When WWE first started announcing matches for the upcoming Greatest Royal Rumble, which will take place in Saudi Arabia later in April, it was revealed that The Undertaker would once again return to the ring. After a quick victory over John Cena at Wrestlemania 34–following what is arguably the worst-booked story of the entire show–the Deadman was set to face Rusev in a casket match.
That was a questionable announcement, given Rusev’s growing popularity. Were fans willing to boo him against The Undertaker? Is a loss to the Phenom what that particular character needs at this point? The answer to both questions, most likely, was no. However, WWE has now changed that match. Rusev is out, Chris Jericho is in. For his part, Rusev seems disappointed in the decision, tweeting, “Bury me softly, brother.” He also alluded to the reports that his time in WWE could be coming to an end, writing, “Life is life….. it will be [Rusev Day] somewhere.”
Jericho is the chosen one for this particular match, though. After making his last WWE appearance on the Raw 25th-anniversary special, self-proclaimed G.O.A.T. will now face Undertaker in the casket match and it’s a really smart decision. Time and again, Jericho has proven he can excel as a hero and villain, easily weaving between the two depending on who his opponent is on any given day.
And in no time at all, Jericho has always begun slipping into his villainous role on Instagram, writing, “The last time I was in the ring with [The Undertaker], I beat him for the [WWE] world title. In a few weeks at the [Greatest Royal Rumble], I’m gonna beat him again and BURY his ass.”
What’s so exciting about this match is that it is a largely unknown quantity. While Jericho and Undertaker have worked together a number of times in multiple-man matches, they’ve only had a single televised one-on-one encounter. It was in 2009 when they faced off on an episode of Smackdown. The Undertaker left as the victor, but the fans left dying for more.
Now, nearly a decade later, they’re going to get it when Chris Jericho and The Undertaker face off in a casket match at the Greatest Royal Rumble. And as if that’s not enough, the rest of the card is worthy of its own Wrestlemania. With matches like John Cena vs. Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns in a steel cage, and AJ Styles defending his WWE Championship, the night is bound to be full of surprises–and that’s before you consider the biggest Royal Rumble match of all time, with 50 WWE superstars partaking.
The Greatest Royal Rumble will air live on the WWE Network at 12 PM ET on Friday, April 27.