Here’s our final thoughts on WWE Crown Jewel 2018! We’ve provided reactions and review for each of the event’s crucial matches, as well as grades ranking the PPV’s finest moments.
Shinsuke Nakamura (c) vs Rusev (United States Championship)
Review: A solid way to open the Kickoff Show. Nakamura and Rusev are both exciting performers, making for an unpredictable match. It seemed as though Rusev was going to be the victor when he got Nakamura in the Accolade in the middle of the ring, but the latter managed to crawl toward the ropes and break the hold. Nakamura then head-butted Rusev’s groin and followed with Kinshasa to pick up the pin. Nothing outstanding, but nothing too boring either.
Rey Mysterio vs Randy Orton (World Cup, Quarter Finals)
Review: An anticipated match due to the return of Rey Mysterio, this brief showcase was underwhelming. Mysterio took down Orton by folding him up in a pinning combination, and afterward, Orton hit Mysterio with an RKO, launched Mysterio out of the ring and threw him over the announce table. A win for Mysterio, but not an especially memorable one.
The Miz vs Jeff Hardy (World Cup, Quarter Finals)
Review: Another lukewarm match that should have offered more given the talent involved. Hardy dominated most of the match, which resulted in him winning via pinfall. All things considered, this will go down as one of Crown Jewel’s least memorable showcases this year.
Seth Rollins vs Bobby Lashley (World Cup, Quarter Finals)
Review: An early standout. Lashley dominated the start of the match, but a pair of suicide dives from Rollins shifted the momentum in his favor. Rollins was hampered by the injuries he sustained when he was attacked by Dean Ambrose, but he still managed to take a painful blow from Lashley and take him out with a Stomp for the pinfall. Lio Rush watched from the sidelines.
Dolph Ziggler vs Kurt Angle (World Cup, Quarter Finals)
Review: Another match defined by its shift in momentum. Angle appeared to be the favorite midway through the match, as he hit Ziggler with the Angle Slam and dodged a Zig-Zag attempt with a brutal ankle lock. Somehow, Ziggler managed to turn the tables and escape the ankle lock before hitting a successful Zig-Zag for the win.
The Bar vs The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championship)
Review: The New Day receive a huge ovation heading to the ring, and they strike first, as Kofi Kingston hit a double stomp on Sheamus and Big E hit a powerslam for a narrow two count. Big Show took they out, however, by climbing to the top rope and hitting a brutal knockout punch. Sheamus closed it out with a Brogue Kick and a pin.
The Miz vs Rey Mysterio (World Cup, Semifinals)
Review: A noted improvement over Miz and Mysterio’s earlier matches. Mysterio hit Miz with a huricanrana, but just when it seemed as though Mysterio was thrown face-first into the corner, and was struck in his injured ribs. Miz struck at Mysterio’s weak spots and ultimately pinned him for the win.
Dolph Ziggler vs Seth Rollins (World Cup, Semifinals)
Review: Rollins’ neck injury allowed Ziggler to have the advantage for the bulk of the match. Rollins kept things competitively, slingshotting Ziggler out of the ring at one point, but the latter took the lead with a Famouser for a close two count. Ziggler then followed it up with the Zig-Zag, and Rollins kicked out late again. With the referee distracted and Rollins escaping to the top rope, however, Ziggler dodged a final attack and got the win with a superkick.
AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)
Review: Styles starts off strong, hitting Joe with punches and a kick that sends Joe down. Joe eventually bounces back, getting Styles in a lock but the latter manages to break it. Joe locks the Coquina Clutch on Styles, but again he leverages himself out and levels Joe with with a stiff forearm. Styles wins by pinfall in what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable match.
Brock Lesnar vs Braun Strowman (Universal Champion)
Review: Before the match began, RAW general manager Baron Corbin came out and hit Strowman over the head with the universal title belt. Lesnar shows up and proceeds to hit Strowman with three F5s before throwing him outside the ring. Strowman fights off the ten count, but Lesnar hits him with a final F5 for the win. Though unexpected, the match proved a letdown, as Strowman was incapacitated and wasn’t allowed to have a genuine contest with Lesnar.
Dolph Ziggler vs Shane McMahon (World Cup)
Review: McMahon comes out guns blazing, dropping several hard hits on Ziggler, and forciing him to go on the defense. in with punches, forcing Ziggler to turtle up in the corner. Baron Corbin trips Shane from ringside, but referee Ryan Tran sees it and ejects the general manager on the spot. Ziggler tries to take advantage of the break in action but McMahon dodges his Zig-Zag and hits him with a Coast to Coast for the win. An exciting and thoroughly unpredictable closer.