The caption above is as sarcastic as it can be, as we draw close to a PPV that nobody likes. Crown Jewel is the cursed child of a bad bed story between WWE and Saudi Arabia, which is just getting more dubious by each show. This installment of the glorified house show format might be the most disinteresting, yet one of the most hyped by WWE ever. This show has somehow, Tyson Fury vs Braun Strowman and Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez as marquee matches, which screams “Blood Money” right in your face. Anyway, there are still numerous reasons to watch this show wich are mainly about how banter can these glorified live events provide. On this note, some sort of predictions should be made even for this muddy show.
Mansoor vs Cesaro
Don’t lie to yourself! this match is tailor made for the “Swiss Cyborg” to lose. Just figure it out yourself; the PPV is happening in Saudi Arabia, Mansoor is from Saudi Arabia, the result is Cesaro to lose. Aside from the fact that a great athlete like Cesaro is being jobbed to someone (again), this is clearly done to appease the Saudi authorities and viewers. To be fair, what Saudi government is doing elsewhere in the world cannot in any way fall on the young shoulders of the NXT star, who is legitimately living his dream.
To put it simply, Cesaro losing to a home-town hero to get the pop as an abstract concept is fine. Also, Mansoor is a great prospect who can go places in WWE and he shouldn’t be the next Muhammad Hassan just because it happens that he is from Saudi Arabia.
Final prediction: Mansoor.
“The largest tag team turmoil to determine the World Cup for the best tag team in the world”
This match is so hard to predict, not because WWE tag division is on fire, but because both RAW and Smackdown’s duos have been so flattened it won’t even matter who wins. Although the playing field has some decent teams in it; like the New Day, The Revival, Viking Raiders, The O.C etc., there is no team out there that really feels like a good choice for this made up “World Cup”. By the way, did anyone tell Saudi Arabia that World Cup can not be decided in one match??.
Considering that New Day is facing the Revival just the following night on Smackdown, and Viking Raiders are the RAW tag team champions, the only real choice to win this would be the O.C. I mean, does anyone believe that the B team or Lucha House Party or even Heavy Machinery are winning this?. Saying that, picking the O.C as winners isn’t exactly because of their “domination”, but rather by default since the other duos are really in an abismal state or in a limbo at the very best.
Final prediction: The O.C
20-man battle royal for a shot at the United States Championship
It’s on the kick-off show, so automatically nobody will care about it. When you see the likes of Andrade, Luke Harper, Buddy Murphy in such match knowing that WWE won’t be booking any of them to win, it pains me personally. The fact that the winner faces AJ Styles for his title at the same show speaks volumes to how WWE treats its midcard.
Speaking of which, guess how WWE actually announced this match?. If your answer is Twitter, you are absolutely right. From a quick glance at the line-up of the match, and at the line of events on RAW, Humberto Carillo would be the most “Logical” pick. But, again, this is a Saudi show so they might book Mansoor to win it somehow or screw it eventually. With that said, I will hold my cards onto Humberto Carillo winning this BR, judging only on what happened on RAW.
Final Prediction: Humberto Carillo
AJ Styles vs TBA
Quick answer, titles won’t change hands in a Saudi show unless it is Brock Lesnar going for a vacant Universal Championship. The only positive that might come out of this whole situation, is that the match in most cases will be a decent midcard showcase for the likes of Andrade, Buddy Murphy, or Humberto Carillo.
Also, quick nod for AJ Styles here because he is really great in his current chickens*it role.
Final prediction: AJ Styles to win
Team Hogan vs Team Flair
Here it is, Team Flair vs Team Hogan. For a moment, i had the straight thought of predicting the team of babyfaces to win because their “Leader” is Hogan. However, it is really much more interesting than two senior citizen coming in for the payday.
At least there are some plates that are spinning, as shoddy as they may be. There is the CHAD GABLE/ King Corbin story, Drew McIntyre/Ricochet and of course, Bobby Lashley/Rusev. These stories at least, provide a modicum of interest in this gigantic match that is clearly just a driving force for a good payday for “The immortal one” and “The Nature Boy”.
Final Prediction: Team Hogan.
Tyson Fury vs Braun Strowman
This match has been built as a “Box Office” attraction in a show that includes a couple of similar ones. However, that build was so half-hearted that Tyson Fury did not appear for two weeks in a row on Smackdown and Strowman was tasked to do the build by himself in those weeks.
To be fair, this match has drawn them some decent mainstream attention, which they always crave but that came at the extent of a lot of things. I have been vocal about the fact that i don’t care about the match as a story at all, but i will check it out just for banter and to see how WWE can keep both man’s reputation protected after this. Although it is another one of those “Money” matches (Tyson Fury is reportedly paid $15 Million for it so it is literally then.), it may be a lot of unadulterated, black humour to watch.
Final prediction: A DQ finish (i guess because they like them these days)
Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez : WWE championship match
This match had the biggest build and, compared to other stuff, the “best” build. Although, most of it consists of the great side story of Rey Mysterio and his son Dominique who are quickly becoming two of the most sympathetic performers in the company, which may plant the seeds for something down the line.
It feels really weird when Cain Velasquez is a “Third wheel” in his own WWE championship match, considering the legit history he shares with “The Beast” from their UFC days. It is obvious that this was a FOX-driven thing, as they wanted a sport-ish feel to Smackdown on their network. Still, Cain Velasquez is more like a glorified side player in something bigger in the future. Yet, it will be a very interesting match to see and i’m very excited for it out of the entire card.
Final prediction: Brock Lesnar to retain
Seth Rollins vs “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt: A “Falls count anywhere that can’t be stopped for any reason” match for the Universal Championship
Sorry, but if the header did not make it clear, maybe the caption will help a bit. This match “CAN’T BE STOPPED FOR ANY REASON”, which is a HUGE red flag that something very fishy will happen. The feud as a whole died a horrendous death at HIAC with that finish, and then with Rollins “burning” the “Firefly Fun House” which was a great signal that “The Fiend” is almost dead as a character just like his previous incarnation.
Seth Rollins in 2019, is just a massive a**hole, both on Twitter and on TV. Also, both his reigns as Universal Champion were as flat as most of his babyface run, so it won’t be any crushing if somehow he lost in Saudi Arabia. However, clearly this is not happening and WWE will never trust Bray enough to be champion which is really sad.
Final prediction: Seth Rollins to retain (not necessarily win because nobody knows what kind of finish we will see).
In the end, this is only one man’s opinion. Tell me yours in the comments or reach out to me on twitter @OGouesmiHellRaiser. PS: card subject to change so this article is subject to update depending on that.