WWE Crown Jewel results: Brock Lesnar holds off Cain Velasquez; Tyson Fury wins, “The Fiend” takes Universal championshipSporting News — (Brian Fritz)
WWE returned in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the fourth time as part of a ten-year deal with the country. When Crown Jewel was over, so was Seth Rollins’ reign as Universal champion.
In a surprising move, “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt defeated Rollins for the championship in a Falls Count Anywhere match that couldn’t be stopped “for any reason". Under red fiendish lighting, the two fought all over the place and ended up at the top of the stage when Rollins connected with seven of his trademark curb stomps that only somewhat slowed down Wyatt.
Rollins then superkicked him off the stage into lighting gear that sent sparks flying. But when he went down there to make the cover, more sparks briefly blinded Rollins and “The Fiend” emerged. He then slapped on the Mandible Claw and then hit Sister Abagail to score the pin to win the championship.
WWE will now have to explain what brand Wyatt will be a part of. He was recently drafted to “Friday Night SmackDown” but the brand already sports the WWE championship held by Brock Lesnar. Meanwhile, Rollins has been the face of “RAW” as the Universal champion. The easy solution would be for Wyatt to shift to the red brand but that could also see another talent switch the other way as well.
Elsewhere on the show, Brock Lesnar held off former UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez to retain the WWE championship. It was a short, MMA style match with Velasquez dropping Lesnar with a roundhouse kick but then getting caught in a Kimura lock and was forced to tap out.
This was the first WWE match for Velasquez who recently signed a deal with the wrestling company following an MMA career that saw him become a two-time UFC heavyweight champion.
He wasn’t the only sports star on the show as linear heavyweight boxing champion Tyson Fury made his WWE debut in a match of big men against Braun Strowman. The slow, carefully played out match saw Fury connect with a big right hand that dropped Strowman outside the ring and he was counted out.
As for Fury’s future, this is expected to be a one-off deal with him likely facing Deontay Wilder in a highly-anticipated boxing rematch next spring.
Crown Jewel also featured the first-ever WWE women’s match in Saudi Arabia as Natalya defeated Lacey Evans using the Sharpshooter. Afterward, both women were brought to tears as they celebrated together in the middle of the ring and then at ringside with female fans.
While most of the show featured typical, TV-style matches, several stood out above the others. That includes the Team Flair (Randy Orton, King Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura and Drew McIntyre) vs. Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Ali and Shorty G) five-on-five match that turned into a raucous affair.
The crowd was buzzing late in the match when Orton nailed Reigns with his signature RKO but couldn’t score the pin. Minutes later among the chaos, Reigns hit Orton with a huge spear to earn the victory for his team.
Another fun match saw hometown hero and the first Saudi-born WWE superstar Mansoor defeat Cesaro. It was a year ago when Mansoor won a 50-man battle royal at WWE Super ShowDown in Saudi Arabia. The crowd was firmly behind him as he went toe-to-toe with the “Swiss Superman” and finally hit a top rope moonsault to get the victory.
The OC (Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows) won the Tag Team Turmoil to be dubbed the best tag team in the world as they outlasted either eight other teams. In the end, they squared off with the current “RAW” tag team champions The Viking Raiders. The OC were finally able to hit their Magic Killer move on Erik to score the pin and win the match and the trophy.
Meanwhile, the other OC member AJ Styles successfully defended the United States championship against Humberto Carrillo in a solid contest. The young lucha star earned the title match after winning a battle royal during the kickoff show.