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Crown Jewel Reviews

Updated: Sep 1, 2023

Reverse Hipster's Review Edge vs. Seth HIAC 9.7/10 A

These two finally had their classic that we have been waiting years for. They threw everything they had at each other. They were really trying to destroy each other, and they didn’t care what risk they took. Seth did the same sunset powerbomb that shattered his knee, and used it to put Edge through a table. Edge pulled out Seth’s moves, hit him with a buckle bomb and a spear, and then a curb stomp into a chair. People will talk about this HIAC for years to come.

Ali vs. Mansoor 9.5/10 A

I was a massive fan of this match, these two tore the house down. They both shined and proved they deserve to climb the card. Their feats of athleticism were fun to watch, and their ring psychology was on point. I think anybody who doubted these two walked out of this match with a higher opinion of both. I’m higher on these two, and I was already high on them. Mansoor hit a sick reverse RKO neckbreaker over the top rope. Also, the after-the-match segment was absolutely perfect. Ali jumped Mansoor, and then a mysterious guy comes out and reveals himself as a martial arts silver medalist and knocks Ali out. It was unexpected and awesome.

RKBro vs. AJ and Omos 9/10 A-

I was never the biggest fan of this feud, but it’s been interesting lately. Also, I think Omos and AJ had a personal best match at Crown Jewel. They worked better than normal and the match seemed more fluid than usual. Also, I thought the finish of the match was absolutely perfect. Randy hit AJ with a catch RKO out of the sky, and then Riddle hit him with the floating bro.

Zelina vs. Doudrop 7.9/10 C+

This one is hard to grade because the final of the first-ever Queen's Crown tournament being only 5:55 is terrible. On the other hand, the women did the best they could with the time they had. They did pretty well as far as five minute matches go. I thought Zelina sunsetflipping the much bigger Doudrop was a memorable moment. I think this is such a monumental moment for Zelina. Zelina was once fired by the company and then brought back and jobbed out, and her husband was fired. But she fought her way back, and became the first-ever Queen of the Ring. This tournament was supposed to create a new star and I don’t think it did that because of the lack of attention it was given, but the tournament has at least given Zelina the opportunity to become a star.

Xavier Woods vs. Finn Balor 8.5/10 B

King Woods’s crowning moment was a long time coming. Woods has been campaigning for the crown for years. I put this on the five things that need to happen before the end of WrestleMania 38. I think they played the match perfectly, it was competitive and fast-paced, and they faked us out. Finn was on a roll and then he was setting up for his finisher until at the last moment Xavier moved out the way. Xavier got Finn to the ground and did his patented aerial attack and finally won his crown.

Drew vs. Big E 9.1/10 A

Big E set the bar very high in his first ever title defense. He beat Drew in a thrilling match. It surprised me. I’ve always known Big E was good, but even I didn’t realize how good he is. Drew and Big E really played with our emotions in the match. Multiple times it seemed like it was over and one of them just refused to stay down. Until finally, in an expert display of power, Big E picked Drew up and spun him into the Big Ending. Pretty much as impactful as Hercules defeating the Hydra.

Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley 8.8/10 B+

I think Goldberg was absolutely the wrong person to win given that Bobby has to be here every day. Plus, Goldberg never actually put Bobby over, their last match was a no contest. That being said, Bobby gave Goldberg one of his best matches ever. They actually went a decent length of time and had some explosive action spots, and they had an excellent ending with Goldberg spearing Bobby off the ledge into the tables.

Sasha vs. Becky vs. Bianca 9.6/10 A

This triple threat is arguably better than the WrestleMania 35 triple threat. Every woman shined in this match. Sasha jumped off Bianca’s body and kicked Becky out of the ring. Bianca had the spot of the night when she lifted Sasha with one arm and held her there, it was incredible. They flew around, literally and figuratively, all match until Becky was hit with the KOD, but then Sasha tried to steal the pin and knocked Bianca out of the ring. However, all the fighting on the outside allowed Becky to recover, and she rolled up Sasha, and used the ropes as leverage, and stole the victory. I think it was a good ending, the heel cheats and all three competitors walk away strong.

Roman vs. Brock 8.9/10 B+

We have seen this match before, but we haven’t seen it like this. Roman has actually earned the right to be booked as strong as Brock. When Roman was booked as an underdog we didn’t get to see him go power for power with Brock, but he did at Crown Jewel. I liked that wrinkle in the match. It made it more of a blockbuster match. Also, Brock was able to still get his power moves in. However, Roman still hasn’t surpassed Brock. When they were both down, Heyman threw in the title perfectly down the middle between them making it impossible to determine who he was trying to help. This tells us the story is going to continue. Although, based on his after the match face, I think Heyman was trying to help Brock. During the match, it felt like Brock and Roman held back a tad. In the end, the Usos super-kicked Brock, and Roman hit him with the title and won. I think this was the right result and builds in a rematch for a later date.

Rob‘s Reviews

Edge vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell)

Edge and Seth Rollins had a good Hell in a Cell match with unique brutal spots that made me think they were trying to steal the show. I loved the story they told. Edge showed off some of his signature moves throughout history, and Rollins sold his ass off for Edge. There were uniquely brutal spots like the superkick with a chain and a stomp on the chair. There were moments where I was genuinely concerned for the competitors, especially Edge, who wasn’t cleared to wrestle just years ago. While I think the result makes sense for the story, it’s disappointing that WWE won’t pull the trigger on Rollins. If he won over Edge, it would have been anointing him the Edge of our times. In 2015, Rollins was practically THE guy, and he hasn’t got back to that level since then. Instead, Rollins is at the physical peak of his career, and he can’t win a career-defining series with a part-time hall of famer.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Mustafa Ali vs. Mansoor

This was a fun match that served its role on the card. Mansoor has gotten relatively good relatively quickly since being scouted out in Saudi Arabia a few years ago. Mustafa Ali showcased that he can be an excellent heel, and he can make anyone look good. The surprise appearance by the silver medalist at the end was fun, if for no other reason than it showed off the chaos of a Saudi Arabia show and the cultural contrast with an American show.

Final Grade: 6/10 Above Average

RKBro vs. AJ Styles and Omos

Riddle came out on a camel, and that was probably my favorite part of this match. It showcased that Riddle can get any silly, zany idea over, and it further emphasized the contrast between Orton’s serious entrance and Riddle’s energy of being an elementary school kid tagging with his favorite wrestler growing up. It seemed like they were holding back from this match, but I’m not sure why. The finish was awesome but recycled at this point. RKBro is still the champions. I’m not sure what WWE plans to do with AJ and Omos, but RKBro need new opponents to push their story further.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Zelina Vega vs. Doudrop (Queen’s Crown)

This was the best match of the Queen’s Crown tournament, but that’s not saying much because the other matches got no time to shine. Zelina Vega looked great in-ring here. I didn’t expect her to win, but I think that winning this tournament could initiate an awesome new gimmick for her. I’m hoping she can ride that gimmick to the championship picture. Doudrop did a good job playing her role as the monster, but I’m concerned that WWE seems to have locked her into that role when the wrestler can do so much more. Getting this far in the tournament is a good symbol that WWE views her as having potential, but I can’t believe she hasn’t got to shake the name and show off more of what made her one of the best wrestlers on the UK indies.

Final Grade: 5/10 Average

Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg

This is a hard match to grade because the crowd was so into this match. Goldberg is so over here: he might as well be Mr. Saudi Arabia. They had a faster-paced, heavy-hitting match, but the pace was kind of hurt by Goldberg having a seemingly real leg injury. The table spots were awesome, but the result was upsetting. Bobby Lashley worked so hard to get over and deliver solid matches the last year, and Goldberg took all the steam out of that run with a hurt leg. I know these Saudi Arabia shows have found a way of being kind-of-canon, kind-of-not, but this really hurt my perception of Lashley.

Final Grade: 4/10 Below Average

Xavier Woods vs. Finn Balor (King of the Ring)

This match was just a little too short compared to some of the other matches of the night, but both guys did great. The highlight of this match and this tournament is Xavier Woods giving his everything to make his dreams come true. It was almost giving away that he would be the winner, but the emotion he showed at the end made it worth it. I’m excited to see what Woods will do with the gimmick he dreamed of earning.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Big E vs. Drew McIntyre (WWE Championship)

BIG MEATY MEN BUMPING MEAT! Big E and Drew McIntyre did exactly what they said they would do on Raw. McIntyre has consistently surprised me, pulling out novel and unique moves during these big matches. It’s different every time. Big E proved he can hold his own with the big dogs of WWE, and he secured the win. Both of these guys should be on to great things. My only knock against this match is it sort of felt like a house show match. In fact, a lot of the Crown Jewel matches felt like they were made to be sort-of artificially good with safe high-spots, kickouts in big moments, and not titles changing hands.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (SmackDown Women’s Championship)

All three women earned their spot being this late in the night, and they showed Saudi Arabia that Women’s Wrestling is a main event-worthy endeavor. Becky Lynch was the most over with the crowd, despite being the heel but the babyfaces earned big cheers throughout the match. Sasha Banks sold her ass off for both of her competitors, and she executed insane technical sequences that demanded her high levels of athleticism and timing. Bianca Belair had some of the best moments of the match with her feats of strength and athleticism. Together, they came out with a well-paced, creative, and excellent triple threat match. Lynch’s surprise rollup win using the ropes was a sort-of cop out to a great match, but it succeeded in making me dislike Lynch more because she pseudo-cheated and lucked her way out of an excellent match. The final result of this feud should still be to get Belair more over. Even without winning, they did that here. I also am always rooting for a big moment for Banks, who doesn’t really have her singular defining win or moment despite being the best all-around wrestler in the women’s division.

Final Grade: 8/10 Great

Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar (Universal Championship)

This match reminded me why Brock Lesnar is still involved in wrestling. Lesnar is unique of anything else WWE can offer. His style of sports entertainment is gripping grappling, and he seemed to be having fun being back in the ring this time. They had a good WWE-style main event, but the highlight for me was knocking out the ref to see who Paul Heyman’s allegiance is truly to. They didn’t answer the question because Heyman executed an awesome spot where he through the title belt in between them and said, “YOU know what to do with it!” We still don’t know who it was meant for, and Heyman looked agonized over the decision. Obviously, WWE is trying to hint that Heyman is with Lesnar, but there is still more in this story to go. With some help from the Usos, a shot with the title belt, and some Big Dog big moves, Roman Reigns won the match and kept his historic title reign going. It’s clear these are the two biggest stars in terms of credibility, so we will be seeing this match again moving forward.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Rob's Overall Grade

This year’s Crown Jewel had an excellent card with good build in terms of story. It ultimately felt like this was sort of a false WrestleMania, which I guess is what it is anyway. The matches were mostly good not great. There were no title changes or major storyline developments. What WWE delivered was entertaining to watch, but it was ultimately a house show in front of a stadium audience.

If this is what funds the rest of the year, I guess I’m on board, ethics and corrupt governments aside. WWE with help from Saudi Arabia’s government actually did a good job spreading the message that the Prince wanted to send to the world. Who doesn’t want to go to the parade in Saudi Arabia after the videos and images they showed? And if the best thing we got out of this weekend was the Undertaker announcing “Mr. Worldwide” Pitbull at a concert in Saudi Arabia, I’ll take this week as a win for online wrestling fans.

Final Grade: 7/10 Good

Reverse Hipster's Final Thoughts 9/10 A- I’m usually not a fan of these PPVs, but it was like a WrestleMania. The match quality was through the roof and I was entertained all night. Saudi Arabia had the best crowd, so far. They energized every match and helped the wrestlers to create magic. It’s going to be hard to top this PPV.

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