WWE Crown Jewel 2018: B/R Expert Match Picks, Predictions and Analysis

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

WWE Crown Jewel 2018: B/R Expert Match Picks, Predictions and Analysis

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    Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman.
    Seth Rollins, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman.Credit: WWE.com

    For the second time in less than a week, WWE will put on a pay-per-view event. Friday's event is called Crown Jewel, and it marks the company's second major PPV in Saudi Arabia this year.

    Here is a rundown of all the matches on the card, according to WWE.com:

    • Three-Round World Cup Tournament with Bobby Lashley, Dolph Ziggler, Seth Rollins, Kurt Angle, Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton and The Miz
    • The Bar vs. The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)
    • DX vs. The Brothers of Destruction
    • Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman (Universal Championship)
    • AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)

    Our writers will analyze some of the biggest feuds and provide predictions for all of the matches. Our group is made up of the following:

    Each writer on the panel will answer a question about the WWE World Cup and an additional match before we get to the predictions.

Anthony Mango

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    World Cup Tournament

    Q: Putting aside who you think will win, which Superstar do you think would benefit the most from winning this tournament and why?

    Bobby Lashley hasn't accomplished much since his return in April, as he's not had any decent feuds, failed to get over as a babyface and has no big victories. If he were to win this, it would give him the boost needed to be able to challenge Braun Strowman for the Universal Championship somewhere down the line. And since Strowman will need heel opponents, he would be a perfect dance partner.

                            

    Bonus Question

    Q: WWE has received some backlash for choosing to hold Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. If you were in Vince McMahon's shoes, what would you have done?

    This is tough, as we don't know all the specifics of this deal or have the behind-the-scenes information. Could WWE have made Saturday's live events in Madrid and Cardiff alternative sites for Crown Jewel? Would canceling this cost the promotion so much money that the bad publicity is better than that loss?

    I think Vince McMahon made the right call in allowing talent to back out while fulfilling WWE's business agreement and obligations. Still, the company should have thought about the potential of a situation like this happening before agreeing to the deal from the start.

                               

    Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman (Universal Championship)

    Q: Other than Drew McIntyre, which Raw Superstar who has never won the WWE or universal title would you like to see challenge the winner of this match? 

    There needs to be a feud between Strowman and Baron Corbin. With The Lone Wolf in charge of Raw, he has too much power not to let it get to his head. The crowd likes to hate him. He's a tall guy who could match well with Strowman, and he would be a good stepping stone in helping put over the new champion.

Erik Beaston

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    World Cup Tournament

    Q: Putting aside who you think will win, which Superstar do you think would benefit the most from winning this tournament and why?

    I think it's rather obvious Dolph Ziggler would benefit the most. He has not had that sort of defining win since his World Heavyweight Championship win in 2013, and a victory over the all-time greats involved elsewhere would bolster his star and give The Showoff something to brag about. No chance in hell does that happen, but it would be a major boost for his credibility if it did.

                         

    Bonus Question

    Q: WWE has received some backlash for choosing to hold Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. If you were in Vince McMahon's shoes, what would you have done?

    Weighing the pros and cons, I would hold the show in Saudi Arabia. Strictly from a business standpoint, it is difficult to look almost $50 million in the face and balk at it. Assuming the decision does not have an enormous effect on PR or the stock price, it is a show that is more beneficial than detrimental. That is, of course, if I were McMahon. Thankfully, I am not because there is not a chance the show would be going on as scheduled.

                            

    DX vs. Brothers of Destruction

    Q: If this leads to more matches from Michaels, which WWE Superstar would you like to see him face the most and why?

    It would be easy to say AJ Styles, Seth Rollins or Daniel Bryan. Those are three of the finest wrestlers on the planet, and a match against any of them would make for must-see wrestling.

    I'm going with Strowman, though, because Michaels always had the innate ability to work the big vs. small formula to perfection, as witnessed in his classics against Diesel, Razor Ramon and The Undertaker, as well as underrated gems against Sycho Sid and Vader. The psychology and storytelling alone would make that match worth watching.

Kevin Berge

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    World Cup Tournament

    Q: Putting aside who you think will win, which Superstar do you think would benefit the most from winning this tournament and why?

    The easy answer is The Miz. Unlike most of the competitors in the tourney, he's in his prime and working at the highest level of his career. The A-Lister has proved repeatedly that he deserves huge success, and he should be in line for a WWE Championship victory. If he wins the World Cup, he would instantly be in title contention.

    Moreover, no one in the tournament will be able to sell the label of "best in the world" like The Most Must-See WWE Superstar. Strowman's Greatest Royal Rumble victory was forgotten after a few weeks, but Miz would never let anyone forget that he earned that title by going through stars like Jeff Hardy, Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle.

                            

    Bonus Question

    Q: WWE has received some backlash for choosing to hold Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. If you were in Vince McMahon's shoes, what would you have done? 

    A: If I were in Vince's shoes, I wouldn't have made the Saudi Arabia deal in the first place. Maybe that's why I'm not a billionaire, but the entire agreement has never come off as a legitimate opportunity for the company. WWE signed a contract to put on multiple propaganda events, promoting the greatness of the morally corrupt power structure in Saudi Arabia.

    In the midst of the most progressive women's wrestling movement in the company's history, the division could not compete in Saudi Arabia. The same is true at Crown Jewel, except the company is also now entering a country that allegedly facilitated the death of a United States resident, journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in October.

    Putting on a wrestling event in Saudi Arabia is not just morally reprehensible, but it is also endangering the talent involved. The event should have been moved or canceled the moment news came out about Khashoggi.

                            

    AJ Styles vs. Samoa Joe (WWE Championship)

    Q: We have already seen Joe vs. Styles plenty of times. Who would have made a better challenger to the WWE title to replace Bryan?

    A: This is a title match that came with short notice and will likely be overshadowed by the World Cup, so it is fine that Joe is getting another shot at Styles. However, it would have been cool to see Rusev get another match with The Phenomenal One instead.

    Their first title clash proved that The Bulgarian Brute could do more on the brand than what he has in the past. He's still over with most WWE crowds and coming off a dominant victory over Aiden English. No one would have worked harder in this spot to prove he should have had the chance already.

Chris Mueller

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    World Cup Tournament

    Q: Putting aside who you think will win, which Superstar do you think would benefit the most from winning this tournament and why?

    Lashley would get the most out of winning this tournament simply because he is the one Superstar out of the eight competitors who has never won a world championship in WWE. He held the ECW Championship back in the day, but most fans don't count that incarnation of the belt as a world title. The Dominator needs something other than a loudmouth manager to get attention, and this tourney could be it.

                            

    Bonus Question

    Q: WWE has received some backlash for choosing to hold Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia. If you were in Vince McMahon's shoes, what would you have done? 

    It would not have been easy for WWE to move the event to a different country on such short notice, and without knowing how the contract with Saudi Arabia works, we don't know how it would affect the company financially. That being said, WWE could have delayed it until more information was discovered in Khashoggi's case. I would have pushed it back until more information was available. 

                                      

    The Bar vs. The New Day (SmackDown Tag Team Championships)

    Q: If you could pick one of the five competitors in this match to go solo and enter the WWE title picture, who would it be and why?

    In a coin toss between Big E and Cesaro, I have to go with The Swiss Cyborg. He has been an incredible addition to the tag team division over the past couple of years, but we all know what he is capable of in singles matches. He has put on classics with many top stars, and it would be amazing to see him finally get a chance to shine alongside the biggest stars in the industry.

Predictions

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    Each writer's initials will appear after the name of the person or team they predict to win each match. Here is how everyone on the panel voted:

    • The Bar (EB, KB, AM, CM) vs. The New Day 
    • AJ Styles (EB, KB, AM, CM) vs. Samoa Joe
    • DX (KB, AM) vs. Brothers of Destruction (EB, CM)
    • Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman (EB, KB, AM, CM)

                             

    WWE World Cup Predictions

    • AM: Mysterio
    • EB: Rollins
    • KB: Mysterio
    • CM: Hardy

    What are your predictions for WWE Crown Jewel?