Episode 280: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly from WWE’s Crown Jewel

Hiya!

Thank God I don’t have to review Crown Jewel! I had just watched the WWE show from “parts unknown” (because they never said where it was, although it was painfully obvious where the show was being held) and it was a slog! I was going to write a review but there’s a review scheduled for Bohemian Rhapsody for I’ll Review Anything, so I’m free! Yay!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have anything ready to write about this week. So, guess what? I’m going to still write about WWE’s Crown Jewel. Boo! Well, at least I don’t have to do a breakdown of each and every match. What I can do is just condense the good stuff, the bad stuff and the ugly, awful stuff that went down on Crown Jewel.

Here we go!


Good: Having Renee Young on commentary at the event

This is something that I will give credit to the WWE for. There’s a reason why the WWE held Evolution prior to Crown Jewel. It’s because women are practically forbidden to perform at “parts unknown” because of the country’s culture. But they somehow managed to get Renee Young at commentary for Crown Jewel! 

Holy crap! There’s a woman at “parts unknown” on camera!

It may seem like a small thing but it’s actually huge for a couple of reasons. For one, there’s a woman doing commentary in a country like “parts unknown!” It’s a huge step in the right direction for women’s rights in that country. And second, Renee Young is really new at doing commentary for the main shows. So it looks like the WWE has put a lot of faith on her that she’d do a good job. Her performance at Crown Jewel was okay, though; it wasn’t excellent by any stretch of the imagination but it was still a surprise to see her do commentary for a pay-per-view event

Good: The Quarterfinals and Semifinals matches of the Best in the World tournament

The entire selling point of Crown Jewel was a tournament to determine who was going to be the “Best in the World,” which sounds good on paper. In reality, this is just a recycled King of the Ring tournament with even less stakes because no matter who wins, they’re not going to be traipsing to RAW or Smackdown carrying with them some weird trophy. Or maybe they will… I’ll get to that later.

I didn’t expect the matches each and every one of the Crown Jewel tournament matches to be anything of note. The WWE Superstars would need to wrestle, at most, three times. That would be exhausting. But I still expected them to put on an okay performance… and I wasn’t disappointed.

None of the quarterfinals nor the semifinals from Crown Jewel will be getting any Match of the Year nods. They were quick and safe events but each Superstar played the hits they’re known for. Nothing great but still okay. And okay is just good in my book.

Good: AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe for the World Heavyweight Championship

Like a broken record, the WWE keeps on playing the same thing over and over again. Thankfully, the thing they keep playing is AJ Styles and Samoa Joe and these two can put on a good show.

You might say that I’m already rather sick of seeing the two duke it out since AJ Styles and Samoa Joe already had a long feud that just ended recently. A part of me does feel this to be true. That doesn’t change the fact that they do have good in-ring chemistry together and they can pull off a good match. This was probably the match of the night… although that’s not really saying much. It was still full of action and flowed beautifully.


Bad: Hulk Hogan “hosting” Crown Jewel

What ‘chu gonna do… when John Cena and Daniel Bryan refuse to go to Crown Jewel? Get Hulk Hogan, that’s what!

With two of the biggest names out of the show, flat out denying they’ll do anything with Crown Jewel, the WWE had to get some huge name out to “parts unknown,” right? Well, they got Hulk Hogan to “host” the show. And when I mean host, I mean he just went out at the start of Crown Jewel to do a promo. It was a decent promo but, man, it felt so forced! Glad to see Hulk Hogan, despite all his troubles, back in the WWE but you can just smell the desperation here!

Bad: The New Day vs The Bar (with Big Show) for the Smackdown Tag Team Championship

I gave a pass to the quarterfinals and semifinals matches for not going balls out as the Superstars would have to compete in future matches. They had to reserve their strength and stamina as well as lessen the chance of injury. I don’t see why The New Day and The Bar did not try their hardest to pull off an exciting match.

Nothing was technically wrong with the match, per se. The action was pretty good, especially with Kofi Kingston’s stunts. But everything really felt bland and it just didn’t feel like it belonged in a WWE pay-per-view show. It felt like something you would see on Smackdown. It would’ve been good if it was just on Smackdown. But for a huge event, it just didn’t meet my expectations.

Bad: D-X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels) vs The Brothers of Destruction (The Undertaker and Kane)

This wasn’t a good match. It started out strong, for sure. But as the match dragged on (and I mean dragged on), things got really sluggish. The Undertaker and Kane just seemed to putter on during the last third. Strong start but got consistently slower as time went on. If it were just 5 minutes shorter, maybe The Undertaker and Kane could’ve kept up?

There were some things that kept it from falling into the Ugly category. The nostalgia of seeing D-X and The Brothers of Destruction in the ring one more time certainly helped. The spectacle of wreckage and phenomenal selling on both sides was fun. It was also satisfying to see Shawn Michaels, after a long hiatus, return to the ring and still showing signs of what made him one of the greatest in-ring performers of all time.

Even with all those, it was just not enough to save the match. This wasn’t a total dud but it certainly fizzled out quickly.


Ugly: Shane McMahon winning the Crown Jewel tournament and becoming “Best in the World”

Imagine booking a tournament to crown the best wrestler in the world. And then the winner essentially gets a buy to the finals to win everything… and the guy that wins isn’t even a full-time wrestler! This is basically what happened and why Shane McMahon won the Crown Jewel tournament. What a crock!

I get that there’s probably some backstage drama and no one really wanted to win any title while at “parts unknown.” And I bet they’ll even work it into some storyline where Shane McMahon gloats that he’s the Best in the World because he won Crown Jewel. But still! Crap!

Also, was Shane McMahon the best choice? Why not Hulk Hogan? After all, if you’re going to screw the fans, you might as well screw them with the largest arms in the world running wild on them!

Ugly: Braun Strowman vs Brock Lesnar (with Paul Heyman… and Baron Corbin, I guess) for the WWE Universal Championship

Him again? I thought we already got rid of Brock Lesnar? Ugh!

When Brock Lesnar busted through the scene a couple of years back to become the WWE Universal Champion, I was excited. Now, I just want him gone. I get they had to make some major story changes with Roman Reigns leaving. But why put the title back around Brock Lesnar’s waist? Why, WWE? Why?

But just put the title on Braun already! Fans love him right now but they’re going to make the fans wait? What an idiotic thing to do! I say strike while the iron is hot! And right now Braun Strowman’s popularity is white hot! Making fans wait and cool down is just not best for business.

Ugly: Not mentioning where “parts unknown” is

You’re the WWE and you’re contractually obligated to have a show in a place that people are talking about in a negative sense. What to do? Well, just hold the event in the place but never, ever mention the name of the place… even though the live audience makes it so obvious where you are!

I will admit that the WWE was caught between a rock and a hard place. They couldn’t back out of the Crown Jewel without losing all that sweet, sweet cash. But people will complain and rant about holding it in the country that has the controversy. Still, it’s a cop out that you never mention the place! Even Hulk Hogan had to say they were at “Crown Jewel,” which just sounded ridiculous!


It may seem like there’s an even split between the good, the bad and the ugly stuff of Crown Jewel. But that terrible shadow of still holding it in “parts unknown” just was like an ominous shadow looming over the proceedings. And the good stuff were generally just okay while the ugly stuff was really ugly. As in “hide in your basement and shun all future human contact” ugly! So it’s not exactly a balance, making Crown Jewel the jewel in a crown made a poo.


Byee!

What did you think of WWE’s Crown Poo Jewel? Let me know in the comments section below!

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