Tonight WWE will Crown the “Best in the World” in the WWE World Cup Tournament. The vacant Universal Championship will be given to the winner of Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman, plus DX vs. Brothers of Destruction, and more. Hulk Hogan kicks off the festivities for the WWE Universe in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton: I enjoyed this match. Mysterio hasn’t lost a step and I’m enjoying this perverse, evil Randy Orton. Rey used his quickness while Orton used his size to try and ground Mysterio. Orton tried to remove Rey’s mask which totally plays up his attitude. Mysterio caught Orton too relaxed and pins his shoulders for the three count to win and advance in the World Cup Tournament.
Rey Mysterio didn’t even get a chance to celebrate as Randy Orton lays a vicious beatdown on Rey. Will Rey be able to continue in the tournament? We shall see.
Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz: The Miz was on the offense early in this one keeping Hardy grounded and in trouble. Jeff Hardy has a comeback coming out of the corner and picks up the pace. Hardy slightly grazed The Miz with Whisper in the Wind but The Miz rolls to the outside. The Miz tries to lock on a Figure Four but Hardy rolls him up for two. Action on the outside quickly then Hardy goes to the top. The Miz simply rolls to the other side. The Miz baits Hardy into a pin and tried using the ropes but the referee caught it. Hardy attempts a Twist of Fate but The Miz counters it into a Skull Crushing Finale for the win. very enjoyable match.
Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley: Lashley was the dominant one (no pun intended) at the beginning of the match which is different than what we are used to seeing any opponent do against Rollins.”The Architect” found an opening but lost a step after banging into the barricade after a suicide dive.
“It’s nighttime here at Crown Jewel and Lio Rush is wearing sunglasses.”. – Michael Cole
There was a quick back and forth but an opening for Seth Rollins to hit the Curbstomp for the win.
Kurt Angle vs. Drew McIntyre: Dolph gets the early offense but lost it from being too cocky. Angle rounds off two German suplexes and attempts to end Dolph with a German from the apron to the outside. Dolph fights out and overtakes the match grounding Angle. Kurt rallies back and hits three more German suplexes but only gets a two count. Ziggler countered an Angle Slam with a DDT for a two count. Ziggler attempts a Famouser but Angle ducks and hits an Angle Slam for a two count. Angle attempts an Ankle Lock but Ziggler fights out and hits a Famouser for a two count. Ziggler attempts to capitalize but gets trapped in an Ankle Lock for a very long time. Ziggler can barely stand but was able to duck a running Angle who goes shoulder first into the ring post. Ziggler hits the Zig Zag and gets the win. Angle looked great, I hope we see him in more singles matches.
The Bar (c) vs. The New Day – SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships: The New Day going with Big E and Kofi. The Bar really took it to The New Day working like the well-oiled machine they are. Big Show coaching from the outside shows this alliance with The Bar actually looks beneficial. It’s just straight ground and pound from The Bar. They are really working over Kofi really good, preventing him from getting the tag to Big E. Great tandem offense from The Bar. Kofi finally gets the tag to Big E who cleans house. Sheamus able to take over after a knee to the side of Big E’s face. Kofi blind tags and The New Day hits a double stomp Doomsday Device. Kofi disposes of Cesaro with Trouble in Paradise. The Big Show gets on the apron to cause a distraction. While the referee was warning the giant, Cesaro sent Big E into the corner. Big E was able to stop himself before crashing into the referee but this allowed Big Show to deck Big E in the face with a punch. Sheamus hits a Brogue Kick for the win and The Bar retains the SmackDown Tag Team Titles.
The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio: The Miz has no voice thanks to a mule kick to the throat during his match with Jeff Hardy. Mysterio also not 100% after a post-match beatdown from Randy Orton. The Miz stepping out of his usual repertoire by keeping Rey grounded mixing rest holds and submissions. Anytime Rey attempts a comeback The Miz puts a stop to it. Mysterio buys himself sometime after hitting The Miz with a DDT. Mysterio and The Miz go back and forth with Mysterio winning the exchanges thanks to his quickness. The Miz counters a 619 and blocks a wheelbarrow bulldog sending Mysterio face first into the corner. The Miz hits the Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. Mysterio finds an opening during The Miz’s It Kicks and hits The Miz with 619. Mysterio goes for a frog splash but The Miz gets his knees up before Mysterio goes crashing into them. The Miz rolls up Mysterio to get the win.
Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler: Dolph keeping things down at the beginning attempting to wear down Rollins early. Seth displaying some power dumping Seth out of the ring. Seth’s neck is busted from the last match while Ziggler is feeling the effects from the previous matches ankle locks. Drew McIntyre played a factor, getting in the head of Rollins allowing Ziggler to take over. Both men are down after Dolph side steps Rollins in the corner. Rollins really working the hurt neck of Rollins. Ziggler keeps killing all comebacks from Rollins. Ziggler then gets cocky playing too many games with Seth. Rollins almost took over but Dolph hits Seth with a neckbreaker for two and back to wearing down Rollins. There was a great sequence of pin attempt counters ending with Rollins hitting the Ripcord Knee Strike and falling on Dolph for a two count. Seth was amping himself up when Drew McIntyre tried getting involved once again. Rollins gets rid of him then launches Ziggler to the outside. More back and forth action. Rollins attempts the Superplex-Falcon Arrow roll through but his neck wouldn’t allow it. Dolph hits a Zig Zag for a two count. Both men battle in the corner on the top rope when Rollins pushes Ziggler off the top. Ziggler distracts the referee by saying he hurt his ankle which allows Drew to push Seth off the ropes. Ziggler hits a Superkick and gets the win. What a match.
AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship: Slow, methodical start from both men that led to Joe hitting Styles on a low suicide dive to the outside. The dive sent AJ crashing into an announcer’s table with a sickening thud. In the middle of the match, there was a great back and forth stiff strike battle ending with Styles hitting a Pele Kick. Aj stays on Joe hitting him with a great momentum reverse DDT. Joe goes to the outside but AJ meets him with a slingshot forearm. AJ goes for the Phenomenal Forearm and Joe hits him with a powerslam. Joe clocks AJ with a sick lariat but it only gets him a two count. AJ locks on a Calf Crusher but Joe gets to the ropes. Joe counters an O’Connor Roll pin attempt into the Coquina Clutch but Styles counters that into another Calf Crusher. The action hits the apron where AJ has enough space to hit the Phenomenal Forearm and get the win. Decent match but there was no buildup to the finish, it just happened. Either way, it’s pretty cool that AJ Styles is five days away from being a year-long WWE Champion and securing the 10th longest reign in WWE history.
Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman – Vacant WWE Universal Championship: Baron Corbin was ringside as sort of the overseer of the Universal Championship and before the bell, Corbin whacks Strowman in the back of the head with the title. Strowman got one hit of offense in, a comeback kick in the corner. Lesnar hits five F-5s, one to the outside from inside the ring. All of this in the span of five minutes. Brock Lesnar reclaims the WWE Universal Championship. Thankfully I am not watching the show live so I don’t have to feel the collective groan of the internet.
WWE announces two huge matches for Survivor Series, WWE Champion AJ Styles will face WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins will face United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. Survivor Series is already stacked.
SmackDown Live Commissioner Shane McMahon and RAW GM Baron Corbin are ringside for the Finals of the World Cup Tournament.
The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler – Finals of the World Cup Tournament: Before the bell, Drew McIntyre is banished from ringside. What happens next is absolutely insane. The Miz goes to town on Ziggler before the bell and sends retreating to the outside. The Miz heads outside to capitalize and suddenly rolls his ankle coming off the apron. The Miz cannot put any weight on his foot telling the official that he heard it pop. The Miz tries to valiantly fight back to his feet. The Miz has never been injured in his career but he cannot continue. Now at this point, unfortunately, this means a forfeit and Dolph Ziggler wins the Cup right? Nope. Shane McMahon doesn’t allow this announcement of a forfeit to happen and instead says he will take The Miz’s place. Baron Corbin is absolutely losing his mind. The commentary is beside themselves over the unfairness. I guess this is happening?
Shane McMahon vs. Dolph Ziggler – Finals of the WWE World Cup Tournament: Within a span of five minutes Shane maintained most of the offense capping it off with a Coast to Coast for the win. Shane McMahon was celebrating as if he won Olympic gold. This is all so surreal. Shane’s celebration was longer than the match! He’s acting like he ran the gauntlet! What the hell is happening?
“Listen, I know who signs my checks. Both of them!” – Corey Graves
D-Generation X vs. Brothers of Destruction: God bless these old dudes man. They went out there and did what they could to put on a show. On the nostalgia scale, well the nostalgia wore off pretty quick. Graves on commentary called this one a horror movie come to life and he would be right if he was speaking on the quality of the match. Triple H somehow hurt his arm bad enough to where he cannot use it. Triple H gets put through a table completely taking him out of the match. I can’t believe I’m saying this in 2018 but Shawn Michaels is left alone to do the bulk of the work for this match. The Undertaker and Kane just take liberties with Michaels but the Heartbreak Kid would not stop. Lord, Kane’s mask comes off his face. Shawn hits a moonsault to the outside on both men and they completely whiff on catching Michaels. Triple H comes to life and cleans house. Triple hits a Pedigree on Undertaker and dumps Kane out of the ring. When he goes to resume his attack on Undertaker he gets trapped in Hell’s Gate submission from The Undertaker. Before Triple H would tap Michaels would send Kane into his brother thanks for some Sweet Chin Music. The Brothers of Destruction go for a double Tombstone but DX fight off of it. Michaels hits Sweet Chin Music on Undertaker while Triple H hits one of the worst Pedigrees I have ever seen. Mercifully this one is over. Now I like to fancy myself as a positive thinking wrestling fan and truthfully, my expectations for this match were extremely low. With that said this match was worse than my expectations. They tried but there is no escaping the fact that in my opinion, that was the worst WWE match of 2018.
Overall, Crown Jewel wasn’t that bad of a show. There was plenty of good, solid wrestling on this show. There was also some pretty bad stuff happening in the ring so this one was right on par with your generic Attitude Era PPV. This was one of those shows that even with the big show style presentation, is one I’d watch when you want to kill four hours of time or you need a good laugh.
What did you think of WWE Crown Jewel? What was your favorite match? Let us know in the comments.