The John Report: WWE Crown Jewel 2019 Review

TJR Wrestling

Welcome to the TJRWrestling review of WWE Crown Jewel. It’s an afternoon show for me on this Halloween Thursday with a 1pmET start time and it’s 8pm in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the start of the main portion of the event on WWE Network.

Here’s the Kickoff Show match with Michael Cole and Corey Graves on commentary.

20-Man Battle Royal

The winner of this match gets a shot at the US Title held by AJ Styles.

The match featured a lot of what you usually see in a battle royal with guys near the ropes trying to eliminate somebody else. Rowan tossed Drave Maverick over the top to the floor to eliminate him with a Gorilla Press slam. Rowan tossed out Heath Slater and Tony Nese back to back. Harper tossed out Brian Kendrick and Eric Young back to back, so it was Rowan and Harper dominating in the early going. Titus O’Neil hit a clothesline on Mojo Rawley to knock him over the top to the floor. Andrade gave Sin Cara a body slam over the top rope to get rid of him. Apollo Crews eliminated Titus O’Neil. They used to be allies in the terrible Titus Worldwide “stable” that existed a few years ago. There was a split screen as they showed videos promoting the main Crown Jewel PPV. There wasn’t much happening in the match. Rowan and Harper faced off for a staredown in the middle of the ring. No Way Jose tried to get them to dance, which the fans liked, Harper even did a silly dance and clotheslined Jose, so Rowan eliminated Jose. Akira Tozawa went up to Rowan, he wanted a fight, so Rowan put him over the top and Harper hit a superkick on Tozawa to get rid of him. Humberto Carrillo eliminated Shelton Benjamin charged, Carrillo lowered the rope and Benjamin was out. Harper with a back body drop on Crews to get rid of him. Buddy Murphy went up top, which wasn’t smart, so Rowan punched him out. Andrade eliminated R-Truth and then Carrillo got rid of Andrade. I can see Carrillo vs. Andrade as a future feud. Rowan gave Carrillo the Iron Claw slam. Cedric Alexander eliminated Sunil Singh.

The final four are Luke Harper, Erick Rowan, Cedric Alexander and Humberto Carrillo with fans chanting for Harper. Alexander with a jumping kick to Rowan, but then Rowan hit a big boot to the face and then he eliminated Alexander. The Singh Brothers were on the floor holding the 24/7 Title. R-Truth went up behind them, he whipped Samir Singh into the side of the apron and R-Truth did the ROLLUP OF DEATH~! on Sunil to win the 24/7 Title again. Truth was chased by random midcard wrestlers from the back, then Truth ran away from them and went running to the back.

Winner and New 24/7 Champion…Again: R-Truth

The battle royal was down to Harper, Rowan and Carrillo. Dropkick by Carrillo on Harper, but then Harper came back with a kick to the face of Carrillo. Rowan with a running cross body block on Carrillo. Rowan told Harper to get rid of him, then when Harper put Carrillo on the apron, Rowan tossed Harper over the top to eliminate him. Carrillo tossed Rowan over the top to the apron, Rowan hung on barely and then Carrillo shoved him again to eliminate Rowan. Good pop for the Carrillo win at 12:25.

Winner: Humberto Carrillo

Here’s the order of elimination: Drake Maverick, Heath Slater, Tony Nese, Brian Kendrick, Eric Young, Mojo Rawley, Sin Cara, Titus O’Neil, No Way Jose, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, Apollo Crews, Buddy Murphy, R-Truth, Andrade, Sunil Singh, Cedric Alexander, Luke Harper and Rowan. Thanks Wikipedia.

Analysis: ** It was a decent battle royal. They established the biggest men Rowan and Harper as threats to win as you usually see in WWE battle royals. They built the finish well by having Carrillo find a way to beat two bigger opponents in Rowan and Harper in order to win the match. Carrillo was my pick in the Crown Jewel preview I wrote.

That’s it for the Kickoff Show in terms of matches. Let’s get to the main show.

WWE Crown Jewel
From King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
October 31, 2019

The opening video was terrific by showing clips of the key people involved in the show. The video packages have been a strength of WWE’s production team for decades as most WWE fans know.

There was an impressive fireworks display in the stadium leading to a lot of cheers from the fans. The set of Crown Jewel is similar to last year.

Michael Cole welcomed us to the show because he’s calling the action with Corey Graves. They are calling all the matches even though they are just Smackdown announcers now. WWE didn’t bring the Raw announce team to Crown Jewel.

Brock Lesnar made his entrance to a huge ovation from the crowd. Paul Heyman was by his side. I think the pop should be credited to Lesnar being a huge star, so when the fans heard the music they reacted to it in a big way. It doesn’t mean Lesnar is a babyface. They showed Cole and Graves at ringside. The Arabic announce team was also at ringside.

Rey Mysterio made his entrance with his left arm still in a sling. Cain Velasquez was next as Lesnar’s opponent. Velasquez was in black tights and leg pads along with MMA gloves on his hands just like Lesnar has worn for years. This is Cain’s WWE debut match.

Analysis: It’s an interesting strategy to put the WWE Title match on first. If you’re not going to be in the main event then going on first is the next best place to be because that’s when the crowd is the hottest. They also have the Rollins vs. Wyatt or Team Hogan vs. Team Flair match to go on last (they went with Rollins vs. Wyatt), which has a lot of star power.

There was a tale of the tape graphic before the match. Lesnar and Velasquez stood in the ring as Greg Hamilton introduced Velasquez and Heyman did a wonderful introduction of Lesnar as usual. The fans were cheering Lesnar more.

WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Cain Velasquez (w/Rey Mysterio)

There were some kicks to the ribs from Velasquez, but they didn’t connect that well. Lesnar drove Velasquez to the corner and hit some knees to the ribs. They broke out of the corner, Velasquez with punches and Lesnar hugged Velasquez into the other turnbuckle. Velasquez with a kick to the ribs and a kick to the head that knocked Lesnar down. Velasquez tried to attack, but Lesnar kicked the knee and Lesnar slapped on the Kimura Lock on Cain’s arm and Velasquez tapped out for the submission victory for Lesnar at 2:10. That was quick.

Winner by submission: Brock Lesnar

Analysis: 1/2* A quick match to put over Lesnar while Velasquez didn’t get to show that much. I think it’s a case of WWE wanting to put over how Lesnar wanted to avenge his loss in the UFC against Velasquez from nine years ago. Is a two minute WWE Title match going to make fans happy? No. It’s frustrating to a lot of fans including me. I’m not going to go into “I’m never watching WWE again” mode like some people might say, but I would prefer the WWE Title booked in better ways. It’s typical WWE wanting to book Lesnar like this to make him out to be a dominant champion as they have done for all of his title reigns in the last five years. That way it means more when he loses…whenever that is.

After the match, Lesnar kept the Kimura Lock on Velasquez’s left arm. Mysterio went into the ring and hit Lesnar in the back with a steel chair. Lesnar gave Mysterio a body slam over the top to the floor.

Lesnar grabbed the chair and hit Velasquez in the left arm/shoulder with the chair a few times. Lesnar hit Velasquez with an F5 on the steel chair. Mysterio went back in the ring, he hit Lesnar with multiple chair shots including to the face with Lesnar getting a hand up to block it. Lesnar bailed to the floor.

They showed replays of the action. Graves said this issue is “far, far from resolved,” which is another way of saying the feud will continue.

Analysis: It was a good post match angle with Lesnar doing the heelish thing by being relentless with the attack. It also keeps the feud going for when Velasquez eventually comes back after selling the arm injury. They can have Cain get more training at the Performance Center and do the match again down the road. I don’t know if that’s WrestleMania or another show, but I assume we’ll get Lesnar and Velasquez again. Mysterio did well with his attack on Lesnar to finally get Lesnar out of there.

The Revival duo of Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder were backstage with the Smackdown Tag Team Titles. They uttered a phrase about this being the most important Tag Team Turmoil match in history as if people are going to rank TTT matches. Anyway, they said they are going to win.

The Revival duo of Erik and Ivar were in a darkened room in a red light with the Raw Tag Team Titles. They said that everyone will fall because the raid is here.

A video aired for WWE Network content coming soon.

It’s Tag Team Turmoil time with a “Tag Team World Cup” trophy at ringside. There are nine teams in this match. I’m going to rate the whole thing with an overall grade rather than the individual matches.

Tag Team Turmoil Match #1: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Lucha House Party’s Lince Dorado and Gran Metalik

Ziggler took control with an elbow to the face and a dropkick on Dorado. Roode tagged in, Dorado with a jawbreaker and a cartwheel off the ropes into a Stunner. Metalik walked on Dorado’s shoulders leading to a splash on Roode and Dorado splashed onto Roode for a two count. Roode hit a backbreaker on Dorado as the heel side took over. Ziggler tagged in with a Fameasser on Dorado for a two count. Roode stomped on Dorado against the turnbuckle followed by a suplex for two. Dorado got some momentum going with a cross body block off the top on Ziggler. Roode tagged in, Dorado brought in Metalik, who did some flips and a headscissors out of the corner. Metalik with kicks to the thighs, he walked the ropes and hit a missile dropkick for two. Dorado went up top with a headscissors off the top to send Ziggler out of the ring. Dorado went up top, Roode shoved him off and Ziggler hit a superkick on Dorado. Metalik with a step up enziguri on Roode. That led to Roode going down, the referee checked on him, Ziggler with a superkick on Metalik and Roode hit a Glorious DDT on Metalik to pin him. That match went about six minutes.

Lucha House Party Eliminated

Tag Team Turmoil Match #2: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins

Ryder hit a Rough Ryder on Ziggler to send him out of the ring. There was a double team neckbreaker by Roode and Hawkins. Ziggler came back with a superkick on Hawkins to knock him out of the ring. Roode picked up Ryder into a Zig Zag from Ziggler for the pinfall to eliminate Ryder and Hawkins. This fall went one minute. Imagine flying over there for 13 hours each way just to get pinned in one minute? Living the dream, I guess. The money is good too!

Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins Eliminated

Tag Team Turmoil Match #3: Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)

Tucker sent Ziggler into the top turnbuckle with a catapult. Tucker hit a cross body off the middle ropes on Ziggler. Roode saved Ziggler from a corner attack. Roode sent Tucker into the turnbuckle and Ziggler got in a cheap shot punch. Ziggler hit an elbow drop on Tucker for a two count. There were quick tags from Ziggler and Roode as they continued to work on Tucker, but then Tucker broke free with a clothesline on Roode. Otis got the tag, the fans popped big for him and Otis was slamming both of his opponents. The fans loved the hijinks of Otis with his belly shaking. Otis hit an overhead suplex on Roode followed by a splash on Roode and Ziggler against the turnbuckle. Otis tried for the Caterpillar, but Ziggler pulled Roode out of the ring to save him. Tucker clotheslined Ziggler on the floor. Otis caught Roode off the ropes, Tucker tagged in and they hit the Compactor double team move with Tucker pinning Roode. The fans loved that.

Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode Eliminated

The New Day were next and they got pyro for their entrance.

Tag Team Turmoil Match #4: Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis) vs. The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston)

The big men Tucker and Big E showed off their athleticism followed by a double clothesline spot to knock both guys down. Otis tagged in against Kingston with chops, he jumped in the air and Otis caught him with a body slam. Otis with a running splash on Kingston against the turnbuckle. Otis did the Caterpillar with an elbow drop on Kingston for a two count. Kingston was launched into the air by Otis and Kingston hit a DDT on Tucker. Kingston hit the Trouble in Paradise on Otis to knock him out of the ring. Big E tagged in, Tucker hooked the arms and hit a double underhook overhead suplex for two. That was pretty cool. Tucker missed a cross body block off the middle ropes. Kingston tagged in, Big E picked up Tucker and New Day hit the Midnight Hour (double team Big Ending) to eliminate them after about four minutes.

Heavy Machinery Eliminated

Tag Team Turmoil Match #5: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. The B Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas)

There was no reaction for The B Team for their entrance. Axel took down Big E with a clothesline and Dallas tagged in with knee drops on Big E. Axel tried a slam on Big E, but Big E slammed him down. Big E tossed Dallas out of the ring. Kingston hit a cross body block on Dallas on the floor. Big E hit the Big Ending on Axel to eliminate him. The B Team were only in there for about two minutes.

The B Team Eliminated

The Revival were next. They defend the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against New Day on Smackdown tomorrow.

Tag Team Turmoil Match #6: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder)

Dawson and Wilder worked over Kingston with punches to start the match. Wilder hit a monkey flip, Kingston landed on his feet and hit a dropkick on Wilder. Kingston with a dropkick on Dawson. Wilder caught Kingston following a leap and hit a powerslam for two. Dawson worked over Kingston with an elbow drop, leg drop, headbutt and belly to back suplex for two. Wilder back in with Dawson slamming Wilder onto Kingston for two. Kingston started his comeback with a SOS on Wilder, but he couldn’t tag out because Dawson got the tag. Kingston jumped off the middle ropes with a missile dropkick. When Kingston got to the corner, Wilder punched Big E to knock him down and The Revival remained in control with Wilder hitting a knee to the face while Dawson held Kingston, so that led to a two count. Dawson went for a suplex, but Kingston countered with an inside cradle to pin him. Big E gave Wilder a clothesline to prevent a save.

The Revival Eliminated

After the elimination, Dawson knocked Big E out of the ring. Wilder sent Big E into the steel steps. The Revival hit their Shatter Machine double team finisher on Kingston.

Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson of The OC were the next team in the match.

Tag Team Turmoil Match #7: The New Day (Big E and Kofi Kingston) vs. The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)

Gallows and Anderson tried a double team attack, but Kingston kicked them to knock them down. Gallows took down Big E on the apron and gave Big E a superkick. Anderson hit a running kick on Kingston. Gallows tagged in and they hit the Magic Killer double team move on Kingston to pin him. That fall lasted only about one minute.

The New Day Eliminated

The Raw Tag Team Champions the Viking Raiders were the last team to enter the turmoil match.

Tag Team Turmoil Match #8: The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar)

The Viking Raiders got some offense early, but then Anderson hit Erik in the back and Gallows kicked Erik down. The heel OC team took control with Gallows hitting a suplex on Erik. Ivar tagged in with his cool offense including a running cross body block and a cartwheel into a clothesline on Anderson. Erik tagged in and gave Ivar a body slam onto Anderson. Gallows punched Ivar to prevent another move. Anderson sent Erik into the turnbuckle and The OC hit a double team neckbreaker on Erik for two. Gallows with a kick to Ivar. Anderson went after the back of the knee of Erik and then they hit the Magic Killer for the pinfall win at 32:05.

The Viking Raiders Eliminated

Winners: The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)

Post match, Gallows and Anderson celebrated with the large World Cup trophy.

Analysis: **1/2 It was just an average tag team match with eight pinfalls to get through it. I didn’t expect The OC to get the win here because the Viking Raiders have been undefeated, so I picked the Viking Raiders to win. Putting over The OC is okay because it sets up a title feud with the Viking Raiders where The OC can say they beat the champs, which means they deserve a title shot. The story with New Day and Revival also furthered their story going into the title match they are having on Smackdown tomorrow. Most of the rest of the match was just teams going through the motions.

There was a commercial for Smackdown tomorrow with Miz TV hosting Bray Wyatt as the guest.

There was a replay of Brock Lesnar beating Cain Velasquez in the opening match of Crown Jewel.

Rey Mysterio was interviewed backstage by Byron Saxton. Mysterio said that he survived what Lesnar did and Lesnar will pay for what did to Rey’s son. Rey spoke in Spanish. I have no idea what he said. Sorry, but no Spanish in my background.

Cesaro made his entrance next as the opponent of the local guy. That local guy is Mansoor, who is from Riyadh and he got a huge pop as expected from this crowd. Mansoor has a WWE contract and is regularly at the Performance Center in Orlando training and getting better.

Cesaro vs. Mansoor

The announcers put over Mansoor a lot while noting he was just 24 years old. Mansoor wanted a handshake, so Cesaro just slapped his hand. Mansoor with an arm drag that sent Cesaro across the wrong. Cesaro came back with a shoulder tackle. Mansoor wanted a leapfrog, Cesaro caught him, Mansoor broke free and hit a standing moonsault for two. Mansoor slapped on an armbar, Cesaro got back up and hit a punch to the ribs while they were against the ropes. Mansoor came back with a dropkick, which led to Cesaro bumping to the floor, but when Mansoor wanted a suicide dive, Cesaro crushed him with an uppercut. Cesaro whipped Mansoor into the barricade. When they went back in the ring, Mansoor went to the ropes and Cesaro tripped him up with Mansoor bumping off the ropes and landing on his face. Cesaro with an uppercut for two followed by a chinlock. Mansoor broke free, but Cesaro hit a belly to back suplex to remain in control. Cesaro went up top, he jumped off with nothing and Mansoor hit a dropkick to put him down. The fans were really into this match as both guys were down. Mansoor with a jawbreaker, he hit chops to the chest and a step up enziguri. Mansoor with a headscissors that sent Cesaro out of the ring, Mansoor ran the ropes and hit a somersault dive over the top onto Cesaro. Mansoor went up top, he hit a cross body block and that got a two count. Mansoor came back with a Tornado DDT for a two count with the fans buying that as a legit nearfall. Cesaro with a cheap shot to the throat followed by rollup grabbing the tights for two. Mansoor with a kick to the face and Mansoor jumped over the top with a neckbreaker for two because Cesaro got his foot on the bottom ropes. Mansoor went up top, Cesaro tripped him up and Cesaro hit a gutwrench suplex off the ropes for a two count. Mansoor with a jackknife pin for two. Cesaro sent Mansoor into the ropes and hit an uppercut for a two count. Cesaro with a seamless transition into a Crossface submission, Mansoor fought it off and turned it into a pin for two. Mansoor with a superkick for two with his back covering Cesaro and Cesaro getting his shoulder up at the lost moment. There were “this is awesome” chants for this match. Mansoor went to the ropes, Cesaro greeted him with an uppercut and Cesaro tried a gutwrench suplex off the ropes, but Mansoor countered into a Powerbomb. That was a great spot that drew a big reaction. Mansoor went up top and connected with a moonsault for the pinfall win at 12:45. The crowd popped big for the finish and the win by Mansoor.

Winner by pinfall: Mansoor

Analysis: ***1/2 That was a very good match with Mansoor impressing me a lot with that performance. Cesaro deserves a lot of credit as the veteran that helped this younger opponent get through it, but they both deserve praise for that match. There were some cool counter moves from both guys. The uppercuts from Cesaro were devastating throughout, Mansoor sold everything well and I liked Mansoor’s offense too. It was better than I expected it to be.

They showed replays of the match.

Mansoor was interviewed in the ring by Greg Hamilton. The fans gave Mansoor a huge ovation. Mansoor said when he woke up he knew this was the most important match of his life and he admits he was scared and nervous. The fans continued to cheer him. Mansoor said he was nervous, then he stepped foot in front of all of you and his family and he remembered that anything is possible. Mansoor said this may be the most important victory of his life, but he cannot wait for what “we” do next. Mansoor spoke Arabic, which led to more cheers from the crowd. Mansoor said they dreamed that one day there would be a Saudi superstar in WWE, then he spoke Arabic again and his music played to end it. The fans cheered. The announcers put him over for having an incredible future.

Analysis: I agree he has an incredible future. Since he’s only 24 years old, there is plenty of time for him to keep developing. I think they need to start utilizing him regularly in NXT soon.

Seth Rollins, the Universal Champion, was interviewed by Byron Saxton, who asked if this is the night where Rollins ends the rivalry. Rollins said that The Fiend brings out the absolute worst in him, but Rollins admitted he has kind of enjoyed it. Rollins said he’s had opponents get in his head and play mind games, but this is different. Rollins said it is uncomfortable being in the ring with The Fiend. Rollins said that Bray Wyatt started this and while he didn’t start it, he will finish it. Rollins said he will burn it down at any cost.

There was a commercial for Survivor Series promoting that for the first time ever it’s Raw, Smackdown and NXT on the show. “Who owns the night?” That’s at Survivor Series on November 24 in Chicago.

There was a tale of the tape for the Braun Strowman match against Tyson Fury.

A video package aired to set up Strowman vs. Fury.

Braun Strowman entered first looking ready to go. Tyson Fury got more of a spectacular entrance and he got a big pyro display. Fury had on some traditional Arab attire, which drew cheers and then he took it off as he got towards the ring. Fury wrestled in a black tank top and shorts. They had a staredown to begin the match.

Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman

Strowman drove Fury back into the corner. Fury avoided some punches and then he connected with punches to the ribs. Strowman grabbed the arm, Fury rolled through and went back up. Strowman hit a boot to the face to take control. Strowman with a clubbing forearm to the chest of Fury. Strowman charged, Fury moved and Fury went shoulder first into the turnbuckle, which is a spot Strowman does regularly. Fury left the ring, but Strowman was there with a punch to knock him down. Strowman charged around the ring and Fury stopped the moment with a kick to the ribs. Fury sent Strowman back in the ring, Strowman avoided a punch, Fury with a drop toe hold into the ropes and Fury with a boot to the face for two. Strowman came back with punches to the ribs followed by another punch to the chest. Fury sat up like The Undertaker, so Strowman kicked him down. Graves noted Fury was a big WWE fan. Fury with a boot to the face that stunned Strowman, Fury charged, Strowman caught him and hit a front first slam like Mark Henry’s finishing move. Fury left the ring, so Strowman ran around the ring and knocked down Fury with the running shoulder tackle on the floor. Strowman ran around the ring again with another shoulder tackle on the floor. Strowman sent Fury back in the ring, Strowman took a long time getting back up and when Strowman was on the apron, Fury decked him with a right-handed punch to the face. Strowman stumbled to his feet after a few seconds, he nearly got back up, but then he went down, the referee counted Strowman out and Fury won by countout at 8:04.

Winner by countout: Tyson Fury

Analysis: * The result was what I expected with Fury winning and the countout victory protects Strowman more than if it was a pinfall loss. I figured Fury winning was a lock and WWE probably didn’t want Braun getting pinned, so they settled on the countout finish. Fans don’t like the countout finishes to matches, but that’s a part of wrestling. They got through it fine. At times, it was like they were moving in slow motion, but then you must remember it’s two big dudes that can’t move around that fast. Fury’s selling and offense was good enough. It’s not a great match or anything, but it was passable. I’ve definitely seen worse matches from guys who aren’t regular wrestlers.

After the match was over, Strowman went back in the ring and hit a Powerslam on Fury. There wasn’t much selling from Fury because he was back up moments later, but by that time, Strowman walked up the ramp.

Analysis: This teases the idea of another match between them, which doesn’t surprise me that much because Fury transitioned to WWE performing very well. It will probably be at WrestleMania or one of next year’s two Saudi shows if it fits into Fury’s boxing schedule.

There were commercials for the WWE 2K20 video game that is apparently not making fans happy. I’m not a gamer, but people complain to me about it. There was also a commercial for Smackdown on Fox.

There was a replay from the Kickoff Show with R-Truth pinning Sunil Singh to win back the 24/7 Title.

There was a shot of random midcard wrestlers running in the backstage area. R-Truth was there with the 24/7 Title. The Singh Brothers were there. Truth said he had an escape plan and then he ran into a door like a dumbass. Samir pinned Truth and a referee counted it, so the Singhs celebrated with the title again. This time Samir won instead of Sunil.

Winner and New 24/7 Champion: Samir Singh

Analysis: At least somebody won without doing a rollup. That’s about all of the analysis that I have.

The US Champion AJ Styles entered with the best tag team in the world (that’s how they were introduced because they have the World Cup trophy) Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Gallows was carrying the trophy with him. Humberto Carrillo entered as the opponent and they showed a replay of Carrillo winning the battle royal earlier in the night.

United States Championship: AJ Styles (w/Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) vs. Humberto Carrillo

This is a rematch from Raw. Styles was aggressive early, Carrillo with an armdrag off the ropes, headscissors, arm drag off the ropes again and Carrillo with a dropkick that sent Styles out of the ring. When they went back into the ring, Styles with an Ushigoroshi by tossing Carrillo into the top of AJ’s knee. Styles with a forearm and then he pointed his crotch to get the crowd to boo him more. Styles grabbed a headlock to slow things down. Carrillo with a jumping elbow, Carrillo went for another arm drag, but Styles slammed him face first into the mat as Graves pointed out you can’t use the same move multiple times on Styles. Styles picked up Carrillo and hit a brainbuster for two. Carrillo with a jawbreaker and a he got a nearfall for two. Carrillo went up top with a cross body block for two. Styles got Carrillo on the shoulders, he went for a slam, Carrillo landed on his feet, kick to the head and Styles with a Pele Kick. There was a “this is awesome” chant, but it wasn’t very loud as some fans chanted for Styles as well. Carrillo with a pump kick to the face, Carrillo with an open hand strike and a dropkick that knocked Styles off the apron to the floor. Carrillo with a twisting cross body attack over the top onto Styles on the floor. It got a two count when they got back in the ring. Styles went for a Style Clash off the ropes, Carrillo rolled through into a pin for two and Styles came back with strikes leading to a clothesline for two. Carrillo went to the apron, he jumped off, Styles caught him, Carrillo landed on his feet, favored the left knee to sell an injury and Styles tripped him up. Carrillo was limping on the left knee as Styles slapped on the Calf Crusher submission on the left leg. Carrillo got to the bottom ropes to force the break. Carrillo with an enziguri kick to the back of the head followed a jumping lefty kick to the face. Carrillo went up top, he went for the moonsault, Styles moved, Carrillo favored his left leg when he landed and Styles hit him with a forearm to the face. Styles hit a springboard Phenomenal Forearm for the pinfall win at 12:34.

Winner by pinfall: AJ Styles

Analysis: **3/4 The match was pretty good with Styles winning clean. I thought it would be more of a cheap win since Gallows and Anderson were at ringside for the match. Instead of interfering, G&A did nothing. The crowd didn’t react well to Carrillo because they barely know the guy, so maybe WWE should have picked somebody else for this match in front of this crowd. I liked their match on Raw a bit more than this one. I expected Styles to keep the title, but I thought a DQ finish might happen. Instead, Carrillo lost twice to Styles in the same week.

The OC trio of Styles, Anderson and Gallows posed in the ring with the US Title and the Tag Team World Cup trophy.

Hulk Hogan was interviewed by Byron Saxton and Hogan said his new name is “Beautiful” Byron. Hogan said that when he leaves Crown Jewel tonight, his team will have their hand raised. Hogan said every time his team gets thirsty, he makes them drink a glass of sand…sure. Hogan did his “whatcha gonna do” phrase to end it.

Natalya made her entrance for the women’s match and there was a nice fireworks display for her as well. They showed some little girl fans in the crowd. Natalya walked out in her regular black leather gear along with a pink Hart Foundation shirt on. They kept showing women fans in the crowd to showing how happy they are to see it because it’s the first women’s match in Saudi Arabia. There were a lot more fireworks above the stadium. Lacey Evans was up next as the opponent. Evans was also covered up with a red t-shirt covering her black long shirt and pants.

Analysis: The gear for the women in this match is different because of laws in place for the women in Saudi Arabia as far as what attire they are allowed to wear. The only skin they were showing was their faces and hands.

Natalya vs. Lacey Evans

They shook hands to start the match as the announcers put over Evans as a future champion while praising Natalya for her career in WWE. They did a sequence on the mat where Natalya tripped up Evans leading to another handshake. Evans grounded Natalya with a leg scissors around the head and Natalya popped back up to her feet. Natalya went for a slam off the ropes, Evans blocked it and Evans blocked a Sharpshooter attempt. Natalya sent Evans out of the ring and the fans cheered. When Natalya went to the apron, Evans tripped her up and hit a dropkick leading to a two count. Evans slapped on a weak looking headlock, Natalya broke free, Evans with a kick to the chest and Evans kicked the feet followed by an elbow drop for two. Evans with a knee drop to the arm of Natalya two times. Evans with a neckbreaker, Natalya came back with two knees up to block a splash and Natalya slammed Evans off the ropes. Natalya with the step on the back leading to the basement dropkick. Evans got a rollup for two. Evans hit a suplex. Evans jumped up top and hit a perfect looking moonsault for two. Evans was frustrated that wasn’t enough to win the match. Evans with a suplex. Evans went to the ropes again, Natalya tripped her up and Natalya hit a discus lariat. Natalya slapped on the Sharpshooter submission, Evans got close to the ropes, so Natalya put Evans in the middle of the ring and Evans tapped out to give Natalya the submission win at 7:21.

Winner by submission: Natalya

Analysis: ** A very basic match just to get through it and have the first-ever women’s match in Saudi Arabia. The star ratings are not important. It was a big moment for the culture in Saudi Arabia, which is different than what a lot of us are used to. The crowd reactions were great.

After the match, Natalya and Evans hugged in the ring. They were crying because it was an emotional moment. There were fireworks that went off above the stadium. Natalya and Evans hugged some women at ringside and greeted some kids around the ring as well. There were a lot of shots of women in the crowd reacting to this.

Analysis: It was a big match for both women as well for WWE as a company. I know there are fans wondering why didn’t WWE pick other women to be there. I really don’t mind that they picked Natalya and Evans. With Natalya, she’s the most experienced woman on the active roster that has wrestled more matches than any woman in WWE history. Evans is somebody they have high hopes for, so they wanted to give her the spotlight. Other women in WWE have been in other history-making matches too. It’s good to spread the “making history” moments around. I’ve known Natalya and her family for a decade now and I know this meant a lot to her. It’s an incredible highlight in her career. I’m happy for Natalya and Evans getting that moment.

The announcers talked about how if you push and push then change is going to happen. Cole called it a goosebump moment. Graves said he had a lump in his throat as his way of saying this was emotional.

Tomorrow on Smackdown: Roman Reigns vs. Baron Corbin, The Revival defend the Smackdown Tag Team Titles against The New Day, a six-woman tag team match with Nikki Cross, Carmella & Dana Brooke vs. Bayley, Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, and Bray Wyatt is a guest on Miz TV. Miz barely wrestles on TV anymore.

Ric Flair made his entrance. I thought this might be the main event, but it’s not. Byron Saxton joined the announce team.

Ric Flair’s team made their entrance with Bobby Lashley entering with Lana, whose body was covered head to toe like the women in the previous match. The Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura was up next. Drew McIntyre entered looking ready to go and “King” Baron Corbin entered with his ridiculous outfit. The captain Randy Orton got the biggest reaction for the team.

Hulk Hogan made his entrance to a huge pop with Jimmy Hart by his side. There was even a fan dressed like Hogan in the crowd, which was pretty funny. Rusev was up first for Hogan’s team, Ricochet was wearing a superhero style outfit and Shorty G is still rocking his high school basketball gear. Ali got a big pop from the crowd with the announcers putting over Ali’s win in a tag team match on Smackdown last week. Roman Reigns was last for the team and he got the biggest pop out of anybody in this match so far. That’s no surprise. Cole was interrupted during his “Big Dog” yell, so he joked that Greg Hamilton was fired. There was a big pyro display for Roman’s entrance.

Team Ric Flair (Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, Baron Corbin and Shinsuke Nakamura) w/Ric Flair vs. Team Hulk Hogan (Roman Reigns, Ali, Shorty G, Rusev and Ricochet) w/Hulk Hogan and Jimmy Hart

This is a one fall match, so that means no eliminations. Nakamura started with Shorty G with Nakamura taking control with a spinning kick to the head. Ali tagged in with two dropkicks on Corbin, a kick to the head and a sitout X-Factor by Ali got a two count. When Lashley tagged in, Rusev also tagged in and the referee made Lashley go away when Lashley was against the turnbuckle. McIntyre tagged in with forearms to the back of Rusev, but Rusev came back with a corner splash. McIntyre missed a charge and Rusev came back with a spin kick to the face. Ali jumped off the top with a double foot stomp to the elbow of McIntyre. Corbin went back in there, Ali was up top and Corbin shoved Ali off the top to send Ali into the barricade. Lashley hit a side slam on Ali followed by a chinlock. When Ali broke free, Lashley dropped him with a clothesline. Lashley taunted Rusev, which distracted the referee and Orton punched Ali to knock him down. Nakamura drove his foot into Ali’s throat, then a kick to the back and a sliding German Suplex by Nakamura got a two count. McIntyre tossed Ali across the ring, Ali avoided a slam, kick to the face by Ali and Ali hit a jumping DDT off the middle ropes on McIntyre to put him down. Ricochet tagged in for his team with running forearms to the face of Drew, then a shoulder tackle, Ricochet kicked Nakamura and a springboard clothesline into a springboard moonsault for Ricochet got a two count. Ricochet went up top, Corbin distracted him, so McIntyre grabbed Ricochet and McIntyre hit a reverse Alabama Slam on Ricochet. Orton tagged in for the first time with the fans giving him a big reaction. Orton stomped on the body of Ricochet to keep him grounded. Lashley tagged back in with a delayed vertical suplex while taunting Rusev. Corbin tagged in to ground Ricochet with a chinlock. Ricochet broke free, he got a sunset flip for a two count and then rolled through. Corbin came back with a clothesline on Ricochet while also knocking Shorty and Ali off the apron. Flair did some strutting on the floor. McIntyre with a suplex on Ricochet. Lashley knocked Rusev off the apron, Ricochet kicked his way out of the corner with an enziguri kick on Lashley, but Orton tagged in to prevent Ricochet from getting out of the ring. Ricochet with a jumping knee to the nose of Orton. The fans wanted Reigns to get the tag and that led to the hot tag for Reigns for his first action in the match after 13 minutes.

Reigns was on fire with clotheslines on the heel team with the fans chanting for him a lot. Reigns with a Drive By kick on Orton on the apron, Reigns with a Drive By kick on Lashley, Reigns sent Corbin’s arm into the ropes and an uppercut punch. Reigns worked over Corbin with the ten corner clotheslines and the big boot to the face. Reigns hit a Hogan style leg drop much to the delight of the Hulkster. Reigns punched Nakamura, he punched McIntyre, Orton tagged in, Reigns greeted him with a Superman Punch and got a two count as Corbin and McIntyre made the save. Corbin with a chokeslam on Ali. Gable with the Ankle Lock on Corbin. Nakamura with Kinshasa on Shorty. Ricochet off the top with a kick to Corbin, McIntyre with a Claymore Kick on Ricochet. Rusev got back in the ring and cleaned house with clotheslines followed by a side slam on Nakamura. Rusev finally got into a brawl with Lashley as they exchanged punches in the middle of the ring. Lashley ducked, pulled the ropes and Rusev went flying over the top to the floor. Reigns decked Lashley with a Superman Punch. Reigns hit a running dive over the top to the floor to take out all the guys outside the ring. That drew a big pop from the fans. Reigns sent legal man Orton back in the ring, Orton blocked a Spear with a kick to the face. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch attempt, but Orton hit a perfect RKO OUTTA NOWHERE! That only got a two count because Reigns got his shoulder up. That was such a great RKO. It drew a big reaction from the crowd. Orton took his time going to the corner, Shorty grabbed Orton’s foot, Ali into the ring, Orton wanted an RKO, but Ali landed on his head to counter it. There were dives from Ricochet, Ali and Gable to take out heels on the floor. Rusev hit a Machka Kick on the floor. That left two guys alone in the ring as Reigns hit a Spear on Orton and got the pinfall win at 19:55.

Winners by pinfall: Team Hulk Hogan (Roman Reigns, Ali, Shorty G, Rusev and Ricochet)

Analysis: ***3/4 I thought it was a great match. The result was predictable with the faces going over, but that doesn’t hurt the quality of the match in my opinion. There are hundreds of matches in wrestling history where I knew the good guys were going to win and I still enjoyed them. The booking of the match was very good with the faces getting worked over for extended periods of times and then when Reigns got the hot tag after 13 minutes it’s when the match went into another gear. Those last six minutes were tremendous. The fans were loud and reacted exactly as you expect them to. Everybody in that match is either an outstanding wrestler or somebody very experienced, so they know they know what they’re doing out there in a match like that. It’s no surprise that Reigns got the win for his team as the “lead dog” for his team. My favorite spot was the RKO by Orton that nearly got a three count. I didn’t expect it to get the win, but the fans really bought it as a finish and the reaction to it was outstanding. Great job by everybody involved. I was a bit surprised that Hogan didn’t punch Flair to pop the crowd even more. That’s okay, though. It’s better to not have Flair take a bump at this point in his life.

Here’s the victorious Team Hogan with Rusev’s funny face.

There were commercials for WrestleMania on April 5, 2020 and also Survivor Series between Raw, Smackdown and NXT, which is on November 24.

The announcers talked about Survivor Series with Cole noting it will be Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT, so get ready for triple threat matches.

A video package aired for the main event Universal Title match between Seth Rollins and Bray Wyatt aka The Fiend.

Seth Rollins made his entrance with the Universal Title. He got a solid reaction from the crowd, but some of the other babyfaces on this show got bigger ovations for sure.

“The Fiend” Bray Wyatt was next in the familiar masked Fiend look and he had a slow walk to the ring. It took a while, but he got there. It was mentioned by Michael Cole that if Wyatt wins then he will take the Universal Title to Smackdown, so WWE finally explained what happens if there’s a title change.

Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE Universal Championship: Seth Rollins vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

It was promoted as a match that cannot be stopped for any reason. The dreaded red lights were on for the match just like at Hell in a Cell, which is a terrible decision that fans don’t like, but WWE must love it. Rollins connected with the Slingblade and a jumping knee attack off the ropes. The Fiend came back with a running cross body block. They left the ring where Fiend dumped Rollins over the barricade and they went brawling into the crowd. They went brawling onto some platform where Rollins sent Fiend into some LED board there. We could barely see it because of the light. Rollins with a kick to the body and Rollins hit The Stomp on the floor. The Fiend no sold it, popped right back up gave Rollins a uranage slam onto the side of the ring apron. Fiend charged at Rollins, who moved and Fiend went crashing through the barricade. Rollins set up a table on the floor. There were two tables set up on the floor Rollins hit a suicide dive into the barricade, then back in the ring for another barricade. Rollins tossed the top of the announce table into Fiend two times. Rollins worked over Fiend with four chair shots to the back of Fiend. Rollins grabbed a sledgehammer from under the ring with Graves pointing out this is where the line was drawn at Hell in a Cell. The Fiend gave the Mandible Claw to Rollins, but Rollins hit him in the ribs with the sledgehammer. Fiend tossed Rollins over the Arabic announce table with Fiend doing a neck twist move to knock Rollins down on the table. Fiend chopped Rollins in the throat while Rollins was on the English announce table. Fiend charged, Rollins moved and Fiend went back first through the announce table. Rollins covered for just a one count with Graves wondering “what the hell are we dealing with?” Good reaction by Graves there because it’s what the fans would be thinking after a one count there.

Rollins grabbed the steel chair again and he hit Fiend in the back a few more times. Fiend was on the Arabic announce table, so Rollins climbed up to the top rope. With Rollins on the top rope, Fiend shoved Rollins backwards through two stacked tables that Rollins set up earlier in the match. Fiend punched Rollins a few times. Fiend pulled the mat off the floor near one side of the ring. Fiend went for Sister Abigail, but Rollins came back with an enziguri kick to the head. Rollins hit Fiend in the head three times with the steel steps. Rollins capitalized on the positioning with The Stomp onto the exposed floor that was under the mat. Maybe it was steel. It’s hard to tell with the stupid red light. Rollins with a jumping attack with a steel chair onto some platform in the crowd. Fiend came back with the Sister Abigail neckbreaker slam onto the platform for a two count. The fans were chanting “this is awesome” for them. They went brawling up the ramp with Fiend dragging Rollins and they got closer to the top of the stage. They were on the stage with something underneath them, but it’s not like we could see what it was. Rollins hit The Stomp for the third time when they were on the stage and The Fiend got back up again. Rollins with three superkicks and The Stomp for the fourth time. Rollins hit The Stomp for a fifth time on the stage and there was a sixth stomp from Rollins while they were on the corner of the stage. As The Fiend got near the side of the stage, Rollins hit The Stomp for the 7th time. Rollins set up for it again and Rollins hit The Stomp for the 8th time. Rollins with a superkick, then another superkick and The Fiend got knocked off the stage onto some structure below. There was some pyro that went off and a small fire. That led to some dudes showing up with fire extinguishers to get rid of some of the sparks. Another spark went out and Rollins sold pain to his eyes. The Fiend stood up from that, which led to scraming from the announcers wondering how he got back up, and Fiend gave the Mandible Claw to Rollins. The Fiend hit the Sister Abigail neckbreaker on Rollins on the floor and covered Rollins for the pinfall win at 21:50. New champ!

Winner by pinfall AND NEW Universal Champion: “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt

Analysis: **3/4 It was a pretty good but not great brawl with a result that may have surprised some people. With the way The Fiend has been booked, it makes a lot of sense for him to win the title. I don’t think match helped Rollins much because it made The Stomp look like a weak finishing move since he hit the damn thing eight times and he failed to win the match. I realize that it was booked this way to put The Fiend over, but when you book somebody that strongly it can hurt the other guy. There’s no doubt in my mind that the match was hurt by the red light too. It is a negative thing that prevents people from being able to see the action as we are used to. The win by The Fiend also raises questions about what’s next, which is good because it gives fans a reason to watch the show. Some of the bigger spots would have had better reactions if the crowd could have seen things easier. Rollins as champion was boring, it wasn’t drawing ratings or helping attendance much at all and maybe a change will be good. I’m all for a title change because of the unpredictability of what happens next.

The Fiend was on the stage with the Universal Title. There were flashing lights on him as he held up the title.

Analysis: I’m not sure what this means for the future. Before the match, Cole said if Wyatt wins then he takes the Universal Title to Smackdown. I don’t see that lasting too long since the Universal Title is a red Raw title for a reason. It’s okay to not know what WWE is going to do now with the Universal Title and WWE Title both on Smackdown. I doubt it’s going to be some long-term thing. Let’s all find out by watching the shows. We don’t need to know everything right now. I can sit here and guess just like you can. Frankly, I’d rather just watch to see what happens. Fans today that need to know everything should remember the days of when we didn’t know shit and just watched it play out. Hopefully it makes sense, but in WWE you just never know.

There was a shot of the Crown Jewel set with Cole saying it was a historic evening, people’s lives have changed and for the first time ever, women wrestled in Saudi Arabia. There was a pyro display that off in the stadium and some confetti as well. It was an impressive pyro display.

A video package aired showing highlights of the show. The show was kept under 4 hours.

This event had a run time of 3:36:11 on WWE Network.

Five Stars of the Show

1. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – I’m just happy for Bray as a wrestler considering how he sat out a year reinventing himself and now he’s on top of the WWE mountain again, so to speak. He’s a very good performer. Was the match amazing? No. It was fine. I’m just putting him here because I appreciate his dedication to his character.

2. Cesaro

3. Mansoor

4. Roman Reigns

5. Randy Orton

Final Thoughts

It gets a 6 out of 10 from me.

The show was better than I thought it would be due to the quality of the 10-man tag team match (it was excellent), Cesaro vs. Mansoor was a lot of fun and I liked most of the Fiend/Rollins match even with the stupid red light making it tough to actually see things. I’m happy for Bray as a character. The guy sat out for a full year to commit to this gimmick. That’s pretty cool to see him as a main champ. I don’t have to know what’s next. Let’s watch the shows and find out. It was also an important show for things like the women getting a chance to wrestle in Saudi Arabia for the first time. Other than that, it was just average WWE content. I wouldn’t go out of my way to watch anything other than what mentioned above.

The way the WWE Title match was booked is going to piss off a lot of fans and it should. I miss when the WWE Title featured longer, good matches. That Lesnar/Velasquez match didn’t need to be a title match either and they could have accomplished the same thing. Anyway, at least it wasn’t the main event.

Here are my rankings of 2019 WWE PPVs so far with a score out of 10:

WrestleMania 35 – 7.5

Elimination Chamber – 7.5

Fastlane – 7.5

Royal Rumble – 7

SummerSlam – 7

Extreme Rules – 7

Stomping Grounds – 6.5

Crown Jewel – 6

Money in the Bank – 6

Clash of Champions – 5.5

Hell in a Cell – 3.5

Super Showdown – 3


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