Rey Mysterio def. Randy Orton
I could already tell from the jump that this match was going to be more of a sprint than a regular match based on the moves these two were doing early in the match. They practically reached the finisher reversal sequences within 5 minutes.
The overall match was okay for the time given even if there was no story told, but it just ended up kind of flat to me. The finish was kind of abrupt as well. If we are building towards a Rey Mysterio/Randy Orton feud, I’d be cool with that even though I’m not sure what they’d do that’s different from 2006. But this was more SmackDown LIVE quality if anything. **
The Miz def. Jeff Hardy
Random side note, but why did the announcer tell us all the titles The Miz won and say that he’s a Grand Slam Champion after? They’re the same thing.
WWE is so fortunate this PPV is being held in front of a crowd that chants “This Is Awesome” to this match. It wasn’t bad, and it had a much better pace than Rey Mysterio/Randy Orton, but once again, it was about as basic a formula you could ask for. They played it safe and did what both both men did best. Still a feeling of dullness, though. **1/4
Seth Rollins def. Bobby Lashley
So are all these quarterfinal matches are just going to be sprints, huh? Seth Rollins can work great with just about anyone, but when you have a time restraint and you’re working with Bobby Lashley, the match can only be so good. Fortunately, I wasn’t expecting this match to be anything great. Nothing else to say about this, really. **1/4
Dolph Ziggler def. Kurt Angle
I’d say that this was the best quarterfinal match by a mile, but then that’s also acknowledging that the bar for the other matches wasn’t exactly high. We had a bit more back and forth interaction than the other matches, but it’s still relatively on the same level as the other matches.
I expected Kurt Angle to lose here because I knew he wouldn’t have the stamina to fight Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins back to back. Unfortunately, this isn’t 2005 anymore, and that same explosiveness he once had is all but gone. Decent match, but nothing eventful. Maybe if this was 2009. **1/2
Cesaro (C) and Sheamus (C) def. The New Day – SmackDown Tag Team Championship
This was a match with a predictable outcome, and the only reason for The Big Show to travel to this show was to interfere in the end. We should have just skipped to that point.
Overall, I found this to be a fine match. These two teams have made it practically impossible to have a bad match with each other. The pace was a bit different than that of the previous matches and had a little urgency to it, which was a welcome change. But probably no different than their other matches, save for the winner. ***
The Miz def. Rey Mysterio
This match was certainly better than any of the quarterfinal matches, as the heightened intensity and stakes gave the match a different dynamic. There was also some good near falls that I bought towards the end.
However, I’d like for you to notice that none of these matches have been GREAT. They’ve been either dull or passable. This particular match featured a much more frantic pace, and aside from a sloppy finishing transition, this match was pretty good. ***
Dolph Ziggler def. Seth Rollins
First thing I couldn’t help but notice is Dolph Ziggler’s lack of selling of the leg from his match with Kurt. There seems to be little continuity on this show now that I think about it. Trust me, I don’t mind whenever Seth Rollins/Dolph Ziggler fight, but at least pretend to not be 100%. In addition, we’ve seen these two fight way too much in a compressed period. It just feels tedious seeing them again.
Seth Rollins and Dolph Ziggler is always a good match, and this was an expedited version of that. They did all their typical moves and spots that we are used to seeing. I don’t have to go into serious detail because there’s nothing different here, right down to Drew McIntyre interfering. I was expecting Dean to influence the outcome and was shocked that Dolph Ziggler won. But whatever. Solid match. ***1/4
AJ Styles (C) def. Samoa Joe – WWE Championship
Samoa Joe mentions AJ Styles’ family and makes threats he can’t deliver on. AJ Styles vows to defend his family’s honor. AJ Styles and Samoa Joe have solid match. AJ Styles wins. Rinse. Repeat. I understand that this wasn’t the original plan, but this match has been squeezed out to its very last drop. We should all memorize their matches at this point.
Nothing in this match differentiates from anything else they had. It was a very good match. Of course it’s a very good match. It’s AJ Styles and Samoa Joe. But I also never want to see them again. At least until next year. Finish was kind of funny, too. Chalk this up on the list of how many times Samoa Joe has failed to deliver on a guarantee. Poor Samoa Joe. ***1/2
Brock Lesnar def. Braun Strowman – Universal Championship
Okay, seriously. What? Excuse me, but this is just the height of laziness. They just basically copied and pasted Roman Reigns’ and Brock Lesnar’s match at WrestleMania without all the blood. I also found it funny how all the announcers were amazed and pissing their pants over Braun Strowman kicking out of 2 F’5’s when Roman Reigns has kicked out of 5 before.
Sorry, but I’m absolutely incredulous. What possible reason is there to not put the title on Braun Strowman? How did he go from one of the fast rising future mega stars in the industry into an inept big man that can’t get the job done? Shame on anyone involved in booking this debacle. DUD
Shane McMahon def. Dolph Ziggler – WWE World Cup Finals
Is this a freaking joke? Don’t get me wrong. I’m not exactly Dolph Ziggler’s biggest fan, but no for real, are you kidding me here? Shane McMahon hasn’t won a singles match since he returned two years ago, and you make Dolph Ziggler have to lie down for him? For what reason? All that hooplah of the World Cup for….Shane McMahon to end on top?
This World Cup tournament was already pretty pointless to me and it didn’t matter who won, but for goodness sakes you couldn’t at least pretend to make it feel important? How are you going to make people sit through so many matches that were just going through the motions for a payoff of someone who has no business beating ANYBODY? This is beyond embarrassing on all accounts. -**
DX def. The Brothers of Destruction
I need to be honest with all of you. Watching this hurt my soul. This match was everything that I feared it would be. Four old men fighting for far too long. And one of them is a freaking mayor. I just don’t get what WWE’s obsession is with Triple H and The Undertaker fighting these 25+ minute style main events when they have no business doing so.
The match was slow, plodding and largely bland for most of it. I’ll admit that Shawn Michaels impressed me, showing sparks of what he could do in his prime, but I was largely disinterested. It was just so sloppy. At one point, there was a spot in the match where Triple H and The Undertaker were essentially running side by side wondering who should Irish Whip who to the barricade and they sort of just flung each other.
Whats even worse is that apparently Triple H tore his pectoral muscle and needs surgery. Perhaps that’s a sign that these kind of matches aren’t working anymore. I commend the effort, but this wasn’t good at all. All of this can be encapsulated by a bald Shawn Michaels telling a bald Triple H after the match, “we’re too old to be doing this”. *1/2
I didn’t believe Crown Jewel should have even taken place, and I was proven right. The biggest problem with this show is that it signifies the biggest issue WWE has yet to address. They can’t move on.
Brock Lesnar inexplicably won the Universal Title again. Shane McMahon won the World Cup. Four men with a combined age of of over 200 main evented in 2018. This was the first show since WrestleMania 22 to feature Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and Kurt Angle on the same card.
Something is seriously wrong here. I wouldn’t bother with this show. It is a complete waste of your time. There’s nothing redeeming on this show and no pay off for sitting through short, meaningless matches. Evolution is a far better watch. WWE may be swimming in money, but definitely not in quality. Thumbs down for Crown Jewel.