There was a funny story in this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter on the casket match changes leading up to the Greatest Royal Rumble show.
Rusev was originally announced as The Undertaker’s opponent for the show. Then they changed it to Taker vs. Chris Jericho and then it was changed back to Rusev. Jericho told Vince McMahon that he was going to be flying to Fukuoka to shoot the attack angle with Tetsuya Naito to set up their match at the upcoming Dominion show.
A couple of hours later, Jericho was told that the Prince of Saudi Arabia asked for Rusev in the match so the change was made and Jericho was told that he was no longer going to be in the match. Instead, he would only be in the 50-Man Rumble match.
The funny thing is that the Prince has clearly not kept up on current WWE wrestling because he also requested Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Yokozuna and The Ultimate Warrior for the show. So it’s hard to believe that the Prince really requested Rusev. It sounds like McMahon made the call himself and used the Prince as an excuse but we’ll never know unless McMahon talks, which will never happen.
Dave Meltzer said this probably explains how word got out about Jericho flying out to Japan because once he told McMahon, it would no longer be a secret.