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Why Chris Jericho Was Pulled from the Greatest Royal Rumble Casket Match

Posted By James Walsh on 05/14/18


In the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio (via Wrestling Inc), it was revealed that one of the reasons that Chris Jericho was pulled from the casket match with the Undertaker at the Greatest Royal Rumble was that the Prince of Saudi Arabia specifically asked for Rusev to be in the match. No public reason was ever announced.

Jericho told Vince McMahon prior to the event that he was set to shoot an angle with Tetsuya Naito in Fukuoka during Night 2 of Wrestling Dontaku to set up a match for Dominion. A couple of hours later, Jericho was told about the switch. Wrestling Inc notes that the Prince reportedly wanted older and more familiar talent on the show, which is why The Undertaker was featured. However, Rusev is not in that same category and Jericho is. The match was changed days before, with Rusev removed, which cast some doubt that Rusev was requested.

The report suggested that this could explain why the news of Jericho going to Japan, as it wouldn’t have been a secret after Jericho told Vince. Don Callis revealed on his Killing the Town podcast that even though they’re good friends, Jericho even kept his NJPW surprises secret fro him. Jericho avoided answering if he was in Fukuoka, but Callis figured it out when seeing that there were things in the locker room that were similar to when Jericho appeared in Japan for the angle with Kenny Omega.