The WWE makes a return to Saudi Arabia with a loaded night of matches for the 2021 edition of Crown Jewel.
The event will be headlined by Roman Reigns defending his WWE Universal Championship against the returning Brock Lesnar as both challenger and champion try to figure out whose side Paul Heyman is on.
WWE Champion Big E will defend his title against former champion Drew McIntyre while Becky Lynch aims to turn back the challenge of both Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair in defense of her SmackDown women’s championship. The Hell in a Cell match returns as Seth Rollins and Edge look to settle their differences once and for all while Goldberg seeks vengeance for his son when he faces Bobby Lashley in a No Holds Barred match.
It’s a night of significant matches and Sporting News will provide live match results and grades.
Edge def. Seth Rollins (Hell In A Cell)
Outside of Reigns-Lesnar, this match has had the best build and was assumed to be nothing short of fantastic. Surprisingly, it kicked off Crown Jewel, which meant that it could set a high bar for the rest of the show.
That’s exactly what it did as these two turned in a phenomenal combination of professional wrestling and brutality.
As expected, the two started off fast and exchanged offense. With each moment that passed, the violence increased.
Everything changed once Rollins escaped a crossface submission by jamming a piece of a steel chair into Edge’s eye. Rollins went so far as to use Edge’s best friend’s move against him when he nailed him with Christian’s Unprettier. But when Rollins attempted to climb the turnbuckle for a phoenix splash, Edge shoved him like a pinball into the cell and through a table that was set up beneath him.
Steel stairs were introduced to the match and Edge clobbered Rollins with an Edge-O-Matic and smashed him with a chair off the turnbuckle for a near fall. A parade of their greatest hits continued with a Pedigree by Rollins and a buckle bomb and spear by Edge. Running out of ways to get rid of his opponent, Edge introduced a ladder to the match so now we unofficially have both a Hell in a Cell and a TLC match at the same time.
A superplex off the ladder was reversed by Rollins into a powerbomb through the table for yet another near fall. A trio of superkicks from Rollins led to him wrapping a chain around his boot and landing yet another superkick on Edge. A curb stomp attempt was countered by Edge shoving a chair into Rollins groin. Rollins would use both a chain and wrench to apply a crossface but wasn’t satisfied with getting a submission. Instead, he let the hold go and curb stomped Rollins into a chair for the pin.
A fitting conclusion to one of the better rivalries of 2021. If there was a downside, it would be how high the bar was set for the rest of the show. But Edge and Rollins are fantastic rivals and delivered a match that exceeded expectations.
Mansoor def. Mustafa Ali
If there was a sure thing on this show, it’s Mansoor winning in Saudi Arabia. Anywhere else, this is just a really good match. But in Saudi? It’s Ultimate Warrior vs. Hulk Hogan. The perfect match to follow that fantastic Hell in a Cell match because there is literally nothing else that could keep this crowd engaged like a Mansoor match. It’s also worth noting that Mustafa Ali is criminally underrated as a pro wrestler.
This match was pretty good and had its moments where Mansoor was in peril. But the ending was never truly in doubt.
Ali missed a 450 splash gave Mansoor the opportunity to hit a slingshot neck breaker for the win.
Afterward, Ali attacked Mansoor but a mysterious figure made his way down to the ring for the save. Who could it be? None other than Tarek Hamdi, Saudi Arabia’s Olympic silver medalist in men’s karate from the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Hamdi landed a high kick that put Ali out and drew a massive pop from the Saudi crowd. This is how you play to your fans.
WWE Crown Jewel 2021 Results
- Roman Reigns (c) vs. Brock Lesnar for WWE Universal Championship
- Big E (c) vs. Drew McIntyre for WWE Championship
- Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley (No Holds Barred)
- Edge def. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell) (40:00)
- Becky Lynch (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair for SmackDown Women’s Championship
- Randy Orton and Riddle (c) vs. AJ Styles and Omos for Raw Tag Team Championship
- Xavier Woods vs. Finn Balor (King of the Ring finals)
- Zelina Vega vs. Doudrop (Queen of the Ring finals)
- Mansoor def. Mustafa Ali