TJRWrestling WWE Crown Jewel 2022 Preview
It’s WWE Crown Jewel featuring a Roman Reigns championship defense against Logan Paul, Bobby Lashley facing Brock Lesnar, Bianca Belair has to deal with Bayley again this time in a Last Woman Standing Match, an appearance from Bray Wyatt and more.
John: The WWE Crown Jewel event is the second Premium Live Event taking place in Saudi Arabia. There is some concerning real world news going into this show that we are covering as well as we can on TJRWrestling (read about it here), but from what I can tell it seems like issues with the Saudis and other country won’t have an effect on the WWE show. I know the talent got there a few days early with the Smackdown crew coming from Europe after a bunch of shows there.
Please not there’s a special start time of 12pm ET for this show. We do the “turn back the clock” thing early Sunday morning while other parts of the world have already done it. I like that it’s an afternoon show for me because it’s my birthday today (Friday) and I’m celebrating a bit on Saturday night, so that works out well. The Smackdown episode that airs tonight (Friday) was taped last week and based on spoilers I don’t think any new matches were added to Crown Jewel.
I like the Crown Jewel card for the most part and I’m happy that there are eight matches instead of just six like the last few PLE events. Some of the rivalries like McIntyre/Kross, Belair/Bayley and the Women’s Tag Team Title story have been going on for a few months now while others were just set up for this show, so there’s a nice mix in terms of how they built the card. I think they’ll probably go just under four hours for this show.
Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Kelly Dishnow, Lyle Kilbane and Kristian Thompson.
Lyle: Crown Jewel is back again as WWE makes the trip back to Saudi Arabia in what are love them or loathe them shows. The last outing at Elimination Chamber provided some entertainment with the men’s and women’s Chamber matches on a show notable for having three women’s matches on it.
Politics is never too far from the mind when WWE returns to Saudi Arabia and with reports of knowledge of an “imminent threat” coming to light in the lead up to the event, a successful show will be one that leaves people talking about the in-ring action rather than anything else.
Kristian: As I recall writing in my last preview contribution, I am enjoying the HHH-era WWE product as of late. The shows are more wrestling-based and more wrestlers are being featured prominently. The return of a number of stars that were previously (wrongly) released has also been pleasing. That being said, my interest for this show is moderate at best. For these Saudi shows, the main events have generally been average (DX vs Kane & Taker comes to mind) and the excitement level for this year’s main event is no higher. There are about 10 names that I could put forth that I would rather see facing Roman Reigns, if WWE just needed to put someone in that spot for one match and enable him to retain the title. I continue to be intrigued with the storyline involving Bray Wyatt, especially putting him out there as a more human character, and look forward to the way they write him into the show.
(Note: All graphics below are from WWE.)
The OC – AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson vs. The Judgment Day – Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio
Joel: The Judgment Day has seemingly had the advantage every week so far since The Good Brothers returned to WWE.. I think that signals The O.C. is probably winning this match. I’ve enjoyed seeing The Good brothers in WWE again. They never should have been released in the first place. They’ve been working like they have something to prove these last few weeks, especially Karl Anderson. They’re hyping a mystery woman coming to help The O.C. with Rhea Ripley. The only woman I can think of is Beth Phoenix. It’s been two months since she got that Conchairto by Rhea so it’ss possible she’s been out long enough. We’ll see, but I expect a good match as usual.
Winners: The O.C.
Lyle: The Judgment Day’s presentation is one of the changes under the Triple H regime that has slipped under the radar, but the group have become a real threat on Raw. Finn Balor looks like a performer reborn after treading water following his spell in NXT while Damian Priest remains an ominous enforcer for the group. The standout, however, is clearly Rhea Ripley who is garnering all sorts of attention for her antics and she remains the group’s secret weapon while she continues to influence Dominik Mysterio.
The return of Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson to WWE was perhaps not an obvious one but by slipping back into their trio with AJ Styles they give The Phenomenal One the real back up he needs to combat The Judgment Day. Gallows alluded to the Rhea problem they face on Raw and unless The OC can find a suitable solution to that problem it’s going to be a bad night for The Good Brothers.
Winners – The Judgment Day
Matthew: After years of just being Rey Mysterio’s awkward son, Dominik is finally coming into his own. The Judgment Day has been killing it lately, after faltering after kicking Edge out of the group. On the other side, The OC has reunited after Gallows and Anderson returned to the company. I am over the whole Bullet Club/OC thing, and wish these guys would do something original instead of rehashing the same old stuff. As for the match, I will go with The Judgment Day to get the win to continue their momentum.
Winner: The Judgment Day
Alex: Despite the names involved, I’m not too invested in this feud. I really think that The OC trio are clinging to the Bullet Club’s fame and that stable hasn’t been relevant in years. And yet, I think they’ll get the win, simply because the recently-returning Gallows & Anderson need a win. With all the hype around their return, it’s imperative that they get a big win early on to prove to viewers that they’re worth WWE’s and the fans’ time and money. I don’t expect anything out of this world here, just a 15-minute six-man with your usual flash and chaos. I’ll save my interest for the eventual Styles vs. Balor singles match that’ll be teased at some point here.
Winners: The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson)
Kelly: This match does have quite the intrigue to it. We have Karl Anderson’s NJPW title match on the same day with it possible to do double duty. Then we have the whole, how will The OC counter Rhea Ripley question. The match itself will be really good. The OC and Balor have great chemistry together. I think that The OC have someone planned to be the counter to Rhea and that will likely be the difference here. Could it be Mia Yim as rumored? Perhaps Beth Phoenix? Someone else? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Winners – The OC
Kristian: The Judgment Day continue to be booked strongly and are starting to pick up the wins to match the beatdowns they’re delivering. AJ hasn’t won an important match in what seems like a long time and now that he has back up the match is more even. I still see the Judgment Day coming out on top. Edge will return soon to gain his revenge, but maybe not on this show, and perhaps this is leading to WarGames. They might only want one men’s WarGames match at Survivor Series, which I assume will be the Bloodline vs 5 faces but we will wait and see. The Judgment Day should win this to continue their momentum.
Winners: The Judgment Day
John: It feels like we are back at Clash at the Castle when The Judgment Day (Finn Balor & Damian Priest) lost a tag team match to Edge and Rey Mysterio. That was also when Dominik Mysterio turned on Rey and Edge. Now The Judgment Day is back at it facing a different team and it’s a six-man tag team match this time. Even if one side win, I can see this match being repeated soon after with the other team getting the win back. The story for the last few weeks has seen The Judgment Day group get the upper hand repeatedly thanks to Rhea Ripley constantly interfering in matches, so the story seems to be about if The OC can get a woman on their side to help neutralize her. I’m not sure who it will be, but Beth Phoenix makes a lot of sense since Ripley laid her out. Beth’s husband Edge can also come back to be a factor. I don’t know if Edge/Beth are making the Saudi trip, but as I said it makes sense in the story. Since I’m factoring in the story aspect a lot, The OC should win. I’ll go with Styles pinning Dominik in this match.
Winner: The OC
Women’s Tag Team Championships: Asuka & Alexa Bliss (c) vs. Damage CTRL – IYO SKY & Dakota Kai
Joel: I’m a bit confused as to why they would do this match again six days after the title change, but I do enjoy The Women’s Tag Titles being on a PLE card at an event other than WrestleMania. The feud has been okay. It’s probably continuing to WarGames at Survivor Series, so I’m going with Alexa and Asuka here. Their match on Raw was really good so I’m expecting the same here.
Winners: Alexa and Asuka
Lyle: A quick turn around for this rematch after Alexa Bliss and Asuka captured the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship on the Halloween edition of Monday Night Raw. Would it have made more sense to have the title switch happen here? Perhaps, but the company have been able to get four more women on the show and that can only be a good thing in the bigger picture.
But as for wrestling, it’d be baffling if the title switched back so quickly.
Winners – Alexa Bliss & Asuka
Matthew: This match was just added after Asuka and Bliss defeated SKY and Kai to capture the titles this past Monday on Raw. With that in mind it would seem silly to do another title change less then a week later. However, I see all of these women competing in WarGames a few weeks later, and could see Damage CTRL having all of the titles at that time. Therefore, I will go with WWE flip flopping the titles here, with Damage CTRL regaining the belts by nefarious means.
Winner and New WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Damage CTRL
Alex: I honestly think this match should’ve been cancelled after this past week’s RAW. Once Bliss and Asuka won the tag titles on that show, there was no longer a need for this match. Why should anyone care about a tag title match three days after a title change? No special stipulation has been announced, so this is nothing more than a repeat of something that happened this week. There just won’t be any heat or tension here. If the champions retain, it’ll fall flat and will make SKY and Kai look weak. If the challengers win, it’ll lower the value of the titles and make it harder for people to care about title matches. This is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved…unless they do something completely out of left field. The only way this can be salvaged is if both teams beat each other so badly that neither can answer a ten-count and the match is declared a double count-out.
Winners and STILL Women’s Tag Team Champions due to double count-out following massive ass-kicking: Asuka & Alexa Bliss
Kelly: This match just screams last minute justification for them to appear in Saudi Arabia and interfere in the Last Woman Standing match. A title change is highly unlikely given the title just changed hands on Raw. Stranger things have happened though.
Winners – Asuka and Alexa Bliss
Kristian: The face team only won the titles on Monday so they will retain here in a solid match. There’s no further analysis needed!
Winners AND STILL WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions: Asuka & Alexa Bliss
John: I think this match is on the card because they wanted to get two women’s matches on the show since there’s not a match with the Smackdown women. The champions should retain here and probably put an end to this story because they have wrestled a lot.
Winners: Asuka & Alexa Bliss
Braun Strowman vs. Omos
Joel: I’m not interested. I don’t mind Braun Strowman, but this is just a novelty match. Braun wins.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Lyle: A battle of the giants that nobody asked for but as always with these type of matches is sure to be intriguing none the less. A bout that makes sense for a Saudi show as it provides a spectacle without necessarily giving away anything people are desperate to see.
That spectacle will be complete if Braun Strowman can get the towering colossus Omos up on his shoulder for the running powerslam because there’s no way The Monster Among Monsters loses this on his first premium live event since re-joining the company.
Winner – Braun Strowman
Matthew: Now it is time for a true technical classic, between two true students of the game. I expect this to be a master’s class in wrestling up there with Steamboat/Flair and Savage/Steamboat. Hopefully these two get at least 30 minutes, so they can have the five star match they are capable of.
Winner: Braun Strowman (All the fans are winners too)
Alex: Tall former basketball player vs. tall strongman champion. Gee, I wonder who wins.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Kelly: This will not be the match of the night. Strowman has his work cut out for him.
Winner – Braun Strowman
Kristian: I feel a little disappointed for Braun on his return. He has been placed in mid-card feuds with Chad Gable and Otis, and now Omos. I’m sure some people will be excited at a genuine hoss match, but it will be slow and probably average because Omos is not good in the ring. Strowman will win and the only part that interests me is if he will be able to nail Omos with a powerbomb.
Winner: Braun Strowman
John: It is Braun’s first WWE PLE match since coming back to WWE and he’s getting a paid a lot of money to be there. I don’t see him losing to a guy like Omos, who probably won’t be pushed that much in the future. It will be interesting to see if Strowman tries a powerslam or Powerbomb on Omos. Keep this under seven minutes at the most.
Winner: Braun Strowman
Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) (c) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Butch & Ridge Holland)
Joel: Their title match a few weeks ago was excellent. I’m expecting the same here. I don’t see The Brutes as the team to dethrone The Usos, but I expect a banger of a match anyway.
Lyle: Roman Reigns has garnered so much attention over the past two years as he has torn down challenger after challenger to become almost unbeatable as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, it might have gone unnoticed that The Usos have done exactly the same in the tag team division.
Should they retain their championship at Crown Jewel they will likely break the record for the longest reigning tag team title reign of all time having won the SmackDown version of the championship in July 2021 when they defeated The Mysterios for the gold.
The Brawling Brutes have become one of the more popular teams in WWE given the crowd’s newfound love for the group’s leader, Sheamus – all despite the terrible name for the group.
Winners – The Usos
Matthew: The Usos legendary championship reign keeps rolling on. The recent interaction between The Usos and Sami Zayn has been some of the best stuff of all their careers, and the best stuff in wrestling right now period. The Brawling Brutes have done a great job as sidekicks to Sheamus, but do not feel like true threats to The Usos here. I expect The Usos to get the win here, with all of these guys meeting again later this month at WarGames.
Winner: The Usos
Alex: I just don’t see the Usos losing their tag titles anytime soon. The Usos are less than 20 days away from surpassing The New Days’ record as the longest-reigning tag team in WWE history. And since WWE really loves the Usos and their whole family, I can see the Usos shattering that record so that they can fulfill their roles as tag team versions of Roman Reigns.
I think this match will be predictable, going about 12-15 minutes. The Brutes will get close to winning but then Sami Zayn will interfere on the Usos’ behalf to help them win and retain their titles. There’s more money in whatever story’s going on with Zayn and the Usos, and I think that might lead to him teaming with Kevin Owens to take on the Usos at a big event down the road. But to get there, The Usos must – and will – retain their titles here.
Winners and STILL Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)
Kelly: The Usos have been tearing up the tag title scene lately and I actually feel bad for The New Day in all of this. They were given the tag title reign record as a reward for their hard work and its about to all go away. The Brawling Brutes have no chance here unless they want to protect The New Day’s title record. It’ll be a good match regardless.
Winners – The Usos
Kristian: This should be a ‘banger’ as Sheamus says and I’m looking forward to it. Like the main event, it’s probably just putting an opponent there for the Usos to beat, but that’s okay because it will be a great matchup. Sami Zayn usually doesn’t appear at these shows, so the Usos will have to do something Ucey without him to retain. Maybe Solo gets involved. The Brutes have been booked solidly and featured a lot lately, with Sheamus in particular having some really strong matches, and while they will come close to winning I think the long-term pay-off is for the Usos to turn on Sami and then have Sami and KO win the tag team titles. I’d do this at WrestleMania if I was playing fantasy booker.
Winners and STILL WWE Tag Team Champions: The Usos
John: It seems like they are building to a story where The New Day will get a title shot against The Usos days before The Usos come close to beating The New Day’s record for longest tag team title reign in WWE history. That’s coming up soon, so there should be a lot of drama going into it. That also means that The Usos are going to win this match to keep their titles as The Brawling Brutes put on a valiant effort, but they will come up short. I think Butch & Ridge will come close to winning a few times. They just won’t get the job done. The Usos usually have great title matches and if they have time, they will do it again.
Winners: The Usos
Steel Cage Match: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross
Joel: This should be a good match. Karrion Kross is a lot more capable in the ring than he’s been able to show so far. He’s been booked in really short squash matches and his last match with Drew was hindered by them both being bound by a strap. With both of them being free from any disadvantages, I think there’s more room for them to go out and have the type of match they’re both capable of having. I see Drew McIntyre winning this, but would not be upset or surprised if Kross takes it.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Lyle: A rematch from Extreme Rules when Karrion Kross leathered his Scottish opponent, literally, defeating McIntyre in a Strap Match. This time the two men will be locked inside a solid steel cage that will hopefully negate any outside antics from Scarlett.
McIntyre is undefeated in televised cage matches in WWE with the latest of those coming in April 2022 when he defeated Sami Zayn. Karrion Kross will enter the cage in WWE for the first time ever at Crown Jewel and his lack of experience could work against him.
Winner – Drew McIntyre
Matthew: Triple H clearly sees big things for Karrion Kross, as he has pushed him to the moon since his return to the company. On the other hand, McIntyre has seemed to cool down a bit after losing to Reigns at Clash at the Castle. I expect both of those trends to continue, with Kross getting the win here to continue his momentum.
Winner: Karrion Kross
Alex: Kross won at Extreme Rules and McIntyre will get his revenge here. And since there will need to be a tie-breaker after this, the match will be constructed in a way that allows McIntyre to get his revenge while also making Kross look close to winning as well. The big question here is whether this is a pin-and-give-up cage match or an escape-only cage match. I hope it’s the former and the cage only serves to keep Scarlett from interfering. That way these two wrestlers can fight without outside forces messing with them. Expect 15-20 minutes of carnage inside the cage and a clean but somewhat indecisive win for McIntyre.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Kelly: This should be a war. McIntyre and Kross have had a really good build and their last match was really good. I like the addition of the cage to give this feud a bit more of a personal feel to it. I’m really torn on the winner. If the plan is to keep Kross presented as a true monster, he should win. McIntyre, on the other hand, really could use a win after the recent string of losses. The cage lessens the chances of a screwy finish.
Winner – Drew McIntyre
Kristian: I feel like this should’ve been a better feud than it has been so far. It just hasn’t quite got to the heights that it could have, in my opinion. This is possibly because Kross, whilst being an interesting character, isn’t really that great in the ring. This is the time for McIntyre to get a win back and I expect him to have the crowd fired up. It feels like a long time since he’s won a big match, which is unusual for him, so I expect him to beat Kross here.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
John: If Drew McIntyre loses this match then it would be his third straight Premium Live Event loss after barely losing any matches for about a year. The loss to Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle was cheap (thanks to Solo Sikoa), then the loss to Kross at Extreme Rules was cheap (thanks to Scarlett) and now it’s a Steel Cage Match with the idea that Scarlett can’t help Kross win. I’m not sure what kind of finish they are planning and I think it’s a tough match for either guy to lose.
When they had the match at Extreme Rules it felt like Kross winning was the obvious result. I’m leaning towards a McIntyre win because he would be getting revenge. A loss would hurt Kross a bit, but I think he’ll be booked strong moving forward. I also think WWE can and will go back to Drew getting a shot at Roman Reigns again perhaps at Royal Rumble or something like that.
Winner: Drew McIntyre
Last Woman Standing Match for the Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Bayley
Joel: I’ve enjoyed this feud so far. It’s had its slow moments but most of it has been good. Their match at Extreme Rules was outstanding. I expect more of the same here. Bianca has now surpassed 200 days as Women’s Champion. I think her winning at Extreme Rules was designed so she could pass that 200-day mark as the only black woman to do so. Now, I think Bayley runs with the title. Bianca has had a great 6-month reign, but I think it ends here.
Winner/NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Lyle: A showcase for the two standout stars of Raw’s women’s division with a stipulation that lends itself to getting hardcore. The big question in regard to wrestling is whether or not the rest of Damage CTRL or indeed Asuka or Alexa Bliss will intervene in proceedings given their match also on the card.
The big question outside the wrestling bubble is how far the women will be able to go in terms of violence on a show in the Middle Eastern Kingdom. Ultimately Belair has had a stellar run as Raw Women’s Champion, but is running out of challengers to keep her reign fresh so it might well be time for a change.
Winner AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion – Bayley
Matthew: However you may feel about WWE holding a show in Saudi Arabia, you have to give them some kudos for having not one, but two women’s matches on this card. This match should be excellent, with them being two of the best women wrestlers in the world. As for who wins, I will stick with my prediction of Damage CTRL. capturing all the gold on this show. I expect Bayley to capture the title here, with the help of her Damage CTRL stable mates.
Winner and New Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Alex: I’m predicting a title change here. Belair has been booked strongly all year and has grown as a star. But this match stipulation is ripe for abuse and that’s what Bayley will do. The match will go around 22 minutes and just when it looks like Belair has the match won, Kai and SKY will interfere on Bayley’s behalf. They’ll triple team her and either beat her so that she can’t answer the ten-count, or they’ll pull a John Cena vs. Batista and tape Belair’s ankles to the post so that she can’t get to her feet despite being conscious and lucid. I also don’t think anyone will interfere on Bianca’s behalf because WWE loves to book champions that don’t have friends.
I’m not predicting the best match in terms of quality, but I’m confident that Bayley will leave Crown Jewel with countless fans desperate to see her get her ass kicked for how she wins here.
Winner and NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
Kelly: This should be the blow off match that the Extreme Rules Ladder Match should have been. Belair and Bayley will have a fantastic match, even with the extras now justified being there. Bayley got hurt training for her blow off match with Belair last year, so this should be the blow off to this feud for now. Belair is the extremely popular champion that Charlotte Flair wanted to be. Belair recently set a record for longest black WWE Champion (either men or women) and she should continue on that path until WrestleMania. Both teams just need to move on to other things.
Winner – Bianca Belair
Kristian: This is probably the match that I was tossing up the most on who would be the winner. I fully expect Damage CTRL to lose the Tag Team Championship rematch earlier in the night, so I am leaning towards Bayley winning the Women’s Championship against Belair. They can book Last Woman/Man Standing matches easily so that the face loses in a controversial way, so I think that’s what will happen. I expected Bayley to win at the last PLE, so it has hurt her momentum a little bit to not have the title yet. I think she gets the win here and faces a returning Becky Lynch in the near future. This will be the only title change on the night.
Winner AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Bayley
John: They will have a good match as usual. I think the Last Woman Standing stipulation is a way to have Bayley win without pinning Belair, who is always booked in a strong way. However, I think the woman that beats Belair is going to be Rhea Ripley or perhaps Charlotte Flair if WWE chooses to bring her back on Raw instead of Smackdown. Bayley winning would be fine with me. I just think Belair keeps it for a bit longer.
They should have a very good match as usual just like the Ladder Match was and I can see them going about 20 minutes with this match.
Winner: Bianca Belair
Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Joel: I’m really looking forward to this one. Their match at the Royal Rumble was a nice appetizer, but I think this will be even better. It’s nice to see Brock involved in a feud that doesn’t involve a World Title and I think Bobby is a good match up. Bobby Lashley lost to Goldberg in 2021 at Saudi although he gave Goldberg probably his best match since WCW folded. I think Lashley will give Brock one of his best matches in years. Lesnar will probably win here to set up a tie breaker in a few months.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Lyle: It wouldn’t be a Saudi show without Brock Lesnar given that The Beast Incarnate has only missed one of the mega shows since they began in 2018. In those six appearances Lesnar has only been on the losing side of things once when Roman Reigns defeated him at Crown Jewel 2021.
Lesnar returned to WWE screens on the 10th of October for the first time since challenging Reigns in the main event of SummerSlam with his sights firmly set on Bobby Lashley. The two cross-over MMA stars have only met once one-on-one in their careers with that bout coming at the 2022 Royal Rumble. On that occasion Lashley dethroned Lesnar as WWE Champion – with more than a little help from Reigns – and now The Conqueror will no doubt be looking to avenge that defeat.
Winner – Brock Lesnar
Matthew: This is the one I am personally most excited for. This has been a dream match for many fans for years, with there one previous matchup being a disappointment. I expect both of these guys to make up for that disappointment here, with them beating the living hell out of each other. As for who will win, I will go with Lashley as it would do a lot more for him than Lesnar at this portion of there careers.
Winner: Bobby Lashley
Alex: This probably won’t go more than ten minutes but it’ll be an intense ten minutes. Lesnar will do what he does best and Lashley will try his best to survive only to come up short. Lesnar’s going to be out for revenge after losing the WWE title to Lashley at the Royal Rumble earlier this year. I think Lashley will survive many German suplexes and more than one F-5, only for Lesnar to make Lashley pass out from the kimura. Tapping out wouldn’t do Lashley any favors; but refusing to give up and passing out from the pain is a surefire way to make Lashley look as strong as possible in defeat. After all, it worked for that one guy that one time, so why not re-use such a successful finish now?
Winner via Lashley passing out: Brock Lesnar
Kelly: It’s that time of the year. Brock is back for a Saudi check. We will finally get a true one on one dream match between these two. Yes, this is their third match this year but let’s look at how the other two turned out. The Royal Rumble match had Paul Heyman interfere to push the Roman Reigns story and cost Brock the title. The Elimination Chamber match had Lashley removed because of “injury”. We’ll get the true match finish we deserve here without another crap ending.
Winner – Brock Lesnar
Kristian: It feels like so long ago that they had this match at the Royal Rumble, that I had to revisit the match to see what happened! Back then, it was Lashley in the heel role, so it was kind of odd for Lesnar to return and attack Lashley for costing him the title almost 10 months ago. We all know Lesnar has had time and matches since then so the booking is a little weird but I am looking forward to a fight. I fully expect this to be better than the Rumble match and that Lesnar will come away with the victory after a brutal battle. Lashley needs the win more, having just lost the US Title to Seth Rollins, but we all know how WWE generally book Brock Lesnar.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
John: This is my favorite match on the show. While I would love to see a longer match in the 15-20 minute range, I think they’ll do more of a 10-minute sprint where they hit eachother hard throughout the match because they are two guys that can definitely dish it out and take it. Lesnar should win since he lost to Roman Reigns numerous times year (usually cheap) and since Lashley won at the Royal Rumble earlier this year, they could have a third match in the future as well, perhaps at Survivor Series later this month. I’m a big fan of both guys who are still performing at a high level in their mid-40s. This one will be fun.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. Logan Paul
Joel: I, for one, was not in favor of this match. However, I do think it will deliver. Logan Paul has demonstrated he is more than capable of holding his own in the ring and Roman is the best big match star in the business right now. I think this match will be better than anyone expects but obviously Roman wins here.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Lyle: It’s been said that Logan Paul will bring mainstream attention to WWE, will bring a new audience to WWE, and will make headlines around the world if he does the unthinkable and wins the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship – and that’s true but it was true of David Arquette in 2000 and look how that turned out.
Roman Reigns should tear Logan Paul apart with WWE no doubt hoping to make sure Paul looks competitive as they surely hope to get Jake Paul in on the wrestling act alongside his older brother.
The Tribal Chief will lose at some point but if his monumental title reign comes to an end at the hands of Logan Paul in Saudi Arabia, many will be wondering if Triple H is the creative saviour in WWE that they thought he was.
Winner – Roman Reigns
Matthew: Usually AEW is the federation that suddenly gives YouTube stars title shots, but here we are. Logan Paul is a huge name with all the kids these days, and likely made the Saudi Prince happy to have such a big celebrity on his show. Nevertheless, Paul has zero chance of winning this match. Giving a YouTube star who has had two matches the biggest wrestling title in the world, would almost be as big of a fiasco as David Arquette. I expect Reigns to get the win here, continuing his dominance.
Winner: Roman Reigns
Alex: While WWE has done a great job hyping this up, we have to all be realistic here. Reigns is retaining, no doubt about it. But the big question is how long this will go. The smart thing would be for Reigns to protect the wrestling business and demolish Logan in a few minutes to show everyone how stupid it is for non-wrestlers to think they can do this. Unfortunately that’s not likely to happen. What’s more likely is that this’ll go around fifteen minutes with lots of stalling, gloating, bad theatrics, and smoke and mirrors. This’ll probably be more silly than serious, regardless of whatever training Logan has gone through. Though, I hope to be proven wrong like I was with GUNTHER vs. Sheamus.
Winner and STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
Kelly: Oh look, a scrub Roman can destroy without hurting anyone on in the main event picture while The Rock decides if he is going to face Roman at WrestleMania.
Winner – Roman Reigns
Kristian: For me, this is one of the most predictable match outcomes in WWE history and probably one of the strangest main event choices, too. I doubt anyone reading or anyone that watches wrestling on a semi-regular basis to predict that Logan Paul will win the title. He was solid at WrestleMania in a tag match with the Miz, and then impressive in a singles match against the Miz at SummerSlam. However, that should know mean he jettisons into the main event against the Tribal Chief, no matter the mainstream appeal that Paul might have. It won’t be a long match and Paul will go close to winning with his one lucky punch, but Reigns will win and move on to bigger and better opponents.
Winner AND STILL Undisputed WWE Universal Champion: Roman Reigns
John: I think Reigns winning is obvious here. With that said, Logan will have brother Jake at ringside so they can do a situation where Reigns tries to get his Bloodline (The Usos and Solo since Sami won’t be there) to help him, but Jake will do something to neutralize them. Since WWE has been pushing the “one lucky punch” story for Logan for weeks, I can see Jake hitting Reigns with a punch for a two count or a delayed two count after a referee bump. In other words, Logan will come very close to winning, but ultimately he won’t win. Reigns will win this while Logan will continue to impress as a wrestler. I like watching Logan in the ring although I hope after this he embraces being a heel.
Winner: Roman Reigns
The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most
Joel: The O.C. vs. Judgment Day.
Lyle: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley – Lesnar is still an attraction after all these years and you know exactly what you’re going to get and who doesn’t like watching the former WWE Champion smack people around.
Matthew: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley.
Alex: Can’t really decide.
Kelly: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley.
Kristian: There are actually no standouts for me, but I’m interested in the booking of Bayley vs Belair, so I’ll go with that.
John: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley.
The Match I Care About The Least
Joel: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Lyle: Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul – Paul should not be in a title match with Roman Reigns. Then. Now. Forever.
Matthew: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Alex: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Kelly: Strowman/Omos and Reigns/Paul.
Kristian: Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Iyo Sky & Dakota Kai.
John: Braun Strowman vs. Omos. I get why it’s being done as an attraction match, but I’m not particularly excited about it.
Joel: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley.
Lyle: Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross – The match may have become overlooked especially in the wake of Lashley and Lesnar being announced but given some time and with the added stipulation, this could be a show stealer.
Matthew: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley.
Alex: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley (~22 minutes)
Kelly: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley.
Kristian: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley.
John: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley for me as well. It will be around 20 minutes.
Joel: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Lyle: Braun Strowman vs. Omos – This could be a toss up between the battle of the giants and Lesnar/Lashley. Given Omos’ skills in the ring, however, this should be as short as short can be.
Matthew: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Alex: Braun Strowman vs. Omos (~4 minutes)
Kelly: Braun Strowman vs. Omos.
Kristian: Braun Strowman vs. Omos. Please.
John: Braun Strowman vs. Omos. Any time Omos is on a PLE, pick him for shortest match.
Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)
Joel: 7. It isn’t the best card on paper but, outside of one match, I think the wrestling will be highly entertaining on this show. You also have Bray Wyatt advertised to appear. I think this will be more than just cutting a promo as he has the last few weeks. I think the next step in this angle happens in Saudi. Whether it is the reveal of a Wyatt 6, Bray targeting his first victim (I’m leaning with Kross on that one) or the reveal of who Uncle Howdy is. I just don’t think this will be just your standard promo. We’ll see.
Lyle: 5 – The Saudi shows often leave me cold as the spectacle often overshadows in any stories actually developing. The excitement is low and but any excitement I have is due to Bray Wyatt being on the show.
Matthew: 7. Besides for the abomination that will be Omos and Strowman, the rest of the matches on this show should range from good to possibly great. I personally am going to Survivor Series in a few weeks, and hope that WWE can build some strong feuds going into War Games on this show. I also hope that they end the Strowman/Omos feud on this show with only one match.
Alex: 5 – I’m not that optimistic about this show. I made some very bold predictions knowing that they’re unlikely to come true. I just don’t expect such creativity from WWE; they’re so comfortable doing safe matches and easy finishes that their shows, including this one, just aren’t must-see anymore. Maybe they’ll do something unique at Crown Jewel, but I doubt it.
Kelly: I’ll give this a 6. I’m usually a little lukewarm to the Saudi shows because not a whole lot happens on them. The card is decent enough for a watch.
Kristian: It’s a 6 for me. There’s enough quality for it to be a good show, but too much that I feel is predictable for anyone to get too excited. It feels like a filler show that will still be worth watching, but that there won’t be many surprises for. A Bray Wyatt appearance might be the most interesting part of the show and he’s not even in a match.
John: I’m around a 7 for this one. I like some of the matches and I think a few of them could be great matches, but it’s not that strong of a lineup from top to bottom. Some of it is very predictable as well, so that hurts my interest level a bit. I’m really looking forward to Survivor Series in three weeks with two WarGames matches, which I think is going to be an exciting show, so this feels like a bit of a lead in to that. The Lashley-Lesnar match interests me the most while I think the main event will be better than a lot of people think even though the result is obvious. Hopefully it’s a good crowd.
John: I’ll be back with a review of Crown Jewel on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday afternoon, so check that out live or any time after it’s over. You can also tweet me @johnreport as well.
If you want to send an email, send it to me at email@example.com. Thanks for reading.