Mohammed Abdu Arena on the Boulevard in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
WWE returns to Saudi Arabia with a stacked card on Thursday, as the company continues its ongoing relationship with the country. Instead of acting as an additional event on the crowded PPV calendar, this year’s Crown Jewel has, at the very least, enjoyed some logical match bookings with feuds slowly built instead of thrown together.
With the PPV streaming live at 5pm in the UK, the event gives a welcome reprieve for British fans. The familiar feeling of heavy eyes and finding ways to stave off sleep at 1am can instead be replaced by enjoying a WWE event at sociable hour. Vue and Showcase Cinemas will also be offering fans the chance to watch the streamed PPV at select venues (for the eye watering price of £19.99 and above…).
The highly anticipated match between Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar provides a mouth-watering main event. It won’t be the first time the pair have met. This will, in fact, mark the seventh time the pair have faced off against each other, with Lesnar currently winning the head-to-head 3-2 (Seth Rollins cashing in his Money In The Bank contract and winning, changed their WrestleMania 31 match).
Other meetings aside, there is a fresh feel to the rivalry with Roman performing his best work to date alongside Heyman and Brock sporting a new look. The Heyman factor certainly adds an air of intrigue to proceedings.
Elsewhere on the card, both the King of the Ring and Queen’s Crown tournaments reach their respective climaxes. This year’s Crown Jewel marks the first time two women’s matches will take place on the card as Zelina Vega faces off against Doudrop and Becky Lynch defends her SmackDown Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks.
The latter match could have huge repercussions across the women’s division. If Banks captures the title both women’s championships will be on the blue brand. A possible unification match against Raw Women’s Champion Charlotte would be a logical path to take.
Edge and Rollins will end their rivalry in a Hell In A Cell match, with both men enjoying one victory over the other. This match in particular should claim the match of the night, with Rollins’ character work reaching new heights and Edge’s intensity levels peaking yet again.
Both Reigns and Lynch spoke to the world’s media ahead of the PPV, here Rushonrock brings you some of the highlights from their interviews:
Roman Reigns on what fans can expect from the latest chapter in his rivalry with Brock Lesnar…
“I think the most obvious thing is how the roles have reversed and how the whole dynamic has shifted 180°. The direction of where each personality has been, and where it is going, all the way through to the alliance of Paul Heyman – everything has changed with me and Brock. In the past Brock was probably the most prestigious Universal Champion we have had, definitely in terms of Title reign – but that pales into comparison against what I have been able to achieve in the last year and a half. Being a full-time performer and being able to showcase weekly on Smackdown, and then every month, and sometimes more, being able to defend that Title on every major pay-per-view from the Big-Four down, has made a big difference to where we are both at. A lot of things have changed for me and Brock – but one thing that hasn’t is our physicality in the ring. Brock has done well against me years ago, but anything recently I think I have had the upper hand – and that upper hand lies with me in so many ways.”
Roman Reigns On Paul Heyman…
“Paul Heyman has a very wide skillset, and there is a lot of great behind-the-scenes details he can keep in check. A lot of people don’t get to see the little things he does for a performer, so for me that is something that is now in place and it is something Brock is lacking. There are so many responsibilities and tasks I don’t have to worry about now, the only thing I have to focus on is the battle plan – what is going to happen when I walk out of the curtain and defend the WWE Universal Championship – Paul has everything else covered. I just have to show up and make sure the ring announcer is saying ‘and still’ at the end of the match. But that’s not the same for Brock anymore, everything falls on him.”
Becky Lynch on her first trip to Saudi Arabia…
“This will be my first trip to Saudi Arabia, but I have only heard great things about the country from the guys who have already been over. Everyone is so nice when the guys go over and the people there are so grateful and appreciative of us going there and performing – so I can’t wait to be there and see all this for myself.”
Becky Lynch on being an inspiration for a new generation of women in Saudi Arabia…
Being able to inspire people is the most important thing – that’s why we do this. We are seeing a whole new generation of women and kids and hopefully showing them what is possible and what can be done. It is hugely important for us to go over there and steal the show – which of course we will.”
Becky Lynch on the Triple Threat Match at WWE Crown Jewel…
“Firstly, people can expect me to walk out there still the Smackdown Women’s Champion. In addition to that they can expect a barnstormer of a match. Any time you get myself, Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair – three of the best in the industry regardless of gender – you know you are going to be watching something very special and there is no doubt that match will steal the show.”
Full Crown Jewel 2021 Card
Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar
WWE Champion Big E vs. Drew McIntyre
SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks (Triple Threat Match)
Goldberg vs. Bobby Lashley (No Holds Barred Match)
Edge vs. Seth Rollins (Hell in a Cell Match)
WWE Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro vs. AJ Styles & Omos
Mansoor vs. Mustafa Ali
Doudrop vs. Zelina Vega (Queen’s Crown Tournament Finals)
Finn Balor vs. Xavier Woods (King of the Ring Finals)
You can watch WWE Crown Jewel on Thursday (October 21) at 5pm on the WWE Network.