We are on the way to Crown Jewel and this time around that means we are going to be seeing quite the stacked card. There are some rather big matches set for the show and this time around, something might actually happen. For once it feels like a major show that just happens to be taking place in Saudi Arabia, which has certainly not been the case for most of the shows over there. Let’s get to it.
Kickoff Show: Usos vs. Cedric Alexander/Shelton Benjamin
Are they still the Hurt Business? Anyway, this was added the day before the show as a way to give us something to get the crowd going. That should be enough to warm up the crowd, though you never know what this kind of crowd is going to be at these things. If nothing else, this is a way to have the Usos around for the main event, as Roman Reigns might need some bodies to throw at Brock Lesnar.
These guys are good:I’ll go with the Usos winning here, as they are one of the best WWE teams in a long time now. Alexander and Benjamin are back together, but it isn’t like they would have been a serious threat to the Usos on their best day. The action should be good, but this is all about the Usos, because they are a mixture of good and more important, making them the easy winners here.
King of the Ring: Finn Balor vs. Xavier Woods
We’ll get one of the more important matches out of the way here, along with one where I’m not sure who is winning. You have the much bigger star in Balor, who already has the Prince name and would be an easy step up to the King deal, but on the other hand you have Woods, who seems to be obsessed with winning the thing. That’s a nice story to throw in and WWE has actually done it well for a change.
It’s for a big cape:As great as it would be to see Woods finally win something, I think it’ll be Balor winning, as he could us something to boost him back up. Balor is a much bigger star and it makes sense to give him the rub, even if Woods could do a lot more with the idea. This is a case where there isn’t a bad option for the win, and as long as they get to actually do something here, we should be in for a good one.
Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley
Let’s get this one out of the way so I don’t have to think about it again. This is the rematch from Summerslam, where fans were not exactly interested in seeing it in the first place. Then Goldberg, known for his sensitive emotions, got all serious because Bobby Lashley attacked Goldberg’s son Gage, meaning it’s time to get old man serious. That’s totally what this match needed, right?
I don’t think they like each other:As stupid as it is, I’m going with Goldberg winning here, because it seems like the kind of thing that WWE would do for the sake of some kind of feel good moment. Since Gage will be at the show (!!!), you can picture the big deal at the end, which is going to be one of those things that isn’t as interesting as WWE thinks it is but will run with it anyway, all at Lashley’s expense. Yay.
Raw Tag Team Titles: RKBro(c) vs. AJ Styles/Omos
I know they haven’t been feuding for very long but this feud has worn out its welcome in a hurry. There are a few other teams on Monday Night Raw but these two have been the exclusive title feud since before Summerslam, meaning I really never need to see them fight again. Both are still good pairings but at some point, you just need to see them fight someone else.
Do this again:It seems way too early to have RKBro drop the titles just yet so I’ll go with the champs retaining their titles. Styles and Omos seem like a team who could be split up to go their separate ways a bit more easily, so maybe that is being set up by another loss. Omos is going to be given a chance on his own, even if he isn’t ready for the it yet. For now though, it should be RKBro retaining, which I think it will be.
Mansoor vs. Mustafa Ali
This is the easiest pick on the show and I don’t think that is any kind of a secret. WWE understands what they have in Mansoor and there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with giving a lower midcard wrestler a win in a match that is going to mean a lot to the live fans, no matter what WWE seems to think at any other point in the year for whatever reason.
The teacher vs. the student:Of course Mansoor wins here, because even WWE isn’t crazy enough to think there is any reason to do something else. Mansoor is likely going to be the most over star on the show and now he gets another win in his home country. Ali is a very talented guy in his own right and I could go for seeing him on such a big stage. I know it isn’t the best place for him, but it’s not like he was doing anything else beforehand (or likely after). Mansoor wins here, in as sure of a pick as you can have.
Queen’s Crown: Zelina Vega vs. Doudrop
I can’t help but sigh when I think about this match. The tournament has had six matches so far and those matches have totaled less than fourteen minutes of action. WWE has not exactly treated this tournament like anything that matters and what says honor than a match between someone who hadn’t won a match Vega, who hadn’t won a thing until the tournament started and Doudrop, who is turning into little more than a comedy character?
They worked to get here:There seems to be more upside in Vega than Doudrop at the moment, so I’ll take her to win here. Vega is someone who feels ready to become a star as soon as she is given a chance, though it would not shock me whatsoever to see Vega lose something else. At least she is getting on the show this time, which is more than she can say most of the time. Vega wins here, though it really could go either way. Now can they at least get five minutes? Please?
WWE Title: Big E.(c) vs. Drew McIntyre
Now this one actually gets my interest up a bit, as these two could have a solid match against each other. Big E. has shown that he can hang with the bigger stars and McIntyre had a very nice main event level run as champion. Above all else, this feels like a title match these days, though comparing it to Reigns vs. Lesnar hardly does the WWE Title any favors.
They can get along if they try:I’ll go with Big E. retaining here, as McIntyre is on his way to SmackDown and there is no need to have him be like Charlotte and take the title over to the other show. Big E. can get a nice win, McIntyre doesn’t really get hurt by the loss and everyone gets to move on to whatever they are doing next. In other words, WWE has actually done something well for a change. I’m as shocked as you are.
SmackDown Women’s Title: Becky Lynch(c) vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks
I’m not even going to try and keep track of what is going on with the title and who is on which show as of Crown Jewel and then as of Friday, because WWE is probably going to have some wacky idea to get them out of this. What matters here is we have three women who all could be a legitimate threat to leave with the title, which is always a nice situation to be in.
They took the long way here:As for a winner, I think I’ll go with Lynch retaining, as she is fresh off of a loss to Banks and could use the pickup again. That would leave the door open for Lynch and Charlotte to swap titles ala Street Profits and New Day (because that’s such a great idea that doesn’t devalue the titles in any way), meaning we can have the Horsewomen back on top again at Survivor Series! Lynch retains here, leaving us with more room for the same stuff we’ve seen before.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins
The build for this match has been up and down to put it mildly, but what matters here is the fact that they set up the Cell in a way that actually fits. These two have been incredibly angry and violent with each other and it makes sense to do something like this as a result. It was also great to not have something as annoying as the calendar deciding that the match would take place, so again, WWE has actually done this right.
Anyone home:Give me Rollins to win though, as he is likely to be sticking around full time rather than having Edge pop in and out every few months. I wasn’t thrilled with having Edge win the first match, but at least Rollins tied it up a few weeks back. Rollins wins here and could easily be slotted in as Big E.’s next challenger, but don’t bet against WWE going the other way for the old guy getting his moment (to go along with winning the Royal Rumble and headlining WrestleMania of course).
Universal Title: Roman Reigns(c) vs. Brock Lesnar
Now this feels like a main event and that is not something you get to say very often these days. Reigns has taken everything to a different level, but Lesnar is the kind of monster that you do not get to see very often. You also don’t get to see Lesnar as the good guy (or at close as he can get to being one) so they have something special here. By that I mean Paul Heyman being caught in the middle, because WOW he has been an amazing force in this whole thing.
There is some drama here:I’m completely lost here, but for the life of me I can’t picture Reigns dropping the title yet, nor should he. Above all else, Lesnar being the absentee champion again does not interest me in the slightest and I’m almost scared to think of WWE doing it again. Reigns should retain here, though I’m not completely sure he is getting the win. You know you’re going to see this match again, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see it at a big stadium in Texas next year.
Above all else, this show is lacking that one dumb or less than great sounding match that so many of the Saudi Arabia shows have had. There is no gauntlet match or multi person tag match, so we’re left with what feels like a pretty straightforward major pay per view level card. That should work out well, so for once I’m actually optimistic about this show. Still not great on the location, but at least the content should work.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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