The WWE dropped some surprising news about The Undertaker’s casket match against Rusev scheduled for later this month. It’s now being reported that Rusev is not being allowed to compete, but not because of the WWE. Instead, a man who has been involved in plenty of battles in the ring over the years is going to step in and hopefully avoid being shut into a casket by “The Deadman.”
On Thursday afternoon, the WWE released a report on their website indicating that Rusev is out and Chris Jericho is in — the match, that is. Jericho, who had been confirmed as returning for the Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 in Saudi Arabia, was originally considered one of the 50-man match competitors. Now, it seems he’s either out of that match or performing double duty at the big event.
The reason for Rusev’s removal is reportedly due to concern from CJ “Lana” Perry, Rusev’s real-life wife. Lana had initially seemed like she was on board with her husband being involved in this huge matchup against the legendary Undertaker. However, her tweet shows that she is concerned about how it will affect all the boys and girls who celebrate “Rusev Day” around the world. Lana said she spoke to WWE and is refusing to allow Rusev to compete at the Greatest Royal Rumble.
It’s unknown based on that tweet if WWE has other plans for Rusev at the big event, such as competing in the 50-man Royal Rumble match. It’s also possible he may not appear at all, based on Lana’s tweet. As far as the true reason he won’t be competing against The Undertaker, that remains to be revealed by backstage rumors or reports.
For those wondering, this is far from the first time that Chris Jericho and The Undertaker have competed against one another in the ring. That included a No Disqualification Match seven years ago when The Undertaker was WWE World Heavyweight Champion. Unfortunately for Jericho, it was a non-title match (video below).
The two have crossed paths inside the WWE’s Elimination Chamber as well. That happened back in 2010 during the infamous moment where Shawn Michaels snuck into the match despite not being one of the competitors. Michaels came into the ring late and delivered a Superkick on The Undertaker, allowing Chris Jericho to pin him for the championship. It would set up a WrestleMania battle between HBK and Taker as well.
As far as the next chapter in the Chris Jericho vs. The Undertaker’s history, one has to think this match favors The Deadman. He’s competed in the most casket matches of any superstar and is also coming off a big win over John Cena at WrestleMania 34. Chris Jericho hasn’t been part of a WWE match since being attacked by Kevin Owens on SmackDown Live months ago, so he may have considerable ring rust.
Fans can watch Jericho battle The Undertaker in a Casket Match on Friday, April 27 when WWE’s Greatest Royal Rumble 2018 is streamed live online via WWE Network.