Liam Hoofe gives us his predictions for WWE Crown Jewel 2019…
This Thursday, the WWE heads over to Saudi Arabia for their second-ever Crown Jewel event. The company’s shows in Saudi Arabia have been surrounded by controversy and while the WWE insists that the shows are as big as WrestleMania, most fans see them as nothing but glorified house-show events.
The bar for these events has been set incredibly low over the last 18 months and Thursday’s card looks to be a mixed bag. While some of the matches have promise, some of the others have the potential to be absolute booking disasters.
Let’s take a look at the complete card for WWE Crown Jewel and try and predict how things will pan out.
20-Man Battle Royale to Determine the #1 Contender for the US Title
Battle royales have quickly become a staple of these Saudi Arabia shows so it wasn’t too much of a surprise when the WWE randomly threw one together for this card. After Kevin Owens got involved in the match between the Street Profits and The OC the other week, it seemed as though he was going to be the one to face AJ Styles in Saudi Arabia. They will likely pick that storyline up after the show. Humberto Carrilo put in a spirited display against Styles on Raw so he could be in line for a rematch though someone like Andrade or Cedric Alexander could also pick up the win.
I’m going to be optimistic and book the match that I want to see the most here and give the win to Buddy Murphy. Murphy has shown that he is one of the most capable wrestlers in the world right now and he and AJ could easily steal the show on Thursday. It won’t happen, but it’s nice to dream.
Prediction: Buddy Murphy Wins
AJ Styles vs The Winner of the Battle Royal
This one is a foregone conclusion. AJ Styles is not going to drop the belt in Saudi Arabia unless they decide to have Owens cost him and the two men feud after. The two men have feuded in the past over the US title and it’s a lot more likely that the WWE will just repeat that on Thursday.
Prediction: AJ Styles Retains
Tag-Team Turmoil Match for the Tag-Team World Cup
This match could be a lot of fun. The tag-team division is steadily improving and this match could be a nice chance to give some of the teams some time to shine. The Revival have been largely absent since winning the SmackDown tag-team championship so they should be given some exposure here. It’s the Raw Champions, The Viking Raiders, who should be the ones to look dominant and pick up the win though.
A post-match showdown between The Authors of Pain and The Viking Raiders would be absolutely awesome. The two teams could tear things up and really put the spotlight back on the tag-division.
Prediction: The Viking Raiders Win
Mansoor vs Cesaro
This match has the potential to be one of the best matches on the card. Cesaro seems to have settled into his new role as the guy who puts on excellent matches with people and gets them over and that trend is likely to continue on Thursday. Monsoor was given a big victory last time in Saudi Arabia and the same is likely to happen again here.
Prediction: Mansoor Wins
Tyson Fury vs Braun Strowman
This match should be entertaining if nothing else. Tyson Fury’s run with the WWE has been met with a mixed reaction but it has at least managed to get some publicity for the company. The match itself will be a dud from a wrestling perspective but it could at least provide a few laughs. Fury is definitely not going to lose this one.
Prediction: Tyson Fury Wins
Well, WWE has made a right mess of this one. After the diabolical finish to their match at Hell in a Cell, the WWE should have used the draft as an opportunity to put an end to this feud once and for all. Instead, we now have a match which Seth Rollins is almost definitely going to win, killing off any momentum The Fiend had in the process.
The WWE has really booked themselves into a corner with this one and the fact that the match must come to a conclusive end means they can’t even pull a screwy finish like they did at Hell in a Cell. With Wyatt being a SmackDown superstar, there is next to no chance that he is going to pick up the Universal Championship and take it to Friday nights with him.
RIP The Fiend. April 2019- October 2019. We barely knew ye.
Prediction: Seth Rollins Wins
Team Hogan vs Team Flair
Having a five on five tag-team match a month before Survivor Series feels a little silly but this match should be one of the most fun on the night. Hulk Hogan is super over in Saudi Arabia so the image of him standing tall with his team at the end of the match is one that the WWE will want give to please the home audience. It’s also the right decision as some of the faces on Team Hogan could really benefit from the momentum. It would be awesome to see Ricochet or Chad Gable standing tall at the end, but all we know this one is going to be the Big Dog.
Prediction: Team Hogan Wins
Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez
The WWE are really jumping the gun with this one. When Cain Velasquez made his debut on SmackDown a few weeks ago, most fans, myself included, presumed that we would see the two men square off a little later down the line and not in Velasquez’s debut match. The issue with booking this match is that the WWE will now have to rebuild Velasquez if he fails to win here while Lesnar will have no immediate challenger.
The obvious answer to this conundrum would be to book a non-finish for this match but that doesn’t seem likely, especially after the controversy of the Hell in a Cell finish. Velasquez winning the title in his debut match would be a bit crazy so I’m going to hand this one to Brock Lesnar.
Prediction: Brock Lesnar Retains
What are your Crown Jewel predictions? Let us know in the comments or on our social channels @flickeringmyth…