Pro Wrestling

WWE Crown Jewel Recap

Crown Jewel was held on Friday from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, despite all the controversy surrounding it. The WWE has tried to stack the card with big names to lessen the impact of the controversy. But let’s not focus on that as what’s done is done. Let us focus on the in-ring competition of the Superstars. This is you’re Crown Jewel Recap. And be sure to check out our recap of WWE Evolution.

Kickoff Show

United States Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

This matchup was a solid match given it wasn’t announced until the night before the event. Nakamura and Rusev are two on the most consistent workers on Smackdown Live. And thus delivered a very good match to “kick-off” the show.

Main Card

The event would begin with the “Host” Hulk Hogan.

World Cup Tournament Round 1: Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

To begin the night as the crowd was behind Rey from the start. Randy Orton would use his size advantage and Rey would use his speed advantage. The contrasting styles would be a nice way to begin the night’s actions. Although the match ended quickly which was to be expected given the nature of a one-night tournament. Following the match, Randy Orton would deliver an RKO on Mysterio and continue the assault on the outside.

World Cup Tournament Round 1: Jeff Hardy vs. The Miz

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

Another match of contrasting styles was with Jeff Hardy’s fast pace high flying style versus a more grounded style of The Miz. The booking in this matchup had a nice pace. Including the quick reversal of the Twist of Fate into the Skull Crushing Finale.

World Cup Tournament Round 1: Seth Rollins vs. Bobby Lashley w/ Lio Rush

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

The power and speed of Bobby Lashley would dominate the early part of the matchup. Lashley would focus his attack on the neck of Seth Rollins. And although Seth would be on the receiving end of much of the beating he would come out on top.

World Cup Tournament Round 1: Kurt Angle vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟

This matchup is very interesting because of both men’s amateur wrestling backgrounds. Kurt and Dolph would exchange control early on in the match. Kurt Angle would be locked in the Sleeper Hold and his face would turn almost purple. The color turn of Kurt’s face would cause Renee Young to comment on the change. Kurt would have the upper hand for most of the match but it would not be enough to overcome Dolph Ziggler.

Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships: New Day vs. The Bar w. Big Show

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟 1/2

The Smackdown Live Tag Team titles have spent much of the time with the New Day and The Bar throughout the 2018 calendar year. And these two teams put on great showings just about each and every time. This match was no different. The interference, in the end, will obviously lead to a continued program between the two groups.

World Cup Tournament Semi-Finals Smackdown Live: The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟

In the first bout of the second round, Rey Mysterio and The Miz would square off. And in this second round matchup, The Miz would concentrate on the midsection that was left injured by Randy Orton’s first round post-match attack. And it was ultimately that “injured” midsection that would bring Miz the victory.

World Cup Tournament Semi-Finals RAW: Set Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

These two men spent the majority of the Summer battling over the Intercontinental Championship. And with the familiarity and being arguably the best two Superstars in WWE today this match was the match of the tournament. Ziggler would focus in on the neck that was “injured” earlier in the tournament against Bobby Lashley. This match would feature interference from Drew McIntyre thus ensuring victory for Dolph Ziggler.

WWE Championship: Samoa Joe vs. AJ Styles

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

This rivalry has become extremely intense over the past few months. And even though this was a last minute replacement for Daniel Bryan (who took the moral high ground on Crown Jewel. Daniel we applaud you.) This match was (excuse the pun) “phenomenal.” Samoa Joe and AJ Styles are two of the greatest wrestlers in the history of the business. The WWE Championship match was as hard a hitting contest as could be had under “normal rules” conditions. An incredible contest between two incredible competitors.

Universal Championship: Brock Lesnar w/ Paul Heyman vs. Braun Strowman

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 0 Stars

I wish I could say that this match went down unexpectedly but it did not. After a pre-match attack by “acting RAW General Manager” Baron Corbin with the Universal Championship. Brock Lesnar would deliver five F-5s to Braun Strowman. And pick up the victory.

World Cup Tournament Finals: The Miz vs. Dolph Ziggler w/ Drew McIntyre

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 0 Stars

The referee would begin by throwing out Drew McIntyre. Which would lead to the Miz attacking Dolph Ziggler before the opening bell would sound. But when the Miz would head to the outside of the ring to continue the attack on Ziggler, it would seem as if Miz injure his right ankle/leg. Miz would continue to proclaim he can compete but he was unable to stand.

World Cup Tournament Finals: Shane McMahon vs. Dolph Ziggler

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 0 Stars

Shane McMahon would then insert himself in the matchup as The Miz’s replacement. Shane would then go hard after Ziggler to begin the match. Baron Corbin would visibly trip Shane and would get tossed by the ref. Shane would survive a Zig Zag and follow it up with a Coast to Coast. Shane McMahon would be crowned “The Best in the World.” A McMahon winning a tournament to crown the “best in the world” is yet another disrespectful slap in the face of the true Best in the World CM Punk.

DX vs. Brothers of Destruction

Laracuente Ledger Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

In a match no one thought would happen we have for the first time ever the brothers of Destruction versus D-Generation X. Triple H and Kane would start off but it wouldn’t take long to get HBK in the match. The mood would change on Shawn Michaels face once Undertaker got the tag. The Undertaker and Kane would then take control much of the match. For a man coming out of an eight-year retirement, Shawn Michaels was very much on point.

There would be a lot of leeway given to the competitors in this match. Shawn Michaels would spend much of the match on the receiving end of The Brothers of Destruction beat down. Shawn Michaels would show that old man time hasn’t stopped him when he delivered a top rope moonsault to ringside onto the Brothers of Destruction. Arguably the top four men in World Wrestling Entertainment history put on a good showing. It wasn’t always pretty when you look at the carnage in and around the ring. But with the D-X win, this story isn’t over.

Overall Crown Jewel Rating: 🌟🌟 

Given all the controversy surrounding the event, the WWE had a tall order in trying to overshadow that dark cloud. And while most of the matches were solid there were only three matches that stood out.

Overall the weight of the dark cloud seemed to dampen what could have been a decent show at best. The interferences in some key matches (aside from Drew McIntyre’s) made for questionable decisions. As much as I like Shane McMahon, he is not the Best in the World. The moniker will always belong to CM Punk. Alas, sadly the Crown Jewel event will not go down as a memorable one for anything other than the controversy that lead to it.

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