Crown Jewel 2022
Date: November 5, 2022
Location: Mrsool Park, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Wade Barrett
We’re back in Saudi Arabia and in this case that means we are going to be seeing Logan Paul getting a shot at Roman Reigns. It’s a straight up celebrity match and the question is how well Paul can do in the situation. This show feels like a regular pay per view which happens to be taking place in Saudi Arabia so hopefully they can make that work. Let’s get to it.
The opening video features Titus O’Neil talking about how this is the countdown to impossible. The idea is tied into Logan Paul needing to hit that one lucky shot to beat Roman Reigns, which is the entirety of the main event build.
Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Lesnar came back a few weeks ago and randomly attacked Lashley to cost him the US Title, setting up the big showdown. Lashley goes after him on the floor before the bell and takes out the leg. They go inside for the opening bell, then another spear drops Lesnar inside. The spear sends Lesnar through the barricade on the floor and a fourth spear gives Lashley two back inside as we’re a minute in. The Hurt Lock is countered into a German suplex and the F5 gets two.
Lashley knocks him outside again as the knee is still bothering Lesnar. The posting rocks Lesnar and the spinebuster plants him back inside. The fans are not pleased with Lashley before and after he grabs the Hurt Lock, with Lesnar having to power back up (Referee: “Do you give up?” Lesnar: “Shut up!”). Lesnar kicks off the buckle to take it to the mat…and pins Lashley at 5:59 without breaking the hold.
Rating: C+. I’m never sure how to rate something like this as it was a hard hitting fight, but they kept doing the same stuff over and over until one of them lost. Lashley getting pinned is certainly a choice, though I’m not sure how much sense it makes to have him lose when Lesnar isn’t even a full time guy. The ending almost has to set up a rematch, likely at Survivor Series, but dang it’s weird to see Lashley losing again.
Post match Lashley Hurt Locks him again and Lesnar is out.
Women’s Tag Team Titles: Damage Ctrl vs. Asuka/Alexa Bliss
Damage Ctrl (minus Bayley) is challenging after losing the titles this week on Raw. Before the match, Alexa and Asuka talk about how they know they’ll win, but the Bray Wyatt symbol pops up to scare Bliss a bit. Bliss and Kai lock up to start with Kai working on the arm. A quick trip puts Kai down so she tries the same thing on Bliss, only to have Bliss stand on her back.
Sky comes in and gets shouldered down by Asuka, only to slip out of a double suplex. Stereo hip attacks put Damage Ctrl on the floor but they come back in to take out Asuka’s knee. Some shots to said knee keep Asuka in trouble but she’s fine enough to hit a bulldog/clothesline combination. The hot tag brings in Bliss to clean house, including a tornado DDT and Code Red for two on Sky.
Asuka breaks up a double superplex and missile dropkicks Kai for two. Kai kicks Bliss down for two more and seems to go a bit bonkers, allowing Bliss to drop her as well. Twisted Bliss hits knees though and Sky’s Asai moonsault misses Asuka. Back in and the DDT plants Kai so Bliss can go up. The referee is with Asuka and Sky though, meaning Nikki Cross can run in and take out Bliss. The confused Kai gets the pin and the titles at 12:49.
Rating: C+. So Cross gets to cause more chaos by putting us right back to the norm that we had been in before this week’s Raw. Damage Ctrl getting the titles back is a bit weird, but hopefully they are moving on to Bliss vs. Cross instead of Damage Ctrl vs. Bliss/Belair/Asuka. The match got some time but wasn’t as fun as the Raw main event, which is a bit of a strange path.
Logan and Jake Paul arrive.
We recap Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross. McIntyre is tired of Scarlett costing him matches, including their Extreme Rules strap match, so now they’re in a cage to keep her out.
Drew McIntyre vs. Karrion Kross
In a cage with Scarlett at ringside. Kross goes to the throat to start so they both go to the top rope, with McIntyre getting crotched. Some rams into the cage knock McIntyre silly and it’s time to yell at him in the corner. That’s enough for McIntyre to come back with a clothesline into the overhead belly to belly. Now it’s Kross going into the cage, followed by a Michinoku Driver for two.
They go up top with McIntyre getting crotched but being fine enough to lift himself up for the head grab superplex. The Claymore is loaded up but Kross cuts it off with a running knee to the face. Kross grabs the Krossjacket and the Doomsday Saito, only to miss the Krosshammer. McIntyre hits a quick Futureshock, which is enough to draw up Scarlett for a distraction.
Now the Krosshammer can connect so Kross goes up, only to be superplexed back down in the big crash. McIntyre goes for the door and Scarlett maces him, but Kross still can’t get out. Kross gets ankle locked back inside and hit with a headbutt but Scarlett locks the cage and takes the key. McIntyre starts climbing and gets to the floor for the win at 13:01 as Kross goes through the door a second later.
Rating: B-. I’m not sure why this feud gets the bad reputation they’ve had so far as I’ve liked it well enough. McIntyre gets a win to give him some momentum back and it wouldn’t surprise me to see this run back in a rubber match of some kind. Scarlett’s interference only played into this so much and that’s nice to see for a change. Kross lost but didn’t get pinned too so this was a good way to save his face while giving McIntyre a big win.
The Bloodline arrives and Roman Reigns won’t talk about the idea of one lucky punch. Paul Heyman mocks the idea too, even with Shawn Michaels coaching Logan Paul about looking for the opening.
Judgment Day vs. OC
Balor sends Anderson into the corner to start but gets kicked in the ribs for his efforts. Priest comes in and gets to face Gallows, who unloads on him with shots to the face in the corner. It’s off to Styles, who gets stomped down by Priest, meaning Dominik is now willing to come in. That’s fine with Styles, who plants him with a backbreaker so the OC can take over again. Balor gets dragged in as everything breaks down, with Priest superkicking Anderson on the floor.
Back in and Anderson gets beaten down, including a backbreaker/legdrop combo for two. Anderson fights out of a double arm crank but can’t quite get over for the tag. The jumping neckbreaker gets Anderson out of trouble but Balor pulls Styles to the floor in a smart move. As you might expect, Anderson is able to bring in gallows a few seconds later so house can be cleaned again. A pumphandle slam drops Dominik but Priest breaks up the Magic Killer. Styles and Balor come in to slug it out until Styles has to stop for a faceplant on Priest.
The Calf Crusher is countered into a Figure Four but Anderson makes the save this time. Everything breaks down and we hit the parade of secondary finishers until Balor Nightmare On Helms Streets Styles for two. Everyone goes up and Styles superplexes Balor as Gallows and Priest hit stereo electric chairs to leave all six down. It’s Styles up first but Rhea Ripley breaks up the Phenomenal Forearm (Cole: “Somebody’s gotta kick her a**!”). The Coup de Grace gives Balor the pin at 13:56.
Rating: C+. Remember the other matches these teams have had where Ripley cost the OC the match? This was the latest one in the series as the OC still needs to get someone to deal with her. The match was good enough because of the talent involved, but it was more of what we have seen for a few weeks now.
We recap Braun Strowman vs. Omos. They’re both monsters and now those monsters are clashing.
Omos vs. Braun Strowman
No MVP here with Omos. They do the big staredown to start and then the test of strength, with Omos powering him down. A running boot to the face sends Strowman outside but he comes back in with some right hands. Omos slams him down without much trouble and then does it again for an arrogant two. Strowman fights back and knocks him outside, only to have the Express cut off. Back in and the chokebomb is blocked, setting up the running powerslam to give Strowman the pin at 7:23.
Rating: C. This is in the category of “it was what it was”. You knew what you were going to get here and Omos got to look good before falling to the bigger star. Strowman is freshly back after his long hiatus so he needed the win more than Omos did here. Some of the power stuff looked good but there is only so much you can get out of this kind of a match.
Tag Team Titles: Usos vs. Brawling Brutes
The Usos are defending and Jey might have a broke wrist. Butch rolls Jimmy up for two so the champs try to leave, only to have Butch dive off the apron onto both of them. Jimmy gets in a shot on Butch though and the champs take over. The running Umaga attack misses though and Butch is right back with a tornado DDT to drop Jimmy. It’s off to Holland to clean house with the running corner clotheslines and the ten forearms to Jey’s chest.
The Brutes stomp Jimmy’s arm onto the steps like the Bloodline did to Sheamus, leaving Jey to get caught with a swinging Side Effect for two. Butch goes up, head fakes Jey to avoid a superkick, and drops Jey again. Everything breaks down and a superkick to Dunne looks to set up the Superfly Splash. That’s pulled into the triangle choke with Dunne bending the fingers back.
Jimmy makes the blind tag to Jey though and it’s a superkick into the double Superfly Splash for two, with Butch making the save. Jey’s bad hand is bent around and it’s Holland with White Noise for a very near fall. The Brutes send Jimmy over the barricade and a kick to the head into Northern Grit gets two more as Jimmy dives back in for the save. Holland is sent outside and it’s a super 1D to retain the titles at 10:35.
Rating: B-. They had some good action here but announcing the New Day title match for next week’s Smackdown killed off any interest that they might have had here. I’m curious about Jey’s wrist, which could be a problem in the future, but for now it added some drama to a match that didn’t have much coming in. The Brutes did well, but they had no chance to win here and it was pretty clear from the start.
Raw Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Bayley
Belair is defending in a Last Woman Standing match. Some slams have Bayley in trouble early so she grabs a kendo stick. The running swing misses and the stick falls to the floor, where it lands on the barricade. Now it’s a chair being brought in, which is dropkicked into Bayley’s face. Now it’s a ladder being slid inside but Belair knocks her outside again. Belair moves the steps around to the side of the ring but gets pulled down by the hair.
Bayley sits her in a chair and hits a clothesline off the barricade for nowhere near ten. The table is pulled out but Belair fights out and suplexes her on the ramp instead. Bayley seems to tweak her ankle, only to be goldbricking to hit Belair in the face. Back in and Bayley gets in a chair shot, only to have the chair thrown at her for a nasty crash. Bayley goes with the steps and pins Belair behind them, only to have Belair lift them up and knock Bayley down for eight.
They fight up the ramp with Belair nearly breaking the kendo stick over her, only to get Bayley to Bellied for nine. With that not working, Bayley gets creative by throwing Belair inside an anvil case. Belair fights out, gets her hair caught in the case by mistake (OUCH) and then rolls the case at Bayley. The KOD is countered into a Crossface to put Belair in trouble. Bayley goes off and finds a golf cart, which she drives at Belair, albeit nicely enough to stop before actually making contact.
Belair kicks her in the face and puts Bayley on top of the cart before driving it down to ringside. Bayley gets tossed off the top of the cart and ONTO (not through) the table for a scary landing. A powerbomb through the table gets nine so Belair slams her on some chairs. The 450 only hits chairs though and Bayley hammers away. Belair is right back with a KOD onto an open chair (with Bayley’s knee landing badly). It’s time to get creative though as Belair puts her in the ladder and slides it under the buckle so Bayley can’t make it to her feet at 20:44.
Rating: B. The violence was good, but there were some spots here that were probably a lot better on paper than in execution. At the same time, I’m not big on the “intelligent” endings that you see here, as they go from violent to someone being more clever when they can’t put the other one away. On top of that, Belair needs a new opponent now and I’m not entirely sure who that is, unless Ripley gets her title shot out of nowhere.
Here is Bray Wyatt for a chat. Wyatt talks about how he made a monster of himself and wore his mask with pride. Bray found himself on an island of loneliness as the monster destroyed him. There he sat alone, with no one to love him and nowhere to run. Fans: “WE LOVE YOU!” Bray says no one loves him but now he needs to write the ending to his story.
Then Uncle Howdy pops up on screen, with Bray’s voice talking about why someone would wear a mask. Howdy asks if the people would still love Bray if they knew the real one. Bray will go too far and it will feel so good, so don’t take the mask off. Tell him he’s wrong. This was in fact a Wyatt appearance and it did in fact advance pretty much nothing.
We recap Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul. Reigns is a monster who hasn’t lost in years, but Paul didn’t get knocked out in a fight in another sport and has a lot of Youtube followers so that makes it interesting.
Undisputed WWE Universal Title: Roman Reigns vs. Logan Paul
Reigns, with Paul Heyman (for the sake of clarity, any mentions of “Paul” will mean Logan), is defending and powers Paul into the corner to start. Paul wrestles him down a few times and Reigns actually needs a breather on the floor. Back in and Paul tells him to stop running so Reigns hits an elbow to the face. Some rights and lefts to the ribs set up a hiptoss to Reigns, followed by a running clothesline to the floor. A diving clothesline off the barricade takes Reigns down again and it’s a Buckshot Lariat for two back inside.
Paul’s springboard is knocked out of the air and Heyman is right there with the big rah rah speech. The chinlock goes on for a bit, followed by the corner clotheslines. The jumping clothesline gives Reigns two and he grabs a one armed camel clutch. Paul fights up and hits a gutwrench suplex for a much needed double knockdown. A Blockbuster gives Paul two and he hits his own Superman Punch (which looked a lot more like a Shawn Michaels flying forearm) into a high crossbody.
The standing moonsault gets two and Heyman is stunned. Sweet Chin Music (complete with Tuning Up The Band) is countered into a release Rock Bottom for two. The Superman Punch is countered with a shot to the ribs and the big right hand, followed by the Superman Punch to give Paul two. They head outside with Logan putting him on the announcers’ table. Paul talks to his friends in the front row, with one of them giving him a camera as Paul goes up top.
The splash through the table (with camera in hand) connects but here are the Usos to beat up Paul’s friends. Cue Logan’s brother Jake (also Paul) to take the Usos out with a right hand each. Logan hits a frog splash for two and here is Solo Sikoa to go after Jake. Logan dives onto the Usos and goes back inside, where Reigns hits the Superman Punch. The spear retains the title at 24:45.
Rating: B+. They went too far with the run-ins and interferences, but this was GREAT for a celebrity match and I was having a very good time. I didn’t think for a second that they were going to change the title, but that isn’t the point of something like this. The match was all about Paul getting to blow people’s minds and it worked well. Very fun stuff here, as Logan absolutely has the talent to be a special attraction around here. This was highly entertaining (Jake Paul easily dispatching the Tag Team Champions aside) and far better than I would have expected.
The Bloodline celebrates for a long time, with Reigns saying he doesn’t want to see Logan again.
Overall Rating: B. This was a bit of a weird show as it is a total pit stop, with everything pretty much being how it was before this week’s Raw. The main event was a blast and there was some other good stuff, but it isn’t the place to look for anything actually happening. Survivor Series is coming and the card needs to be set, but for now we had an entertaining show with some good action, which is more than I would have bet on.
Brock Lesnar b. Bobby Lashley – Rollup
Damage Ctrl b. Asuka/Alexa Bliss – Swinging neckbreaker from Nikki Cross
Drew McIntyre b. Karrion Kross – McIntyre escaped the cage
Judgment Day b. OC – Coup de Grace to Styles
Braun Strowman b. Omos – Running powerslam
Usos b. Brawling Brutes – Super 1D to Holland
Bianca Belair b. Bayley when Bayley could not answer the ten count
Roman Reigns b. Logan Paul – Spear
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