressed this issue when Vince McMahon posted about the event.
— WWE (@WWEIndia) March 19, 2018
WWE Under Major Backlash Regarding Greatest Royal Rumble Event
To further add anticipation to the Greatest Royal Rumble event, WWE announced that there will be seven title matches that will occur. These matches include the WWE Championship, Universal Championship, Intercontinental Championship, United States Championship, Raw Tag Team Championship, SmackDown Tag Team Championship, and Cruiserweight Championship.
One huge exclusion of this list of title are both the Raw and SmackDown Live Women’s Championships. As a result, fans were very vocal, expressing their dissatisfaction with the decision, according to the Sun. Among the comments, fans shared thoughts such as strongly propagating the Women’s Evolution but not having the titles featured on the biggest show of the year, WWE rescinding their “unwavering commitment to women,” and having a show in a place where there are laws against women.
Up until last October, women were actually barred from watching sporting events in Saudi Arabia, until a decision was made to allow women into stadiums. Last December, in the neighboring Adu Dhabi, Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss made history of being the first women wrestlers to perform in front of an audience at a WWE live event.