For the second time this year, WWE returns to Saudi Arabia for Crown Jewel in Riyadh.
The show will be headlined by Roman Reigns defending the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Logan Paul. The story WWE has pushed since announcing the match is that although Paul is at a disadvantage against Reigns, all it could take is “one lucky shot” to take out Reigns and pin him. At the press conference for Crown Jewel on Friday morning, it was revealed that Logan’s brother Jake Paul will be in his corner.
Bayley will get another shot at Bianca Belair’s Raw Women’s Championship. Although Belair was successful at Extreme Rules by defeating Bayley in a ladder match, Bayley pinned Belair two weeks ago to earn another championship match.
Both the men’s and women’s Tag Team titles will be on the line. The Usos will defend against The Brawling Brutes. Asuka and Alexa Bliss, who won the Women’s Tag Team titles on Monday, will face former champions Damage CTRL (IYO SKY and Dakota Kai) in a rematch.
Other matches on the card include Brock Lesnar returning to face Bobby Lashley, Braun Strowman facing Omos, Drew McIntyre meeting Karrion Kross in a steel cage match, and The OC facing off against The Judgement Day in a six-man tag team match.
Live coverage begins at 11 am ET.
There was an opening video narrated by Titus O’Neil.
Brock Lesnar defeated Bobby Lashley
This was a good sprint of a match, exactly what was needed between these two. The story told here was that while Lesnar got the win, he had been dominated by Lashley for most of the match until he got a big break.
Lashley jumped Lesnar before the bell, targeting his leg. Lashley connected with a spear. Lesnar tried to recover on the outside, but Lashley speared Lesnar through the ringside barricade. Lashley then connected with another spear for a near fall.
Lashley went for the Hurt Lock but Lesnar countered with a German suplex, then another. Lesnar nailed Lashley with the F5 but Lashley kicked out. Lashley recovered and clotheslined Lesnar out of the ring, grabbed him, then rammed him into the turnbuckle. Back in the ring, Lashley went for a spear but Lesnar countered with an F5 attempt. Lashley took him down then applied the Hurt Lock.
The referee started to raise Lesnar’s hand, but Lesnar woke up right at three and struggled to escape. He used the turnbuckle for leverage, pushing himself and sending Lashley down to the mat, the referee counting his shoulders for the three count.
After the match, a mad Lashley applied the Hurt Lock again, keeping Lesnar down. I thought Lesnar was a babyface?
Byron Saxton backstage asked Asuka and Alexa Bliss backstage how they would prepare to defend their tag team titles tonight after only having them for 5 days. Bliss prepared to respond, but suddenly Bray Wyatt’s new logo appeared on the screen briefly. Bliss seemed taken aback, but responded anyway. Asuka said Damage CTRL were not ready for Asuka and Alexa. Michael Cole noted the past between Bliss and Wyatt.
Damage CTRL (IYO SKY and Dakota Kai) defeated Alexa Bliss and Asuka to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team titles
I guess they were not ready in hindsight. A good, basic match. I guess they did a title change on Monday just so they can do a title change here in Saudi Arabia.
Kai and Bliss started things off. After some back and forth, they tag out to their partners. The crowd reacted to Bliss and SKY squaring off. Asuka and Bliss hit an assisted jawbreaker on Kai for a nearfall. The two then took down Kai and SKY on the outside with stereo hip attacks.
SKY hit a springboard dropkick on Asuka on the top rope, putting her in a tree of woe position. Kai dropkicked Asuka to the floor, who started to favor her right knee. Kai worked on the knee back in the ring, then tagged out to SKY. Asuka escaped and made the hot tag to Bliss, who ran wild on both women.
Action continued with Bliss nailing Kai with a tornado DDT. SKY is tagged in and briefly gains control before Bliss nails a code red for a nearfall. SKY meets Bliss on the top rope and is assisted by Kai. Asuka joins in for the tower of doom spot. Asuka is tagged in as she peppered Kai with strikes. Kai with a running kick to the corner for a nearfall. Asuka tagged in Bliss who goes for Twisted Bliss but is distracted by SKY, allowing Kai to get her knees up. SKY went for a moonsault to the floor, but Asuka moved, sending SKY crashing. Despite that, SKY recovered quick enough for her and Asuka to fight inside the ring, causing the referee to become distracted.
Bliss went for the Twisted Bliss again, but Nikki Cross appeared out of nowhere and took out Bliss with an ego trip on the top rope. Kai then covered Bliss for the win.
A nice car pulled up backstage. Logan Paul and his brother Jake appeared. Byron asked how Logan feels ahead of the match. Logan says all it will take is one lucky punch.
Drew McIntyre defeated Karrion Kross in a steel cage match
This was much better than their Extreme Rules match. With that said, I wish WWE would get rid of this trope that someone, anyone, must interfere in a cage match, as it pretty much defeats the purpose of a cage match if there is constant interference anyway.
McIntyre started off with the advantage, laying out Kross with a back suplex. Kross cut him off and tried to climb, but McIntyre met him on the top rope. Kross crotched McIntyre as he started to gain control. The two exchange chops, but Kross throws McIntyre into the cage.
McIntyre attempted a comeback, throwing Kross into the cage before laying him out with a neckbreaker. McIntyre with a Michinoku driver for a nearfall. McIntyre went to the top rope with Kross, but Kross starts to fight back, putting McIntyre in a tree of woe position. However, McIntyre used his core strength to get up and grab Kross, throwing him off the top rope..
Kross cut off McIntyre with a knee but McIntyre fought back with a spinebuster. Kross came back with a choke on the floor, but McIntyre reversed. Kross with the Saito suplex. McIntyre ducked the Kross hammer and hit the future shock DDT. McIntyre attempted the Claymore kick, but Scarlett provided the distraction needed to recover and take out McIntyre with the Kross hammer.
Kross started to climb the cage, but McIntyre recovered and grabbed Kross, nailing a huge superplex to the floor. McIntyre attempted to escape through the cage, but Scarlett maced McIntyre and the referee. Kross attempted to crawl out of the ring, but McIntyre came back with an ankle lock. Kross fought back, but McIntyre cut him off with a kick.
Scarlett closed the cage, grabbing the key as she told McIntyre he couldn’t win. McIntyre started to climb the cage as Scarlett frantically unlocked the cage so Kross could exit. McIntyre jumped the floor, giving him the win.
A nice car pulled up, this time it was The Bloodline minus Sami Zayn. Byron asked Roman Reigns if he had a response to Logan Paul’s comment that he just needed one lucky punch. He did not. Paul Heyman instead taunted Paul and said Roman Reigns had the greatest defense in WWE history and Paul’s one lucky punch means nothing.
Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio) (with Rhea Ripley) defeated The OC (AJ Styles, Karl Anderson, and Luke Gallows)
A fine six-man tag, pretty basic but the crowd was into it. This is clearly a finish to set up a returning Edge and Beth Phoenix, whenever that may be.
Anderson and Balor started things off, with Cole on commentary explicitly mentioning him as the NEVER Openweight Champion of New Japan. Gallows and Priest are then tagged in, then Mysterio and Styles. The OC worked over Mysterio in their corner. Priest superkicked Anderson the outside, allowing Mysterio and Judgment Day to gain the advantage.
After a long period of Anderson being worked on, he is freed and tagged in Gallows, who cleared house. Magic Killer attempt on Mysterio but Priest cut them off. Balor and Styles are tagged in. Styles attempted the Styles Clash but Balor cut him off and applied a figure four leglock.
Balor went to the top rope but Styles cut him off. Eventually everyone got back in the ring, where Styles hit a superplex and The Good Brothers laid out Judgment Day with a double electric chair. Rhea Ripley suddenly grabbed Styles on the outside and dropped him face first on the apron. This eventually allowed Balor to hit the coup de grace for the win.
Braun Strowman defeated Omos
This was okay. Omos looked fine doing his power spots. It was actually very similar to the opener, though not as good. It told the same story of Omos dominating the match, only to get pinned after an opening.
Omos dared Strowman to do a test of strength challenge with him. Strowman agreed. With Omos overpowering Strowman and drilled him with a knee, then a splash in the corner. Omos then connected with a big boot. Strowman cut off Omos briefly but Omos fired back with a bodyslam. Strowman attempted a bodyslam but Omos bodyslammed him using one arm.
Omos continued the domination, throwing Strowman across the ring. Omos went for the tree slam, but Strowman cut him off and finally managed to clothesline him to the floor. Strowman went for the freight train tackle on the outside, but Omos completely blocked him, sending Strowman to the floor. Strowman overpowered a tree slam attempt as Omos missed a charge in the corner. This gave Strowman the opportunity to plant Omos with the running powerslam for the victory.
The Usos defeated The Brawling Brutes to retain the Undisputed WWE Tag Team titles
A good, albeit short tag team title match. I wish this got more time as it could have been easily the best match on the card up to this point.
The Usos attempted to leave the ring with the titles, but Butch cut them off as he started work on Jimmy. However, the Usos soon gained control, going on offense against Butch. Butch cut off Jimmy with a tornado DDT, with Holland coming in and running wild on both Usos. After laying out both men, Holland paid tribute to Sheamus with 9 punches to the chest of Jey outside on the apron. On the outside, Brawling Brutes gained revenge over Sheamus by stomping Jey’s hand on the steps.
Holland continued to work over Jey inside the ring. Butch hit a moonsault on Jey for a nearfall. The Usos began to fight back with superkicks as Jimmy hit a splash on Butch, but Butch grabbed him in a triangle position. Jimmy managed to tag back to Jey as the two hit a double splash on Butch for a nearfall, with Holland breaking up the pin.
Butch adjusted Jey’s hand, allowing Holland to come back and hit white noise for a nearfall. Jimmy broke up another pinfall attempt. Butch went to the top rope but didn’t see Jey tag in Jimmy. This allowed them to cut Butch off and hit a 1D off the top rope on Butch for the win.
Bianca Belair defeated Bayley to retain the Raw Women’s Championship
This was very good. I get kind of bored with the same WWE-style weapons match that they usually do, but they changed things up here a bit and I enjoyed the golf cart spot.
Belair gained the advantage early, throwing Bayley to the outside. Bayley grabs a kendo stick as she re-enters the ring. Belair avoided the shots and cut off Bayley. Bayley exited the ring and grabbed a steel chair, but the results remained the same, with Belair avoiding the shots.
Bayley took out a ladder and put it in the ring, but Belair took out Bayley with a plancha to the floor. Bayley cut off Belair and hit a suplex on the floor. Bayley sat down Belair on the chair and climbed the barricade, hitting a running clothesline off the barricade.
Bayley introduced a table and went back to Belair, but Belair countered with a suplex on the entrance ramp. Bayley pretended to injure her knee, using the opportunity to jump Belair. Belair cut off Bayley by throwing a chair right at Bayley’s head. But again, Bayley cut her off and this time dragged her to the outside, pinning her against the steel steps. Bayley blasted Belair with kendo stick shots. Belair eventually escaped, grabbed one of the steps, and threw it to the floor.
Belair gave Bayley a spinebuster to the floor as the two battled up to the entranceway. Bayley blocked a kendo stick shot and instead gave Belair a Bailey to Belly. Belair got up before 10. Bayley somehow trapped Belair in a case. Belair escaped, but her ponytail became trapped in the case. Belair escaped and went for the KOD but Bayley countered with a crossface.
Bayley then introduced a golf cart into the match, with Belair just barely avoiding getting hit. Bayley went for a move off the top of the golf cart, but instead the two brawled on top of it. Belair got into the golf cart and drove to the table, but Bayley grazed it and hit the floor instead. Belair powerbombed Bayley into the table for a 9 count.
Belair introduced a bunch of chairs into the ring. Belair went for a 450, but Bayley dodged. Belair just makes it to 9 as Bayley attempts to set up the ladder. Belair fought back, hitting a KOD on top of a seated chair. Belair then put Bayley inside the ladder and pinned it against one of the corners of the ring, preventing Bayley from getting back up. The referee then counted to ten as Belair retained.
It is now Bray Wyatt performance piece time as he comes to the ring. He said that he used to do something to make people know who he is. He comes from a very prestigious wrestling family. Some might say they are larger than life. All he ever wanted to be growing up was great, but he had to be the greatest amongst all of them.
He said he thought what he needed to do. He made a monster of himself. He wore that mask with pride. He no longer felt pain wearing the mask, he could no longer be afraid. He felt untouchable, and that felt good. He found himself in a kingdom of nothingness, sitting on an island by himself. The monster destroyed him and ran off all that he ever loved. Wyatt said no one loves him, they just love the idea of him.
This doesn’t have to be the end of the story. His name is Bray Wyatt, and he will rewrite the ending to his story.
However, Uncle Howdy appeared on the screen and asked why he wears the mask. You can fool them, but you can’t fool me. No one knows you better than I do, they don’t deserve you. The truth is, you’re going to go too far and give in. Remember just how good it feels. Do it, hurt them. Just don’t take the mask off. Tell him he’s wrong.
Yes, Bray Wyatt is feuding with himself, in case you were wondering. I wonder how that match works.
Roman Reigns defeated Logan Paul to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
This was astonishingly great, one of the better WWE matches of the year. Say what you will but Logan Paul is three matches into his career as a pro wrestler and is better at this than some people are ten years in. If he isn’t rookie of the year after this, it would be a travesty. Very well paced, smart, and Paul did not look lost at all. Ended exactly when it needed to. Reigns was great. This was great!
Paul went for the one punch early, but Reigns went to the outside. Paul scored a fireman’s carry early but Reigns took him down with a punch. Reigns hit a suplex for a one count. Paul leapfrogged over Reigns and hit a hip toss, then clotheslined Reigns to the floor. Paul then hit a crossbody off the ring barricade onto Reigns.
Paul hit what actually was very much Hangman Page’s buckshot lariat for a nearfall. Paul went for a springboard but Reigns connected with a punch. Reigns connected with a back suplex then applied a sleeper.
Reigns takes Paul and hits punches in the corner before connecting with a clothesline for a nearfall. Reigns missed a charge into the corner and walked into a gutwrench suplex from Paul. Paul then hit a blockbuster for another nearfall. Paul hit the Superman punch then went for a crossbody and a standing moonsault for another nearfall.
Paul started stomping his foot in the corner like HBK, looking for the sweet chin music but Reigns countered with a uranage. Reigns went for the Superman punch but Paul hit a punch, then a Superman punch of his own for a very good nearfall. Reigns dragged himself out of the ring to recover.
On the outside, Paul started to clear the Arabic announce table as he grabbed a phone from his entourage. He took selfies and climbed to the post, then launched off with a great looking crossbody. That could have looked really dumb, but wasn't. The Bloodline showed up and took out Paul’s entourage as Jake Paul then came out. He knocked out both Usos as Logan went to the top rope and hit a frog splash for a two count.
Solo Sikoa then came out as Jake Paul confronted him. The Usos then recovered. Logan hit a flying crossbody on the Usos. Reigns hit the Superman punch as Logan re-entered the ring, then speared Logan to retain.
This was a good show highlighted by an excellent main event. I will have a full review of the show here on this site Sunday morning, so look for extended thoughts then. But for sure check out the main event.