WWE Crown Jewel 2021 Review and Match Ratings


Edge def. Seth Rollins – Hell In a Cell

I really hate who has to follow this because this was absolutely fantastic and damn near perfect. This match had peaks and valleys and different phases, but the greatest part about this match was the variations in everything that they did. Rollins trying to compound his stomp with a steel chain. Edge doing a callback from his previous HIAC match with the top rope chair drop. Edge stealing the stomp. The sunset flip from the ladder onto a table. Edge bouncing Rollins off the cell door through a table. Everything was just absoutely fantastic and kept me engage.

The ending, specifically, was so intense. Edge’s facial mannerisms and Rollins seemingly dominating him…if you didn’t know how WWE storytelling works, you’d think that Edge was really going to call it a career here. This is how you end a feud, especially a trilogy of matches between two men we never thought would see each other in the ring. Edge’s second WWE run has been filled with more nuanced matches, and he made it a point to change his style so he can keep up with the next generation, and Seth is arguably the standard of this next generation. I’d say both men passed with flying colors. I heard some people complain that it perhaps padded a little too much time, but I do believe that they needed that time to tell the story they were trying to tell. And what we got it was well worth it. Sometimes, it’s about the journey and not the destination, and what a hell of a journey this was. I’m trying to find a reason not to give this the full perfect rating, and I guess the only things I can say is that it felt a tad bit long and they probably could have had this match without the cell, as it basically became a TLC match inside it. But that aside, it’s not enough for me to not give it a perfect rating One of the best matches this year. You may disagree, but I loved the hell out of this. *****

Mansoor def. Mustafa Ali

I was scared that Ali and the hometown hero was going to get shafted by being the ones to follow that cell match. However, these two performed very, very well and admirably in spite of the spot they were given. They kept it simple and built up sympathy for Mansoor as a babyface in peril and they had a pretty great athletic competition. Not sure if Mansoor will get elevated any from this, and he’s only on the card because of the location, but both men looked good here. ***

RK-BRO (C) def. AJ Styles and Omos – RAW Tag Team Championships

Pretty much your run of the mill ag match and nothing that we haven’t seen from these two teams before. Everyone played their best hits, Omos did his usual big man shtick, the AJ/Riddle portions were solid and Orton gets his at the end. It didn’t overstay its welcome and they got to the point. RK-Bro vs. The Usos is on for Survivor Series as was predictable, so not much more to stay say here. **1/2

Zelina Vega def. Doudrop – Queen’s Crown’s Finals

I was somewhat surprised that they didn’t go with Doudrop here, but in the end, these royalty tournaments always end up better if it’s a heel winning, and Zelina was probably the right choice here. Overall, the match itself was kinda average to below average. These two have never worked together and it kind of showed. The big/small dynamic was played up relatively well, and the Code Red that Zelina was able to hit looked pretty good. Otherwise, it was largely forgettable. If there was any redeeming quality about the match, it’s that it got more than double the time that the matches throughout the tournament got, so that was good to see. Otherwise, not much else to say. I hope WWE is able to build on this for Zelina, because I think she can be a great heel player in the women’s division with this. **

Goldberg def. Bobby Lashley – No Holds Barred

I’ll double check, but I’m positive that this was Goldberg’s longest match since his return four years ago, and I think it might have been his best performance aside from WrestleMania 33 (which may not be much since he averages under five minutes a performance). Summerslam was slow, lumbering and kind of hard to watch at times. This was a bit more spirited, and I do believe that the stipulation helped it, because now they weren’t confined to just ring work. All they have to do is beat each other senseless and take some big bumps. Because at this point in his career, Goldberg’s best matches are spectacles and not necessarily high quality in ring stuff. This was a train wreck, but somewhat of an entertaining one with all of the spears and physicality. Not the best thing you will ever see, but for a Goldberg match, it’s as good as it will get. Way better than what he’s done in the past in Saudi Arabia, that’s for sure. ***

Xavier Woods def. Finn Balor – King of The Ring Finals

I’m glad WWE went with Woods a it was absolutely the right decision here. It hasn’t been talked about much, but Xavier has been one of the silent MVP’s of WWE this year, with a number of very solid singles matches, especially with the likes of AJ Styles. Xavier has long been the odd man out of the New Day in terms of who has the most accomplishments. Of the three, Xavier’s personal list is the shortest by far. However, this might launch his career into new heights. One has to wonder with Big E as WWE Champion and Xavier as King of the Ring, will Kofi feel left out? Will Xavier begin a singles career? That remains to be seen, but as for the match, both men put on a very solid outing, with Woods showing more of those singles chops I mentioned earlier. Finn was Finn as always, which means he was very good and flying all over the place. Right person won here in my opinion. ***1/4

Big E (C) def. Drew McIntyre – WWE Championship

Holy crap, this was a damn WWE Championship match. When you combined two, strong and athletic big men and just have them go all out, you will get results such as these. I just loved how each men transitioned to each portion of the match. Some portions was slowed down and subdued with submissions and then they could easily ratchet up the pace with some duplexes and diving moves. And those near-falls really got me. The Claymore, especially, is one of the most protected finishers in the WWE today. While I never expected Big E to lose, I was somewhat thinking they could have an upset here. They kept the crowd engaged, they kept me engaged, and they told a great story all across the match. This was Big E’s first big test after moving on from Lashley, and he passed with flying colors. He’s here to stay, and he showed what he can do here. Props to Drew for making him look like a million bucks too. Excellent WWE Championship match that felt just as important as it looked. ****1/4

Becky Lynch (C) def. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair – SmackDown Women’s Championship

This match was very good bordering on great because some spots looked too overly choreographed or had struggles with execution, especially during the spots where all three were in the same spot. It looked awkward, but for most stretches, they kept the pace going and there was some very great athletic action here. Bianca showed off his strength, Sasha showcased her submission speciality, and Becky was an opportunist, looking to get the win in any way possible, and that was exemplified in the finish. Becky taking advantage of Sasha and Bianca fighting each other and holding on to the ropes for a dirty victory was the perfect way to have her retain her title. My only question is what they do with Becky and Charlotte Flair, now for Survivor Series. Are they just going to have them switch the titles since each woman is holding the opposite woman’s championship? Don’t know. But this match was bordering on great, but is ultimately left on “Very good” after some shaky execution at times. ***3/4

Roman Reigns (C) def. Brock Lesnar – Universal Championship

A couple of things to point out here. First, if you’ve seen any variation of Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar, you’d know that they always follow one specific formula. Who can kick out of the most finishers? It’s rarely a formal match. It’s just a finisher fest until something gives. This was more of a formal match that had all of the bells and whistles of any main event match, which included finisher sickouts, ref bumps, external parties being involved and everything in between. Overall, this was a rock solid main event that showcased each men’s strengths and protected Brock, which will no doubt lead to a future rematch. The biggest reason I think that is because of Paul Heyman’s decision. He could have given the title to help Brock or Roman. He said he doesn’t know what to do and just threw it in the middle. So while he didn’t help Brock, the important thing is he didn’t give it to Roman, and that is something Roman may identify as a problem in terms of where his loyalty stands. So between that and how Brock lost, there will definitely be a rematch down the line between the two. But overall, don’t have much to complain here. It felt like a main event, and it certainly was. Roman continues to Reign. ***3/4


WWE’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has been maligned for a long time because it is financially lucrative but morally bankrupt. Excluding the politics, this was WWE’s best performance in the country by far. When you consider the previous debacles that have taken place here including previous editions of Crown Jewel, Super Showdown and Greatest Royal Rumble, compounded by infamous moment such as Goldberg nearly paralyzing Undertaker and Shawn Michaels’ embarrassing one match money grab return, this blew everything out of the water. Edge/Rollins is one of the best cell matches of all time. The WWE Championship match was very high quality. The King and Queen’s tournament had the right people winning, the women’s match delivered and nothing else really bothered me. There’s actually an argument that this PPV might have been the best of the year next to Royal Rumble and Money In The Bank. Whatever your opinion, it was a high quality show that gets a thumbs way up for me as we head to Survivor Series, where superstars of each brand from the same company pretend to hate each other for a month.

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