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Over the past few years, Crown Jewel has established itself as one of the premiere events in WWE – delivering unforgettable moments and matches that set the standard for both the Raw and SmackDown rosters. Thanks to Crown Jewel – as well as Survivor Series – the WWE Universe has come to expect nothing but greatness each year when autumn rolls around.
Although the yearly event is relatively new to the WWE schedule, it hasn’t disappointed. In fact, based on match quality and title changes alone, it can be considered just as prestigious as any of the major WWE events, such as Royal Rumble, SummerSlam, and yes, even WrestleMania. To put it simply: Crown Jewel is where great matches happen.
This year’s Crown Jewel event is no different. The main event has been locked in for the past month, as it will pit Logan Paul – yes, the social-media-mogul-turned-WWE-Superstar – challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
After a relatively ho-hum appearance by Roman Reigns on Logan Paul’s podcast turned into a surprising challenge from Paul himself, the world was abuzz. By the time the challenge actually turned into a scheduled match for the most prestigious title in all of professional wrestling, the internet nearly broke down entirely. Since then, there have been murmurs that Logan Paul may have bit off more than he can chew. In fact, WWE Superstar Sami Zayn went on the record predicting Paul has a “500-to-1 chance” of defeating Reigns – not good odds by any means.
But that’s not all. Based on what’s been going down lately on Monday Night Raw, Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar will be going one-on-one in what will prove to be one of the most chaotic and intense matches in recent memory. And the craziest part is that no championship will be on the line – sometimes you just need to prove who the better man is.
With Nov. 5 quickly approaching, the WWE Universe needs to prepare themselves for an “anything can happen” situation. Will we see a new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion? It’s possible. Will Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar simply destroy each other Superman-and-Doomsday-style? It wouldn’t surprise us. (Also, how about that for a 30 year-old comic book reference?)
The point is this: we should all prepare ourselves for history to be made. It’s happened before, and it will happen again. And with that being said, here are the five greatest matches in Crown Jewel history.
DX vs. Brothers of Destruction – 2018
On paper, Triple H and Shawn Michaels taking on the Undertaker and Kane is a main event in any arena in the country – or in this case, the world. These Superstars are living legends, four of the absolute best to ever lace up a pair of wrestling boots. At Crown Jewel 2018, the WWE Universe was treated to essentially an all-star tag team match, filled with broken tables, top rope moonsaults, and plenty of choke slams. But that’s not what made this match so great.
This particular match earned its spot on this list because it involved Shawn Michaels himself competing – over eight years after Undertaker famously retired the Heartbreak Kid at WrestleMania 25. To put it simply: it was awe-inspiring to see Michaels compete in a WWE ring again, although it took us a while to get used to his shaved-head look he sported in lieu of his trademark long hair. For one glorious 30-minute span, Shawn Michaels was once again doing what he does best – performing at the highest possible level for the WWE Universe, and we’ll never forget the grit and determination he showed over the course of this matchup.
The fact that he and Triple H picked up the victory after a Superkick/Pedigree combination made his one-time-only return from retirement all the sweeter!
The Fiend vs. Seth Rollins – 2018
Forget the greatest matches of Crown Jewel history – this may very well be one of the most memorable and shocking matches in WWE history, period!
Waging a war in a Falls Count Anywhere match, Seth Rollins lost his coveted Universal Championship in this matchup, which gave the whole world a glimpse of what kind of dastardly deeds the Fiend is capable of. The match, consistently flooded in the Fiend’s red lighting, had a decidedly creepy feel for its duration. Seth Rollins truly pulled out all the stops, hitting eight – that’s not a misprint – Stomps to the head of the Fiend, but nothing was enough to keep Bray Wyatt’s alter ego down for the count. A feeling of dread and a hushed silence took over the arena at one point during the end of the match, as everyone came to the same haunting realization: the Fiend cannot be stopped. Everything Rollins does is ultimately pointless.
The outcome of the match made one thing very clear to the entire WWE Universe: the Fiend plays by his own rules. And no Superstar is safe from the pain that lives inside of him. Rollins found that out personally, and many argue that he hasn’t been the same ever since his unforgettable feud with the Fiend – a rivalry that came to an end at Crown Jewel.
Natalya vs. Lacey Evans – 2019
We can’t have a list of the greatest matches in Crown Jewel history without including the contest that broke down cultural boundaries and helped lead the WWE women’s evolution into the next era.
Natayla and Lacey’s clash marked the first time in Saudia Arabia’s history that two women competed in a professional wrestling match – and what a show the two Superstars put on for the thousands of fans in attendance! Both Natayla and Lacey were very aware of the significance of their match and every punch, kick, and bodyslam seemed to hit just a little harder because of it. And while the match itself wasn’t necessarily a mat-wrestling classic, it is a great match simply because of the history being made during it – after all, sometimes you need to simply be a part of a moment to be great. Natayla sealed the win when she caught Lacey in a Sharpshooter, forcing the Sassy Southern Belle to tap out – and send Nattie into the history books.
Arguably the greatest thing to come out of this match is that it set the stage for WWE to present more and more women’s matches with each new visit to Saudi Arabia – something that couldn’t have been done without the hard work of both Natayla and Lacey back in 2019.
Edge vs. Seth Rollins – 2021
After a one-year hiatus, Crown Jewel returned to the WWE live event calendar in a big way, presenting some of the best matches possible for the 2021 edition.
Crown Jewel 2021 officially kicked off with a battle worthy of such a grand event – Edge taking on Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell match that is in the running for most brutal and physical matches ever to take place in Saudi Arabia. This bout truly had it all – tables, ladders, chairs, and the cell itself were all used extensively, ensuring that whoever won this match wouldn’t just be declared the victor – they’d be declared the survivor.
This match also signified a turning point in the career rejuvenation of Edge. The Rated-R Superstar’s ability to secure the victory over one of WWE’s top stars of the past decade put to rest any sort of chatter that Edge couldn’t hang with the big boys anymore. In fact, with one final Stomp to Rollins’ head, placed precariously on a steel chair, Edge cemented his comeback story as something serious. From Crown Jewel 2021 onward, Edge stopped being seen as the unretired professional wrestler still trying to navigate his way through a younger roster – he became once again the WWE Superstar that is capable of accomplishing absolutely anything.
Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar – 2021
Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar have collided eight different times throughout their respective careers – and the absolute classic that these two Superstars had at Crown Jewel 2021 may be their greatest match ever.
Admittedly, most Reigns/Lesnar matches have been so intense they quickly break down into a video game-style brawl, complete with more finishing moves, German suplexes, and spears you can shake a fist at. This particular match, however, had a different flow and feel than their previous encounters – it felt like both men knew what the stakes were and that all previous strategies had to be thrown out the window. The WWE Universal Championship brings out this kind of gamesmanship when the occasion warrants – and both men didn’t shy away from the challenge of competing in a match that was completely different than what they were used to.
Of course, the ending of the match sent shockwaves throughout the wrestling world, as Paul Heyman finally revealed his true allegiance – and that very act put into motion a series of events that eventually helped Roman Reigns cement himself as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion that we all acknowledge today.
What will be in store for the WWE Universe on Saturday Nov. 5? Only time will tell. Crown Jewel 2022 has a lot of great matches to live up to, but we’re sure the Superstars themselves are up for the challenge. And who knows, maybe by this time next year we’ll be adding some more unforgettable matches to this list!
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