WWE Crown Jewel event a success!
With Riyadh season 2021 kicking off this week, WWE had the honor of starting off the festivities with it’s annual Crown Jewel event. Held inside the Mohammed Abdu Arena with 60,000 roaring WWE fans, this event had an enormous amount of hype surrounding it. Many of the matches on the card were Wrestlemania worthy bouts, let’s dive into the biggest matches of the night as by now, most of our fans in the United States have already had a chance to see the event.
Edge/Rollins : Hell in a Cell
I’ve had the privilege of covering this story from start to finish. Edge and Rollins first faced off at Summerslam back in August where Edge went over. Rollins would go over in the rematch in WWE’s return to MSG. Tonight, Rollins & Edge met for the final time inside the confines of Hell in a Cell.
For all of the nonsense and silliness that goes on with the WWE today, matches like these remind myself and others why we fell in love with professional wrestling in the first place. Rollins entered the ring to his usual confidence while Edge came out to thunderous cheers as he appeared to be a man on a mission. The beauty of Edge is that he can capture the emotion and rope in viewers. He is a master in the ring and a magnificent storyteller. Both him and Rollins told a story and had many memorable spots in this match.
In the end, Edge would defeat his nemesis in Rollins and put an end to his longstanding feud with the Architect.
A bit of biased journalism here, but I’ve never been to in on having Goldberg coming back for more matches at this stage in his career. After his crash and burn with the Undertaker at Crown Jewel a few years ago, I felt as if Father Time had warned Goldberg that his time was over. All that being said, Goldberg must have been paying attention to analysts like myself and found a way to turn back the clock. Goldberg worked his best match in years and appeared in the best shape I’ve seen him in to date.
The story of Lashley and Goldberg has been going on for months. With Lashley attacking Goldberg’s son at Summerslam, the only way to end this feud was with a no holds barred last man standing match. The crowd was firmly behind WWE’s superhero legend as he threw Lashley around the arena. In the end, a spear off of the stage through a table would put Lashley down and find Goldberg the victor.
Lashley can afford a loss here, he will bounce back as he remains one of the top faces on Raw. I expect him to find himself in a high profile match by the time Survivor Series rolls around.
Big E vs Drew Mcintyre: WWE Title
Drew Mcintyre headed to Saudi Arabia in the hopes of recapturing his WWE championship. As good as this match looked on paper, it did feel a bit shoehorned in. We all knew the outcome here. Drew is heading to Friday nights with Big E remaining on Monday Night Raw, it wouldn’t make much sense to have the title put back on Drew so soon after Big E’s emotional championship victory. With all of that being said, Big E and Drew still put on a good enough match to keep both the live crowd and the viewers at home entertained and engaged.
These are two monsters in the ring. Usually when WWE pits two larger sized men against each other, it turns into a test of strength and slams rather than an actual wrestling match. Big E and Drew broke through that mold and provided an entertaining 20 minutes of good wrestling that had me believing for a quick minute that maybe Drew would shock the world. In the end, Big E would retain his championship and head back to Monday Night Raw as the victor.
Becky/Sasha/Bianca : Women’s Title
These three walked down the ramp set to make more history for the women’s division. With the cultural restrictions of Saudi Arabia, to have three women out there competing in this large of a setting is huge. It’s bigger than sports, so before I go into my grading for this match I would like to tip my hat to the WWE for continuing to respect and acknowledge the women of this brand who keep it afloat.
Becky Lynch entered this match as the favorite. With Charlotte Flair moving to Friday nights, I’d like to assume that her and Becky would just switch titles as they are both champions of their respective brands. All three of these women had moments in this match where it appeared as if they would pull off the win. Towards the end, it looked as if Sasha Banks would pull off the shock, but a roll up pin by Becky Lynch would all but seal the deal for ‘the Man.’
The only downside to this match was that the crowd seemed a bit dead at points, but that can be blamed on crowd fatigue as by the time this match rolled around, the event was running at over 3 hours. Despite that, the women worked through that and got the crowd back in it.
Roman Reigns/Brock Lesnar: Universal Ch.
The main event. This match had every bit of hype that you would expect in the spring time for Wrestlemania. With Roman Reigns being on a hall of fame worthy run and Brock Lesnar being a top ticket seller on his own, without any of the history that these men have between each other, this match still would’ve sold out an arena. The argument can be made that WWE has run this rivalry into the ground over the years, but this time truly felt different as there wasn’t a clear winner.
Roman and Brock had the crowd and the viewers at home locked in for this entire match. Neither man could afford a loss here. Roman has been built up as an unbeatable machine for over a year and we already know the resume of Brock Lesnar. There were spots in this match where it appeared as if Lesnar would shock the world and dethrone the Tribal Chief. In the end, ringside shenanigans from the Usos would give way for Roman to sneak away with a win over the Beast.
This story is far from over, but for now, Reigns’ historic run atop WWE’s mountain continues!