WWE news, rumors: 'Greatest Royal Rumble,' NXT injury, Jericho-NJPW done?
WWE and Chris Jericho -- separately -- made interesting announcements on Monday
It was a busy weekend once again in professional wrestling and business picked up even further on Monday when WWE made a major announcement regarding its scheduling plans ... just not in Australia as had been anticipated. As we are every weekday, CBS Sports is here to let you in on everything you need to know about WWE and beyond in this edition of news and rumors.
'Greatest Royal Rumble' announcement confuses fans
WWE announced Monday that it will host the "Greatest Royal Rumble" -- a 50-man, over-the-top-rope battle royal -- for the first time in history. That on its own makes a lot of sense. The rest of the announcement has left fans confused and awaiting more information. The so-called "Greatest Royal Rumble" will be held not in January ahead of WrestleMania 35 but instead next month on Friday, April 27 ... at the King Abdullah Sports City in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. WWE has already advertised Roman Reigns, John Cena, Triple H, AJ Styles, Braun Strowman, The New Day, Randy Orton, Bray Wyatt and Shinsuke Nakamura for show but not specified who will be in the match. Considering the number of men on the rosters and the fact that the rest of the card likely needs to be filled out, there will be an opportunity for a lot of surprises in this bout.
There is no ticket or broadcast information available at this time, leaving fans to wonder whether this unique match will be available live or otherwise on the WWE Network. Furthermore, it has not been announced whether the match would result in a No. 1 contender being named for one of the company's world titles as is tradition in "Royal Rumble" matches. The only other detail known is that this match will headline the first event as part ofa "10-year strategic multi-platform partnership" with Saudi Arabia's social and economic reform program, Vision 2030.
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More WWE news, rumors
- It was believed that Chris Jericho's time with New Japan Pro-Wrestling was not quite over yet with a rumored match between Jericho and Tetsuya Naito likely to go down at either the company's Long Beach, California, show in March or it's spectacular Dominion pay-per-view in June. However, Jericho on Monday responded to a fan's question indicating that his time in NJPW has come to an end. Jericho has been known to purposely lead fans away from the truth in the past, but this appears to be a matter-of-fact statement. Should it be reality, that does not necessarily mean Jericho is on his way back to WWE soon. Not only does he still have his cruise -- featuring a ton of Ring of Honor wrestlers -- it does not appear he will be part of WrestleMania 34. But perhaps a departure from NJPW would pave the way for him to return to WWE sooner than later.
- An apparent injury suffered at an NXT live event over the weekend may force the brand to drastically alter its plans ahead of its next NXT TakeOver special. Bobby Fish, one-third of the Undisputed Era group and one-half of the NXT tag team champions (along with Kyle O'Reilly) appeared to seriously hurt his knee during a match to the point that the referee called for a trainer and Fish was helped to the back by two men. There has been no solid update on Fish's status at this time, but an injury would certainly be untimely and unfortunate. WWE could roll with O'Reilly and Adam Cole as champions utilizing the Freebird Rule, or it could keep the titles off the show altogether if Fish will be able to return soon but not in time for the event.
- Hillbilly Jim has been announced as the latest member of WWE's Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Famous for donning overalls and a bucket hat, Jim was featured in WWE from 1984-90 but never won a title with the company. He was often a tag team partner of Andre the Giant and competed at WrestleMania 2 and WrestleMania 3. To be honest, while he stayed with WWE and worked as a visible face of the company even after his wrestling career was over, this is one of the more surprising Hall of Fame announcements.
- Already announced for Raw on Monday night: Asuka will again put her undefeated streak on the line against Nia Jax, Ronda Rousey is expected to appear, The Miz may figure out who he's facing for the intercontinental title at WrestleMania 34, and the Brock Lesnar-Roman Reigns storyline will be advanced in some manner.
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The announcement came Monday with little fanfare, thrown into an edition of Raw