22/05/2024

Picture: WWE

WWE is once again heading to Saudi Arabia for a Premium Live Event, as Mrsool Park in Riyadh will be hosting Crown Jewel this Sunday at 3am AEDT. The show will stream live on the WWE Network, headlined by Roman Reigns defending his Undisputed Universal Championship against Logan Paul.

It is a main event that no-one saw coming, but will gain huge traction from outside the WWE Universe to see if the social media sensation can achieve the impossible; dethrone the Tribal Chief and conclude his near-800 day reign as world champion.

Crown Jewel will also be the setting for Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley’s second ever one-on-one match, while there are two rematches from Extreme Rules and the first Undisputed Tag Team Title defense at a Premium Live Event since SummerSlam.

Finally, it was announced on this week’s episode of Monday Night Raw that Bray Wyatt would be making an appearance on the show in an unknown capacity. It could mean that the identity behind Uncle Howdy or the ‘Wyatt 6’ will be revealed, which has been building ever since Bray made his return at Extreme Rules.

Below is The Inner Sanctum‘s preview and predictions for each match at Crown Jewel.

Braun Strowman vs Omos

Picture: WWE

It will be Monster vs Giant at Crown Jewel, where Braun Strowman will collide against Omos in a battle of the bohemoths.

These two men kickstarted their rivalry on the October 15 edition of Smackdown, where MVP and Omos called out Strowman after the latter’s victory in a 2-on-1 handicap match. Ever since, they have been both attempting to prove their point about who is stronger.

The clash was made official for Crown Jewel a week later, where the Nigerian Giant displayed his power by emphatically pushing the Monster of all Monster’s out of the ring with ease; something that is difficult to accomplish.

Strowman will be competing in his first Premium Live Event since making his return to WWE in September and would be a crowd favourite during this contest, while it can be said that Omos has hit his ceiling and hasn’t been someone of interest for the WWE Universe.

Therefore, a victory for the Monster makes the most sense and it should still be an entertaining watch. Strowman should be primed for a program with Intercontinental Champion, Gunther and a win against the Nigerian Giant would be the next step towards building that potential feud.

Prediction: Braun Strowman

Alexa Bliss & Asuka (c) vs Damage CTRL – Women’s Tag Team Championships

Picture: WWE

Just five days after earning the gold on Monday Night Raw, Alexa Bliss and Asuka will defend their newly-won Women’s Tag Team Championships against the former titleholders, Dakota Kai and IYO SKY.

The two teams have been feuding since August, having been involved in Bianca Belair and Bayley’s rivalry which has only intensified recently.

Before this week’s episode of Raw, Bliss and Asuka were last seen on October 4, where they were both written off television after suffering a vicious attack from Damage CTRL.

The duo made their return after saving the E.S.T from another assault at the hands of Bayley’s group, before demanding a match for the Women’s Tag Team Championships against Kai and SKY. The clash was then made official for the main event of Raw, which Bliss and Asuka surprisingly won after their opponents only held the titles for 48 days.

It could have been an admission from WWE that Kai and SKY weren’t gaining enough traction as the champions, but a rematch against Bliss and Asuka was assembled for Crown Jewel.

It seems unlikely that the new champions will lose just days after capturing the gold, which would then turn the attention on Bayley’s attempt to finally beat Bianca Belair for the Raw Women’s Title.

Prediction: Alexa Bliss & Asuka

Drew McIntyre vs Karrion Kross

Picture: WWE

After a loss to Karrion Kross at Extreme Rules, Drew McIntyre will have one more opportunity to defeat his rival at Crown Jewel and this time, the match will be held inside a steel cage.

The October 15 edition of Smackdown set the precedent that these two men were going to battle once more, where the Scottish Warrior caused Kross and his wife to be involved in a car accident before savagely assaulting him. The attack then forced Kross to be withdrawn from a number one contender’s match for the Intercontinental Championship he was supposed to compete in that night.

McIntyre revealed the following week that management were frustrated with his actions and that his rivalry with Kross needs to end once and for all. The Scottish Warrior then proposed the stipulation for a steel cage match, ideally to remove the possibility of Scarlett Bordeaux interfering like she did at Extreme Rules.

Although it would be at McIntyre’s expense who hasn’t had a good track record recently, WWE would have to pursue another Karrion Kross victory if they wish to keep building him as a top heel on the blue brand. The WWE Universe haven’t seemed to approve of Kross yet though, who needs to win with no assistance from Bordeaux to further legitimise himself.

Whether there is an inteference or not despite the steel cage remains to be seen, but hopefully this contest is an improvement from their strap match at Extreme Rules that did not seem to win over many fans.

Prediction: Karrion Kross

The Judgment Day vs The O.C.

Picture: WWE

Finn Balor issued the challenge on the October 18 edition of Monday Night Raw and at Crown Jewel, The Judgment Day will collide against the reunited O.C. in a six-man tag team match.

One week prior, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson both made their stunning returns to WWE and reconnected with AJ Styles, after Finn Balor had attempted to persuade The Phenomenal One in joining The Judgment Day.

In the lead-up to this match, The Judgment Day have had majority of the momentum with Dominik Mysterio overcoming AJ Styles and Finn Balor defeating Karl Anderson in singles matches. However, both of those victories were influenced by Rhea Ripley and as a result, The O.C. are now looking for a fellow female member to equalise the situation.

Nevertheless, it is still likely that they will win their first contest back as a group after Gallows and Anderson’s release in 2020.

The duo should also be built up as a potential threat to defeat The Usos for their Undisputed Tag Team Championships and need to string any win they can, while it doesn’t make sense for them to lose after just making a return.

It is also pleasant to see AJ Styles in a meaningful role once again, after not featuring in a Premium Live Event since Hell in a Cell in early June and being in such a stagnant position on the red brand.

Prediction: The O.C.

MORE WRESTLING NEWS:

WWE Weekly Round-Up: Women’s division for both Raw and Smackdown receive boosts

‘I’m the Tribal Thief’: Logan Paul outlines Crown Jewel plans

Foxtel Group to become home of all WWE content in Australia

Bianca Belair (c) vs Bayley – Raw Women’s Championship

Picture: WWE

In another rematch from Extreme Rules with a different stipulation, Bayley will have another chance at capturing the Raw Women’s Championship from Bianca Belair in a last woman standing match.

The E.S.T and leader of Damage CTRL have been feuding for months and just like how the latter earned her shot at Extreme Rules through Clash at the Castle, Bayley pinned Belair again on the October 25 edition of Raw with some assistance from Nikki Cross.

It can be said that this is the challenger’s last opportunity at the Raw Women’s Championship, before a probable WarGames match at Survivor Series between Damage CTRL and a team composed by the E.S.T.

If Bayley doesn’t win the title at Crown Jewel, there would be two ideal challengers for Belair to face heading into WrestleMania season. One is the re-emerging Nikki Cross and the other is a medically-cleared Rhea Ripley, before WWE could possibly have Charlotte Flair face the E.S.T in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, a victory for the leader of Damage CTRL would compensate for IYO SKY and Dakota Kai’s Women’s Tag Team title loss on this week’s Raw and also raises the possibility of a feud between Bayley and a returning Becky Lynch, if that’s a route WWE wish to pursue.

It is difficult seeing which direction the company will take, but a Belair retention seems more likely when Cross and Ripley are lined up as potential suitors for her next opponents, before a possible match with Flair at WrestleMania.

Prediction: Bianca Belair

The Usos (c) vs The Brawling Brutes – Undisputed Tag Team Championships

Picture: WWE

The Brawling Brutes in a matter of weeks have turned into a loveable faction on Friday Night Smackdown and at Crown Jewel, they will be aiming to defeat The Usos for the Undisputed Tag Team Championships.

Butch and Ridge Holland received their title shot as a result of beating Sami Zayn and Solo Sikoa on the October 29 edition of Smackdown, where the Honorary Uce and Jey had an intense verbal altercation at ringside.

It also won’t be the first time these two teams face each other for the gold, as they battled on the September 24 edition of Smackdown where Jimmy and Jey retained. At the time, The Brawling Brutes were still involved in a rivalry with Imperium and lost the match due to an outside inteference from the trio.

The challengers were impressive in that contest and will receive another chance at Crown Jewel, but the stakes are much higher this time; The Usos must win if they wish to surpass The New Day’s 483-day record as the longest reigning Tag Team Champions of all time.

Jimmy and Jey sit at just over 470 days and will further assure themselves of that feat if they are to win at Crown Jewel, which they should. The Brawling Brutes becoming the new Undisputed Tag Team Champions isn’t out of the realm of possibility, but there’s no reason for The Usos to not receive that record to complement Roman’s 790+ day reign as the Undisputed Universal Champion.

Prediction: The Usos

Brock Lesnar vs Bobby Lashley

Picture: WWE

In only their second ever one-on-one match, Brock Lesnar and Bobby Lashley will lock horns at Crown Jewel in a clash of the titans.

The Beast Incarnate and Almighty first met in a dream match at the Royal Rumble this year, where the latter scored the win to become the WWE Champion. While the scenario is drastically different now, there is still much anticipation for this match and it all ignited on the October 11 edition of Monday Night Raw.

Lashley was set to defend the United States Championship against Seth Rollins and before the contest could commence, Lesnar made a surprising return after last appearing at SummerSlam in July. The Beast unleashed a brutal assault on the Almighty, as Lashley entered his match with Rollins hurt and ultimately lost the title.

One week later, the two met in a brawl after Lashley demanded a face-to-face confrontation with Lesnar. The Almighty was able to triumph the Beast in this encounter, spearing his rival through the barricade and planting him through the announce table.

Predicting a winner for this match is difficult, as Lashley just lost his United States Championship and Lesnar is coming off consecutive defeats to Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 38 and SummerSlam. However, the Beast is more likely to equalise the ledger against Lashley and whether a decider happens in the future or not remains to be seen.

Regardless, it should be a fantastic match and hopefully an even better contest than their last. There should be no interferences involved and it is guaranteed to have the Saudi crowd highly invested.

Prediction: Brock Lesnar

Roman Reigns (c) vs Logan Paul – Undisputed Universal Championship

Picture: WWE

It is a match that not even the fantasy bookers could predict, but the main event of Crown Jewel will see Roman Reigns defend his Undisputed Universal Championship against global content creator, Logan Paul.

This unusual feud started when Paul said he could defeat Reigns after the Tribal Chief appeared on his YouTube podcast, Impaulsive. No-one thought that a contest would eventuate from that claim, but the challenger doubled down on his comments on the September 17 edition of Smackdown and invited the champion to a press conference where the match would be made official.

It will only be Paul’s third in-ring performance since making his debut at WrestleMania 38 this year and while the main event of Crown Jewel is a huge draw for WWE, some are of the view that it shouldn’t be happening. Members of the WWE Universe are arguing that Paul is not deserving of a world title shot and is taking a spot from someone else.

Regardless, it will still be a fascinating watch and the challenger’s motto during the build has been that he only needs “one lucky punch”, to emerge out of Saudi Arabia as the Undisputed Universal Champion. One shot is all Paul needed to neutralise an assault from Jey Uso on the October 22 edition of Smackdown, as it has been established that he has steel pins in his right hand.

Even Paul Heyman has expressed his concern for the Tribal Chief and brought up how Brock Lesnar won the UFC Championship in just his third match with the company, but Reigns is not worried at all and he will certainly walk out of Crown Jewel still the champion.

He will definitely beat Logan Paul and whether it is a one-sided affair like the main event of SummerSlam 2014 or a competitive match remains to be seen. The social media phenomenon has been very impressive in his first two encounters, but has not faced anyone like the Head of the Table and could be dealt a huge reality check.

This match could also be Roman’s last title defense for 2022, before walking into an important WrestleMania season where he will be potentially facing one of Bray Wyatt, Cody Rhodes or The Rock in Hollywood.

Prediction: Roman Reigns

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