The WWE’s boogeyman has bagged a treat on Halloween.
Bray Wyatt, known as The Fiend in the WWE, defeated Seth Rollins for the WWE Universal Championship at the Crown Jewel pay-per-view from the King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Perhaps harnessing the power of the holiday like his horror movie counterpart Michael Myers, The Fiend displayed exceptional fortitude surviving countless steel chair and sledgehammer shots, stomps on a steel entrance way and like Myers, a horrendous fall, to become the WWE Universal Champion.
Regrettably, the WWE ignored fans who complained about the Hell in Cell match between the two superstars last month being shrouded in that irritating red light as it returned again for the entire duration of the match in Saudi Arabia, a match that was billed as a Falls Count Anywhere that “could not be stopped for any reason whatsoever”.
The match itself was more of a horror movie with The Fiend ripping a page out of Myers’ and the Undertaker’s playbooks and popping out of everything Rollins did to mangle or maim him. When The Fiend rose up from a stomp on the concrete floor you knew the match was heading directly into true fantasy territory without stopping at Go and collecting $200.
I lost count of the chair and sledgehammer shots to the Fiend’s head after a while. He did finally regain the momentum though by chucking Rollins off the top rope and through two stacked tables.
As Rollins writhed and choked on the floor, a proud and giggling Fiend sat in the corner looking down.
Friday 13th Part 11: Revenge of the Fiend moved up the entrance way where after suffering another 345 super kicks and stomps, The Fiend was super kicked off the ramp and fell into a bunch of equipment containers.
Sadly, there was no Doctor Loomis to check on The Fiend’s well-being as fireworks went off.
Stagehands rushed to the scene with fire extinguishers in hand, spraying crap everywhere. Another burst of sparks exploded blinding Rollins as he searched for The Fiend.
“I am blinded!” shouted Rollins as the Fiend snuck up from behind.
One Mandible Claw and a Sister Abigail on the concrete floor later ended Rollins’ 81 day reign as WWE Universal Champion. He won the title from Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in Toronto.
The problem with this kind of outlandish booking is how does The Fiend ever lose now? He was portrayed as absolutely indestructible tonight. If 345 super kicks and stomps don’t pin him, what will? Perhaps the WWE will say it was the power of Halloween, the power of the season that gave The Fiend his supernatural strength or perhaps like the Undertaker’s urn, the Fiend has a weakness we just don’t know about yet?
Crown Jewel wasn’t all about phenomenal paranormal pranks though. In a moment that transcended the wrestling ring, Natalya Neidhart and Lacey Evans put on the first ever women’s wrestling match in Saudi Arabia.
Respecting the customs there, both Natalya and Lacey wore t-shirts down to their waists and pants to wrestle their match. Natalya gave her cat ears away to a lucky female fan and as she stood in the ring, she cried as fireworks went off.
As Lacey came to the ring a fan held up a sign that read: “Saudi just became classy.”
Before they locked up, both women shook hands smiling and the fans in attendance cheered.
Throughout most of the match, neither Natalya nor Lacey could stop smiling as they wore their emotions on their sleeves.
Natalya and Lacey Evans make a statement at Crown Jewel. Photo: WWE.
Natalya made Evans submit to the Sharpshooter but nobody seemed to care about who won or lost. Not Evans, Natalya or the fans. The historic match was about and meant so much more.
Both WWE superstars hugged and cried in the middle of the ring before hugging female fans and taking selfies with them to celebrate a small but meaningful step forward for women in Saudi Arabia.
Hulk Hogan continued his winning ways with his team beating Ric Flair’s in their special grudge match at Crown Jewel. WWE always beats WCW in any kind of rivary in the WWE so there was nothing shocking about this turn of events.
There were competing “We want Hogan!” and “Hogan sucks!” chants during the match as the fans were divided on the Hulkster.
As the match drew to a close, Randy Orton RKO’ed Roman Reigns but Reigns kicked out. While Chad Gable, Ali and Ricochet distracted the heels, Reigns speared Orton for the victory.
I still say that this special grudge match should have been held off until Survivor Series or perhaps even WrestleMania.
Speaking of Survivor Series, the WWE let it be known at Crown Jewel that NXT will be part of the brand warfare at Survivor Series this year. It’s about time, I say.
The marquee matches that had the wrestling world colliding with the worlds of UFC and boxing were as fans hoped they would be, short and relatively painless.
Brock Lesnar defeated challenger Cain Velasquez in convincing fashion during their brief tussle which had both men circling each other for most of it.
Cain Velasquez has his own theme song now and dressed kind of like Lesnar with UFC fighter shorts, gloves and knee pads.
Lesnar smiled as Velasquez stepped through the ropes. Velasquez himself showed no emotion. He continued to bounce on the balls of his feet in his corner not eyeing Lesnar at all.
Velasquez got a healthy mix of cheers and boos. Lesnar received massive cheers.
Leasar put Velasquez in the Kimura Lock making him submit in just over two minutes. Lesnar wouldn’t let go of the hold until Rey Mysterio rushed in hitting him with a steel chair. Lesnar shrugged off the chair shot, dumping Mysterio over the top rope.
Lesnar viciously beat Velasquez over and over with the chair before F5ing him. Mysterio regained his composure diving into the ring with another steel chair. He relentlessly bashed Lesnar forcing him to flee the ring. Mysterio begged Lesnar to come back and face his wrath.
“Not chance. Not a chance,” said Heyman holding Lesnar back.
“I am going to get you, Rey! I am the champ!” growled Lesnar.
In another short match that nobody except the WWE cared about, Braun Strowman was KO’ed by boxer Tyson Fury and counted out of the ring.
Crown Jewel 2019 Results
20-man Battle Royal – Winner faces AJ Styles for the WWE United States Championship
Buddy Murphy, R-Truth, Erick Rowan, Andrade are the only ones to get their own entrances. The crowd is hot for Andrade and R-Truth. Harper and Rowan team up working together against the mass of humanity in the ring. Rowan throws Drake Maverick out of the ring like a bag of laundry. Standing on the ring apron, Rowan hurls Heath Slater out. Andrade is the one who sends Sin Cara back to the locker room.
No Way Jose encourages Harper and Rowan to dance. Harper ditches Jose. Rowan and Harper argue before putting Tozawa out. AJ Styles is shown watching the action backstage. The crowd breaks into an AJ chant. It is Rowan and Harper against Humberto Carrillo and Cedric Alexander in the closing moments. The crowd is actually cheering for Luke Harper for some reason. Rowan tosses Alexander. Rowan and Harper stare each other down. Harper and Rowan double team Carrillo. Rowan flips Harper out while he is trying to eliminate Carrillo. Carillo pushes Rowan over the top rope to win the match.
Winner: Humberto Carrillo at 13:49.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez –
Winner: …and still WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar at 2:05.
Match Rating: 2 / 10
Tag Team Turmoil Match
Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler versus Lucha House Party starts things off. Roode takes a kick to the head. He corrals the official so that Ziggler can super kick Gran Metalik. Roode pins Metalik.
Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins are next. They are easily put away with a double-team Zig Zag from Roode and Ziggler.
Heavy Machine join the battle. The fans chant “Otis! Otis!” Ziggler mocks the crowd.
Ziggler is whipped into the corner by Tucker and hits the steel post with an audible clang. Otis is hot-tagged in. He decimates Roode, does his jiggling, dancing and his dumb ass Caterpiler. Roode rolls out of the ring denying the crowd and Otis their move.
Roode takes a Compactor and is pinned. The New Day is next in line.
Kofi kicks out of the Caterpillar. Trouble in Paradise knocks Otis from the ring. Tucker traps Big E’s arms, slamming him to the mat. Tucker misses a sloppy crossbody splash. Tucker is pinned by the Midnight Hour.
B-Team rushes the ring. The B Team lasts about a minute or so before The New Day knocks them off.
The Revival faces the New Day. Following a rough and tough battle, Kofi rolls up Dawson for the win. The Revival are booed relentlessly as they attack The New Day spiking Kofi with a Shatter Machine.
The O.C. picks up the pieces or at least try to. Kofi crawls to the corner to tag Big E. Gallows rips Big E off the apron. The Magic Killers pins Kofi. The crowd is not happy at all about that.
The Viking Raiders are the final entrants in the Tag Team Turmoil match. The OC pins Erik with the Magic Killer.
Winners: At 32:24, The O.C.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Backstage, Mysterio gives Lesnar props for surviving Cain Velasquez. Mysterio explains that Lesnar has yet to survive him though. Mysterio vows revenge.
Mansoor vs. Cesaro
As expected Mansoor is greeted with a roar from the crowd. Mansoor is all smiles and even gets fireworks. Mansoor offers his hand to Cesaro. Cesaro slaps his hand away. What’s with Cesaro’s shrunk skinny pants? I cannot stand his new hipster look. It doesn’t suit him or his style. Shoes with no socks? Ugh.
Mansoor launches himself at Cesaro. Cesaro clocks him with a flying forearm. The Swiss Cyborg is berated by the crowd for throwing Mansoor into the ringside barrier.
Some fans actually start cheering for Cesaro. What is up with that?
The crowd wills Mansoor to break free of Cesaro’s sleeper. Mansoor catches Cesaro with a drop kick as he dives of the top rope. Mansoor chops Cesaro down to size. Cesaro goes down hard as Mansoor dives on him outside of the ring. A Tornado DDT ends in a near fall for Mansoor.
Cesaro hooks the tights but cannot pin Mansoor. Cesaro knocks Mansoor off the top rope. Mansoor topples, cracking his head on the top turnbuckle. Mansoor kicks out of a pop-up forearm. When Mansoor kicks out, Cesaro puts him in a crossface. Mansoor escapes to super kick Cesaro in the chops.
Mansoor turns Cesaro’s gut wrench off the second rope into a powerbomb. A moonsault from the top rope pins Cesaro. Mansoor receives a standing ovation. If nothing else, Mansoor has shown he is ready for prime time on the main roster with a performance like that. Give the kid a chance, Vince.
Winner: At 12:37, Mansoor.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
Fury comes out to It’s Your Thing by the Isley Brothers. Lots of fire, fireworks and lasers. Fury is wearing Saudi traditional garb which garners him lots of adulation. Strowman is perplexed by Fury’s display.
Strowman backs Fury into a corner. Fury comes out angry backing Strowman up. Fury dodges Strowman’s punches clocking him in the stomach and face. Fury awkwardly rolls out of a wrist lock. Strowman boots Fury in the face. Strowman stomps and punches Fury on the mat. Fury dodges Strowman who hits the steel post, falling to the floor. Strowman drives Fury into the ring apron, knocks him on his butt with a punch. Fury gives Strowman a Drive-By as he gains speed for his running shoulder tackle. Fury sits out like the Undertaker from a Strowman sledge hammer to the chest. Fury rolls out of the ring following a slam from Strowman. Strowman shoulder tackles Fury twice on the floor. As Strowman follows Fury back into the ring, Fury hits him with a haymaker sending Strowman off the apron to the arena floor. Strowman is counted out. An angry Strowman powerslams Fury after the decision is rendered. “This is my ring you piece of crap!” barks Strowman walking away.
Winner: Tyson Fury at 8:07.
Match Rating: 3 / 10
AJ Styles versus Humberto Carrillo – U.S Championship match
AJ Styles is massively over in Saudi Arabia. Anderson and Gallows accompany Styles to the ring carrying their newly-won tag-team trophy. Carrillo is back to dressing like a Power Ranger. Styles charges Carrillo mashing him into a corner. The fans have Styles as their favourite even though Carrillo is the face in this match. Carrillo executes his fancy arm-drags throwing Styles around the ring. Styles ducks out of the ring, lowering the boom on Carillo when they slide back in. Styles give the crowd a DX crotch chop, much to their displeasure. Carrillo survives a brutal brainbuster. Styles is drop kicked off the apron so that Carrillo can launch himself at Styles on the floor. Carrillo grabs the ropes to avoid the Styles Clash. Carrillo lands on his knee and tweaks it. The injury causes Carrillo to stumble and limp. A Calf Crusher has Carrillo scrambling to the bottom rope. Carrillo misses a moonsault from the top rope hurting his leg even more. A Phenomenal Forearm pins Carillo.
Winner: …and still United States Champion at 12:37, AJ Styles.
Match Rating: 8 / 10
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Winner: At 8:47, Natalya.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Shorty G, and Ali) (with Hulk Hogan) vs. Team Flair (Randy Orton, King Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura, and Drew McIntyre) (with Ric Flair)
Winners: Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Shorty G, and Ali) (with Hulk Hogan) at 19:44.
Match Rating: 7.5 / 10
Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – match for the Universal Championship
Winner: …and new WWE Universal Champion, The Fiend at 21:58.
Match Rating: 7 / 10
Overall Event Rating: 8 / 10