Just as quickly as we’d forgot that Vinny Mac had sold his soul to the Saudis we’ve arrived back in the Middle East for Crown Jewel.
The 10 year partnership only into its second year of installments and yet it’s been taken another notch up in the scale of utter ridiculousness.
Welcoming the Gypsy King to the carnival that is the WWE, alongside a former UFC heavyweight champion, digging up The Mouth Of The South’s megaphone and the rematch that nobody wants to be buried further in the Universal Title bout.
With Smackdown moving to Friday nights Crown Jewel has been moved to the Thursday evening for those in the UK and will run for a standard 3-hour show plus kick-off where they’ll probably bury Drew Gulak a little bit further since his move to the main roster from 205 Live.
Beyond this there are still the obvious reasons we should also totally abandon every thought of Crown Jewel, and if you don’t actually care what I predict from here on out then I can totally respect that. The event in Saudi Arabia will miss the mouthpiece of Shinsuke Nakamura Sami Zayn, because Sami’s parents are Syrian which means he’s not allowed to enter the country. Not only this we will not see any women compete on this event because Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and his countries views against women are abhorrent and stuck in the Stone Age. A travesty all round.
Mansoor v Cesaro
Announced via Twitter, this match is for the locals. Cesaro has been around the globe and fought them all so who better to be up against Mansoor, giving him the good rub and making him look like solid gold going forwards. Not only this but the pop for a Mansoor win will probably be the peak of the whole damn show.
Prediction – Mansoor
Lacey Evans vs Natalya
Just so we are all on the same page, I’m writing this prediction after completing my initial article. We were all informed on Wednesday that Natalya V Lacey Evans had been added to the Crown Jewel match card, which had come as a surprise to us all while being received with mixed emotions.
While we should only see the movement as something positive for women in the Middle East, it totally smells of lined pocketed propaganda. The last time 2 women fought in the Middle East they wore head to toe outfits, and the match was about as long as an OAPs bowls match. Let’s not forget that women in Saudi Arabia are limited to their interaction with men (quickly with that 3 count) and they aren’t allowed to show off their beauty meaning even Lacey Evans will be marked a “nasty” to the Saudis.
A victory for either woman is a victory for women across Saudi Arabia, a positive step forward for sports in the country and the future. So I’ll go for Lacey Evans because WWE seems hell-bent on making her a big deal.
Prediction – Lacey Evans
Tag Team Turmoil To Crown “The Best Tag Team In The World”
Let’s all be honest we’d have preferred it to have been a Thunderbastard Tag, but we can’t always get what we want thus Tag Team Turmoil will crown ‘The Best Tag Team’ in the world. Featuring teams from both brands including The New Day, Viking Raiders, Heavy Machinery, Lucha House Party, The O.C and many more I half expect a few surprise entrants to keep it a bit more exciting, if I were to pick a few it’d be The Street Profits, Undisputed Era and the returning Hardy Boyz if Jeff has his act together.
Giving that the Saudis have a firm grip on the past my overall prediction points towards a veteran win in The Hardy Boyz taking the crown, failing this they’ll throw it on The New Day so they can add it to their introduction. Don’t you dare be sour.
Prediction – The New Day
Long Shot – The Hardy Boys
20 Man Battle Royal for a shot at the United States Championship
Because there isn’t a clear contender for AJ Styles United States championship, WWE decided that the best way to fill a good amount of time would be to decide by a 20 man battle royal. Who are the entrants into this battle royal…Nobody knows. While most won’t be pulling double duty I expect we may well see some fresh faces included, like Babatunde from NXT will probably also play a part and after his showing against AJ on RAW Humberto will be up there when the numbers begin to thin out.
The match will end in same way as Lex Luger and Bret Hart ended the Royal Rumble in 1994, Andrade & Humberto crashing over the top rope and both hitting the ground together putting AJ Styles in a Triple Threat.
Prediction – Tie between Andrade and Humbero Carrillo
Triple Threat for the WWE United States Championship – AJ Styles V Andrade V Humberto Carrillo
Andrade will win this via pinfall after a round of finishers from himself and Humberto sending the crowd into raptures of applause, fireworks going off and confetti everywhere.
Team Hogan v Team Flair
When Vince McMahon had to explain that half of the WWE roster from Survivor Series 1990 was no longer around he convinced the Saudis that he could bring Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair and Jimmy Hart. He also then had to explain the direct contrast of competitors would be a direct correlation to those that competed that fateful night of November 22nd, 1990 including HBK dressed up as The Gobbledy Gooker with Jack Tunney as his witness.
With a good amount of build-up since the first introduction on Miz TV, Hogan and Flair have filled their adjacent teams with some of the biggest names from both brands captained by Roman Reigns and Randy Orton. Reigns will be flanked by the now RKO recovering Ricochet, heartbroken Rusev, Ali and the ever-growing joke that is Shorty G with everyone’s favourite racist Hulk Hogan outside the ring and Jimmy Hart beside him. Orton has King Corbin, Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura minus Sami Zayn, the bull that is Bobby Lashley and fading into the distance the further we get down the line, Drew Mcintyre. Somewhere in that cataclysm of a cluster nugget will be Ric Flair throwing his suit jacket on the floor and giving it an elbow drop.
The obvious winner of this will be Team Hogan, but expect to see some absolutely terrible moments.
Prediction: Team Hogan
Braun Strowman v Tyson Fury
This could easily be a pre-curser to a Wrestlemania rematch, Strowman the strongman versus lineal boxing champion Fury. Just like when Wayne Rooney slapped the taste out of the mouth of Bad News Barrett, a treat was given to us in the front row on Smackdowns Fox debut when Tyson Fury jumped the barricade and shouted “Dosser” at Strowman, oh how wonderful it was to watch. We were then further treated to a full-on brawl on RAW (if you can call it that) a back and forth between the two looked more like tickling which ended in Fury punching out Cesaro.
The bout will end in the monster among men receiving a TKO from Fury, standing with one leg on Braun arms aloft for him to send a message to Deontay Wilder, who he will face in a rematch in Saudi Arabia at a later date.
Prediction: Tyson Fury
Falls Count Anywhere, The Match Cannot Be Stopped for the WWE Universal Championship – Seth Rollins v “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt
Controversy, controversy, controversy.
We are being treated once again to a rematch of Rollins and Wyatt, which previously ended in a no contest and Wyatt moving brands to Smackdown. In a cross match the two once more face each other but now it’s Falls Count Anywhere, as if we didn’t want the gimmick of “The Fiend” buried further since Rollins burnt down The Firefly Fun House he’s being given a free reign to take it out to the barn and put it to sleep. Yowie wowie-promotion.
With there being no actual real point to them both facing up against each other once more, I can only hope that Ramblin Rabbit and Mercy The Buzzard transfigure themselves into Rowan & Harper reforming The Wyatt Family leaving Seth Rollins under a pile of chairs in the middle of the ring after the most brutal beat down.
Prediction: The Fiend
WWE Championship – Brock Lesnar v Cain Velasquez
A child has genuinely taken a few beatings to bring us this match but also shown us that Brock Lesnar does genuinely fear somebody (maybe). Its the UFC rematch, and has all of the ingredients to be outstanding but who are we kidding it’s going to be absolutely terrible. Lesnar will throw a few F5’s and some sort of shenanigans and walk away from Saudi Arabia the champion leading us into a Wrestlemania rematch, failing that maybe “The Fiend” will appear and surprise us all?… We aren’t that lucky though, are we?… ARE WE?!
Prediction: Brock Lesnar
So there it is, there are my predictions for the glorified house show we call Crown Jewel, it bears no meaning in reality, and only one storyline will possibly follow on from events within Crown Jewel but even then who actually cares?
Thanks for reading, don’t tune into Crown Jewel and catch you on the 450 flipside.
You can find me on Twitter @RobTroubadour. Thanks for reading.