Brock Lesnar def. Bobby Lashley
As far as dream matches go, Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley was one that everyone wanted to see. However, the matches between Bobby and Brock have disappointed this year. It feels that this match wasn’t one meant to give closure or to deduce who the better man would be, but rather as a conduit towards a bigger match down the line between the two. This match never really deviated much towards what I had in mind for them, but it was largely forgettable. Hitting their big, heavy moves towards the start, and then a fluke finish towards the end in under 10 minutes? Good to warm up the crowd, but not what these men were probably capable of.
Also, I hate the fact Lesnar did in fact sell his leg quite well to start, but that didn’t really factor into the finish. Not sure if anyone noticed this, but it also didn’t appear that Lashley’s shoulders were down for the count either, yet no note was made of it. Of course I could have been seeing things as well. Overall, nothing terrible, but just kind of a blah match by their standards. **1/4
Damage Cntrl def. Alexa Bliss (C) and Asuka (C) – WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships
You can only be so creative when you’ve done the exact same match a mere five days ago. Regardless, I think the women put forth a great effort, even if this match ultimately fell under the curse of 50/50 booking. The return of the OG Nikki Cross continues to be a prominent story within the women’s division, and I’m happy that’s the direction that they are going in at the moment.
The match itself wasn’t terribly engaging and didn’t really have anything in it that we haven’t really already seen. But sometimes, a simple style is all you need to get to the point and I believe all four women got to the point here. So overall, I will color it solid, if not unspectacular. ***
Drew McIntyre def. Karrion Kross – Steel Cage Match
At the risk of sounding redundant with Karrion Kross, I’m just not sold on him as a singles competitor, at least in this capacity. He just doesn’t engage me and the longer a match goes, the less I’m aware of his presence. I’m not sure if anyone else feels the same way, and perhaps the dynamic of being on the main roster as opposed to NXT changes things, but the slow, methodical pace doesn’t do it for me, especially when you’re inside a steel cage that restricts your movement to begin with. The match itself was aesthetically okay, although it didn’t really deviate from their strap match at Extreme Rules.
One thing I found particularly funny was when Scarlett was standing on the outside of the cage suggesting that Drew has no chance to win because they have the key and they can’t escape through the door, so Drew just decides to climb over and escape for the win anyway. How inconsequential. I understand Kross not getting pinned, but it damn sure feels cheap that a man like Drew, who’s wanted to get his hands on Kross for a while, is content with winning a match by escpaing him as opposed to pinning him, even with the odds against him. The match, again, was okay, but I hope these two move on from each other. **3/4
The Judgement Day def. The OC
This match started off a little slow but picked up nicely once we got past the heat segments and the hot tags. Of course, the sequences with AJ and Finn were also quite good as well. Some notable inclusions of this match were the Bullet Club and OC being referenced in their NJPW incarnation by commentary, something that most assuredly would not happen under the old regime.
As with most Judgement Day matches these days, the outcome is being determined by one Rhea Ripley, which means the faction that takes them down will have to eventually account for that fourth party. Of course, it also seems as though everything is window dressing until Edge comes back to avenge Beth Phoenix. With that said, I did enjoy myself relatively so here. ***1/4
Braun Strowman def. Omos
Don’t think the result of this match was ever in question. Your typical sub-10 minute battle of the goliaths unfolded just as I thought it would. A little slow, a little sloppy, some plodding, some impressive feats of strength, and an abrupt finish. It’s hard to break down matches like these because there’s only so much you can do with 900 pounds of humanity. I suppose at best it got right to the point and didn’t feel the need to drag on. **
The Usos (C) def. The Brawling Brutes – WWE Undisputed Tag Team Championships
The result of this match was spoiled in lieu of the announcement that The New Day would be facing them next week on SmackDown if they were to retain the tag titles. So we knew that the Brawling Brutes would not be winning here. Therefore, it wasn’t the result that I was looking for, but rather the journey to get there that matters.
The Brawling Brutes, with or without Sheamus, have established themselves as a very solid tag team, and I do believe their style meshed well with The Usos’ teamwork here. And I think it showed greatly here. Both. Holland and Dunne had a great combination of physicality and athleticism, and combined with The Usos’ usual teamwork, we got a match that probably could be a main event on RAW or SmackDown. ***1/2
Bianca Belair (C) def. Bayley – Last Woman Standing (RAW Women’s Championship
I think there was an interesting backdrop here with Damage Cntrl winning the tag titles back that perhaps Bayley can pull off the win and the faction can complete the sweeps of the title. But in many ways, Bianca Belair has risen to be somewhat of a Roman Reigns-like figure in the women’s division. Not in the fact that she hasn’t gotten pinned or that she’s invincible, but because she’s operating on such a high level, it seems inconceivable she’ll lose the championship any time soon.
On the scale of Last Man Standing matches that we’ve seen, like the one Roman had against Brock at Summerslam, I’d say this was one was a bit bare-bones, but by all means very, very solid. The use of the weapons was present, there was some brutal looking spots (including what appeared to be a botch where Bianca flung Bayley right over a table from the top of the golf cart), and there was some good near-counts where you could have told yourself the match would be over. I think the finish itself was also creative because it trapped Bayley as opposed to having her lose definitively off a direct move from Bianca, even if it is cheap. Both women worked hard and I think we got a very good match out of it as a result.
Roman Reigns (C) def. Logan Paul – Undisputed WWE Universal Championship
I wish I had the superlatives to fully describe how much Logan Paul has impressed me in WWE so far. He looked right at home and nothing seems too out of place with him. Regardless of what you think about him outside of a WWE ring, I don’t think anyone would question the fact that his athleticism and natural charisma translate directly into interesting WWE storytelling, and the backdrop to this match here was well done.
On one side, you have Roman Reigns, WWE’s undisputed champion and top dog in the ring right now. A special attraction who has held both of the company’s world championships for over 6 months, and one of those titles for approximately three years. On the other, you have a WWE novice with only two matches under his belt. This is about as a clear a mismatch on paper gets. Wade Barrett did an excellent job on commentary noting this as well. However, once the match begun, the energy changed. Not only was Logan keeping pace with Roman, but he was actually dealing damage. And as the match went on longer and longer, the idea that this rookie could knock off the champion didn’t sound so crazy. Then he got a SuperMan Punch, and a lucky punch, and a frog splash where he bounced off of Roman’s body. It was simple, but fantastic storytelling.
I didn’t think Logan’s entourage feuding with the Bloodline added much to it. As a matter of fact, I think it served more as a distraction than anything because Jake Paul and Solo didn’t even throw hands and all the stuff with the Usos really served to just pad time leading towards the predictable distraction finish. Overall, though, a very fine outing between WWE’s top dog and WWE’s newest celebrity attraction. Not only has Logan Paul passed in the ring with WWE legends on WWE’s biggest stage, WWE’s second biggest stage and now a world title match main event with WWE’s biggest star, but Roman has proven that he’s operating on a different plane than anyone else right now and can adapt to anyone. And Logan Paul has set a remarkably high bar for celebrities who want to try their luck in a squared circle. ****1/4
The show was kind of uneven at first but found its footing once we got towards the main event. I think what hurt my enjoyment of this show as a whole compared to others was the longer card. Before, the six-match style match card for WWE did wonders for me because there was no fluff and no padding. Today, they had 8 matches, including the Bray Wyatt segment. Lesnar/Bobby was a disappointment, there were some relatively forgettable matches, but once we got to the tag title match, things picked up in a big way and it culminated in a main event that delivered. Overall, I’d give Crown Jewel 2022 a slight thumbs up, but be sparing in what matches you do a full re-watch of.
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