Features

Review of WWE Press Conference Announcing Lesnar vs. Velasquez and Strowman vs. Fury at WWE Crown Jewel on Oct. 31

There was a WWE press conference today at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, which is where Smackdown will take place later tonight. It was shown WWE Network, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and WWE.com live at 3pmET. It watched on WWE Network. Here’s my review of it.

The opening video package focused on the main “four fearsome athletes” Brock Lesnar, Cain Velasquez, Braun Strowman and Tyson Fury. They showed highlights of all four guys during the video package.

Michael Cole was on the stage as the host of the press conference. Cole introduced Paul Levesque aka Triple H, who is the Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative.

Triple H made the announcement that WWE will be bringing these huge matches to Crown Jewel on October 31. Hunter read some lines about all the big events taking place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia including WWE’s Crown Jewel event.

A video package aired showing clips of WWE’s previous shows in Saudi Arabia including Greatest Royal Rumble, Super Showdown and last year’s Crown Jewel event.

Hunter said it will be their “most exciting card in history,” which is obviously a reach, but they get paid a lot, so they will say ridiculous things. Hunter said they’ll have WWE icons like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair, plus current stars like Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and Seth Rollins. What about the women? Oh yeah, can’t mention that.

Hunter officially announced the two matches including 5-time WWE Champion and 3-time Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and he will face two-time UFC Champion Cain Velasquez.

The second match will feature the “Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman and he will step into the ring with the Lineal Heavyweight Boxing Champion of the World, the “Gypsy King” Tyson Fury.

They aired a video of Strowman and Fury’s interaction last week on Smackdown to set up the angle leading to the Crown Jewel match.

Braun Strowman was introduced to speak at the press conference. Strowman talked about how excited he is. Strowman said last year he won the 50-man Greatest Royal Rumble and he’s returning this year to prove he’s the toughest man in WWE. Strowman put over Fury for what he’s done and said in WWE, we don’t wear gloves. Strowman warned Fury that he is coming to Brock’s world. Strowman said when these hands put Fury down for good, the whole world will know who Strowman is. Strowman said thanks and left. He only spoke for about two minutes.

Bob Arum was at the press conference. He’s the CEO and Founder of Top Rank. Arum talked about promoting a show a long time ago with Vince McMahon – it was an Evil Knievel show. Arum praised Vince for what he has created with WWE. Arum said that Fury reminds him of Muhammad Ali and George Foreman because he entertains in the ring and he’s a tremendous personality that’s a real showman, which is why people love him. Arum said even though Fury had a cut over his eye and blood on his face, he carries on and finds a way to victory.

Tyson Fury was up next wearing a white and blue suit. Fury said he’s always dreamed of being part of a WWE show because he’s a lifelong WWE show. Fury said he’s excited about facing Braun Strowman and after seeing him, he sees why he’s the Monster Among Men. Fury talked about how he’s undefeated as a boxer. Fury said he’s got the best hands in boxing and said Strowman doesn’t want none of them hands.

Strowman walked back out for a face to face showdown. They also did some playful slaps to the arm, they laughed and had a handshake. Strowman pulled Fury in Triple H showed up to break it up before anything happen. Cole noted that their camps agreed it would be professional today. Hunter shook Fury’s hand and Fury left.

Triple H spoke about how he’s known Brock Lesnar for 20 years and he’s in awe of him as an athlete. Hunter said this matchup has it all because Lesnar and Velasquez are once in a lifetime athletes. Hunter said they can overpower people, but they also have great stories.

A video package aired about Brock Lesnar beating Kofi Kingston for the WWE Title in about ten seconds and then Cain Velasquez to show up with Rey Mysterio. Velasquez attacked Lesnar with punches. That set up this showdown at Crown Jewel.

Rey Mysterio was next up wearing his trademark mask and a suit. Mysterio also had his left arm in a sling to sell the recent attack from Brock Lesnar. Mysterio spoke about how his son Dominick has dreamed of being a wrestler since he could walk and these past two years, the dream has become closer to reality. Mysterio said that Dominick wanted to fight with Rey as father and son, but that may have changed. Mysterio said that it breaks his heart that the first time he got to share the ring with Dominick was with Brock Lesnar. Mysterio talked about Lesnar attacking Dominick. Mysterio said he was pleased to announce the person that has been by his side and has beaten Brock Lesnar, he called him “mi raza” which means family and introduced Cain Velasquez.

Cain Velasquez said he is so excited to join WWE. Velasquez said that Lesnar crossed the wrong familia and for that, he needs to pay. Velasquez said he knows Brock is big, he’s the biggest, but he ain’t the baddest. Cain said he beat Brock before in the UFC and he’s ready to do it again on October 31 at Crown Jewel. Velasquez also spoke in Spanish – sorry but I don’t speak Spanish. He ended the speech by saying “thank you” and left with Mysterio.

Paul Heyman was next up as the Advocate of the WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar.

Heyman said it’s time to interject a little personality into the room. He reminded us he is the Advocate for the baddest dude on the planet. Heyman said that Velasquez is a once in a lifetime athlete and Lesnar is a “once ever” athlete while listing Lesnar’s accomplishments. Heyman said that Lesnar is going to beat Velasquez at Crown Jewel and that’s not a prediction, it’s a spoiler. Heyman did his usual intro for Brock Lesnar.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance with the WWE Title, which he placed on the podium in front of him.

Lesnar said he doesn’t feel the need to say anything when he has Paul Heyman out there, but he will. Lesnar said to Cain this is his world, it’s his house and he’s the conqueror. Lesnar said for ten years, he’s been waiting for this moment. Lesnar said for ten years he’s had to look at the scar on Brock’s face that Cain put there and he’s going to beat him.

Lesnar and Velasquez had a face to face showdown. Paul Heyman held up the WWE Title behind them.

The press conference ended at 3:30pmET, so it had a 30-minute runtime and that was it.

On Smackdown, it was announced that Lesnar vs. Velasquez will be a WWE Title match.

TJR Thoughts: We all expected Lesnar vs. Velasquez and Strowman vs. Fury after last week’s Smackdown. As we have mentioned many times in the last two years, WWE gets paid anywhere from $30 to $40 million for each of the two Saudi Arabian shows they do, so they are happy to spend the money on high priced talent to be a part of the shows. Velasquez has wrestled two wrestling matches this year (six-man tag team matches) while Fury has not had a wrestling match before, but he is legitimately a fan, so I’m sure he’ll put the work in at WWE’s Performance Center like Velasquez will.

Will either match be great? No, but it might draw interest with casual fans and that’s why WWE is doing it. They are doing it for the casual fans, not the hardcore fans like us.

The press conference was a good idea. I liked the setup by doing it on the Smackdown stage and the media members were in the crowd taking videos and photos of it.