Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on Crown Jewel 2018 coming this Friday, November 2nd.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Be sure to leave your thoughts in the comments section to let everyone know what your thermometer reads for each feud as I tell you what my thoughts are below!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Universal Championship Match: Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar = Hot
I was pretty Lukewarm on this when Roman Reigns was involved and this was just going to be another match we’ve seen a bunch of times with him retaining the title, but obviously, things have changed for the worse for him, which oddly makes things more interesting in a twisted way.
Now, we’re crowning a new champion and this is WWE’s opportunity to right the wrongs from Braun Strowman’s Money in the Bank botch, or remake the same mistake they’ve done before, by giving the title back to Brock Lesnar.
I’m hoping against hope that Strowman is the way they go and they turn a horrible negative with Reigns into a positive with The Monster Among Men, who can carry the torch.
Prediction: Braun Strowman wins the title.
WWE Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. Samoa Joe = Cold
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. This is what, the fourth or fifth time Samoa Joe had gone up against AJ Styles? There’s absolutely no way I’m going to buy into the idea that he can walk out of Crown Jewel as the new champion.
Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see that happen. I think Samoa Joe deserves to hold a world title and I would have put the belt on him at SummerSlam or Hell in a Cell, but I just don’t have any faith that this will end up going down in any way other than Styles retaining.
It’s a shame, too, because if Survivor Series has the universal and WWE champions face off like it appears will be the case, Strowman vs. Joe is a match I’d like to see, and I think Strowman vs. Styles puts The Monster Among Men in a tough spot for his new babyface position. Of course, I’m holding out how it’s not just Lesnar vs. Styles or Lesnar vs. Joe, either, as I don’t want Lesnar holding that belt.
This match should be fine from a technical standpoint, but it’s something that we’ve seen multiple times already, clearly wasn’t something WWE planned to do, and it’ll end the way the other matches have ended, so I can’t get hyped about it.
Prediction: AJ Styles retains the title.
The Brothers of Destruction vs. D-Generation X = Hot
Is this going to be as good as it would have been if all four men were still in their primes? Of course not. That’s something we all just have to accept as an inevitability and check our expectations.
With that being said, Shawn Michaels is my #1 favorite of all time, with The Undertaker being my #2, and I’m not even sure who I’d classify as #3 because those two are so much above whoever else would make that list. Triple H and Kane are also on the top 25 list for me in some capacity, so this match hits me right in the nostalgia.
Prediction: The Brothers of Destruction win to offset the Super Show-Down loss.
Eight-Man World Cup Tournament = Lukewarm
I would have been a lot more excited about this had WWE actually gone with a global flavor by including people like Finn Balor, Andrade “Cien” Almas, Shinsuke Nakamura and others to spice things up, rather than making it consist of part-timers who are banged up and a couple other names randomly thrown in there.
Sure, I like Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton, The Miz, Seth Rollins, etc, but it just feels a little hollow and like a missed opportunity to be something that would stand out in a very positive way.
I’m also not digging this “best in the world” idea, as it feels SO meaningless. Maybe I’m judging it too hard, or maybe I’m just willing to be transparent when WWE is trying to inflate something, but I’m not sold.
This idea of a SmackDown star not being able to lose to Raw for fear of being released is intriguing, though. I’ll give them that. Although, it just seems to reiterate the point to me even more that SmackDown will come out on top, and given the options, I’m thinking it has to be either Orton, Miz, or Mysterio, and I know which one I’m banking more on.
Prediction: Rey Mysterio wins.
SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match: The Bar (c) vs. The New Day = Lukewarm
I’m a fan of all of these guys (even Sheamus, who I was down on for the first bunch of years of his career), and I like how Big Show incorporates something new to the mix. Not quite sure why they aren’t making this a six-man tag team match, but I guess part of that is because they don’t want to classify Big Show as a champion by doing that. That downgrades this, as I would be more interested in having him involved.
This isn’t the biggest match in the world or anything, though, so it’s not something I can be too too pumped about. I think it should be good, but nothing too special, and it’ll be a bumper-match between two World Cup rounds or something, so it could be lost in the shuffle.
Prediction: The Bar retain the titles.
Those are my thoughts, but how do you feel about these particular feuds? What’s hot and what’s cold in your mind? Fill us in on your point of view in the comments below!