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  • Connor Ewens

Let's Review: WWE Crown Jewel 2023

The 5th Crown Jewel event and the 10th event in the ongoing controversial 'Saudi Vision 2030' partnership. We should only have 4 more years of this. I doubt Endeavour want to continue the partnership beyond 10 years. Pretty stacked card for tonight, should be good. Let's review.


4th November 2023 - WWE Crown Jewel @ Mohammed Adbu Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia


Kick-off show


-Wade Barrett & Michael Cole are on commentary


Sami Zayn vs JD McDonagh

This is the first main roster show to have a kick-off match since Clash at the Castle in 2022. This was a hot match to warm up the crowd. Sami Zayn is hugely over as expected. A fun back and forth, Sami Zayn wins with a Blue Thunder Bomb which was quite unexpected. I'll rate it but it won't be included in the final score.


Sami Zayn wins via pinfall

**3/4


Main Card


-opening promo package


Seth Rollins (c) vs Drew McIntyre for the Heavyweight Championship

Rollins' reign has been going for 158 days and it's been a great reign thus far. Both men are faces, but McIntyre feels on the verge of a big heel turn which we might see happen tonight. This is Drew's first world title match since Clash at the Castle, where he almost beat Roman Reigns until the debut of Solo Sikoa. The ongoing story is Rollins has a back injury exploited by Nakamura that is still hampering him. Drew McIntyre is pissed that his greatest achievment happened in front of no fans due to Covid-19. He wants to defeat Seth at his best.


A classic contest as expected, a very evenly contested match with some big kick-outs and near falls. Seth Rollins picks up the win and retains after a second stomp. Excellent match, great way to begin.


Rollins retains via pinfall

****1/4


-Drew looks disappointed as he walks out. Damien Priest comes out ready to cash-in but he is attacked by Sami Zayn, who steals his briefcase. Rollins laughs. Interesting development. Also, we see Rhea walk past Drew backstage with an "I told you so" look. Also interesting, I doubt Drew will join them but a heel turn is surely on the cards.


-A look at Rhea's reign and all her challengers


Rhea Ripley (c) vs Nia Jax vs Raquel Gonzalez vs Shayna Baszler vs Zoey Starks for the Women's World Championship

Rhea is the final boss of the women's division. She gets a boss ass entrance fitting of her character. She is pretty much just taking on all comers. Rhea has been the champ for 217 days now but hasn't defended all too often as she is more prominently featured in the Judgement Day stories.


Shayna locking in 3 submissions at once was very cool. This was a good match, all 5 ladies put in a big effort. I was very impressed by Starks who I think had the best showing in this match. Baszler & Rhea also put in a good showing. I feel like Nia & Raquel didn't really add much. The finish was mildly blown. Rhea had Starks up for a top rope Riptide and had to hold her there for a while whilst Raquel got into position. She scuttled over to pin Shayna Baszler, Rhea drops Starks on top of both of them and pins Shayna. Ehh, I didn't like that finish and it was made worse that Raquel was out of position. Rhea winning was the right call.


Rhea Ripley retains via pinfall

***1/4


-We get a hype ad for Saudia Air Line as wrestlers big up how great their services are. It feels a little forced.


John Cena vs Solo Sikoa

I've loved Cena's return. Hollywood can go on strike as long as they want. He has been at odds with the Bloodline recently, especially Solo. Cena talks how he hasn't won a televised singles match since 2018, over 2000 days. He talks about retirement but it seems that Solo Sikoa wants to be the one to put Cena down for good. Reigns has ordered him to take Cena out for his involvement.


The fans sing Cena's theme which is wholesome. Cena targets the Samoan Spike hand of Solo but it's not long until Solo takes control. I dislike most rope hung offence. Why are you holding yourself in position, if Cena let go then Solo wouldn't have landed the headbutt. I don't think I've ever seen Cena use a chokeslam before. It's a usual Cena match mostly. He takes a beating before coming back. Solo hits Cena with 4 Samoan Spikes and then keep raining down spikes before mercifully pinning him. I liked that finish very much. Solo looked like a killer and is really elevated by the win. I imagine this is a way to write off Cena who will probably return to Hollywood very soon.


Solo Sikoa wins via pinfall

**1/2


-Cena receives a standing ovation as he gets to his feet. Chants of thank you Cena. Could this be the last we see of Cena? Maybe, but I doubt it. I see at least 1 more left for him before he goes for good.


-Hype for NXT Deadline


-we get Miz TV with Ibrahim Al Hajjad, one of the best actors in the Middle-East. He is apparently a big deal in the area. The interview is interrupted by Grayson Waller who changes this into the Grayson Waller effect. Ibrahim chooses Miz TV over the GWE. Waller demands they leave. Ibrahim prepares to fight Waller and is knocked down. Miz fights them, drops him with a skull-crushing finale. Ibrahim hits a People's Elbow. This segment was for the fans in attendance, not me. This was whatever.


-Logan Paul drives around the desert earlier.


Rey Mysterio (c) vs Logan Paul for US Championship

Logan has a victory over Rey in the past. Logan has changed a lot since then and he wants the US title and to have some respect on his name. Logan arrives in the car he was driving earlier. Rey has been the US champion for 85 days.


Logan Paul never fails to impress me. He is talented but also has a knowledge for the business. He emulates the Ultimate Warrior of all people with the poses and the splash, which I don't see being done by just any outsider. Logan dominates mostly until Rey is able to finally mount a comeback. That moonsault slam by Logan was insane. One of Logan's mates hands brass knuckles to him but he drops them after being pushed by Rey. His friend tries to retrieve them but Santos Escobar hops over and prevents it happening. Santos chases him off but stupidly leaves the brass knucks behind. Logan punches Rey in mid-air to win. This was a very good match, started slow but they built to some great moments. I'm fully behind Logan winning, he does deserve it plus this is going to be great publicity for WWE as he will carry that wherever he goes. As long as he doesn't do anything else stupid or controversial then this is a win for all involved. Great job by both men.


Logan Paul wins via pinfall

***3/4


-Post match Logan says he loves him but he had to do what he did, he won fair and square. Lovely heeling.


Iyo Sky (c) vs Bianca Belair for the Women's Championship

Iyo has been champion for 91 days after successfully cashing in at Summerslam, on Bianca Belair. Bianca had previously beaten Iyo at Backlash so I guess it's fair she deserves a title shot. Belair has taken out Bayley and Dakota is out injured so Iyo should be all on her own defending here tonight.


A very competitive match between these two. Bianca looks to have it won until Bayley makes herself known, so I guess she wasn't taken out. Iyo doesn't want her help but Bayley tells her to trust her. Bianca has it possibly won again until another Bayley interference. She takes out Bayley, Iyo charges but accidentally takes out Bayley. Bianca goes for a KOD but then she is attacked by a returning Kairi Sane! Crowd are awfully dead for this. Moonsault gets the win for Iyo. It's a real shame about the crowd for this, because this was a great contest with a great return for Kairi to little reaction. The crowd damaged this unfortunately but it was still a good match.


Iyo Sky retains via pinfall

***1/2


-Post match beatdown, Iyo & Kairi hug. Cole does a great job highlighting that Bayley put Kairi out of the company.


Cody Rhodes vs Damian Priest

This is another chapter in the ongoing story of Cody Rhodes which has been derailed by the Judgement Day in recent months. Priest is half of the current Unified Tag Champions alongside Finn Balor. I can't wait until these tag titles finally get a makeover. They've been ugly since the bronze penny was introduced. Rhodes' ankle was targeted with a chair on Raw so I would assume it'll be a target throughout this match.


The crowd are alive again for this match, Rhodes receives a great welcome. Priest attacks him before the bell. This was an action packed match that really sold the intense hatred between the two well. After a Crossroads by Cody, Finn Balor comes out to distract the referee so JD McDonagh can attack Cody. Dominik Mysterio now comes out with a chair in hand, bringing Jey Uso out for superkicks for everyone. He runs off the rest of the Judgement Day. Cody eventually finishes off with 3 consecutive Crossroads. Priest looked strong in defeat. Rhodes gets a good win in a good match. The story continues.


Cody Rhodes wins via pinfall

***


Roman Reigns (c) w/Paul Heyman vs LA Knight for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship

I don't think any of us are expecting Knight to defeat Reigns here. However, I hope at least LA comes out of this looking great and on the same level. Hopefully we aren't treated to the usual booking of excessive Bloodline interference. LA Knight is the most popular star in the company right now. 580 days as WWE champion, 1161 days as Universal champion. Insane length. It is historic but it's time for it to end soon.


LA Knight is hugely over here, pretty much every attendee is holding a "YEAH" sign. I've never seen such support. It's like the Cesaro section we used to see, except literally all over. Mental. This is like 'Yes' Movement popularity. You're usual Roman Reigns style match. Early Knight flurry, Reigns takes control, Knight fights back, Jimmy Uso run-in, Reigns is shocked his spear doesn't end things, Reigns survives a finisher thanks to Jimmy, Jimmy is taken out, Reigns takes advantage and wins. The usual tones, though it was pretty digestible because it ran at a good pace. These matches are just copy and paste though, it's starting to really take it's toll. They can use him less and less but the matches still feel the same.


Roman Reigns retains via pinfall

***1/2


Overall- 67.9%

The score feels a little high for what we saw, but it was a consistently good show with nothing bad. I just expected some more bangers. Match of the night is an obvious one, Rollins & McIntyre killed it at the very beginning. A very enjoyable show overall.


MOTN- Seth Rollins vs Drew McIntyre

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