Tomorrow at 12, WWE is set to hold one of its most controversial PPV’s in the history of the business, as Crown Jewel will be taking place from Saudi Arabia in lieu of the controversy surrounding a killed journalist. It’s no secret that WWE has had to keep their mouths shut about where the PPV will be held, and the controversy was enough for John Cena and Daniel Bryan to refuse to make the trip. It makes you wonder what would have happened if the entire locker room formed a united front and protested the decision. Anyways, the PPV is still on, and as Vince probably would say, “The show must go on. You know how much we’re getting paid for this?” Let’s get into it.
Cesaro (C) and Sheamus (C) vs. The New Day – Smackdown Tag Team Championship
Well, The Big Show turned for about the 2903403252395203rd time, and here we have a rematch between the best the Smackdown tag team division has to offer. I’m not expecting this to get the time it needs to truly be special, but what I do know is that this may be the most obvious match to predict on the card. I see no avenue for The New Day to win the titles once again, and it’s probably going to be in more of a sprint form than an extended match. The dynamics of this feud all center around Cesaro and Sheamus having a third person to watch their backs to level out the three members of the New Day. There really hasn’t been much build to this, but all I can say is that Cesaro and Sheamus just won the titles, and they are not losing the titles this soon.
Winner: Cesaro and Sheamus
AJ Styles (C) vs. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship
Obviously, this isn’t the ideal match that we all had in mind. I’ll tell you this much. If the WWE Championship match between AJ Styles and Daniel Bryan on Tuesday was the match that we would have gotten at Crown Jewel, I would have been more than satisfied. I loved the psychology of the match and how the limb work throughout the match influenced the outcome. With Daniel Bryan refusing to go, they obviously had to improvise, and I guess I can’t blame WWE for finding the one person that they can find that would not only go, but would make sense. The only real options they had available that would make sense was either Joe or Nakamura. What I hated, however, is that everything between AJ and Joe has to involve AJ’s family. I mean, AJ and Joe’s match at Super Showdown ended definitively with AJ winning clean and Samoa tapping out.
The last-minute change also hurts the outcome, because I think it’s obvious AJ is retaining. Joe has had many opportunities to dethrone AJ and he couldn’t do it. If he couldn’t beat AJ in a match that had no rules, why should we believe he can beat him in a regular match? While I’m also sure AJ and Joe never have a bad match, I’ve seen these two far too many times in proximity with each other over the summer to the point where I may memorize each spot they are going to do in succession. It’s similar to AJ’s deal with Nakamura. We all said a year ago that AJ facing these kind of guys would be special whenever the face, but the problem is the over-saturation of the same match to the point where it gets old. Obviously, WWE can’t be blamed for changing the match, but it doesn’t change the outcome. If AJ was going to retain against Daniel Bryan originally at Crown Jewel, AJ’s probably beating Joe too.
Winner: AJ Styles
Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar – Universal Chanpionship
There is no reason why we should be leaving Crown Jewel with anything except Braun Strowman holding the Universal Chanpionship. While this is another change to Crown Jewel as a result of Roman Reigns’ untimely leukemia, but nonetheless Strowman should be his worthy successor.
Brock Lesnar’s appeal to me is all but out the window and if WWE permits a man that held that title for 500 days only to periodically defend it win it again, we have a serious issue on your hands. The Monster Among Men should be our 6th Universal Champion.
Winner: Braun Strowman
DX vs. The Brothers of Destruction
Forgive me if I’m not excited to see a match in which all four competitors in the match have a combined age of over 200. Undertaker should be retired. Shawn Michaels should be retired. Kane’s a mayor. Triple H is the only guy in this match that can believably still compete at a reasonably high level because of the great shape he keeps himself in. But watching Kane and Undertaker slug around slowly is just hard to watch. I saw Triple H and Undertaker try to recreate their match from WrestleMania 17 by fighting all across the arena, but it felt like two old grandpas racing to see who can get the last bowl of creamed spinach at the retirement home. I can live with legends I grew up watching. What I can’t live with his old, aged and hurt veterans still competing as though this is still the Attitude Era.
I wish I could care about this match, but sadly, we all know how this is going to go. The match is going to be much longer than it should go, and the action is going to be slow and plodding. Fortunately, the Saudi Arabian crowd seems to be receptive to anybody that’s a big name, so maybe they won’t mind it. If these two teams can put on an entertaining match, I would be very surprised. I have DX winning the match, simply because I don’t think they’ll bring back Shawn after nearly a decade just to have him lose a tag team match with all of his hair shaved off. This may lead to another Shawn/Taker singles match.
WWE World Cup Tournament
The logic of making this tournament determine who the best in the world will be when neither world champion are involved in it is kind of funny don’t you think? Anyways, I’m assuming the winner of this match will get a custom championship belt and a trophy or something. In other words, probably nothing. So let’s see examine each person’s chance of winning the tournament in order of likelihood.