WWE Crown Jewel 2018: What Went Wrong

WWE Crown Jewel has now been and gone. Sadly, the likelihood is that all the outrage which came along with WWE staging a show in Saudi Arabia will have probably been forgotten about by the time Raw rolls around. What will help WWE shrug off that controversy is how bad Crown Jewel was. Not all of it, just some of the most important parts, one after the other during the last hour of the show. Things really did go downhill fast, didn't they?


As we hinted at above, it wasn't all bad. However, you have probably forgotten the few good parts since the overwhelmingly bad things all happened at the end of the show. The first round of the World Cup was good, and even the semifinals weren't all that bad either. Many fans were hoping that Seth Rollins would lose due to Dean Ambrose interfering, but would it really make sense to fly The Lunatic halfway around the world just for that? Then again, considering how the rest of the night was booked, Ambrose was probably backstage and WWE just neglected to use him.

The final match of the show that didn't drive fans into a frenzy will have been AJ Styles successful defense of the WWE Title versus Samoa Joe. Not the best match in the world, but it was changed with just a few days notice. So far not so bad, especially when compared to the last Saudi Arabia show. Brace yourselves though, as this is when we relive the horror that was the last three matches. It's almost as if Baron Corbin hitting Braun Strowman with the Universal Title gave the entirety of WWE's creative team a collective concussion.

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As soon as that match started and Brock Lesnar immediately hit The Monster with an F5, we knew it was time to prepare for the worst. Four more F5s later, and The Beast Incarnate was once again crowned as the Universal Champion. A ridiculous decision, but one bad choice does not a bad show make. It included four hours of action so the more forgiving of us can give Vince McMahon the benefit of the doubt on that one. Lesnar is still presumably returning to UFC, so hopefully, the reign won't last too long.


What came next was a lot less forgivable, even 24 hours removed from the show. Dolph Ziggler versus The Miz in the World Cup final wasn't what we were hoping for, but perhaps there was a method to the madness. Maybe Miz would lose and be dramatically fired from SmackDown Live. That would almost make up for the fact that we weren't getting Rey Mysterio versus Rollins. What really happened only made the absence of that match 1000 times worse. Miz injured himself, Shane McMahon took his place, and he won the match. Shane O Mac is the "best in the world." A terrible decision if he had been a part of the tournament, but a downright baffling one considering he simply inserted himself into the final.

via wwe.com

As you'll know all too well if you managed to keep watching until the main event, unbelievably, the worst was yet to come. We have had some time to think about it and still believe it to be one of the worst matches we have ever seen. Amazingly, if we had to pick which of the four wrestlers was best, we'd go with Shawn Michaels. The man who hadn't wrestled a match for eight and a half years. Now, it turns out Triple H tore his pectoral muscle, so we have given him the benefit of the doubt. However, there is still no excuse for the match as a whole. We hope that how poor it was has opened WWE's eyes to the risks of using older, part-time Superstars in such high profile spots.


So what went wrong with WWE Crown Jewel? Well, the short answer, WWE booked the three biggest matches as if the majority of their fans don't even exist. Lesnar is champion because the boss wants him to be, Shane is the "best in the world" because all too often his family uses the company as its own wrestling fantasy camp, and four men with the combined age of 206 competed in the main event because a Saudi Prince deemed it so. Have faith in your younger stars WWE and trust us when we say that top storylines don't necessarily need a McMahon. Look no further than WWE Evolution for a template of what a PPV should be. While you're at it if you do insist on returning to Saudi Arabia and repeating the shocker that was Crown Jewel, don't show it on the WWE Network.


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