WWE Crown Jewel 2021: Breaking down, analyzing and predicting the card

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In 24 hours, the third installment of WWE Crown Jewel will take place in Saudi Arabia.

Due to the pandemic last year and travel restrictions which saw WWE move into the Thunderdome in Orlando, Florida, all events were held in once place and the event was put on hold. But with things looking better in 2021, the WWE is back at it full-tilt.

There are nine expected matches for this event with four championship matches and two tournaments to be decided, plus a kick-off show match, so technically, 10 matches.

Let’s look at each match here, break it down and determine a winner.

Kick-off Show: The Usos vs Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin

This was just announced at 10am on Wednesday as being added to the card for the kick-off show for Crown Jewel.

Both of these teams are extremely athletic and can put on a solid match. For a kick-off show match, this is definitely worth watching,

Ever since The Usos took the Smackdown Tag Team Titles, they have been on fire as a team. Having them as part of The Bloodline with Roman Reigns and Paul Heyman have absolutely helped them too.

On the flip side, reuniting Alexander and Benjamin with Bobby Lashley and re-forming The Hurt Business was a solid move too.

Predicted winner: The Usos

Mansoor vs Mustafa Ali

As Ali himself mentioned, this is the first time ever where two Muslim athletes will have a pay-per-view match in WWE.

Ali is also donating all of his earnings from the event to a charity, which, despite the heel character he plays on television, makes him a really good human being.

This should make for an epic match and show off the skills between two former tag team partners. Despite it not being two big names, this could be one of the better wrestled matches of the night.

The hometown kid takes another one in his own building.

Predicted winner: Mansoor

No Holds Barred Match: Bill Goldberg vs Bobby Lashley

When these two last met at Summerslam in Las Vegas, it was for the WWE Championship and many thought Goldberg would get the one remaining title that has eluded him, but Lashley won on a referee stoppage. Lashley then proceeded to put Goldberg’s son Gage in The Hurt Lock after Gage jumped on Lashley’s back.

With a title not being decided in this match, this is a good way for WWE to actually give Goldberg a win here, one he hasn’t had in quite a while and one he hasn’t had in 2021, and avenge his son.

Predicted winner: Goldberg

Raw Tag Team Championship: Randy Orton & Riddle (RK-Bro) vs AJ Styles & Omos

This is another re-match from Summerslam, only it is now Orton and Riddle who are defending their tag titles against the team that they took them from.

The RK-Bro story has worked to perfection; call it the “Odd Couple” tag team, which has worked; go back to 1997 when Stone Cold Steve Austin and Mick Foley, then Dude Love, were a team.

Keep them together as long as possible. Omos is still new at being the monster giant, but Styles works well with both Riddle and Orton. The tag champions should remain as so.

Predicted winner: RK-Bro

Queen’s Crown Tournament Finals: Doudrop vs Zelina Vega

If not for Saudi Arabia’s horrible restrictions on women in their country, Shayna Baszler would have been facing Vega and winning this match. But, we have Doudrop instead and she benefits from the restrictions of Baszler not being allowed there.

The tournament matches have been very short and unimpressive. Maybe for the finals, we can see a decent match? Maybe.

Predicted winner: Doudrop

King of the Ring Tournament Finals: Finn Balor vs Xavier Woods

Unlike the women’s side of things, the King of the Ring men’s tournament has been very good.

Finn Balor had two terrific matches in defeating Cesaro and Sami Zayn to get there. Xavier Woods did the same in defeating Ricochet and Jinder Mahal.

The buildup has been around Woods potentially winning. But he’s not the better wrestler, and the best wrestler should win this tournament. The prince becomes a king.

Predicted winner: Finn Balor

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch vs Bianca Belair vs Sasha Banks

This is where things get interesting, because two of these three are headed to Raw from the 2021 WWE Draft.

Both Becky and Bianca are going to Raw, with Sasha staying on Smackdown. Charlotte Flair, who is also the Raw Women’s Champion, is headed to Smackdown too.

Are we headed for Becky and Charlotte switching belts like The New Day and The Street Profits did last year? Or does a Smackdown wrestler keep the belt on Smackdown?

Predicted winner: Sasha Banks

Hell in a Cell: Edge vs Seth Rollins

By far, this has been WWE’s best feud of 2021 between Edge and Seth Rollins.

They stole the show at Summerslam with Edge winning. Seth Rollins won the rematch the next month when Smackdown was at Madison Square Garden.

Both men have been in Hell in a Cell matches and both have put on shows and this one will be no different because they have great chemistry together and know how to work so well.

Hopefully, this isn’t the end of the feud considering both men are headed to Raw. Either way, this will steal the whole show.

Predicted winner: Edge

WWE Championship: Big E vs Drew McIntyre

Ever since cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and winning the championship from Bobby Lashley last month, Big E has been great as the WWE Champion. The steel cage match re-match win over Lashley proved he is a worthy champion.

Drew McIntyre was also a very good WWE Champion in both tenures, carrying the title most of last year during the pandemic and then part of the beginning of the year before The Miz cashed in on him.

Since then, McIntyre has been unsuccessful in getting the title back, as he fell short at Wrestlemania 37 and again at Hell in a Cell against Lashley, so this match against Big E is the last chance considering he’s been drafted to Smackdown.

That is kind of a tell, although these two will likely give the crowd in Saudi Arabia a good match.

Predicted winner: Big E

WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs Brock Lesnar

This is the latest installment of a feud that started back in 2015 at Wrestlemania 31. However, this is the first time where Brock Lesnar is the face and Roman is the heel.

This will be Brock’s first match in WWE since dropping the WWE Championship to Drew McIntyre at Wrestlemania 36. Will the Beast Incarnate show any ring rust? Maybe, but Lesnar is a super-freak athlete, so don’t expect that much.

Roman has held the Universal Championship going back to August of 2020 when he won the belt at Payback 2020 from Bray Wyatt in a triple threat match that also featured Braun Strowman too.

When Roman walks into Crown Jewel, his championship reign will be at 417 days. Will he walk out as the champion? With Brock a “free agent” and not drafted to either show, reports have indicated that Roman isn’t dropping the title.

Predicted winner: Roman Reigns

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Doug Rush

Doug Rush is entering his 18th season as a writer. His career dates back to when he was with The Asbury Park Press covering high school football, The Harlem Globetrotters and The Lakewood Blueclaws. In 2009, he joined Bleacher Report, covering the New York Yankees and New York Giants, amassing over 2 million reader views. After 2013, he left B/R to join Sports Media 101 to cover the Yankees and Giants. While with Sports Media 101, Rush was named to the Pro Football Writers Association of America. He was there until July of 2016. In January of 2018, Rush joined USA Today as part of the Giants Wire staff to cover the Giants. He is still currently with them, as he does weekly analysis for them during the season. In September of 2021, Rush joined Pro Sports Extra, where he will be covering MLB, the NFL, NBA, WWE and AEW. Doug is from Toms River, New Jersey where he has two children, Carson and Peyton.
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