Crown Jewel 2018

|Date: November 2, 2018
|Venue: King Saud University Stadium |City: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
|Attendance: 16,000

|tweet me: @BastionBlogger

The show kicks off with a video package focusing on the Universal Championship match, the best in the world tournament and the tag team match between DX and The Brothers Of Destruction.

Michael Cole welcomes us to Crown Jewel before the host of the event, Hulk Hogan is introduced. Hulk Hogan comes out, hits all his catchphrases and gives us his schtick.

Back to Michael Cole who is joined by Corey Graves and Renee Young on commentary.

Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton – Quarter-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men, Randy Orton previously beat Rey Mysterio at No Way 2006, over 12 years ago.

Match: Randy Orton beat Big Show to qualify for this tournament. It’s a fast paced start to the match and Orton counters a springboard plancha with a dropkick. Orton looks to take off Mysterio’s mask but the lucha star fights him off. Rey counters a superplex and hits a seated senton and a springboard cross body. Randy counters a 619 and hits a hangmans DDT. Randy then motions for an RKO but Rey counters and rolls up Orton for the three! Rey Mysterio wins and qualifies for the semi finals but after the match ORton hits him with an RKO!

Result: Rey Mysterio wins by pinfall.

Review: This match felt a little short. It didn’t feel like a true pay per view match but they do have a lot of matches to get through tonight. Rey Mysterio wins which may be a little bit of an upset but his method of victory also makes it look like an upset. Not a greta match because it didn’t really feel like it got going.

Rating: 3.75/10

Randy Orton continues his assault on Rey Mysterio after the match, planting him onto the announce desk.

Byron Saxton is backstage with The Miz. The Miz says there is no stopping him tonight. Miz is confident of walking through Jeff Hardy and Rey Mysterio.

Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz – Quarter-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a first PPV match between these two men.

Match: The Miz beat Rusev to qualify for this tournament. It’s a back and forth start to the match with Miz attempting a skull-crushing finale early but Hardy counters. Miz counters a pendulum dropkick and then slows down the pace. Miz hits his trademark backbreaker and neckbreaker. Hardy counters Miz’s trademark clothesline in the corner. Miz counters a twist of fate but Jeff nails him with whisper in the wind for a near fall. Miz looks for a figure four but Hardy counters with a roll up for a near fall. Jeff takes the fight to the outside and hits a baseball slide and a clothesline off the barricade. Jeff then heads to the top but Miz rolls out of the way. Jeff looks for a twist of fate but Miz counters with skill-crushing finale which is enough for the three!

Result: The Miz wins by pinfall.

Review: This match was better than the last, a little more back and forth. Still not amazing but a standard match between the two. The Miz wins which was fairly predictable following the outcomes in the first match. This accolade would suit a heel, could Miz be the man to win it?

Rating: 4.5/10

Seth Rollins vs. Bobby LashleyQuarter-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time ever PPV match between these two men and for me it’s the pick of the first round matches.

Match: Seth Rollins beat Drew McIntyre to qualify for this match. Lashley is accompanied by his hype man Lio Rush. Lashley uses his power in the early going and also shows off his speed. Bobby ragdolls Rollins around with a full nelson and then looks for a stalling vertical suplex but he stalls for too long and Rollsin fights out of it before hitting two suicide dives. Seth looks for a buckle bomb but Bobby counters. Lashley then misses with a shoulder charge in the corner and Seth hits a roll up and then a stomp for the three!

Result: Seth Rollins win by pinfall.

Review: Another short match. These two could put on a seriously good match of given time but they didn’t have much in the way of time tonight. Seth wins clean which is also surprising, I don’t like that. Lashley is a monster and shouldn’t be losing these matches clean.

Rating: 3.5/10

Byron is backstage with Kurt Angle who is confident of beating Dolph Ziggler tonight.

Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler – Quarter-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time match between these two men.

Match: It’s a cagey start to the match with Dolph locking on a chinlock but Kurt soon takes the advantage with release German suplexes. Ziggler has Drew McIntyre in his corner. Angle attempts a German suplex off the apron but Ziggler counters and throws Kurt into the ringsteps. Kurt hits three German suplexes for a near fall and then looks for an Angle Slam but Ziggler counters and hits a DDT for a near fall. Kurt hits an Angle Slam but Ziggler kicks out of the pinfall attempt. Kurt counters a zigzag and locks on the ankle lock! Dolph gets out of the ankle lock and then avoids a shoulder charge in the corner before hitting a zigzag for the three!

Result: Dolph Ziggler wins by pinfall.

Review: Yeah, another short match. I can’t really get into the short matches but I guess some of these guys will have 2 and 3 matches so they can’t be too long. Dolph wins and joins Seth Rollins, The Miz and Rey Mysterio in the semi-finals.

Rating: 3/10

The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) (c) vs. The New Day (Big E & Kofi Kingston) – Smackdown Tag Team Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is the fourth PPV match between these two teams. The Bar have won 2 of the previous 3 and New Day the other.

Match: The New Day make their entrance on a giant flying carpet. Sheamus and Big E start the match and it isn’t long before Kofi is tagged in. Xavier Woods is on the outside with his trombone causing chaos. It isn’t long before The Bar take the advantage and make quick tags to keep Kingston away form Big E. Big Show is in the corner of The Bar, providing support. The Bar hit a nice back body drop / jackhammer type double team. Kofi finally makes the hot tag and hits Cesaro with belly to belly suplexes. Big E looks for a spear off the apron on Sheamus but sheamus gets a knee up. New Day hit a double team stomp/powerbomb but it wasn’t great. Big Show causes a distraction and manages to hit Big E with a right hand before Sheamus hits a brogue kick for the three!

Result: The Bar win by pinfall.

Review: Yeah, this was one of the stronger matches so far. This whole relationship between The Bar and Big Show is a bit weird but we’ll go with it. The Bar retain the Smackdown Tag Team Championships and presumably this feud will continue to a six man tag.

Rating: 4/10

Byron is backstage with The Miz who can barely talk due to a mule kick to the throat. He claims that he’ll beat the plucky underdog and prove that he is the best in the world.

Rey Mysterio vs. The Miz – Semi-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: These two men previously wrestled at Summerslam 2012 where The Miz beat Rey Mysterio to retain the Intercontinental Championship.

Match: It’s a fast-paced start to the match with Mysterio laying in some kicks. Mysterio hits a baseball slide splash to the outside on Miz. Rey looks for a hurricanrana but Miz counters it into an inverted powerbomb. Miz applies a bow and arrow which seems out of his usual repertoire. Miz has a slow advantage but Rey gets back into it with a DDT. Mysterio hits a springboard cross body for a near fall and then a springboard hurricanrana. Rey sets up for a 619 but Miz shoves him into the corner and hits a skull-crushing finale for a near fall. Mysterio hits a 619 on a second attempt and then looks for a frog splash but Miz gets his knees up and rolls up Rey for the three!

Result: The Miz wins by pinfall.

Review: This match went longer than the first round matches and was better in quality. It wasn’t amazing, it was pretty average but it wasn’t bad. The Miz wins and is surprisingly in the final of this tournament. The loss won’t hurt Rey too much.

Rating: 4.5/10

Byron interviews Seth Rollins who says tonight won’t be easy but he does his best work when the odds are stacked against him.

Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler – Semi-final match in the World Cup to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a third PPV match between these two men, they have both own one match each prior to this.

Match: Drew McIntyre is present in Dolph Zigglers corner again. Dolph takes the early advantage but Seth hits a slam, clothesline Ziggler out of the ring and then goes after him, smashing Ziggler into the barricade. Drew McIntyre soon makes his presence known by staring Seth Rollins down. Dolph hits a big DDT for a two count. Dolph works the neck of Rollins, hitting multiple neckbreakers and locking on sleepers. Dolph counters a buckle bomb with a rollup for a two count. Seth hits a suicide dive on both Ziggler and McIntyre. Back in the ring and Ziggler hits a fame-asser for a two count. Rollins hits a superplex and then looks for a falcon arrow but Dolph counters and hits a zigzag for a near fall. Rollins hits a superkick on Dolph and then a suicide dive on McIntyre. Seth then goes to the top but McIntyre shoves him down behind the referees back. Ziggler hits a superkick which is enough for the three!

Result: Dolph Ziggler wins by pinfall.

Review: This was the match of the night so far which won’t come as a surprise. The result might though, I fancied Seth Rollins to go the distance. Dolph goes on to battle The Miz in the final which is unusual. Two heels in a match we’ve seen a lot before. Strange but maybe they were going for unpredictability.

Rating: 6.25/10

Dolph Ziggler cuts a post-match interview saying that he will prove to be the best in the world tonight.

There’s an ad for Wrestlemania 35.

There’s a video package for AJ Styles and Samoa Joe next.

AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is the 4th PPV match between these two men, previously AJ Styles has won 2 matches and Samoa Joe has own 1.

Match: AJ starts the match by targeting Joe’s legs. Joe heads to the outside where he ducks a moonsault but Styles shoves him into the ringpost. Joe smashes Styles into the barricade and then hits him with a suicide dive that ricochets Styles off the announce desk. Joe dominates for a while until AJ hits a Pele kick and both men go down. Joe hits a big clothesline for a near fall. Joe then locks on the coquina clutch but AJ fights out of it by twisting the ankle and Joe reaches the ropes. Styles hits a phenomenal forearm which is enough for the three.

Result: AJ Styles wins by pinfall.

Review: It lacked the lustre of their previous matches but they are packing a lot of matches into this card and don’t have the time to extend these matches. AJ wins against Joe who was essentially a fill-in because Daniel Bryan didn’t want to go over to Saudi. I’m reasonably sure this will be a one off.

Rating: 4/10

Constable Corbin is out next ahead of the Universal Championship match.

Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar – Universal Championship match

Previous PPV matches: This is a second PPV match between these two men, Brock previously beat Braun at No Mercy 2017.

Match: Paul Heyman gives Brock Lesnar his usual introduction. Acting General Manager Corbin then holds up the Universal title before smashing it into the back of Strowman’s head! Corbin calls for the bell, Brock scoops Strowman up and hits him with an F5 for a near fall. Brock hits a second F5 and Strowman kicks out again! Brock hits a third, Strowman kicks out so Brock F5’s Braun out of the ring! Strowman gets back in the ring and Brock scoops him up but Strowman slips down and hits a big boot before running at Lesnar who gets him up on his shoulders and hits a 5th F5 for the victory.

Result: Brock Lesnar wins the Universal Championship by pinfall.

Review: Well this match was essentially 5 F5’s. Brock wins the Universal Championship, picking up where he left off. The match was ok, it wasn’t terrible, I’m a big fan of Brock Lesnar matches and this will do for me. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this rivalry continue.

Rating: 4/10

There’s an ad for Survivor Series.Followed by some of the matches on the show, Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles, Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch.

The commissioner of Smackdown, Shane McMahon is introduced next. He announced that if the representative for Smackdown lost in the final of this tournament then they would be fired.

The referee tells Drew McIntyre to go to the back before the match and McIntyre has to oblige. The Miz then attacks Ziggler before the bell even rings and throws him out of the ring before hopping out himself but Miz lands awkwardly and struggles to get back up to his feet. Miz throws Ziggler into the steps but sells a knee injury. Shane McMahon sees to Miz who the referee won’t let compete. The referee tells Greg Hamilton to announce Dolph Ziggler as the winner. Shane stops the announcement and instead takes Miz’s place!

Dolph Ziggler vs. Shane McMahon – Finals of the World Cup tournament to determine the best in the world

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time PPV match between these two men.

Match: The bell rings and Shane goes right to work on Ziggler. Baron Corbin gets involved, sweeping Shane’s legs so the referee throws Corbin from ringside. Dolph hits a zigzag on McMahon for a near fall. Shane hits a DDT and then slingshots Dolph into the corner before heading to the opposite corner and hitting coast to coast for the three!

Result: Shane McMahon beats Dolph Ziggler by pinfall.

Review: Well. What the hell was this. Shane McMahon is the best in the world after filling in for The Miz in the final. What the hell is this booking. I just don’t even know. I guess it might lead to a Shane McMahon heel turn? I have no idea.

Rating: 3/10

Shane McMahon celebrates like a maniac.

There’s a video package next for DX vs. The Brothers Of Destruction.

DX (Shawn Michaels & Triple H) vs. The Brothers Of Destruction (The Undertaker & Kane)

Background: This all started when Triple H beat The Undertaker at Super Show-down with help from Shawn Michaels. Triple H, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Kane would show each other respect after the match but it didn’t last long as Undertaker and Kane would drop DX with tombstones moment later. DX would then challenge Kane and Undertaker to a match at Crown Jewel.

Previous PPV matches: This is a first time ever match between these two legendary teams.

Match: All four of these men have had plenty of singles matches against one another. Triple H and Kane start the match off for their teams and it’s an early advantage for Kane. Make no mistake about it, these are four of the top ten of all time. Shawn Michaels tags in, this is his first PPV match since Wrestlemania 26. Undertaker tags in and Shawn Michaels stares down the man that retired him. Undertaker looks to hit old school but Triple H makes sure that doesn’t happen and then all hell breaks loose with all four men in the ring. Undertaker hits Shawn Michaels with old school but then misses with a big boot allowing Michaels to tag in Triple H. A “you’ve still got it” chant breaks out for Shawn Michaels. DX hit a double suplex on Kane and Michaels then hits an elbow drop on Kane. Michaels motions for sweet chin music but Kane hits him with a chokeslam and tags out to his brother. Undertaker picks up the pace with snake eyes, a bit boot and a legdrop for a two count.

Shawn Michaels hits sweet chin music on Undertaker out of nowhere and both men are down. All four men are actually down. Undertaker sets Michaels up for a tombstone on the announce table but Triple H saves his partner. There’s a weird spot with Triple H and Undertaker throwing each other into the barricade. Kane then chokeslams Triple H through the announce desk. Back in the ring and the Brothers Of Destruction make quick tags, laying into Shawn Michaels as Triple H is out on the outside. Kane props Shawn Michaels up in the corner but Michaels fights him off and Kane’s mask falls off. Michaels then hits a moonsault to the outside on both Kane and Undertaker! Kane has managed to get his mask (and hair) back on. Triple H is back up to his feet and Shawn Michaels makes the hot tag.

Triple H fires up and takes down both opponents. Undertaker is gassed. Triple H counters a tombstone form The Undertaker and hits him with a pedigree. Undertaker then locks hell’s gate on Triple H! Shawn Michaels hits sweet chin music on Kane which breaks hell’s gate and all four men are down. Kane and Undertaker both attempt tombstones but Shawn Michaels and Triple H counter. Michaels then hits sweet chin music on Kane and Triple H hits a pedigree for the three!

Result: Shawn Michaels and Triple H win by pinfall.

Review: This wasn’t one for the purists. Undertaker was gassed, Triple H was out for a big portion of the match. Kane’s mask fell off. But you know what, I enjoyed it. It was fun, it got the crowd going and it felt like an attitude era match. I’ll take matches like that now and again. Whether this will lead to another match down the line I don’t know.

Rating: 7/10

And that was Crown Jewel 2018. It wasn’t a great show to watch. It would have been fun for the audience and a fast-paced show is great for the live crowd but in terms of amazing wrestling matches, there was none here. The first four tournament matches weren’t particularly good. Obviously four of the guys involved were schedule to wrestle at least once more so they probably held back for this reason. The Bar retained their Smackdown Tag Team Championships against The New Day and then came the semi finals with The Miz beating Rey Mysterio and then Dolph Ziggler beating Seth Rollins in a really solid match. AJ Styles beat Samoa Joe to retain the WWE Championship in a continuation of their rivalry. This was supposed to be Daniel Bryan in Joe’s place but Bryan basically refused to make the trip.

Brock Lesnar beat Braun Strowman to win the vacant Universal Championship. This would have been a great opportunity to elevate Strowman but they chose to go with Lesnar. It was a match of F5’s and not a lot else. And then came the bizarre conclusion to the best in the world tournament with Miz getting injured pre-match and being replaced by Shane McMahon. This was strange. And then Shane would win to be officially crowned as the best in the world. I’ll be interested to see where this is going. In the main event DX beat The Brothers Of Destruction. I wouldn’t have called this result but I guess with it being Shawn Michaels return to action it’ll be nice for him to get the win. This match was not a smooth one. But it was fun. It was reminiscent of the attitude era and it was just all round chaos. The crowd will have enjoyed it.

Overall Rating: 43.18/100 (ranked 360th out of 367)

Match Of The Night: Triple H & Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker & Kane
Worst Match Of The Night: Dolph Ziggler vs. Kurt Angle / Dolph Ziggler vs. Shane McMahon
Surprise Of The Night: Shane McMahon is crowned Best In The World
Worst Booking Of The Night: Shane McMahon winning the tournament
Superstar Of The Night: Shane McMahon
Crowd Jewel 2018 Will Be Remembered For: Shane McMahon being crowned Best In The World

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