WWE Crown Jewel Review: Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar
- Show: WWE Crown Jewel
- Location: King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
- Date: Friday November 2nd, 2018
- Review by: Amin Ajani
Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton – Quarterfinals of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Mysterio went for a springboard but Orton caught him with a dropkick. Orton draped Mysterio on the top rope and followed up by delivering his signature stomps. Mysterio delivered strikes and followed up with top rope seated senton. Mysterio delivered a reverse crossbody and followed up with a reverse DDT for a near fall. Mysterio went for the 619 but Orton countered by delivering a draping DDT. Finish of the match came when Orton went for the RKO but Mysterio countered with a rollup for the win.
- Post-Match: Orton delivered an RKO to Mysterio after the match. Orton delivered a face buster to Mysterio on the announcers table.
(Amin’s Analysis: Not much happened as both Mysterio and Orton worked a fine but a slow paced match.)
The Miz def. Jeff Hardy – Round One of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Jeff delivered a shoulder tackle and followed up with a hip toss. Miz delivered a backbreaker/neck breaker combo for a near fall. Miz delivered running dropkicks to Jeff into the turnbuckle. Jeff delivered strikes, an atomic drop, a leg drop and followed up with a basement dropkick for a near fall. Jeff delivered the Whisper in the Wind for a near fall. Jeff countered a Figure-4-Leg Lock into an inside cradle for a near fall. Jeff delivered a running crossbody off the barricade to Miz. The finish came quickly as Miz countered the Twist of Fate and delivered a Skull Crushing Finale for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: Another average match with not much happening as both Jeff and Miz worked a fine but a slow paced match.)
Seth Rollins def. Bobby Lashley (w/Lio Rush) – Round One of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Lashley delivered a spine buster for a near fall. Lashley delivered a running shoulder tackle and followed up with a neck breaker for a near fall. Lashley applied a full nelson and followed up by delivering the Complete Shot. Lashley went for a delayed vertical suplex but Rollins escaped and delivered back-to-back topes. Lashley went for the Dominator but Rollins escaped. Finish of the match came when Lashley ran into the turnbuckle as Rollins rolled through and delivered The Stomp for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This felt like a house show match as both Lashley and Rollins worked at a normal pace.)
Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) def. Kurt Angle – Round One of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4
The match started with some nice chain and mat wrestling. Angle delivered an overhead suplex and followed up by delivering back-to-back German suplex. Ziggler delivered a neck breaker for a near fall. Ziggler applied a sleeper but Angle broke free and delivered a triple German suplex for a near fall. Angle went for Angle Slam but Ziggler countered and delivered a jumping DDT for a near fall. Angle countered the Famouser and delivered an Angle Slam for a near fall. Ziggler countered an Ankle Lock and delivered a Famouser for a near fall. Angle applied an Ankle Lock but Ziggler rolled through to break the hold. Finish of the match came when Angle ran shoulder first into the turnbuckle as Ziggler delivered the Zig Zag for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fun match as both Angle and Ziggler worked hard and delivered all their signature spots.)
The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) w/Big Show def. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) w/Xavier Woods to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Titles
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4
Kingston delivered a leaping double stomp to Sheamus. Kingston delivered a dropkick to Cesaro for a near fall. Kingston delivered a head scissors and followed up with a reverse crossbody for a near fall. Cesaro delivered a gut wrench suplex for a near fall. Cesaro delivered a running uppercut and followed up with a jackhammer for a near fall. Big E delivered back-to-back overhead suplex to Ceasro. Sheamus charged but Big E caught him with a uranage for a near fall. There was a cool spot as Kofi delivered a double stomp as Big E delivered a powerbomb to Sheamus but Cesaro broke the count. Big E went for the Big Ending but Big Show hopped on the ring apron. Finish of the match came when Big Show delivered a right hand and Sheamus followed up with a Brougue Kick for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fine match as both New Day and The Bar are fun to watch.)
The Miz def. Rey Mysterio – Semi-Finals of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 2/4
Mysterio delivered a sliding splash to Miz on the floor. Mysterio charged but Miz countered by delivering an alley-oop. Miz applied an abdominal stretch but Mysterio countered by delivering a DDT. Mysterio delivered a crossbody for a near fall. Mysterio delivered a springboard head scissors. Mysterio went for the 619 but Miz countered by sending him into the top turnbuckle. Miz delivered the Skull Crushing Finale but Mysterio kicked out for a close near fall. Mysterio missed a Victory Roll attempt. Mysterio delivered a 619, went for a frog splash but Miz got his knees up. Miz rolled up Mysterio for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a fine match which had lots of cool counters and sequences.)
Dolph Ziggler (w/Drew McIntyre) def. Seth Rollins – Semi-Finals of the World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️ 3/4
Ziggler delivered a jumping DDT for a near fall. Ziggler delivered a neck breaker for a near fall. Ziggler delivered a rolling back elbow for a near fall. There was a neat spot as Rollins and Ziggler exchanged pinning combinations. Rollins delivered a Ripcord Knee for a near fall. Rollins delivered a tope to both McIntyre and Ziggler on the floor. Rollins went for a springboard but Ziggler moved and delivered a Famouser for a near fall. Rollins delivered a superplex, went for the Falcon Arrow but Ziggler countered by delivering a Zig Zag for a close near fall. Rollins countered a Zig Zag and delivered a superkick. Rollins delivered a tope to McIntyre. Rollins climbed the turnbuckle but McIntyre returned and shoved him off. Ziggler delivered a superkick for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as both Rollins and Ziggler worked hard.)
A.J. Styles def. Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Championship
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/4
Styles worked over the leg of Joe. Styles delivered a reverse moonsault from the apron to the floor. Joe elevated Styles into the barricade. Joe delivered a running elbow suicida to Styles who got rammed into the announcers table. Joe and Styles exchanged strikes. There was a cool series as Joe delivered palm strikes but Styles caught him with a step-up enzuigiri. Styles delivered palm strikes and followed up with a reverse DDT for a near fall. Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm to Joe on the floor. Joe avoided the Phenomenal Forearm and delivered a powerslam for a near fall. Joe delivered a big clothesline for a near fall. Styles applied a Calf Crusher but Joe grabbed the ropes to break the hold. Styles went for an O’Connor Roll but Joe countered by applying the Coquina Clutch. Styles broke free by pulling at the leg of Joe. Styles went for another Calf Crusher but Joe blocked it. Joe delivered a knee lift but Styles caught him with a Pele Kick. Finish of the match came when Styles delivered a Phenomenal Forearm for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was a good match as both Joe and Styles worked hard. Styles has been the workforce of WWE and has now held the WWE Championship for 361 days. A.J. Styles is simply phenomenal.)
Brock Lesnar def. Braun Strowman to win the vacant WWE Universal Title
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️
Before the match started, Baron Corbin attacked Braun Strowman with the Universal Championship. Lesnar delivered an F5 but Strowman kicked out. Lesnar delivered another F5 but Strowman kicked out again. Lesnar delivered a third F5 but Strowman kicked out again. There was a crazy spot as Lesnar F5’d Strowman from the ring to the floor. Finish of the match came when Strowman charged but Lesnar caught him and delivered the fifth F5 of the match to win the vacant WWE Universal Championship.
(Amin’s Analysis: This match was something else to watch. Story was that Strowman wasn’t ready after being attacked by Corbin. Looks like Lesnar is still with WWE and will be having more matches.)
Shane McMahon def. Dolph Ziggler to win the WWE World Cup Tournament
- Rating: ⭐️ 2/4
Miz attacked Ziggler before the match began. Miz tossed Ziggler to the floor. Miz jumped off the apron but tweaked his ankle. Miz rammed Ziggler into the steel steps. Miz couldn’t continue so Shane McMahon took his spot. Shane delivered strikes to Ziggler in the corner. Shane delivered a rolling back elbow to Ziggler. The referee sent Baron Corbin to the back. Ziggler delivered a Zig Zag but Shane kicked out. Shane delivered a DDT and then catapult Ziggler into the turnbuckle. Shane delivered the Coast-to-Coast dropkick to win the WWE World Cup Tournament.
(Amin’s Analysis: This was something else to watch as the announcers played up how Shane McMahon played a heel and placed himself in the match so SmackDown LIVE can win the World Cup tournament.)
DX (Triple H & Shawn Michaels) def. The Brothers of Destruction (Kane & The Undertaker)
- Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Kane delivered a running clothesline to HHH in the corner. HBK delivered a flying axe handle smash to Kane. HBK delivered a neck breaker to Kane. Kane tossed HHH to the floor. (HHH got hurt while landing on the floor.) HBK delivered chops but Undertaker delivered a boot. Undertaker delivered strikes to both HBK and HHH on the floor. Undertaker delivered Old School to HBK but missed a running boot in the corner. Kane delivered a scoop slam to HHH but missed an elbow drop. HHH delivered a DDT to Kane. HBK delivered an atomic drop to Kane. DX delivered a double team suplex to Kane. HBK delivered a flying elbow drop. Kane blocked Sweet Chin Music and delivered a choke slam. Undertaker send HBK into the turnbuckle, delivered a running boot and followed up with a leg drop for a near fall. HHH caused a distraction as HBK delivered Sweet Chin Music to Undertaker. Kane delivered a choke slam to HHH through the announcers table. Undertaker delivered a leg drop from the apron to HBK. HBK rammed Undertaker into the ring post. HBK delivered a reverse moonsault to Kane and Undertaker on the floor. HHH tagged in, delivered a jumping knee to Kane and a spine buster to Undertaker. HHH blocked a Tombstone and delivered a Pedigree to Undertaker. Undertaker recovered and applied the Hells Gate on HHH. HBK delivered Sweet Chin Music as Kane fell onto Undertaker. Kane and Undertaker went for the double Tombstone but DX escaped. HBK delivered Sweet Chin Music to Undertaker. Finish of the match came when HBK delivered Sweet Chin Music and HHH followed up by delivering a Pedigree to Kane for the win.
(Amin’s Analysis: HHH injury impacted the match but this was still really fun to watch as everyone worked hard. Was nice to see HBK wrestle again and deliver all his signature spots. Always fun to see Undertaker wrestler and still give his all. HHH deserves tons of credit for working through the match while being injured.)
-Overall: WWE Crown Jewel was a decent show that went too long. This didn’t feel like a PPV but more like a WWE Network special.
Image Credit – WWE