It’s that time of year again. About four months after getting back from the disaster that was the Crown Jewel trip, WWE is heading back to Saudi Arabia because they need the money. The card isn’t exactly looking stacked this time, likely because a lot of the wrestlers don’t want to go and risk being stranded on the other side of the world in a country that isn’t so friendly. But hey, maybe the stock can go up or something. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: OC vs. Viking Raiders
Remember when the OC got a random win over the Viking Raiders at the end of a gauntlet match and it didn’t mean anything significant long term? Well now we get a rematch! I mean one that comes after all of the other rematches of course but then again these shows exist in their old universe anyway. These teams have nothing to do with each other at the moment but it could be a nice power match.
The Vikings should go over here, at least based on the American storylines at the moment so I’ll go with them here. The OC are fine for anything you want them to do and the Vikings have some awesome squashes so we could be in for a fine match here. I don’t expect any real connection to the previous match in the country, but at least it should get the fans going.
SmackDown Women’s Title: Bayley(c) vs. Naomi
This is something I’m still surprised to see but the fact that it is happening again is a positive sign. Maybe they are making some tiny steps forward in the country and that’s better than nothing. I’m not sure how much it is going to mean in the bigger picture but I’ll take what I can get here. These two have been circling each other for a long time now and Naomi is an interesting challenger, but I’m not sure where this is going.
I’ll take Bayley to retain here, as there could be something big in the works at WrestleMania. I mean, I’m not sure how big as the only match they could really do of note is Bayley vs. Sasha Banks but we’ll have to get through the Elimination Chamber to figure that one out. Bayley retaining here makes sense, though it wouldn’t surprise me to see Naomi leaving WrestleMania as champion.
Raw Tag Team Titles: Seth Rollins/Murphy(c) vs. Street Profits
This was set up on Monday when the Profits ran in to make the save at the end of the show and that’s a good thing. The Profits are the kind of team who are always going to get a reaction, though I’m not sure how well things are going to go in a big stadium that might not recognize them. The energy alone is going to get them somewhere, though that’s not what matters here.
Rollins and Murphy retain here, as they should. The Profits will get the titles eventually, but Rollins and Murphy are doing something a lot bigger and shouldn’t be taking a fall at the moment. The Viking Raiders seem to be the likely candidates to take the titles and that can come later. For now though, Murphy and Rollins retain, though the Profits probably steal the show again.
Raw World Title: Brock Lesnar(c) vs. Ricochet
I want to believe that Ricochet has a real chance here and I’m doing everything I can to get a Jeff Hardy vs. Randy Orton vibe. Ricochet is the kind of guy who can do all kinds of good things in the ring and is one of the real stars that they have for the future. The problem is the timing though, as we’re a month and a half away from WrestleMania and it would take a miracle to change the title here.
Therefore, Lesnar wins in the easiest layup of the show, but I’m curious to see how good the match can be. It all comes down to Lesnar being interested in trying and you never know with him. If they’re willing to put in the effort, we could be in for a good match here and maybe even a great false hope spot, but it’s all going to be false hope because Lesnar retains here without much doubt whatsoever.
Mansoor vs. Dolph Ziggler
I know Mansoor is someone who is going to draw some eye rolls and that’s understandable, but he has managed to not embarrass himself whatsoever. His match against Cesaro was quite good and I could easily see him as a regular on NXT. Having him on this show isn’t absurd or going too far or anything like that and I’d rather Ziggler be in this spot than somewhere higher.
Of course Mansoor goes over because there’s no other point to putting him on the show. It’s not like this match is going to mean anything and it’s nice to see someone fresh getting a win. If nothing else, there’s something nice about seeing Ziggler lose, just because we don’t have to see him doing anything positive. Mansoor is little more than a (talented) mascot but he goes over here.
Tuwaiq Trophy Gauntlet Match
This is your multiple person match of the show and this one isn’t the most interesting in the world. There are six people in this one and I’m not sure what that is going to mean. WWE has been making these gauntlet matches go on a little longer as of late and while that can be a good idea in some situations, I’m not sure how well it’s going to work here as the names involved are hit and miss.
I’ll play it safe and go with AJ Styles here, as he is the kind of person you can put over in something like this with no worry of damage to anyone else. He’s won almost everything else in wrestling so having him pick this up is hardly going to be a surprise. If nothing else, Undertaker is all but confirmed for the show and maybe they can set something up for the rumored WrestleMania match.
Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin
So yeah, after what really felt like the blow off match on SmackDown a few weeks back, we get another match here with the two of them in a cage. This feud has been going on for about four and a half months now and any interest there might have been in it has gone through the floor ever since. The thing needs to just go away forever now because there’s nothing left for them to do.
Of course Reigns goes over here because there is no reason for the two of them to keep fighting. Reigns is going to go on to the World Title scene at WrestleMania and Corbin is likely to go on to some other big spot because WWE keeps pushing the heck out of him for whatever reason without ever learning why that’s a bad idea. But yeah Reigns wins here, as he should.
SmackDown Tag Team Titles: New Day(c) vs. The Miz/John Morrison
I know I’ve said this before but New Day are great filler champions. The problem is that they’ve been filler champions for the better part of ever over different reigns. The division never gets any better and that can be a little tiresome at times. It’s certainly not anything that seems to be getting better, but at least we have a fresh heel team here and what should be a good match.
For the sake of a little curve ball, I’ll go with a title change here, just to give the show some flavor. Miz and Morrison winning the titles would be a good way to make things move a bit though it wouldn’t surprise me to see the titles stay with New Day. They have to lose them at some point though and doing the title change here to set up a rematch at Elimination Chamber is as good as anything else they could do.
Humberto Carrillo vs. Angel Garza
This is another bonus match and yet another rematch from a recent show. The quality is going to depend on the amount of time that they get and you never know how that is going to be on a show like this. If nothing else, it’s going to be annoying having Andrade and Garza on the same show as I keep writing the wrong name for them anyway. At least Carrillo is easy enough to remember because of the Power Ranger outfit alone.
I’ll take Garza here as he has more charisma and overall ability though I’m not sure how much good it is going to do to have them fight again. The match will be an entertaining one and should get a few minutes, but it’s a match that has been done a few times now to not incredible results. Maybe this one will be the blow away match that gets the fans interested, but I can’t bring myself to get interested.
SmackDown World Title: The Fiend vs. Goldberg
And yet, they somehow have a main event that makes me wonder what we’ll be seeing. They really could go either way here and that should make for an interesting match. The Fiend losing here would seem strange, but the idea of Goldberg losing to someone like the Fiend just seems impossible. The match shouldn’t go on too long and very well could end with a spear, but I don’t think I can imagine it going that way.
I just can’t go with Goldberg here so I’ll say Fiend retains. If nothing else I certainly hope so, because I don’t want what has been an interesting character arc come crashing down just so we can get a “more WrestleMania” match between Reigns and Goldberg. You can do that match without having to take the title from Fiend and I’ll stick with the hope that they’ll do the right thing and have Fiend retain.
I have no idea what to think of these shows anymore. Most of them have been disasters but Crown Jewel wasn’t half bad so maybe they’re getting the hang of things. Then again I have no reason to believe that is going to be the case again and I’m almost scared to imagine how some of these matches are going to end. Maybe it winds up being ok, but they don’t exactly have the track record to back that up.
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!