Welcome to another edition of WWE Heat Index, wherein we discuss the interest level for the various feuds heading into the pay-per-view events. This time around, we’re focusing on WWE Crown Jewel 2019 coming this Thursday afternoon.
The way this works is a pretty simple three-way breakdown of Hot, Lukewarm and Cold. If you like something and you’re very interested in how WWE is setting up the program, it’s Hot (aka Good). If you’re a bit on the fence about it and see some problems, but it’s not awful, then it’s just Okay or Lukewarm. The ones that are the most problematic that you have no interest in are Cold (aka Bad).
Universal Championship Falls Count Anywhere Match: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Bray Wyatt = Lukewarm/Cold
Based off the way Hell in a Cell went down, I have very little faith WWE knows what they’re doing. Either Seth Rollins will retain the title and they are tone deaf enough not to know that fans will be pissed about that, or Bray Wyatt will win the belt and there will be a scramble of what to do next.
There are almost no circumstances I can see where this works out well, and I don’t even know if I can bank on the match itself being all that great, despite how I’m a fan of Falls Count Anywhere stipulations.
I’m hoping for the best, but I’m expecting the worst.
Prediction: Seth Rollins wins.
WWE Championship Match: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez = Lukewarm/Cold
Brock Lesnar matches are always short and have almost no substance to them. Either he squashes his opponents, or they put up an energetic fight and then he wins. Every so often, the reverse happens where he gets his ass handed to him and loses, like with Goldberg.
I don’t think any of those matches are as fun as they could be, and I’m not anticipating a break from the mold here. So far, Cain Velasquez has looked like crap, so why should I expect him to wow me?
I also don’t care at all about their former UFC history, as I’m a wrestling fan, not an MMA fan. I don’t want either of them as champion, either, so I have almost nothing to latch onto here other than pure curiosity of how bad it can be and what nonsense it can lead to that will make the next bunch of months/years insufferable.
Prediction: Cain Velasquez wins.
Team Hogan vs. Team Flair = Hot/Lukewarm
I can’t say I’m fully Hot on this, as my expectations are pretty managed. However, it does feature a good number of people I’m fond of, so there’s some potential.
What I’m assuming will happen here is that it will be a regular tag team match in that everyone will do their finishers toward the end with the chaos. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair will fight at some point and the moment will be cooler than the action itself.
Then, Roman Reigns will score the winning spear (probably on Baron Corbin) and it will ultimately mean nothing, but it could fill up some time and be pretty good.
Prediction: Team Hogan wins.
20-Man Battle Royal = Hot/Lukewarm
The cast of competitors here is pretty blah, but I’m a fan of Battle Royals. I especially like when they have stakes, so I’m digging the title shot aspect.
This isn’t the biggest of all time or anything like that, but it doesn’t need to be. All they have to do is have 20 guys head to the ring, toss each other around and I’ll think it’s okay, so long as the finish isn’t problematic.
Prediction: Humberto Carrillo wins.
United States Championship Match: AJ Styles (c) vs. TBD = Lukewarm
This all depends on who wins the battle royal. If Humberto Carrillo wins, I’ll nosedive into not caring about it, as I just can’t get behind him as a performer.
However, if WWE switches it up and does something different, there’s a chance this could be a lot of fun. I would love to see Buddy Murphy or Luke Harper win, for instance.
Prediction: AJ Styles wins.
Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury = Hot
Even though Tyson Fury struggled with his punches, I feel so much more passion behind his performance than I do with Cain Velasquez. If not just for that alone, I think this match is going to be better than the WWE Championship fight.
I’m worried about WWE jobbing Braun Strowman out, though. He can’t be knocked out and still look like a monster. If he loses this match (which I don’t think he should, but I do think he will) it has to come about in a way that he doesn’t look weak.
It’s a tricky situation to navigate and I have little faith WWE will be delicate surgeons and come out stain-free of blood all over Braun Strowman’s career, but I’m still intrigued.
Prediction: Tyson Fury wins.
World Cup Tag Team Turmoil Match = Hot/Lukewarm
Sometimes, when WWE has a match like this, the guys involved take a do-nothing scenario and turn it into a gem. For some reason, I’m starting to feel that might happen with this year’s World Cup.
It’s a stupid trophy that is tainted by how horrible the Shane McMahon storyline was over this past year, but I’ll give credit where it’s due that they’re switching it up. They could have just as easily done another singles tournament, but this tag team turmoil setup is more interesting.
Like anything, if this is booked poorly, it can be a train wreck. However, I’m more optimistic about this than I probably should be.
Prediction: The Viking Raiders win.
Mansoor vs. Cesaro = Lukewarm
It’s tough to get behind something that is so blatantly there for political favoritism, but that’s what this match is all about. There’s no reason Mansoor is on this card and wrestling in a singles match against Cesaro other than that Saudi Arabia wants him to win a match.
With that being said, though, I don’t dislike Mansoor. I think he’s perfectly fine. He’s about as good as the average NXT Performance Center house show loop material, if not a little better.
I’m not gushing over the guy and thinking he has WrestleMania main events in his future, but he could have a good sleeper match with Cesaro. It’s definitely possible.
Prediction: Mansoor wins.