I want to start off this coverage with a reminder that Wai Ting and I will be doing a special show after the event at 4:30 pm Eastern. We will be running through the results of the show and welcome the following guests:
-Dr. Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director for the Committee to Protect Journalists
-David Bixenspan, Deadspin & Between the Sheets podcast
-Todd Martin, Pro Wrestling Torch
-Lavie Margolin, author of “Trumpmania”
-Nate Milton, Kings of Sport podcast
-David Meyers, Writer, and former White House staff member
-Brandon Howard, Wrestlenomics Radio
Wai and I will be donating $5 for every minute our show lasts to the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The WWE’s Crown Jewel began with the kickoff show at 11 am Eastern with Jonathan Coachman, David Otunga, and Booker T. broadcasting for the studio back in the U.S.
Booker and Otunga reacted to Roman Reigns’ announcement that he was battling leukemia. Otunga noted that he was aware he had beat it in the past.
They threw it over to Riyadh for the United States title match.
Michael Cole, Corey Graves, and Renee Young were seated ringside to call the show.
Greg Hamilton introduced the sports chief Turki Al-Sheikh ringside for the event, who serves as an aide to Mohammed bin Salman.
SHINSUKE NAKAMURA VS RUSEV FOR THE UNITED STATES TITLE
The audience was loud throughout the match.
Rusev fired up and landed a spinning heel kick. Nakamura came with one of his own and landed a shining wizard for a two-count.
Nakamura came off the turnbuckle and was caught with a superkick for a near fall.
The Kinshasa was countered with a drop toe hold and Rusev applied the Accolade. Nakamura escaped by headbutting Rusev low. Rusev was hurt and hit with the Kinshasa and Nakamura pinned him.
WINNER: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA AT 9:30 TO RETAIN THE UNITED STATES TITLE
The main show began with a graphic listing “Riyadh” and has been the only identification of the location so far on the show.
Hulk Hogan was introduced as the host of the event. He gave a brief speech in the ring about coming halfway across the world, praised the fans to kick off the show with an enormous pyro and fireworks display to end the segment.
REY MYSTERIO VS RANDY ORTON IN THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
There was a taped promo from Mysterio stating this tournament was one of the reasons he returned to the WWE.
Mysterio attempted a springboard and was hit with a dropkick in mid-air.
Orton set up for the RKO and Mysterio countered with a backslide into a roll up and caught Orton.
WINNER: REY MYSTERIO AT 5:26
Orton immediately attacked Mysterio after the match and hit the RKO. He left Mysterio on the floor and broke a monitor.
Byron Saxton interviewed The Miz backstage, he said there is nothing stopping him from proving he is the best in the world. He will walk through Jeff Hardy and then step over a broken Rey Mysterio.
JEFF HARDY VS THE MIZ IN THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
Jeff Hardy had a taped promo stating that winning this tournament would ensure he has vanquished all the demons from his past, which is not a traditional recovery tool.
Hardy connected with the Whisper in the Wind and the caught Miz with an inside cradle for a two-count. On the floor, Hardy leaped off the barricade with a clothesline.
Miz came back and landed the Skull Crushing Finale and won clean.
WINNER: THE MIZ AT 6:58
SETH ROLLINS VS BOBBY LASHLEY IN THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
Lio Rush was in Lashley’s corner.
Rollins sent Lashley to the floor with a clothesline and landed consecutive suicide dives.
Lashley took over in the match but missed with a spear when Rollins leapfrogged and sent Lashley into the corner.
Rollins hit the stomp and pinned Lashley.
WINNER: SETH ROLLINS AT 5:26
KURT ANGLE VS DOLPH ZIGGLER IN THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
Drew McIntyre was out in Ziggler’s corner.
Angle teased the German suplex off the apron and Ziggler stopped it. Ziggler proceeded to send Angle into the steps. Ziggler was in control as they returned inside the ring.
Angle broke free of Ziggler and hit three German suplexes.
Angle ducked the famouser and hit the Angle slam for a two-count. Angle took down the straps and went for the ankle lock, Ziggler kicked him off and hit the famouser for a near fall.
Angle applied the ankle lock, Ziggler broke out of it and was limping. He ran Angle into the corner and hit the Zig Zag and won.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER AT 8:15
The semi-finals are The Miz vs. Rey Mysterio and Dolph Ziggler vs. Seth Rollins.
THE BAR VS KOFI KINGSTON & BIG E. FOR THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
New Day came to the ring on a magic carpet. It was a WrestleMania style of entrance for them.
Big Show came out with Cesaro and Sheamus.
The Bar got the advantage on Kingston and double-teamed him. Show choked him from the floor behind the referee’s back.
Kingston was in for a long time until tagging Big E. Sheamus was hit with a uranage out of the corner.
Big E. called for the Big Ending but was distracted by Big Show on the apron. E was sent into Big Show and was hit with a KO punch and Brogue kick as Sheamus pinned him.
WINNERS: THE BAR AT 10:32 TO RETAIN THE SMACKDOWN TAG TITLES
Byron Saxton interviewed The Miz, he said he was kicked in the throat by Jeff Hardy and could barely speak.
THE MIZ VS REY MYSTERIO IN THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
Mysterio slid to the floor and flipped over as he landed.
Miz took over forever and no one seemed to be interested. He applied an abdominal stretch onto Mysterio.
Mysterio hit a reverse crossbody off the middle rope and a tilt-a-whirl sending Miz into the turnbuckle. Miz was set up on the middle rope but blocked the 619. He lifted and dropped Mysterio onto the top turnbuckle and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a near fall.
Mysterio set up Miz a second time and hit the 619. Miz got his knees up as Mysterio went for a frog splash, attacking the injured ribs as Miz rolled up Mysterio and won the match.
WINNER: THE MIZ AT 11:09
Saxton interviewed Seth Rollins backstage, he said it won’t be easy to win. He does his best work when his back is against the wall.
SETH ROLLINS VS DOLPH ZIGGLER IN THE SEMI-FINALS OF THE WORLD CUP TOURNAMENT
Rollins got into McIntyre’s face and demanded he tries to hit him.
The match built to numerous near falls. Ziggler kicked out of the ripcord knee as Rollins collapsed on top after landing it.
Rollins knocked McIntyre off the apron and hit both Ziggler and McIntyre with a suicide dive.
Rollins missed with a springboard knee, Ziggler hit the famouser and Rollins kicked out.
Rollins hit a superplex, the Falcon Arrow was countered and Ziggler hit the Zig Zag for another near fall.
Rollins knocked McIntyre down on the floor, went to the stop, sent Ziggler down and missed with the splash when McIntyre shoved him off. The referee was distracted with Ziggler and he covered Rollins to win and advance to the final.
WINNER: DOLPH ZIGGLER AT 13:06
Saxton interviewed Ziggler on the ramp and said it wasn’t fair and his win was an upset.
AJ STYLES VS SAMOA JOE FOR THE WWE TITLE
Joe connected with a tope suicida and drove Styles into the announcer’s desk.
Joe was in control for a long period. It sounded like the chant was chanting “CM Punk” at various points while Joe was on offense.
Styles attempted the calf crusher and Joe made it to the rope. Joe turned an O’Connor roll into the Coquina clutch, Styles took Joe’s injured knee and broke out of the submission.
Styles hit the Phenomenal Forearm and won clean.
WINNER: AJ STYLES AT 11:10 TO RETAIN THE WWE TITLE
Baron Corbin came out for the Universal title match.
BROCK LESNAR VS BRAUN STROWMAN FOR THE VACANT UNIVERSAL TITLE
Corbin jumped Strowman from behind and attacked him with the title.
Lesnar hit an F5 and Strowman kicked out, he hit the second one and Strowman kicked out again.
Lesnar hit a third F5 and Strowman kicked out again.
He sent Strowman to the floor with an F5 over the top rope.
Lesnar hit a fifth and final F5 to win the match and title.
WINNER: BROCK LESNAR AT 3:16 TO WIN THE UNIVERSAL TITLE
They immediately announced that Lesnar will face AJ Styles at Survivor Series on November 18th, so they worked out a deal with Lesnar.
Survivor Series will also feature Seth Rollins vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and the previously announced Ronda Rousey vs. Becky Lynch match.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS THE MIZ IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL
Drew McIntyre was sent to the back.
They fought to the floor and Miz injured himself and couldn’t stand. The referee said he could not compete and called the match off.
Shane McMahon wouldn’t let it end this way and allow Ziggler to win by forfeit. Shane McMahon volunteers to take his place.
DOLPH ZIGGLER VS SHANE McMAHON IN THE WORLD CUP FINAL
McMahon attacked Ziggler with his punches.
Ziggler hit the Zig Zag and McMahon kicked out. McMahon slingshot Ziggler into the corner and climbed to the top and landed the coast to coast dropkick.
McMahon pinned Ziggler after the coast to coast dropkick.
WINNER: SHANE McMAHON AT 2:29
Michael Cole was outraged, and this looks to be building up to a Raw vs. SmackDown match at Survivor Series.
Michael Cole was outraged, and this looks to be building up to a Raw vs. SmackDown match at Survivor Series. We will have more about this on today’s show.
TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS VS THE UNDERTAKER & KANE
The place was going nuts before the bell even rang.
Michaels was tagged in with Undertaker about four minutes in the match. Michaels took a boot and went down.
Michaels and Hunter regrouped on the floor. The heat never let up during the match from the crowd.
Hunter was tagged in as Kane worked him over. Hunter caught him with a DDT and both were down.
Michaels got the tag, they dropped Kane with a double team vertical suplex and Michaels hit a top rope elbow drop. Kane blocked sweet chin music and hit a chokeslam. Michaels kicked out of snake eyes and a big boot from Undertaker. He focused on Hunter and then was caught with sweet chin music by Michaels.
Hunter saved Michaels off the announcer’s desk. Kane grabbed Hunter and choke slammed him through the table.
Michaels was beaten down for several minutes. Kane’s mask fell off.
Michaels hit a top rope moonsault to the floor onto Kane and Undertaker.
Hunter was tagged in, ‘Taker blocked the pedigree and Hunter blocked a tombstone. ‘Taker applied Hell’s Gate and it was broken when Michaels superkicked Kane into ‘Taker and all four went down.
It ended with Michaels raking the eyes of ‘Taker, sweet chin music to Kane and a pedigree as Hunter pinned Kane.
WINNERS: TRIPLE H & SHAWN MICHAELS AT 27:49
Michael Cole treated this like the greatest match he has ever seen.
The show ended with DX celebrating inside the ring.