Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Crown Jewel 2019
Date: October 31, 2019
Location: King Fahd International Stadium
Commentators: Corey Graves, Michael Cole
This is one of those things that we just have to get through. The wrestling isn’t the problem here as the action will likely be acceptable enough. The problem is going to be some of the decisions that are made, as WWE tends to lose their minds around here. Couple that with the fact that this is going to be built around part time wrestlers and mainstream athletes. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Battle Royal
Sunil Singh, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Sin Cara, The Brian Kendrick, Titus O’Neil, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, Apollo Crews, Buddy Murphy, Andrade, Drake Maverick, Eric Young, Luke Harper, Cedric Alexander, Heath Slater, Humberto Carrillo, No Way Jose
The winner gets a US Title shot at AJ Styles on the main show. Thankfully we do get a point made about the 24/7 Title being suspended during the match. It’s the usual brawl to start until Rowan tosses Maverick out first. Rowan gets sent to the apron but holds on to eliminate Slater and Nese.
Harper gets rid of Kendrick and Young, followed by Rawley and Cara going out as well. Crews gets rid of Titus and we take a break. Back with Harper and Rowan having a staredown but Jose recommends dancing. Harper gets in on it before blasting him with the discus lariat. That’s it for Jose, so Tozawa goes after Rowan by asking for a fight. Harper looks down at him and reality sets in, followed by the quick elimination. There goes Crews and Rowan shoves Murphy out as well.
Truth and Andrade follow them out and we’re down to Harper, Rowan, Singh, Carrillo and Alexander. Singh is out as well and we’re down to four. The fans like Harper so he and Rowan get rid of Alexander. Singh goes to leave but Truth steals the pin and the title (because the title was only being protected until Singh was eliminated instead of the whole match). The Mob chases Truth off and the double teaming continues. Carrillo shrugs them off though and gets rid of both monsters for the win at 12:24.
Rating: D+. Keeping these matches short(ish) is the best thing that can be done as they just aren’t going to work very well more often than not. Carrillo winning is perfectly fine and I’m sure the match with Styles is going to be fine. That’s all it needs to be as there aren’t exactly high expectations going into a match like this.
The opening video looks at the main events and little more. It’s a really standard, generic video.
The set does look awesome, as it usually does.
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez
Lesnar is defending and gets a monster pop. Rey Mysterio is here with Velasquez, who does look a little better in ring gear than he has recently (emphasis on a little). They start slowly as Lesnar has learned from what got him in trouble against Cain the first time. Lesnar takes him into the corner for some clinch fighting but Cain gets in a kick to the head to drop the champ. Ground and pound ensues but Brock grabs the Kimura for the win at 2:07.
Post match Lesnar won’t let go so Rey hits him with a chair, earning himself a toss to the floor. Brock chairs Cain down and hits the F5 onto the chair. Rey comes back in with another chair and swings it quite well for someone with one good arm. Enough shots connect to send Lesnar outside and we would have a fresh challenge if the Brand Split didn’t exist. I mean, I’m sure that’s going to last of course, right?
The Revival is ready to be named best in the world.
The Viking Raiders are ready to fight and beat everyone up.
Tag Team Turmoil
Non-title and there are nine teams with the winners getting a big trophy. Robert Roode/Dolph Ziggler and the Lucha House Party start things off with Kalisto as the odd man out. Ziggler takes Dorado into the corner to start and hits a dropkick to really take over. Roode comes in and gets caught with the Golden Rewind, allowing the House Party to take over on the arm. A gordbuster gets Roode out of trouble though and Ziggler comes back in for a Fameasser into a crossface of all things.
That’s broken up and Dorado gets up top for a high crossbody to Ziggler, allowing the diving tag (with his head) to bring in Metalik. There’s the rope walk dropkick to Roode and everything breaks down. Roode shoves Dorado off the top into a superkick from Ziggler, followed by another superkick to Metalik. The Glorious DDT gets rid of House Party at 5:45.
Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder are in third and it’s a quick Samoan drop/Blockbuster combination (with Ryder completely missing the Blockbuster part) for two on Roode. Not that it matters as the Zig Zag/spinebuster combination finishes Ryder at 6:53. Heavy Machinery is in fourth and Tucker wrestles Ziggler to the mat without much effort. Roode comes back in and Ziggler hits a cheap shot to take over though and the big guys are in trouble.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Tucker gets taken outside for a ram into the barricade. Back in and Tucker drops Roode, allowing the tag off to Otis to start cleaning house. Otis’ shirt comes off and the jiggling starts fast. Ziggler pulls Roode to the floor before the Caterpillar, so Heavy Machinery settles for the Compactor to get rid of Roode at 13:24.
New Day is in fifth and Big E. starts fast with a battle over an abdominal stretch with Tucker. Big E. manages to stay on his feet while bending backwards and even applauds himself to show off. A double clothesline puts them both down so it’s off to Kofi vs. Otis. Kofi gets knocked down this time and the Caterpillar connects this time, meaning it’s another double tag. Tucker suplexes Big E. for two but misses a middle rope crossbody.
Kofi comes back in and there’s the Midnight Hour to get rid of Heavy Machinery at 17:32. The B Team is in sixth with Axel hitting a quick clothesline to the back of Big E.’s head to take over. Dallas grabs the chinlock but Big E. isn’t having that and pops up for the Big Ending and the elimination at 19:34.
The Revival is in seventh and Dawson takes Kofi into the corner to start but Kofi hits a dropkick to Wilder. That just earns him a powerslam for two and it’s back to Dawson, who gets dropped onto Kofi with a legdrop for two. An armbar doesn’t last long though as Kofi hits the SOS, only to have Dawson break up the hot tag. A top rope knee to the face gets two on Kofi…who counters a suplex into a small package to finish Dawson at 25:22. Post fall the Revival isn’t done though and lay out New Day, including a Shatter Machine.
The OC is in eighth but Kofi hits a double stomp on Anderson. Gallows pulls Big E. off the apron though and it’s the Magic Killer to finish New Day at 27:00. The Viking Raiders are the final team and it’s Gallows kneeing Erik in the ribs to start. Erik gets knocked off the apron and a snap suplex gives Gallows two back inside. The chinlock is broken up though and it’s back to Ivar to pick up the pace, including a cartwheel to show off. Erik slams Ivar onto Anderson but Gallows is back in to kick Erik down. The Magic Killer gets the pin at 32:16, marking the Raiders’ first pinfall loss in WWE.
Rating: C-. It wasn’t even that bad of a match but it was a lot of completely average stuff until a stupid ending. You spend two and a half years setting up the Raiders as these unstoppable monsters and then the OC, who weren’t even fresh, just pin them? The OC? Really? As in the team who was ready to leave earlier this year? Really not a fan of this, as the Vikings shouldn’t have lost heading into the hoss fight against the AOP.
We recap Lesnar vs. Velasquez and Mysterio cleaning house after the match.
Rey promises revenge on Lesnar.
Cesaro vs. Mansoor
Cesaro slaps him in the face and Mansoor isn’t having that so he’ll take a wristlock from Cesaro instead. Mansoor knocks him down and gets two off a standing moonsault, followed by the armdrag into the armbar. A dropkick puts Cesaro on the floor and it’s a dropkick through the ropes to keep him down. The dive through the ropes is cut off with an uppercut and it’s Mansoor being sent into the barricade.
Back in and the chinlock is broken up in a hurry so Cesaro pulls him off the middle rope for two instead. Now the chinlock can stay on for a bit and a belly to back suplex gets two more. Cesaro gets dropkicked out of the air though and the comeback is on, including an enziguri. The tornado DDT gives Mansoor two so Cesaro uppercuts him down.
Mansoor is back with a slingshot neckbreaker for another near fall but Cesaro nails Swiss Death into the Crossface. That’s broken up as well and Mansoor hits a superkick for a close two. Cesaro gets ticked off and tries a gutwrench superplex but Mansoor counters into a sunset bomb. A moonsault gives Mansoor the clean pin at 12:38.
Rating: B-. This was actually quite the fun match and Mansoor is more than good enough to hang in a regular match. He isn’t ready for the main roster or anything but being a regular on NXT wouldn’t be out of the question. This was the least surprising result on the show and there’s nothing wrong with that here. Nice match and the fans were WAY into this.
Post match Mansoor talks about waking up and knowing that this was the match of his life. He was nervous but then he came into the stadium and the fans made him ready. Now he cannot wait to see what they do next. He speaks some Arabic and the fans seem rather pleased.
Seth Rollins says the Fiend has taken him to some dark places but a little part of him likes it. No matter what happens tonight, he didn’t start the fight but he’s going to finish it.
Survivor Series will be Raw vs. Smackdown vs. NXT. I’m so thrilled.
We recap Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman. Fury was at the premiere of Smackdown and got into it with Strowman. Now they’re having a battle of the sports.
Tyson Fury vs. Braun Strowman
Fury comes out to It’s Your Thing by the Isley Brothers (or at least a cover of it) and is in the traditional Saudi robes. Strowman powers him into the corner to start and there’s the hard shove. Some shots to the body don’t do much to Strowman so Fury nips up (kind of) out of a wristlock. A big boot drops Fury though and reality seems to set in. Strowman hits the post, as usual, and falls to the floor, only to drop Fury with a right hand.
Fury gets some boots up to drop Strowman right back though and it’s a big boot of his own for two (he didn’t seem to know how to cover, though he did hook a leg). Strowman is right back with a sledge to the chest so Fury does the Undertaker sit up. A World’s Strongest Slam plants Fury so he bails to the floor, where Strowman hits the running shoulders. Back in and Fury nails the right hand to knock Strowman off the apron and that’s a countout at 7:59.
Rating: D. Fury tried but this really didn’t work. Other than the big right hand at the end, Fury didn’t show anything of note here, though it’s just not his sport and he’s been training for what, a few weeks at most? Fury wasn’t a disaster or anything, but it was something that felt a lot longer than it was. Strowman losing by countout is a bit of a relief though and I’ll take a small victory where I can.
Post match Strowman hits the running powerslam and Fury pops up to shout at him some more.
We recap R-Truth regaining the 24/7 Title.
Truth runs again but runs into the Singh Brothers, who steal the title back.
US Title: AJ Styles vs. Humberto Carrillo
AJ is defending and has the OC, with trophy, in his corner. Styles goes right for him and the fight is on in a hurry with a knee to the ribs taking Carrillo down. A dropkick puts AJ on the floor but he’s ready to avoid the big dive. Back in and AJ hits another knee to set up the chinlock as things settle down a bit. Carrillo gets up again but the springboard armdrag is shoved away.
A brainbuster gives AJ two but Carrillo comes right back with the handspring armdrag and a high crossbody for two. An exchange of jumping kicks to the head leaves them both down and we get a breather. They go the apron with AJ flipping him over the post, only to get caught with a dropkick.
There’s the dive to the floor to drop Styles again and Carrillo grabs a sunset flip for two back inside. The Phenomenal Blitz takes Carrillo down again and the Calf Crusher goes on. Carrillo gets to the ropes and the leg is fine enough for a jumping kick to the head. An attempted moonsault tweaks the knee though and the Phenomenal Forearm retains the title at 12:38.
Rating: C+. The completely acceptable wrestling (for the wrestlers at least) continues in a match without that shocking of a finish. There are a lot of people who could take the title from AJ but you can tell who are just the challengers of the month. It was Alexander last week and now it’s Carrillo. The OC being dominant is a good idea for the short term though as you can have someone knock them off later and wins like this will make that one mean more down the line.
Hulk Hogan dubs Byron Saxton Beautiful Byron before promising to destroy Ric Flair once and for all. Team Hogan has been training day and night with Hogan making them drink sand.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
I never thought I would see the day. Natalya is in her regular gear with a t-shirt over it and Lacey is in long pants, a long sleeved shirt and a Lacey shirt. The fans seem rather into this one, second only to the Mansoor match so far. They shake hands to start and Lacey spins out of a wristlock but gets rolled up for two. That gets another round of applause and a second handshake before a headlock takeover puts Lacey down. That’s broken up so Natalya sends Lacey outside and strikes her pose.
Lacey knocks the leg out though and nails the slingshot dropkick, followed by the chinlock. A slingshot elbow gives Lacey two and it’s time to work on the arm. That’s broken up and Lacey takes the belly to back drop into the stepover dropkick. It’s too early for the Sharpshooter so Lacey grabs a suplex to set up the double jump moonsault for two more. Lacey loads it up again but gets pulled off the ropes this time, allowing Natalya to nail the discus lariat. Now the Sharpshooter goes on for the tap at 7:19.
Rating: C. The match was pretty paint by numbers and could have been on any given house show. That’s completely not the point though as this is one of those things that seemed impossible and yet they managed to make it happen. I have no idea if it is going to lead anywhere or make any real difference, but they did something and that’s more than you would have expected possible. Well done and it actually is historic for a change.
Post match we see a bunch of young girls cheering and there is a lot of emotion from both women.
Team Hogan vs. Team Flair
Hogan: Roman Reigns, Shorty G., Ali, Rusev, Ricochet
Flair: Randy Orton, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Lashley, King Corbin, Drew McIntyre
One fall to a finish and Ricochet is in full body gear due to tattoos. Nakamura and Gable start things off with Gable going straight for the ankle but getting kneed down for his efforts. Corbin comes in for a few shots before handing it off to Lashley. Gable gets over for the tag to Rusev and Lashley brings McIntyre in as fast as he can. A spinwheel kick puts McIntyre down and it’s Ali coming in to work on McIntyre’s arm.
McIntyre takes over with the power and shoves him hard onto the apron to really put him in trouble. Orton gets in some shots to the face on the floor and Nakamura/McIntyre add in their own kicks to the ribs. Ali is fine enough to dive over for the hot tag to Ricochet so the pace can pick up. A few rooms of the house are cleaned but Corbin gets in a cheap shot so McIntyre can hit the reverse Alabama slam.
The beating is on, including Corbin’s required chinlock. The chokeslam is countered into a sunset flip to give Ricochet two so Corbin blasts him with a clothesline. Flair busts out the strut to a big reaction but Ricochet gets a boot up in the corner, followed by a spinning kick to Orton’s jaw. The hot tag brings in Reigns to clean house with right hands, clotheslines and a big boot/legdrop to Corbin. Everything breaks down and the RKO is blocked, setting up the Superman Punch for two.
Reigns gets taken to the floor so Rusev makes the save, leaving him to beat up Lashley. That earns Rusev a low bridge but Reigns is back in with a Superman Punch to Lashley. The big dive over the top takes everyone down and another Superman Punch is countered into the RKO for a close two. You don’t see that one kicked out of very often. The Punt is loaded up but Gable grabs the boot. Ali and Ricochet take Orton down and hit stereo dives to the floor. Reigns spears Orton for the pin at 19:49.
Rating: B-. Obvious ending aside (it was only about who was going to get the pin on whom), this was a perfectly enjoyable and at times even good, tag match. I was expecting this to headline the show for the sake of star power but it’s not like Hogan beating Flair was any secret. At least Flair didn’t get physical, which is the best choice for everyone involved.
Team Hogan celebrates.
The announcers talk about Survivor Series.
We recap Seth Rollins vs. the Fiend. Rollins defeated him in the Cell in one of the dumbest things that WWE has done in years and now they’re having a Falls Count Anywhere rematch which can’t be stopped for any reason. On Halloween. With a supernatural character. There is no way they can screw this up, so let’s see how they manage to screw this up.
Universal Title: Seth Rollins vs. The Fiend
Rollins is defending and it’s Falls Count Anywhere. They’re doing the red light deal again too, because that worked so well last time. Fiend is still in his jacket to start and hits Rollins in the throat. A headbutt puts Rollins down and the jacket comes off. The Sling Blade connects but Fiend is right back with the running crossbody. They fight outside with Fiend being sent into an LED screen, followed by the fighting around ringside.
Rollins loads up some tables on top of each other but opts to grab a chair and sledgehammer. Fiend avoids getting his skull caved in and loads up the Arabic announce table. The running backsplash only hits table though and Rollins gets one. Rollins goes up but gets shoved through both tables for the big crash. Fiend takes forever to go over and get him but opts to pull back the floor mats instead.
That of course means a Stomp onto the concrete for no cover as they fight onto a platform. Sister Abigail onto the platform gives Fiend two so they go up to the stage. Another Stomp is no sold so Rollins hits a pair of superkicks. Another two Stomps slow Fiend down and it’s another to keep him down for a few seconds.
There’s another two of them and a series of superkicks sends Wyatt into the tech area for the explosions. Some fire extinguishers are brought out and more pyro goes off, with Rollins getting caught in the eye. Fiend pops up like a monster and grabs the Mandible Claw, setting up Sister Abigail on the floor for the pin and the title at 21:26.
Rating: B-. I’m actually shocked here. They can figure out the Raw/Smackdown situation later but what matters here is they changed the title as they should have here. This should have taken place in the Cell but at least WWE figured out that something needed to be done. It was also a heck of a fight, even if they had the ridiculous spamming of finishers from Rollins. What matters here though is the title change and they got that right, so maybe they’re not completely insane.
The lights go out and come back on so Fiend can pose with the title.
A lot of pyro ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I’ll gladly admit I was wrong about this one as they realized they screwed up in the Cell and switched gears while also delivering a pretty good show. There were a few historical points on the card and nothing was terrible (Fury vs. Strowman was bad but there’s a big asterisk with it), but more importantly it feels like something mattered here, which is one of the biggest problems with this show most of the time. It’s no classic and isn’t worth watching, but they addressed some of the bigger problems and had an entertaining enough show, making this a miracle by comparison to the rest of the shows.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books. Get the latest and greatest in professional wrestling news by signing up for our daily email newsletter. Just look below for “GET EXCLUSIVE UPDATES” to sign up. Thank you for reading!