From the WWE Rumor Mill: Why Rusev was removed from and then re-added to the Undertaker Casket Match
The reason behind the dramatic Greatest Royal Rumble match changes revealed
What's the story?
Brad Shepard of Bodyslam.net has reported that Rusev was removed from the Casket Match against the Undertaker at WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble event because WWE were concerned the Bulgarian's tweets and TMZ interview may have offended Undertaker's wife Michelle McCool and 'Taker himself.
In case you didn't know...
Rusev was initially announced to wrestle against the Undertaker in a Casket Match at the Greatest Royal Rumble. However days later the WWE announced that Undertaker would be wrestling against Chris Jericho instead. Then, mere days after that the WWE announced that Rusev was back in the match. This understandably led to a whole ton of confusion with no-one really knowing what was going on.
The heart of the matter
Rusev's interview with TMZ did come close to offending Michelle McCool, Undertaker's wife, when TMZ ran the interview with the headline claiming that Rusev said 'Crush his old ass' which was misleading as Rusev didn't say that during the interview at all.
However it seems like this public statement by McCool and Rusev's 'Bury Me Softly' tweet that he had tweeted earlier that week was enough to rub somebody backstage up the wrong way, enough for them to change the Greatest Royal Rumble match, as Brad Shepard suggests.
"A source in WWE told me that somebody in the office was definitely rubbed the wrong way by the initial comments Rusev made to TMZ (where he referenced Undertaker being old) WWE is very sensitive to the potential of offending old timers. Once they realised Undertaker wasn't offended, they put him back in the match."
For now it seems that Rusev will be wrestling against Undertaker in a Casket Match in Saudi Arabia for WWE's Greatest Royal Rumble event, but if there's one thing this whole saga has taught me, it's to never trust anything WWE says it will do until it actually does it. Quite where this leaves Chris Jericho is also another matter entirely, we've got no idea.
The TMZ interview with Rusev and Lana came across as professional with both Superstars representing the company well. I am surprised that someone within the WWE saw enough of a problem in it to dramatically change an already advertised match, but glad that they've seen enough sense to change it back!