Reviews

The John Report: WWE Crown Jewel 2022 Review

wwe crown jewel review 2022 tjrwrestling

It’s WWE Crown Jewel 2022 with Roman Reigns, Bianca Belair, The Usos and more defending their titles while Brock Lesnar faces Bobby Lashley in the opener.

This is the second last WWE Premium Live Event (or pay-per-view if you prefer that term) of the year for the main roster with only Survivor Series next in three weeks. It’s a Saturday afternoon show for me in the Eastern Time Zone in southern Ontario, Canada so that’s fine with me. I’m watching on WWE Network.

There was no Kickoff Show match, but during the Kickoff Show, it was mentioned that Lesnar-Lashley will lead the show off. That’s probably because Brock wants to fly home right after his match. Good for him. Bring it on.

WWE Crown Jewel
From Mrsool Park in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
November 5, 2022

The opening video package aired featuring WWE’s Global Ambassador Titus O’Neil narrating the video showing highlights (or lowlights in some cases) of past Crown Jewel events while hyping up this year’s show. Titus ended it by welcoming us to Crown Jewel.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show in the open-air stadium. The commentary team of Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show. They had said in the past that Corey Graves was going to be with Cole on Premium Live Events, but he has been dealing with a family issue (Corey’s wife Carmella shared she had a miscarriage recently), so I think it’s okay that he stayed home. There was also an Arabic announce team at ringside.

Bobby Lashley was up first followed by a video package hyping up the match against Brock Lesnar.

Brock Lesnar got a huge reaction from the crowd as Cole mentioned their Royal Rumble match with Lashley beating Lesnar due to Roman Reigns/Paul Heyman costing Brock the win. The announcers talked about how Lesnar wanted to avenge that loss. Brock did his slow walk out of the ring, but Lashley attacked him on the floor.

Lashley shoved Lesnar into the steel steps followed by Lashley hitting a Spear on the floor. Lesnar was back in the ring, so the bell rang.

Bobby Lashley vs. Brock Lesnar

Lashley hit Lesnar with another Spear and Lesnar left the ring. Lesnar was limping around on the floor, so Lashley gave Lesnar another Spear into the barricade at ringside. Back in the ring, Lashley hit another Spear with Lesnar kicking out at two. Lesnar came back with two German Suplexes on Lashley. Lesnar hit a third German Suplex to Lashley with the fans strongly behind Brock. Lesnar was still selling the left knee injury as he hit an F5 for a two count. Lesnar tried a lift again, Lashley sent him into the ropes and Lashley hit a clothesline over the top to the floor. Lashley put Lesnar on his shoulders as he drove Lesnar into the ring post. Back in the ring, Lashley charged, Lesnar with a lift, Lashley got out of it and Lashley hit a spinebuster. The fans were booing Lashley even though Bobby is a face because they wanted Lesnar to win. Lashley applied the Hurt Lock submission, Lesnar was fighting it and Lesnar said he didn’t want to give up while telling the referee to shut up. The referee checked Lesnar’s arm, but Lesnar’s arm stayed up before the third drop. Lesnar kicked himself off the top rope, then Lesnar landed on top and pinned Lashley for the win at 6:21.

Winner by pinfall: Brock Lesnar

Analysis: **3/4 It was decent for the short match it was with a lot of big moves and action from the moment the match started. I was hoping for a longer match, but we have seen many times from Lesnar that sometimes he has shorter matches with more impactful moves. Anyway, the finish didn’t hurt Lashley much since it was just Lesnar falling back-first onto him and Lashley didn’t really let go of the submission, so Lesnar was able to get the pin. It was a way to make Lashley look strong even in defeat. I was hoping for a much better match here. I get what they were doing story-wise, but I wish it was a more exciting match.

After the match, Barrett said that Lesnar got his ass kicked by Lashley and Lesnar got a lucky victory. Lashley was upset about the loss, so he put the Hurt Lock on Lesnar again. The fans were booing Lashley for his actions while the announcers put over the story that Lashley was frustrated.

Analysis: This could mean that Lashley is in heel mode again or maybe it’s just for this Lesnar feud that is likely going to continue perhaps with a third match at Survivor Series. That third match will probably be a stipulation match.

A commercial aired about Survivor Series hyping up the men’s and women’s WarGames matches on November 26th. They used the Black Sabbath song “War Pigs” for it, which is a great song.

There was a video about Liv Morgan.

Alexa Bliss and Asuka were interviewed by Byron Saxton prior to their match. While Bliss was talking, there was a Bray Wyatt logo on the screen in the background, so Bliss was flustered a bit. Bliss talked about how they’re ready for this and Asuka said that Damage CTRL wasn’t ready for them.

Women’s Tag Team Championships: Asuka & Alexa Bliss vs. Damage CTRL – IYO SKY & Dakota Kai

All four women were in outfits covering their arms and legs as per the rules that exist in Saudi Arabia, so only their heads/hands were uncovered. Referee Aja Smith was also covered up. Bliss started with Kai with Bliss hitting a back elbow, then Bliss did a flip out of the corner and got a two count. Bliss did several pin attempts, then Bliss tripped up Kai and laughed about it. Bliss stomped on Kai’s back, then Kai sent Bliss into the ropes and Sky tagged back in only for Bliss to punch her. Asuka faced off with Sky, then Sky did backflips and Asuka hit a back elbow. Sky hit a clothesline, Asuka ran the ropes and hit a big shoulder tackle. Bliss back in, so Asuka hit a bulldog on Sky onto Alexa’s knees. Kai back in leading to a dropkick from Bliss. Asuka and Bliss each knocked the challengers off the apron and then into the barricade. Asuka kicked Kai away, then Sky got in a cheapshot dropkick that the referee didn’t see and Kai kicked Asuka out of the ring. Asuka had a brace on her right knee, so the heels worked over the knee a bit. Asuka tried to break free, but Sky hit her with a flatliner. Asuka hit a back elbow, then a kick to the gut and a bulldog/clothesline on both opponents. Bliss got the tag with punches on both opponents. Bliss with a rising knee to Kai and Sky followed by a double dropkick. Bliss hit double knees on Kai’s back. Bliss did a Tornado DDT off the ropes on Kai for two as Sky made the save. Sky back in with a backbreaker on Bliss. Bliss came back with a Code Red for a two count. Bliss went up top, Sky and Kai were both there to stop Bliss and Asuka was there as well. That led to the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner. Asuka was legal and Kai hit a running kick to the face. Asuka managed to tag out, Bliss tagged back in and Sky distracted Bliss. Bliss went for Twisted Bliss, but the distraction from Sky allowed Kai to get her knees up. Asuka avoided a moonsault by Sky on the floor. Bliss hit Kai with a DDT. Bliss went up top, the referee was looking at Asuka/Sky on the other side of the ring and Nikki Cross showed up with a neckbreaker on Bliss off the top rope. The referee missed it. Kai pinned Bliss for pinfall win to win the titles back. It went 12:50.

Winners by pinfall AND NEW Women’s Tag Team Champions: Damage CTRL – IYO SKY & Dakota Kai

Analysis: *** I thought it was a solid match, but I think they have had better matches in the past. The cheap finish hurts it while also advancing the story that Cross is crazy and likes to randomly attack people. Asuka had a big brace on her right knee and she sold it well for most of the match. I like how aggressive Bliss was throughout the match. It also meant that Bliss and Asuka only held the titles for about five days, so it wasn’t much of a title reign.

Kai and Sky celebrated with the titles while Bliss sold the attack and Cross was shown leaving through the crowd.

Analysis: Since Damage CTRL won the titles back, the story is that they could have more women’s gold later if Bayley wins her title match as well.

A video package aired about Becky Lynch. I don’t have Peacock (we have WWE Network in Canada, which I am completely happy with), but I was told that they do those videos because there’s a Peacock service with ads, so that’s why they air these videos for the rest of us.

They showed a car arriving with Logan Paul, brother Jake Paul and some of Logan’s friends who I saw on his podcast in the past. Logan was interviewed saying he feels like he’s going to shock the world because all it takes is one lucky punch.

There was a video package for the Steel Cage Match between Drew McIntyre and Karrion Kross.

The fall and pray entrance of Karrion Kross with his wife Scarlett featured the darkness and red light in the stadium as usual. They had a giant hourglass image to signify the “tick tock” that Kross likes to say. That was a cool entrance in a bigger stadium like this.

Drew McIntyre got a big reaction from the crowd. Drew had Angela the sword with him as he pointed it at Kross before entering the ring. The steel cage was lowered with Jessika Carr as the referee. Drew slammed the door shut.

Steel Cage Match: Karrion Kross (w/Scarlett) vs. Drew McIntyre

The rules in WWE steel cage matches are that you can win by pinfall, submission, escaping the cage or going out the door.

They got into a brawl right away with Drew hitting a clothesline along with a chop and punches. Drew hit a belly-to-back suplex. Kross tried climbing up the cage, then Drew followed and Kross knocked him down leading to Drew getting crotched on the top rope. Kross hit an overhead suplex across the ring. Kross sent Drew into the cage as the fans chanted “McIntyre” for Drew. Kross sent Drew into the cage again followed by Kross doing a catapult that sent Drew’s throat into the bottom rope. Drew came back with two clotheslines along with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Drew sent Kross into the cage multiple times along with a neckbreaker. Drew did a kip-up back to his feet leading to a Michinoku Driver slam for a two count. They battled by the turnbuckle, Kross did some headbutts, Drew was upside down and Drew did his popup spot leading to a suplex, which is a spot that Drew loves to do. Drew charged, but Kross was back with a running knee for two. Drew sent Kross into the cage followed by a spinebuster. Kross went for the Kross Jacket submission, but Drew got out of it leading to his own sleeper only for Kross to counter with Doomsday Saito suplex, which is a stiff bump on the upper back/neck. Drew ducked a forearm attempt leading to a Future Shock DDT. Scarlett was on the cage distracting Drew, who looked at her and Kross applied a Kross Jacket submission. Drew drove Kross back into the turnbuckle followed by a back elbow. Kross hit a Kross Hammer forearm to the back that he has used as a finisher, but Kross didn’t try a pin attempt. Kross did a very slow climb up the cage, Drew was back up while Kross was at the top of the cage and Drew hit a superplex while Kross was at the top of the cage. Great spot there that they did well with a safe landing. Drew tried to leave through the door, but Scarlett sprayed Drew with mace or some substance anyway. Cole shouted that it was mace. Scarlett sprayed the mace on the referee at ringside as well. Kross tried climbing out the door, but Drew was back up with an ankle lock on Kross. Kross kicked himself free, Drew with a headbutt and Drew hit a Claymore Kick without much of a run up leading to it. Scarlett closed the door and put the lock on it while she had the key in her hand. Drew climbed up the cage, so Scarlett opened the door and Kross tried to climb out, but Drew made it outside the cage and dropped to the floor to win the match before Kross was able to get out of the door. Drew got the win at 13:02.

Winner: Drew McIntyre

Analysis: *** It was a solid cage match, but I wouldn’t call it great or anything like that. Drew winning was the right call because he has lost a few PLE matches in a row, so he needed this win while Kross is protected because he wasn’t pinned. I thought they could have done a better job with nearfalls or near-victory moments, especially for Kross. McIntyre hit a lot of his big moves, but it just didn’t feel like a big match in some ways. I don’t know if Kross is going to be some megastar, main event heel with the way he currently works and is presented by WWE. They want him to be that, but I don’t know if he can be that.

Drew McIntyre celebrated the win while Karrion Kross said this was never supposed to happen and Drew stared at Kross.

A commercial aired for WWEShop merchandise.

There was a commercial for the WWE Network/Peacock series called “This Is Awesome” that is on demand now.

They showed two black Chevy trucks arriving at the building. It was The Bloodline’s Roman Reigns, The Usos (Jimmy & Jey), Solo Sikoa and Paul Heyman. No Sami Zayn at Saudi shows. Byron Saxton asked Reigns for a comment, Reigns said nothing and left. Solo pushed the microphone against Byron’s chest. Heyman mocked the “one lucky punch” story about Logan Paul. Heyman said that Logan won’t hit that one lucky punch.

The Judgment Day was up next as the foursome included Rhea Ripley supporting the three guys in the match. During the introduction, Cole said that Ripley told him that her hairstyle was in tribute to the “late, great” Beth Phoenix since Ripley attacked her recently. They were followed by The OC for a six-man tag team match. Cole mentioned that Finn Balor was the original of The Bullet Club, which is a New Japan group and then when Balor left for WWE, Styles was part of the group. Now they are in WWE, so The OC stands for The Original Club. Cole also mentioned Anderson holding the NJPW Never Openweight Title.

Analysis: The Bullet Club and NJPW references never happened before Triple H took over running WWE. It’s nice that they can acknowledge that wrestling exists outside of WWE.

The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson) vs. The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio) w/Rhea Ripley

The big guys Gallows and Priest got into a slugfest with Gallows hitting punches in the corner followed by a clothesline. Styles tagged in with Priest greeting him with punches. Dominik tagged in leading to Styles hitting a backbreaker, then a whip into the turnbuckle and a kick to the back. Anderson tagged in with a boot, Styles back in with a corner splash and Gallows hit his own corner splash. Gallows with a body slam along with an elbow drop. Styles hit Dominik with a brainbuster. Anderson back in, Dominik bailed to the floor and Styles fought with Balor a bit. Priest hit Anderson with a superkick after Dominik drew Anderson into it. Priest back in with an elbow on Anderson for two. Priest hit a slam on Anderson, then the heels made some quick tags and all three guys hit moves including a leg drop/backbreaker combo by Priest/Balor on Anderson. Balor was back in with a headlock on Anderson. Balor was grabbing Anderson’s arm to prevent a tag and Priest was back in with a punch to stop a tag. Anderson managed to come back with a neckbreaker on Priest. Balor charged, Anderson sent him out of the ring and Balor pulled Styles off the apron while sending AJ into the steel steps. Anderson with a spinebuster on Priest as Gallows made the tag. Dominik got the tag, so Gallows hit him with a clothesline, then a kick on Priest and Gallows hit a back splash along with a flying shoulder tackle. Balor missed Gallows, so Balor bumped to the floor and Gallows hit a sidewalk slam. Anderson back in, but Priest stopped the double team move. Priest clotheslined Gallows out of the ring. Dominik rolled up Anderson for a two count. Anderson and Dominik did a double clothesline spot. Styles tagged in against Balor with Styles hitting strikes along with a clothesline and sitout slam on Priest. Styles with a knee on Dominik on the floor. Styles hit a slam on Balor leading to a Balor hitting AJ’s knee. Balor came back with a Figure Four Leglock on Styles, but that didn’t last long as they did a sequence of moves to clear the ring including Balor hitting a neckbreaker on Styles for two. Balor up top, Styles crotched him there and all six guys went into the ring for a tandem spot. Styles gave Balor a superplex while the other four guys did slam off-the-shoulder spots. When Styles went for a move off the apron, Ripley got involved by sending Styles into the apron, Cole screamed that it was ridiculous and said somebody has to “kick her ass.” Balor hit the shotgun dropkick into the corner and Balor went up top with a Coup de Grace double foot stomp for the pinfall win. This went 14:03.

Winners by pinfall: The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest & Dominik Mysterio)

Analysis: *** I thought it was okay as a tag team match. Anderson was the face in peril for much of it, they built up well to Styles-Balor facing off and then the cheap finish. It was the typical Judgment Day match where they won because Ripley did a move that the referee didn’t see. What this will likely lead to is Beth Phoenix coming back for revenge against Ripley at some point soon while Edge should be back with his wife as well.

Post match, Ripley mocked the fans for being sad about the loss.

A video aired about Seth “Freakin” Rollins.

There was a video package for the Braun Strowman-Omos match up next. They showed a tale of the tape listing Omos at 7’3” 416 pounds while Braun Strowman is 6’8” and 335 pounds.

Omos made his entrance alone because MVP doesn’t go to the Saudi shows. On Smackdown last night, Strowman gave MVP multiple running powerslams as a storyline explanation to take out MVP for this match. They showed the image of Omos palming Cole’s head at the press conference on Friday.

omos michael cole

Braun Strowman got a big reaction from the crowd as the babyface in the match. This is Braun’s first WWE PLE/PPV match in about a year and a half.

Omos vs. Braun Strowman

They went face to face with Strowman looking up at Omos, who put his giant hand up against Braun’s face. They did a test of strength battle as if it’s 1985, which led to Omos hitting a knee to the ribs. Omos choked Strowman against the turnbuckle followed by a whip into the turnbuckle. Omos hit a corner splash along with a running kick to the head. Omos kicked Strowman in the ribs to knock Braun out of the ring. Strowman came back by doing a neck snap against the top rope, but Omos came back with a body slam. Strowman came back with punches, Omos with a headbutt and Omos hit a body slam. Omos with some forearms to the chest while Omos kept on talking to the cameras. Strowman made his comeback with punches to the face, then Omos charged, Strowman avoided it and it took two clotheslines to knock Omos out of the ring. Strowman ran at Omos on the floor, but Omos ran him over with a body attack. Omos with a knee, then a whip into the corner, Omos charged in the corner, Braun moved and Strowman hit a running powerslam for the pinfall win at 6:45.

Winner by pinfall: Braun Strowman

Analysis: *1/2 A very slow-paced match by two big guys. It wasn’t that interesting to me. Omos was on offense for about 90% of the match, then he hit the turnbuckle and Strowman needed one move to put him away. I would have had Omos kick out of one powerslam and have Strowman do it again to make Omos look a bit stronger. I think Omos looks good on offense, but can he really sell much? I don’t know. They don’t put him in longer matches with good reason. Strowman winning was obvious here.

There was a video promoting WWE live events to start 2023 leading to WrestleMania.

The Usos made their entrance as the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions with the Raw & Smackdown titles in their hands. They showed a video of The Bloodline (without Reigns) attacking Sheamus with Jey hitting Sheamus’ left arm with a steel chair. Cole noted that Jey thought that he had a broken right wrist that he injured during the European tour. Jey will have further testing after this match.

The Brawling Brutes were up next as the challengers. They won a contender’s match to earn this title match.

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Butch & Ridge Holland)

The Usos tried to leave the match, but Butch hit them with a jumping knee. Jimmy was legal in the match, Jey hit Butch with a cheap shot and the fans chanted for Sami, but Jey said you aren’t getting him. Jey stomped on Butch. The fans also chanted “you’re not Ucey” at Jey I think. Jimmy tagged in leading to Butch hitting a DDT off the turnbuckle. Holland tagged in with shoulder tackles on Jey, then a spinning slam on Jimmy and Ridge hit running splashes on both guys. Holland hit double back body drops on both Usos for a two count on Jey. Holland worked over Jey with the ten forearms to the chest like Sheamus does as the crowd counted along, but Jimmy stopped Ridge at nine forearms. Ridge ran over Jey on the floor. Jimmy charged, but Ridge punched him. Butch stomped on Jimmy’s left hand on the steel steps. Jimmy punched Holland, but Holland came back with a spinning slam for two. Butch back in as he exchanged punches with Jey and Butch hit a moonsault off the top onto a standing Jey for two. Jey with punches, Holland into the ring illegally, Jimmy saved his brother rand The Usos hit superkicks while Butch hit an enziguri kick and Jey hit a superkick on Butch. Jimmy tagged in and jumped off the top with a splash, but Butch caught him leading to some finger snapping. Jey was back in with a superkick to Butch’s face. Both Usos went up top and hit a Double Uce splash on Butch, but Holland broke up the pin. Butch grabbed Jey’s injured right hand and snapped the fingers. Holland hit the White Noise move that Sheamus does for a two count as Butch prevented Jimmy from breaking it up. The Brutes sent Jimmy over the barricade. Butch tagged in for a double team kick to the head/sitout slam, but Jimmy made the save. All four guys were down as the crowd chanted “this is awesome” for them. The four guys were brawling a bit, Jey knocked Butch down and The Usos hit a double superkick on Holland. Jimmy made a blind tag, Butch went up top, Jey got a hold of him and Jimmy was in the ring as The Usos hit the 1D double team move (known as 3D when the Dudley Boyz did it) for the pinfall win. It went 10:44.

Winners by pinfall: The Usos (Jimmy & Jey Uso)

Analysis: ***1/4 A solid tag team match with The Usos winning, which was an obvious result. The team of Butch & Holland is good, but they aren’t that popular on their own without Sheamus, so I think that hurt the match because the crowd barely reacted to some of the nearfalls for The Brutes. I liked how the finish was set up with The Usos hitting the top rope version of their finisher.

The win by The Usos means that they have to defend the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles against The New Day, who will try to stop The Usos from breaking the record for the longest Tag Team Title reign in WWE history.

Analysis: I think The Usos should break that record, but if Jey’s hand needs surgery they might do a title change.

A video aired about Cody Rhodes. I miss that guy. We should see him back in the ring in a month or two.

Bayley made her entrance as the challenger for the Raw Women’s Title for the second straight PLE event. At Extreme Rules it was a Ladder Match and now it’s Last Woman Standing. Bianca Belair made her energetic entrance as the champion. Cole mentioned Belair headlining WrestleMania with Sasha Banks, so there’s a Sasha mention, which should lead to Twitter freaking out wondering if it means anything. Yes, I think Sasha will be back. I don’t know when.

Last Woman Standing for the Raw Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley

Last Woman Standing means that the match only ends when the referee Danilo Anfibio counts one competitor down for a ten count.

There was some light action early on, Bayley grabbed a chair and Belair avoided it while hitting a dropkick that knocked down Bayley. Bayley brought a ladder into the ring while Belair hit a slingshot cross body block over the top onto Bayley on the floor. Belair wanted to do a move on the floor, but Bayley did a hair grab to take her down. Bayley hit a suplex on the floor. Bayley put Belair on a chair by ringside and Bayley jumped off the barricade with a clothesline. Belair was back up, so Bayley grabbed a table from under the ring. Bayley took a bit of time to set up the table while Belair was selling. Belair hit Bayley with forearms to the face followed by Belair hitting a suplex on the ramp. It was not a steel ramp, but it still should be sold as a painful bump and Bayley was back up at 7. They tripped on the edge of the ramp with Bayley selling that she hurt her foot so the referee checked on Bayley while forcing Belair to move back. Of course, Bayley was faking it and slammed a steel part of the barricade into Belair’s head. Back in the ring, Bayley hit Belair in the back with a steel chair. Bayley went up top, so Belair threw the chair at Bayley. Bayley hit a neckbreaker against the middle rope. Bayley kicked the steel steps into Belair, who was against the ring apron. Belair managed to get back up by seven. Bayley hit Belair repeated with repeated kendo stick shots to the back while Belair was back up again. Belair sent Bayley into the steel steps to break free. Belair gave Bayley a spinebuster on the bottom half of the steel steps.

Bayley ran away from Belair going up the ramp, so Belair chased after her and hit Bayley in the back with repeated kendo stick shots to the back. Bayley blocked a kendo stick shot leading to a Bayley to Belly suplex at the top of the ramp. They were both back up before the ten count. Bayley ran over Belair with an equipment case, Belair fell inside the case and Belair got up before the ten count although her ponytail was stuck in the case briefly. Belair tried to drive the case into Bayley, but Bayley avoided it. Bayley fought out of a KOD attempt leading to Bayley applying a Crossface submission on the stage. Bayley let go of the hold while Belair was down selling and the referee counted leading to Belair getting back up before the ten count. Bayley drove a golf cart on the top of the stage, she was going really slowly and Belair avoided it. Bayley climbed to the top of the golf cart, Bayley tripped her up and Belair beat up Bayley with punches while on top of the cart. Belair drove the cart while Bayley was on the top of it and Belair drove down the ramp all the way to the ring. They were right by the table that was set up earlier in the match. Belair used her hair to send Bayley off the top of the cart and the table didn’t break when Bayley hit the edge of it. Belair gave Bayley a Powerbomb through the table at ringside. The referee counted Bayley down, but Bayley was up at nine. Belair tossed chairs into the ring and slammed Bayley onto some chairs. Belair went up top while a chair was on Bayley, then Belair jumped off with a 450 Splash, Bayley move and Bayley splashed onto the chairs. Ouch. Belair was back up at nine. Bayley opened up the ladder in the ring along with some chair shots to the back. Belair blocked a move into a chair and Belair hit a KOD on Bayley, who hit the chair with Bayley’s knee. Belair trapped Bayley in between a ladder that was pushed against the ring post, Bayley tried to get out of it and Bayley couldn’t do it, so Bayley was down for a ten count. Belair won the match. It went about 20:21.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Analysis: ***3/4 It was a very good match that was the longest of the show so far with both women coming close to winning a few times before Belair found a creative way to get the win. I liked it for the most part. The golf cart spot wasn’t really the most exciting thing, but I give them some credit for thinking of something innovative in a match like this. Bayley winning was a possibility although I picked Belair to retain, so that’s another one I got right. I liked their Ladder Match a little more than this, but this was still fun to watch. This might end Bayley’s title opportunities for now.

There was a WWE Community video showing the superstars hanging out with fans.

Let’s Hear from Bray Wyatt

Bray Wyatt made his entrance carrying the lantern while the arena was full of darkness and the fans had their cell phone light as the “fireflies” in the stadium. I have gotten used to this new Wyatt song. It’s pretty good. Anyway, it took Bray a few minutes to get down to the ring. The fans chanted “welcome back” at him.

Bray: “My name is Bray Wyatt.” Bray talked about how he comes from a very prestigious family, a wrestling family and some might say they are even larger than life (pay your taxes). Bray talked about how when he was a child, all he ever wanted to be was be great and he had to be the greatest of all of them. The fans chanted “yes you are” at Bray. Wyatt said he did what he thought he needed to do and he gave in. Wyatt said that he made a monster of himself, he wore that mask with pride and it didn’t take him long to understand that while he was wearing that mask, he no longer felt pain. Bray said in the mask he was completely untouchable and that type of thing feels good. Bray said that sensations like that are just about impossible to quit. Bray said that he has found himself in a kingdom of nothingness, sitting on an island by himself and this monster destroyed while running off everybody he ever loved. Bray said he sat alone, no one to love him and nowhere to run while fans chanted “we love you” at him. Bray said no one loves him, they love the idea of him and the thing she is capable of while saying that he doesn’t love himself. Bray said this doesn’t have to be the ending of his story. Bray said his name again three more times saying that he gets to re-write the ending to his story.

It was interruption time with Mr. Howdy wondering why Bray wears a mask saying that Bray can’t fool him. Howdy said that they don’t deserve Bray, but the truth is that Bray is going to go too far and give in. Howdy said Bray will remember how good it feels and said it will feel so good. Howdy said if you’re worried about the aftermath, don’t take the mask off. Howdy said: “Tell me I’m wrong.” They showed Bray in the ring watch it and then the scene ended there.

Analysis: It continues the story of Bray saying the right thing about wanting to be a good man, but then Uncle Howdy wants Bray to be evil again, so we will have to see if Bray becomes The Fiend again as well as other characters from his past. We also don’t know if Uncle Howdy is a different person or Bray’s “inner being” or however you want to say it. The promos from Bray are always good with the fans supporting him. I like the slow build. Don’t rush it.

There was a long video package bout the Roman Reigns-Logan Paul match featuring the phrase “one lucky punch” repeatedly.

Logan Paul made his entrance on some podium structure by the side of the ramp. I would say it was a decent reaction for Logan, but not that loud.

Roman Reigns made his very slow entrance as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion with the Special Counsel Paul Heyman by his side. It was noted by Cole that it’s been 797 days for Reigns as the Universal Champion and he added the WWE Championship to his collection back in April. It was a loud reaction for Reigns with some cheers/boos, but mainly a reaction for a guy who is really over with the crowd.

The wrestlers stood in the ring as ring announcer Mike Rome did the championship introductions. Reigns was laughing as Logan pointed at him. Reigns is great. The entrances and introduction for this match was longer than a couple of matches on the show. Just saying.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. Logan Paul

They did a lot of stalling early on. Logan did a waistlock takedown, then Reigns did a takedown of his own and Logan did a fireman’s carry. Reigns came back with an uppercut punch. Reigns avoided a charging Logan leading to Reigns leaving the ring with Heyman telling Reigns not to get hit by that right hand. After Reigns slowly got back into the ring, Logan said “stop running, Tribal Chief.” Reigns with a body shot to the ribs followed by a high elbow to knock Logan down. Reigns hit a suplex along with a smirk. Logan got some offense going after some rope running that saw Paul do a leapfrog followed by a hiptoss. Logan with a clothesline that sent Roman over the top to the floor. Logan went after Reigns, so Reigns kicked Logan in the body and tossed Logan over the barricade. After Reigns celebrated that, Logan hit a cross body block onto Reigns on the floor. Logan hit his own version of a Buckshot Lariat for a two count. That was impressive. Logan did a neck snap against the top rope, then Paul went for a springboard move, but Reigns hit him with an uppercut punch. Great spot. Reigns hit a belly to back suplex for two. Reigns grabbed a chinlock leading to a stadium shot from above. After Logan got up, Reigns hit him with the ten clotheslines against the turnbuckle followed by the leaping clothesline for just a one count. Reigns grabbed a chinlock talking to the camera saying this is the last Youtuber coming here. Logan hit an impressive gutwrench suplex. Logan hit some strikes including an elbow smash. Logan tried a lift, Reigns got out of it, Logan hit another elbow and Reigns jumped off the middle rope with a Blockbuster neckbreaker for two. Another move that Logan executed perfectly. Barrett said that Logan is the best three-match wrestler he’s seen in his entire life and it’s not even close. Reigns sent Logan into the ropes leading to Logan running off the ropes and hit a jumping Superman Punch or his version of it. Heyman was shaking his head at ringside. The replay showed it was more of a forearm leading to Logan doing a kip up and Barrett said it was shades of HBK, which is right. Logan jumped off the top with a cross body block along with a standing moonsault for two. The crowd was slowly getting behind Logan, who was setting up for a superkick like Shawn Michaels, who helped train Logan. Reigns caught the kick attempt leading to Reigns hitting a uranage (like a Rock Bottom) for two. The kick looked a bit unnatural because Reigns had to catch the foot for the next move. Reigns set up in the corner for a Superman Punch, but Logan punched Reigns in the ribs. Logan with a punch to the head along with a Superman Punch for two. The crowd bought into that nearfall due to how much WWE was building the “one lucky punch” story for this match. Heyman freaking out also helped build it up.

Reigns was on the floor, Logan cleared off the Arabic announce table and Logan greeted his friends at ringside. Logan filmed the crowd and Reigns on the table. Logan had the cell phone in his left hand, then he jumped off and Reigns had to lay there the whole time while Logan jumped off the top with a Frog Splash through the table. You could say that the referee should be counting them out of the ring and he wasn’t doing that, but I think we can forgive it a little bit. The Usos showed up at ringside to beat up Logan’s two podcast friends at ringside. Jey hit a superkick on one of Logan’s friends and Jimmy hit the other friend with a superkick. The Usos sent them out of the ring.

Jake Paul made his entrance with some theme music and the fans reacted to him, so they definitely know Jake. When Jake got into the ring, he was able to knock down both Usos and clear them from the ring. Jake told his brother Logan to finish this as Logan sent Reigns back into the ring. Logan jumped off the top rope with a Frog Splash for one…two…and no.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance with his music. Solo confronted Jake at ringside, as other referees and producers tried to break it up. Logan ran the ropes leading to a dive over the top onto both Usos. When Logan went back into the ring, Reigns recovered and hit Logan with a Superman Punch. Reigns did the loud yell leading to the Spear for the pinfall win at 24:49.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: **** I enjoyed the match even though there were some questionable things at the end along with all of the other people getting involved. Doing all the spots on the floor are fine, but when it’s a regular match, you’re ignoring stuff like countouts and things like that, so that hurts the story of the match in my opinion. It was a pretty good match by the end. Slow pace early on and then it really picked up. Logan continues to impress in the ring with the moves he does like that Buckshot Lariat early in the match. The drama picked up there with The Usos getting involved, then Jake Paul and Solo Sikoa, but those two didn’t touch, so it seems like they’ll probably do Solo against Jake at some point in the future if Jake gets into the WWE ring. Anyway, the result was what we all expected I’m pretty sure, but I have to give them credit for putting on a great match. I totally get that Logan is going to get a lot of praise for the match and he should. Roman deserves it just as much if not more because he sold so well for Logan and made it look competitive the whole way. That’s what a pro does. Great showing by both guys. Maybe if it was more of a Street Fight I can forgive some of the countout stuff that was ignored, but I also get the idea that “sometimes you let the guys fight” in a major title match.

Reigns had a bit of a shocked look on his face to sell the idea that Logan put him to a test.

Reigns celebrated in the aisle with The Bloodline while Logan was in the ring with his brother Jake. Heyman reminded Reigns that this is his glory and they all acknowledged the Tribal Chief. Reigns raised his hand proudly talking about how you can’t take those titles from him. Reigns and the rest of The Bloodline stood proudly.

A video package aired to end the show.

This event had a runtime of 3:40:53 on WWE Network.

 

Five Stars of the Show

  1. Roman Reigns
  2. Logan Paul
  3. Bianca Belair
  4. Bayley
  5. The Usos

 

Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 6.25 out of 10 for this show.

I think it was okay, but I wouldn’t call it a great show or anything close to the better WWE PLE/PPV shows this year. The last two matches with Roman Reigns beating Logan Paul and Bianca Belair beating Bayley were the best matches. The other matches leading up to those two just weren’t that interesting to me. Logan is getting a lot of praise for his performance and he should, but so should Roman for having a very good match against a guy in just his third match. They did a nice job in that match while Logan continues to get better in every match he has.

There was one title change while the rest of the card was predictable for the most part. It was lacking in terms of standout matches other than the last two matches. The wrestlers worked hard throughout the show. I just don’t think I’m going to remember much about the undercard.

If you watch these kinds of shows looking for surprises or major events happening, this show didn’t really have that. I’m looking forward to Survivor Series with two WarGames matches in three weeks.

Here are my WWE Premium Live Event (PPV) rankings for 2022 so far.

Clash at the Castle – 9 (September 3)

SummerSlam – 8.25 (July 30)

WrestleMania 38 – 8 (April 2 & 3)

Money in the Bank – 8 (July 2)

Hell in a Cell – 8 (June 5)

WrestleMania Backlash – 7.75 (May 8)

Extreme Rules – 7.5 (October 8)

Day 1 – 7.5 (January 1)

Elimination Chamber – 6.75 (February 19)

Crown Jewel – 6.25 (November 5)

Royal Rumble – 6 (January 29)

As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.

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Thanks for reading this review. My contact info is below.

Email: mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter: @johnreport