Triple H explains why WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble is still a 'work in progress'
The event set for Saudi Arabia will be held just there weeks after WrestleMania 34
When WWE partnered with the Saudi General Sports Authority to announce its "Greatest Royal Rumble" card for Friday, April 27 at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, fans in America were left with obvious questions.
Three weeks later, the details remain thin regarding the star-studded event with the natural questions still lingering.
Will the show be broadcast live on the WWE Network? Will the booking take place in the same storyline universe of the week-to-week WWE product? Will the winner of the Rumble receive anything -- such as the winner of the "real" Royal Rumble does each January?
What we do know thus far is the card will feature the first 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble match, along with seven championship matches in all, and an "all hands on deck" approach as to who will compete. Advertised superstars currently include John Cena, Triple H, Roman Reigns, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, The New Day, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Shinsuke Nakamura. In an recent interview, Daniel Bryan has also indicated that he hopes to be on the show.
Pressed for more information during a conversation with CBS Sports' "In This Corner Podcast" that will air next Tuesday, WWE executive and 14-time world champion Paul "Triple H" Levesque explained that the company was still in the process of ironing out most of the details.
"I think we are still kind of exploring the options on it," Levesque said. "It's a little bit of a work in progress. This event sort of came together very, very quickly. It's three weeks after WrestleMania, which you can imagine putting on a week-long spectacle of that nature and following it up three weeks later in Saudi Arabia with a stadium show takes some logistic work.
"We are still working through the process, and I think you'll see some announcements coming up here as we continue to get further in the card, what the show is and all of that. I think you'll see announcements of the how, where and when."
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If the event feels rushed, that's because there's little argument that it was brought into fruition rather quickly. Part of a 10-year strategic multiplatform partnership in support of the Saudi Arabian social and economic reform program "Vision 2030," the card has been called "a spectacle of historic proportions" by WWE chairman Vince McMahon in a recent press release.
To illustrate just how quick this has come together, Turki Al-Sheikh, chairman of the Saudi General Sports Authority, tweeted a photo of himself alongside McMahon and Levesque on Feb. 28 announcing a deal had been signed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Recent reports, Thursday's announcement that it will air live as a pay-per-view in the United Kingdom on Sky Sports Box Office seemed to support that., seem to support the idea that the event will be broadcast live on the WWE Network.
Last week, on his "Dinner with the King" podcast, legendary WWE commentator Jerry Lawler revealed that he and fellow Hall of Famer Jim Ross would reunite to call the action. Lawler also teased that he could be among the 50 members of the Royal Rumble match.
The event is surely a strong financial opportunity for WWE as part of their continued push to drive business internationally, but one must wonder whether it was agreed upon without complete regard for how it might affect some of WWE's other properties, such as the annual Royal Rumble event held every January. Furthermore, with it taking place just three weeks after WrestleMania, WWE has put a lot on the plates of its talent, bookers and production staff to pull off what appears to be an event that will rival its signature show in terms of size.
Our full interview with Paul "Triple H" Levesque will air Tuesday on a special edition of the In This Corner with Brian Campbell podcast, where we go in depth on everything you need to know in WWE each week.
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