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WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points

WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points0...

WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points

WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Results: Reviewing Top Highlights and Low Points0 of 6

    After all the repetitive matches, dragged-out storylines, lackluster feuds and questionable booking decisions, WWE has been under more criticism for going through with Crown Jewel than anything else this year.

    The backlash for this event has been substantial, and mainstream coverage of it has almost entirely been negative. The last thing WWE needed was for it to be a stinker.

    Even with the return of Shawn Michaels, a guaranteed new universal champion and a tournament of eight prolific Superstars making this card interesting enough to spark some interest, it was still up in the air as to how good or bad it could be.

    It had a seemingly impossible task of being good enough to undo the bad publicity surrounding it, rather than failing and coming across as something that never should have happened.

    Now that the event has concluded, it's time to look back and review the damage. Which elements stood out as the best parts of the show and which sections were the biggest disappointments?

    Presented in order of appearance, here are the highlights and low points of WWE Crown Jewel.

Full List of Match Results1 of 6
    This was the bracket for the World Cup tournament.This was the bracket for the World Cup tournament.

    For those more curious about just the outcomes themselves, here is a quick recap of the results in general:

  • Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev by pinfall to retain the United States Championship
  • World Cup Round 1: Rey Mysterio defeated Randy Orton by pinfall
  • World Cup Round 1: The Miz defeated Jeff Hardy by pinfall
  • World Cup Round 1: Seth Rollins defeated Bobby Lashley by pinfall
  • World Cup Round 1: Dolph Ziggler defeated Kurt Angle by pinfall
  • The Bar defeated The New Day by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Tag Team Championship
  • World Cup Round 2: The Miz defeated Rey Mysterio by pinfall
  • World Cup Round 2: Dolph Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins by pinfall
  • AJ Styles defeated Samoa Joe by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship
  • Brock Lesnar defeated Braun Strowman by pinfall to win the Universal Championship
  • Shane McMahon defeated Dolph Ziggler by pinfall to win the World Cup tournament
  • D-Generation X defea ted The Brothers of Destruction by pinfall

Now, let's dive deeper into which elements stood out as the best and worst parts of Crown Jewel.

Low Point: Crown Jewel Kickoff2 of 6

    Standard operating procedure for WWE pre-shows is that they are a waste of time to watch unless you haven't watched Raw and SmackDown for weeks and desperately need to see the recap footage of the feuds.

    Of course, they show those video packages before the matches, too, so that kind of drives home the point to never bother watching the kickoff.

    But if you did check out the first hour of this and wanted to see Jonathan Coachman, David Otunga and Booker T stand in front of an incredibly fake green screen set, you got just that for the majority of the hour.

    Thankfully, some time was set asi de for a United States Championship title defense as Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Rusev to retain the belt in a decent enough, albeit generic, match.

    It's a shame that match was announced Thursday with zero build whatsoever and no momentum for either of them, as it might have felt more interesting if it wasn't a clear and obvious afterthought to fill time. As it was the only positive of the kickoff, a minor win is still a win.

Mixed Bag: The Atmosphere of the Event3 of 6

    This show was bound to feel different from a normal pay-per-view, as it was nothing of the sort.

    In some ways, that was good. Having it take place in a large stadium gave it a much bigger feel than what the card actually was, and it's always nice to see a healthy dose of pyro, as that's been missing from WWE for quite some time.

    But there were noticeable negatives that came with this environment, too.

    Greg Hamilton's announce work felt off, like he was trying to hold back from being too excited and was told to be a bit reserved, rather than his normal bombastic self.

    Michael Cole, Renee Young and Corey Graves at times seemed like they were phoning it in on commentary, which could be anything from jet lag to a deliberate choice in protest of being there.

    That wouldn't be too silly to imagine, as even WWE seemed to distance itself a bit. It was strange to see attempts to avoid saying they were in Saudi Arabia, with the opening stating "Riyadh live" and Hulk Hogan keeping it vague that he was "here at Crown Jewel."

    Even on a fundamental level, seeing The Hulkster back has its pros and cons.

    The fans were psyched and there's a c ertain level of nostalgic fun that comes from just hearing his music and running through the shtick, but with all the controversy around him and so many people not comfortable with him back in the WWE family, it's hard to ignore that and feel only the positive vibes.

    This event's atmosphere was a hybrid of a small house show mired in controversy as well as a WrestleMania-caliber extravaganza being promoted as a rousing fun time, so the conflicting flavors made for a bizarre feel to the whole show.

Low Point: Brock Lesnar Wins the Universal Championship4 of 6

    Try as WWE might try to position Braun Strowman as a fighter by putting him up against the wall with Baron Corbin's attack at the beginning of this match, the company still managed to make the worst possible mistake by p utting the title back on Brock Lesnar.

    This completely flies in the face of logic in so many ways that it's hard to know where to begin to complain.

    This match was WWE's chance to right the wrongs of ignoring Strowman for this past year and to give Raw an actual fighting champion, which was the story set up and dragged out since April 2017 and only finally came to an end this August.

    Lesnar's title reign will be as frustrating as it always has been and will make it even harder to support WWE, as it's completely against what fans have been clamoring for. That was the whole point of Roman Reigns being champion and that's been thrown out the window.

    It also means this sets up a rematch of last year's Survivor Series, rather than doing something different. In a year when WWE has relied on rematches far too much, this is just another negative to add to the mix.

    There is no good will behind this move at all. WWE had so much hatre d surrounding this event and purposely did something that hurt a popular star and upset fans that it's almost as if someone is trying to sabotage the company from within.

    This was not the night to risk losing more WWE Network subscribers, and putting the belt back on Lesnar does nothing but hurt the product going forward and proves how out of touch WWE is with the fans.

Mixed Bag: World Cup Tournament5 of 6

    Consisting of seven matches, the World Cup tournament wasn't the most resounding success, but it was far from a failure.

    Most of it felt very bland as the Superstars were putting on good enough performances to not have much room to complain, but they never went the extra mile for any of it to feel special and all that interesting.

    This fit in with that house-show v ibe as matches like Rey Mysterio vs. Randy Orton could have been a big deal, but it ended just as the energy started to rise. The Miz vs. Jeff Hardy was a generic TV-quality match, and Seth Rollins couldn't do much with an injured Bobby Lashley.

    On the positive side, Kurt Angle's performance was much better than what his recent in-ring work has been, so his match with Dolph Ziggler was fun. For that matter, Ziggler and Rollins put on the best match of the tournament in the semifinals.

    But that in itself is something to nitpick. Why did WWE book Ziggler to face Rollins when they've already had 13 matches together this year, as opposed to doing something fresh by setting up Angle vs. Rollins?

    To be fair, at least there was a swerve with Ziggler and The Miz being in the final instead of a traditional babyface vs. heel pairing. That was a change of pace, and that was followed up with another surprise by having Shane McMahon take The Miz's place.

    Your mileage may vary on whether that was a good or bad call. Some people were undoubtedly excited for the swerve and to see McMahon in action, while others see the flawed logic and could have been disappointed to not get a heel vs. heel match.

Highlight: Shawn Michaels Is Still Shawn Michaels6 of 6

    Despite everything that was horrible with Crown Jewel and all the bad energy surrounding it, the one and only true highlight of this entire show was seeing Shawn Michaels still has what it takes to put on a quality performance.

    He is widely considered one of the best of all time, if not the best to ever step inside a ring, but after eight years in retirement, there was a legitimate concern he would fail to live up to his name.

    Thankfully, The Heartbreak Kid exceeded expectatio ns and quickly shook off any ring rust he might have had, becoming the anchor for the main event.

    He almost single-handedly saved this from being the first "highlights and low points" article I've written since Night of Champions 2013 to ever not have a single highlight on the list.

    This match wasn't perfect and even had some underwhelming moments to it with slightly botched maneuvers, but at least Michaels didn't disappoint, as that would have been the most heartbreaking way to end this mess of a pay-per-view.

    Going forward, at least it's nice to know if Michaels continues to wrestle, he'll do his best to entertain even if there aren't any fans willing to stick around to cheer WWE anymore.

    Anthony Mango is the owner of the wrestling website Smark Out Moment and the host of the podcast show Smack Talk on YouTube, iTunes and Stitcher. You can follow him on Facebook and elsewhere for more.

Source: Google News US Entertainment | Netizen 24 United States

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