As noted, WWE has announced that Chris Jericho will be replacing Rusev in the Casket Match against The Undertaker that is scheduled for WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble event on Friday, April 27th from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which will air live on the WWE Network that day beginning with the Kickoff pre-show at 11am EST.
Rusev took to Twitter today and wrote his first public comments since the change was announced. The comments were re-tweeted by Lana and can be seen below:
Life is life..... it will be #RusevDay somewhere— . (@RusevBUL) April 12, 2018
For those who missed it, the storyline reason for Rusev being pulled was Lana refusing to allow him to compete in the Casket Match.
WWE's announcement came just a few hours after TMZ Sports publishing a video interview with Lana and Rusev discussing the match and how The Bulgarian Brute would send The Dead Man to retirement. You can read out coverage of the interview at this link.
Taker's wife Michelle McCool saw a TMZ headline on Twitter and responded. TMZ's headline noted that Rusev and Lana threatened to crush Takers "old ass" but that was never said in the video. The headline read like this: "WWE's Lana & Rusev Rusev's Gonna Retire Undertaker ... CRUSH His Old Ass!"
McCool checked and saw that Rusev and Lana never made the "crush his old ass" comments and wrote the following:
Had to listen to see if "crush his old a$$" was ACTUALLY said! Guess some people are smarter than others...?????? https://t.co/avOLWKORV8— Michelle McCool (@McCoolMichelleL) April 12, 2018
I assumed she meant that most people take an article title on face-value, whereas smarter people would watch the video to see that he never actually said that.— Markbob (@Manleypants) April 12, 2018
Precisely! Glad you get it....d'dn't realize that was such a hot topic!??????? https://t.co/COK3U1GyMt— Michelle McCool (@McCoolMichelleL) April 12, 2018
You can see how WWE explained the match change in their official announcement below. They also commented on this being Jericho's first Casket Match and the brief history between the two legends:
Y2J will replace Rusev against The Undertaker in a Casket Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble event
In a stunning turn of events, The Undertaker will battle Chris Jericho in a Casket Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble event in Saudi Arabia on Friday, April 27.
Originally, the Casket Match was to be between The Deadman and Rusev. However, Lana, who originally showed public support for her husband competing against The Undertaker, recently tweeted second thoughts over The Bulgarian Brute competing in the grisly bout.
All over the world, little boys and girls are celebrating #RusevDay, they smile for the greatest Superstar ever ! I've already spoke with @WWE officials to change that match because I REFUSE to let my husband @RusevBUL compete in a Casket Match at #WWEGRR! Happy #RusevDay— CJ (Lana) Perry (@LanaWWE) April 12, 2018
The Casket Match undoubtedly belongs to The Undertaker, as The Demon of Death Valley has claimed victory in several of these harrowing contests, wherein a Superstar only wins when he gets his opponent into the casket and closes the lid. Although Jericho has never been a part of such an ominous showdown, WWE's first Undisputed Champion has battled in virtually every other kind of match WWE has to offer, and if his extensive résumé says anything, it's that he knows how to win when it counts.
The Deadman and Y2J are no strangers to one another. They have competed side-by-side, including the epic Team WWE vs. Team Alliance Match at Survivor Series 2001, as well as against each other, including the Elimination Chamber Match in 2010 where Jericho overcame The Phenom to capture the World Heavyweight Championship.
Which of the two iconic Superstars will walk out, and which will be carried out in a casket? Find out at the Greatest Royal Rumble event, Friday, April 27, at 7 p.m. AST. The event streams live on the award-winning WWE Network with a tune-in time of 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT, and with a special, one-hour Greatest Royal Rumble Kickoff starting at 11 a.m. ET/8 a.m. PT. It will be available on pay-per-view outside of the Middle East with regional broadcast information forthcoming, and tickets will be available Friday, April 13.