Hey! I actually remembered what time an international PPV started! Good for me!
And because it’s early on a Saturday, I’m even home to watch it. It feels like it’s been a minute since I’ve been able to do a PPV review for you guys. Sorry about that! But I am back now to review Crown Jewel 2022.
And this seems like it should be a pretty decent show, right? I’m really excited for Lashley/Lesnar (which the pre-show is now telling me will open the show). It feels like it’s been YEARS since Brock has had a non-title feud in WWE. It’s nice to see him just being a guy on the roster and doing regular stuff.
Hm. So I’m getting ready for this show, and I decided to charge my Kindle so I could get back to my Top 100 Single Issues rundown, right? Well, my Kindle won’t charge. That is… not ideal. Hopefully it ends up kicking in. Or a lot of my comic reviews are going to be delayed indefinitely. I had a few things I wanted to start reading on there, too. Despite the fact that I have, you know, A PILE of physical comics I’ve bought recently and haven’t gotten to.
As the show is about the begin, I do have one complaint: this One Lucky Shot storyline around Logan Paul. If someone’s only chance to win a match is a “lucky shot”, then… he probably shouldn’t be in a Title Match, right?
It reminds me of the weird “just one 3-count” story Cena had with Roman where Cena just kept trying to roll him up in their SummerSlam bout. It diminished Cena as challenger. I think this story is doing the same to Paul.
I love the reminiscing back to Lex Luger and his Steel Forearm Of Death. So I’ll allow this.
12:01pm: Oh hey, my Kindle finally started charging. Huzzah!
12:05pm: I’m admittedly way out of the news loop. Where is Pat McAfee these days? Why isn’t he commentating anymore? Let me know in the comments literally HOURS from now so I don’t have to Google it right this second.
12:07pm: Am I… am I just a mark? Because I spent years DESPISING Bobby Lashley as a heel (his world title run was insufferable to me, and I went on about that in every review I wrote during it), but you know what? I dig him now that’s back on the side of angels. Maybe it’s because his booking is better and it feels like he isn’t humiliating people like Kofi or destroying Drew’s credibility. Whatever. I am a sucker. It’s fine.
12:10pm: I adore the way Brock Lesnar says “Bobby”. I want a four hour Premium Special Event of just his addressing people named Bobby.
12:13pm: Has WWE overused Spear Through The Barricade to the point of being completely non-impactful? Discuss!
12:18pm: Wait, they brought back the “Lift The Arm Three Times” for this match? Because for YEARS now, they’ve just had the ref shake the guy’s hand and say he’s out. THIS IS INCONSISTENT! I demand sensibility!
Not a great ending with Brock getting the kick-back roll-up pin out of the Hurt Lock. But I guess it gives us more matches between the two of them going forward.
12:27pm: Ohhh, they are officially teasing Alexa having something to do with Bray Wyatt again. Interesting. Have they hinted at this before now? I missed Raw and Smackdown this week.
12:29pm: I’m something like 80% sure I’d pass out from exhaustion if I had to wrestle in the outfits the women have to compete in in Saudi Arabia. They look sweltering.
12:36pm: You could call both of these tag teams Japanese Hard-Ass And Her Tiny Friend.
12:43pm: Damage CTRL lost the titles just to win them back, which… sure. That feels like a very Vince booking decision, but here we are.
There is a lot here that I liked. As a match, it was fast-paced and hard-hitting, even if there were some overly-telegraphed moments. I excuse that for women this talented. I really enjoyed this.
I also am a fan of Nikki Cross just as this agent of chaos who wants to screw everyone’s day over. I kind of wish she’d go a little harder against Damage CTRL, too, to spread the madness around… but I imagine she’ll get there.
12:51pm: To me, there has been a HUGE difference in Karrion Kross from before he had to relinquish his first NXT Title and since he came back from that injury. He has very much impressed me since that return. His second NXT run and his current main roster stint (let’s all ignore his first one; that was never his fault) have shown him to be a much greater talent. I know a lot of fans never warmed to him, but I sure did.
12:54pm: Every time I see Kross’ ring entrance, though, I can’t help but be reminded of Adam Cole’s “They ring the bell” promo on him. And now I’m getting sad Adam Cole didn’t get to see HHH’s WWE. Sigh.
1:06pm: The crowd has been super into this one since the very beginning. They are adding to the environment here.
1:09pm: Scarlett pepper-sprays Drew McIntyre, and then she also sprays the referee for good measure. That will teach you to do your job!
1:11pm: That was a fun match. Both these guys make their offenses look so damn potent. I guess the story here is that Kross is somewhat protected because Scarlett screwed the pooch by locking him in the cage, but still… she cheated for vast swaths of the match and Drew still won, so… *shrug*. But I’m doing that wrestling fan thing where I am overthinking it all. Both these guys will be fine going forward.
1:14pm: The Bloodline shows up, minus Sami Zayn, of course, because this is a Saudi show. That’s a shame, the Bloodline story has been so focused on Sami, so for him to miss a big show… well, it stinks.
1:18pm: Dominik Mysterio continues to have the best job in pro wrestling: let Rhea Ripley whisper in your ear and stroke your chest/arms.
I am getting a kick out of Evil Dom. I hope they keep building him up for a while and see if he can swim. He’s still not THERE or anything, but he’s showing some sparks. Keep him learning and working at the 4th most powerful member of a group, and let’s see where he goes. He’s a good sniveling heel and seller.
1:20pm: Michael Cole just actually full-out said “Bullet Club” and talked the group’s history. Why does this shock me? Have they ever referenced the BC by name before? And he calls Anderson and Gallows former IWGP Tag Team Champions.
1:25pm: Cole has referred to Rhea as “seductive” at LEAST twice to this point. Get yourself under control and drink some water, Michael.
1:34pm: I seriously thought Anderson and Dom were about to have a swimming pool chicken fight when they were each lifted up by Priest and Gallows respectively.
1:35pm: Balor gets the win over AJ, and you know what? I hate seeing either of these guys/teams lose. Another good match, giving us at least three in a row (depending on how you felt about Brock/Bobby, which came across as flat to me). Nothing so far has been outstanding, but it’s been quite solid for the last hour-plus!
1:45pm: BIG MEN FIGHT TIME. I imagine Braun is going to win this unless MVP cheats to keep the feud going. Let’s see!
1:47pm: Oh, never mind. MVP isn’t here. Whoops!
1:54pm: Strowman wins after hitting, like, one offensive move (his finisher). Omos totally controlled almost the entire flow to let Braun do some fun Big Man Selling.
Let’s be honest… that match was no better or worse than we all expected. And it was brief enough, which is nice.
1:56pm: If you aren’t already, subscribe to UpUpDownDown on YouTube and watch Creed and Breeze’s most recent Battle Of The Brands. Don’t sleep on his funny and personable Omos can be! UUDD has consistently affected who I cheer for in WWE, man. Omos and Kofi slayed me this week, so I like the giant more.
2:03pm: Hard to get terribly invested in this tag title match. Two reasons for that:
-Without Sami, any storyline development for the Usos is not in the cards for today.
-There’s no chance whatsoever that the Usos lose the belts here.
So this is essentially Holding Pattern: The Match.
2:09pm: The only botch in wrestling I ever want is for the Usos to mess up and bonk into each other in mid-air on their double splash move. Tell me that wouldn’t be funny. Not tonight, though!
2:11pm: Super 1-D for the win, and that is pretty rad, especially since it makes Butch look like that’s what it took to beat him.
Hey, I have a question: Why is it that when Becky won both Women’s Titles, she had to defend them separately, but The Usos and Roman both defend their titles in a package deal?
I mean… I know the answer is “The same reason why we had the ref do the Three Arm Lift earlier… just because”, but STILL.
2:20pm: Oh yeah, Bianca vs Bayley time. This was always the most likely Match Of The Night, right? Live up to it, ladies!
2:30pm: Bayley makes a little cage for Bianca under the steps and against the apron. I love creativity in wrestling! The referee counts on Bianca even though no one can see her.
2:34pm: And now Bayley locks Bianca in an equipment case. I kind of love this match so far. Park a car on top of her next, Bayley!
2:35pm: BAYLEY HEARD ME. But it doesn’t work, alas.
2:37pm: OOF, tough bump for Bayley when she bounces across a table and to the floor. This match transitions from goofy fun to devastating just like that.
2:42pm: Aw, and it’s ultimately Belair’s own trap on Bayley that keeps the latter down and gets the title retained. Man, WWE is all the way in on Bianca, huh? I think when Bayley came back from her injury, we all expected she would have won the title from Bianca by now. But Bianca has ALWAYS had her number.
This is very interesting! Where do each of them go now? Does this feud somehow continue despite the fact that Bianca has dominated it? Or do they go their separate ways to other things?
2:47pm: Firefly Funhouse Bray and Fiend Bray had his two best entrance themes. This new one doesn’t do anything for. I’m going to mute my TV and play the Fiend’s theme instead.
2:49pm: I can’t tell if the fans are chanting “Welcome back” or “What the fuck”. Or something else entirely.
2:56pm: Another engaging Bray Wyatt promo. I’m always invested in where his antics go, even if when he actually wrestles, the results are mixed… at best. But as always, I am in for the ride right now.
3:10pm: I could have taken a nap during the ring entrances and introductions, and I only mention that because I am, in fact, very tired and just want to doze off after this show before I go out tonight. Hurry, wrestling!
3:12pm: Michael Cole talks about how Logan Paul has been at least as big as his opponents to this point in his WWE career… until tonight. As if I’m supposed to ignore my eyes telling me he is in no noteworthy way smaller than Roman.
3:29pm: ALL THIS TALK ABOUT ONE LUCKY PUNCH, and Logan punched him TWICE! Come on!
3:31pm: Hahaha, Logan Paul with a… Selfie Bomb (?) through the announce table.
3:32pm: Jake Paul will save his brother’s friends… but only if he gets a full ring entrance to do it!
3:34pm: Solo Sikoa gets his own full ring entrance, too? Okay, this is just self-indulgent.
3:35pm: Okay, that was fun. Was that fun? That was fun. That was about as good of a match as we could have hoped for. Not that I’m knocking Logan Paul… he has every single tool to do this if he wants to. It’s just a matter of if he’s mentally in it. Well, he was here tonight. That was quite the showing. Roman made him look great, yeah, but you can’t say Paul didn’t carry his own.
And that wrapped up Crown Jewel 2022. I have to admit, WWE is getting this Saudi shows better and better. remember how terrible the first few were? They are feeling like appropriately bigger events now and less like fancy shmancy house shows.
What did YOU think? Let me know in the comments.
And until next time… take care!