Saudi Arabia is getting treated to yet another WrestleMania worthy match card.
And this time around, it’s going to fall on Halloween. October 31, 2019, marks the second installment of the Middle Eastern wrestling spectacular, Crown Jewel. This year’s match card is certainly one for the ages. Three big-time bouts for the afternoon wrestling card are worth the price of admission alone – Brock Lesnar will meet Cain Velasquez in a war over the WWE Championship, Braun Strowman will lock up with professional boxer Tyson Fury and Ric Flair & Hulk Hogan will do battle in the form of a 10-man tag. Those matches and many more will give the fans at the King Fahd International Stadium a show they’ll never forget.
Before Crown Jewel 2019 rolls around, let’s take a look at every match that’s in store for the October event.
20-Man Battle Royal (Winner Faces AJ Styles for the United States Championship)
Match Participants: WWE 24/7 Champion Sunil Singh, Mojo Rawley, Erick Rowan, R-Truth, Sin Cara, The Brian Kendrick, Titus O’Neil, Tony Nese, Akira Tozawa, Shelton Benjamin, Apollo Crews, Buddy Murphy, Andrade, Drake Maverick, Eric Young, Luke Harper, Cedric Alexander, Heath Slater, Humberto Carrillo, and No Way Jose.
Predictions & Winner: This combo-match deal looks like it’ll be pretty fun. A bunch of Raw’s best wrestlers are competing here for the chance to take on AJ Styles for his US Championship. Besides the obvious jobbers here that are surely being added in solely to give this match extra bodies, there are a few guys that are legit in the fans’ eyes and have a believable chance at winning. This whole situation will give us a dream match scenario thanks to this predicted result – Buddy Murphy will somehow emerge victorious and get his title shot. He’ll give AJ a run for his money during their bout later in the evening, but AJ will ultimately retain. But like most of Buddy’s recent bouts, he’ll come out looking better than before.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans
Predictions & Winner: You all know WWE’s real big on making history and that’s exactly the move they’re going for here. For the first time in history, WWE will present the first-ever women’s match to be contested in Saudi Arabia. Granted, it’s between two women we’ve seen wrestle ad-nauseam for the past few months. But it’s still historic, nonetheless. This groundbreaking match for the fans in Saudi Arabia will end with the babyface (Natalya, of course) winning, which is a foregone conclusion everyone with common sense knows is coming.
Mansoor vs. Cesaro
Predictions & Winner: Whoa! Now, this should be good! I’m sure it’s going to get plenty of time to develop into another showcase for the Saudi Arabian born Mansoor. Cesaro always works well with smaller opponents since he makes for a great base for cruiserweights.
Mansoor is one of the more underrated wrestlers on the WWE roster right now – just check out his NXT performances from earlier this year to see what he’s capable of. It’s clear that WWE breaks its “hometown hero has to lose in their hometown” rule whenever another country comes into play these days. That means Mansoor will nab the win here and add onto his Super ShowDown 2019 battle royal victory.
The New Day (Big, Kofi Kingston, and/or Xavier Woods) vs. The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar) vs. Heavy Machinery (Otis and Tucker) vs. Lucha House Party (Lince Dorado, Gran Metalik, and/or Kalisto) vs. Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins vs The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder) vs. The O.C. (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows, and/or Karl Anderson) vs. Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode vs. The B-Team (Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas) (Tag Team Turmoil Match to Determine the “Best Tag Team in the World”)
Predictions & Winners: Saudi Arabia has already played a part in crowning the “Best in the World” (who happened to be Shane McMahon, of all people). And now that we’re returning to the Western Asian country, WWE is looking to crown the “Best Tag Team in the World.” The field is more than crowded and I’m sure plenty of mayhem will ensue. And the run time for this thing will probably run much longer than we’re all anticipating (it already looks like it’s going to take a while to conclude, but I’m predicting a much longer runtime to unfold here).
There are a few duos out of this whole pack that are definitely not in the run for a win – Lucha House Party, Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins, and The B-Team. The New Day, The Viking Raiders, Heavy Machinery, The Revival, The O.C. and Dolph Ziggler & Robert Roode have the best chances of attaining victory. Since Kofi Kingston got thoroughly disrespected in his WWE Championship defense against Brock Lesnar, I think WWE will throw him and his stablemates a bone with the ultimate victory here.
Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt (Falls Count Anywhere Match for the WWE Universal Championship; This Match Can’t be Stopped for any Reason)
Predictions & Winner: So we’re trying this again, huh WWE? The company really backed themselves into a corner by booking the newly rejuvenated Bray Wyatt so soon in a Universal Championship match. Especially against someone who just recaptured the title two months beforehand. If the hiccup that was Brock Lesnar winning the title from Seth Rollins never occurred, then having Rollins drop it to someone new after experiencing an uninterrupted title reign would have made sense. The match between Seth and Bray shouldn’t have been booked in the first place, but it happened anyway. And for everyone who saw it, you know this sentiment to be true – it sucked.
WWE has the power to right the wrong of the end result of Hell in a Cell here by having “The Fiend” steamroll Rollins for the title win. WWE works in confounding illogical ways though, so this match will probably go longer than it really should and end in a nonsensical manner (again!). I’m banking on a weird finish here that keeps the title on Rollins since Bray’s on SmackDown now. Can’t have the red fruit rollup belt go to the Blue Brand, now can we?
Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
Predictions & Winner: WWE sure loves their superstar boxer assisted storylines, don’t they? Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather were paid big bucks to hop in the wrestling ring and their efforts paid huge dividends for Vinnie Mac. In 2019, British heavyweight boxer Tyson Fury is ready to throw down in the WWE with a fellow giant – Braun Strowman. On the very first episode of Smackdown on FOX, both men got into an interesting altercation that carried over into a full-fledged scuffle on the following episode of Raw. Those two heated meetings have resulted in a marquee matchup that wouldn’t look out of place on a WrestleMania card.
I don’t foresee this match going too long. Braun will play his part as the battering ram and get control of the match during its opening moments. Tyson will be in a bad place for a few minutes before he ends up moving out of the way of a running tackle and makes a hot comeback. The fans in attendance will then be treated to a quasi boxing match where Tyson lays in some nasty uppercuts, hooks, and jabs to the big man. He’ll probably throw out a few bodyslams and clotheslines here and there, but he’ll most likely rely on his hands to get him the win. Braun will eventually get in a few big moves of his own down the line, but he’ll slip up once again and find himself KO’d by one of Tyson’s signature punches. I’m predicting a Tyson victory here in eight minutes or less.
Team Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Ali, and Shorty G) vs. Team Flair (Randy Orton, King Corbin, Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Lashley, and Drew McIntyre) (10-Man Tag Team Match)
Predictions & Winners: With Survivor Series taking place next month, this 10-man tag team extravaganza would have been a better fit as a marquee bout on that show. But when that big Saudi money comes calling, WWE’s quick to bring out the big guns when it comes to available Hall of Famers and top-tier Superstars. Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair just can’t seem to stop one-upping each other, which has resulted in both legends manning their own teams for some bragging rights. Hogan has enlisted the aid of all the major babyfaces, while Flair has decided to side with all the top grade heels on the current roster.
Since this isn’t falling underneath elimination rules, I’m expecting a lot of pandemonium to transpire here. Everyone will get in all their signature offense and I’m sure we’re going to get a good ol’ “Finisher-Thon” near the closing moments of this bout. I can totally envision Ricochet, Ali or Shorty G (ugh, that name…) being the face in peril for a while until one of their teammates comes in to clean house and run roughshod over the bad guys. At some point, even Hogan and Flair will get into the match proceedings once the ref finds himself out of the equation. Hogan’s much too hurt to take a bump, so Flair’s obviously eating the canvas. Moments later, Roman Reigns will feed someone a devastating Spear and grab the victory for his all-star babyface squadron.
Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez (WWE Championship)
Predictions & Winner: This story has been built up perfectly. And the craziest part of it all is the fact that it all started in a UFC Octagon. Back in 2019, Cain Velazquez simply dominated Brock Lesnar and relinquished him of his UFC Heavyweight Championship. As the years progressed, Brock found himself back in the role of the domineering monster in WWE while Cain continued to do battle in the UFC. After suffering a devastating loss to Francis Ngannou earlier this year, Cain left the world of MMA behind to pursue a career in wrestling. His work in the Mexican wrestling promotion AAA made him look like a million bucks, which gave wrestling fans a bit of confidence in his in-ring potential.
Fast forward to October 11, 2019. This day will be marked down in the world of contact sports as the day that Cain officially retired from MMA and fully transitioned to the world of professional wrestling. Cain is now a WWE Superstar and his very first opponent is the WWE Champion, Brock Lesnar. As far as this match goes, I don’t think we’re getting Lucha Libre Cain here.
WWE seems like they want to present him more as a heavyweight powerhouse whose strength is on par with Brock’s. Both men will tear into each other with big power moves and present a match that’s a clash of the giants. Cain will get to impress and show what he can do, but Brock will ultimately prevail here. Brock just got his hands on the WWE Championship and it’s far too soon to drop it, especially to someone who’s having his very first match in the company. Plus Brock needs to get revenge for his UFC 121 loss to Cain and this is the best way to do it.