The Real Winners and Losers from 2021 WWE Crown Jewel

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistOctober 21, 2021

The Real Winners and Losers from 2021 WWE Crown Jewel

0 of 5


    WWE Crown Jewel 2021 may have been the biggest show WWE would put on in Saudi Arabia. The title matches promised were massive. The competition was fierce from the opening bell.

    It was clear that any title could change hands at any time, though in the end, all the champions ended up on top. Roman Reigns, Big E and more retained their gold when it mattered most. Becky Lynch even managed to overcome Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair.

    While the champions remained the same, many stars did get big wins for this show. In particular, the King of the Ring and Queen's Crown tournaments ended with surprise winners.

    Xavier Woods made his dream come true. Zelina Vega rebounded from a losing streak to reign atop the women's division. Both should massively benefit from this spotlight.

    Edge proved that he is as good as he has ever been in an incredible match with Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell. Goldberg managed to even the score with Bobby Lashley, leaving The All Mighty humbled.

    The whole show had the vibe of a major WWE pay-per-view event, and it will likely be watched and celebrated as such over just about all Saudi Arabia events that came before. Some wrestlers will also be celebrating far more than others given the results.

Winner: Edge

1 of 5

    On April 11, 2011, just days after retaining the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXVII, Edge retired from professional wrestling due to cervical spinal stenosis. A year later, The Rated-R Superstar was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.

    No one ever expected him to return to the ring, but he did. On January 26, 2020, Edge made a triumphant return at WWE Royal Rumble where he made it to the final three. He would then tear his tricep during an intense match with Randy Orton at WWE Backlash 2020 that would sideline him for seven more months.

    After all of that, Edge has returned better than ever. He is having some of the best matches of his career including at WWE Crown Jewel. His match with Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell followed two great matches between the two men in recent months, ending a great rivalry in style.

    It was the match of the night and the best performance in any Saudi Arabia show by WWE to date. The Rated-R Superstar is in the best shape of his career, doing what he loves at the highest level he has ever performed.

    That would be impressive on its own, but doing all of this after a nine-year hiatus is truly one of the most incredible stories in wrestling.

    There have been quite a few great returns to wrestling in recent years, but Edge stands amongst the very best in a return to form that could genuinely put him in the conversation for greatest of all time.

Winner: Zelina Vega

2 of 5

    Zelina Vega has had a rough road in WWE. She was riding high for a long time as a manager for Andrade and Angel Garza, but WWE seemingly fell out of favor with the wrestler-manager dynamic by the time El Idolo requested his release.

    While Vega has the charisma to pull off anything, she struggled to find a place as a wrestler in WWE before her release. When she returned, she went on a long losing streak before being added to the Queen's Crown tournament.

    She turned that streak around and pulled off three big wins over Toni Storm, Carmella and Doudrop to become the first-ever Queen's Crown winner.

    No matter what happens from here, Vega's name has been etched in history. WWE will need to push her more than they ever have before. She has a chance to finally get a real push.

    This is a fresh start and a historic one at that. While the tournament disappointed in many ways due to poor booking, the end result is the birth of a potential new star. Queen Zelina can finally begin to shine.

Loser: Bobby Lashley

3 of 5

    Bobby Lashley spent much of 2021 on top of the world. The All Mighty was an unstoppable WWE champion, even defeating Drew McIntyre multiple times following an equally dominant reign from The Scottish Warrior.

    All title reigns eventually end, and Big E ended up taking that spotlight from Lashley. A single loss should not have been the end for The All Mighty at the top, but he has been teetering on the edge of relevancy in recent months.

    A loss to Goldberg is not the end of a career, but it has been an indication in the past that a star is not big enough to compete with legends of the business. Lashley squashed the WWE Hall of Famer at WWE SummerSlam, but Goldberg ended up getting the last laugh at Crown Jewel.

    This should be a blip long term for one of WWE's best monsters, but Lashley could have looked so much stronger after a win in this moment. Goldberg at 54 years old does not need another win in his entire career. He probably should not even be wrestling anymore.

    The All Mighty deserved a torch passing moment with Goldberg. Instead, his first win was used as a launching pad for a more disappointing loss.

Winner: Xavier Woods

4 of 5

    In 2014, Kofi Kingston was struggling to find his spot on the roster, and Big E and Xavier Woods could barely get on TV. Together, the trio formed New Day, a faction that has become arguably the best tag team in modern WWE.

    Kofi and E have both won the WWE Championship, helping break down a barrier that has long stood for black men in WWE. Woods has helped lead the group in a variety of ways, but he did not have any individual accolades until WWE Crown Jewel.

    Woods called his shot years back. He was not after gold. He only wanted the King of the Ring crown. A defunct tournament was brought back so that Woods could do something truly special. He defeated Ricochet, Jinder Mahal and Finn Balor on the road to the only accolade he ever desired.

    With this moment, Woods has solidified his own place in the annals of WWE history. While New Day will certainly be honored one day as WWE Hall of Famers together, Woods has helped establish his individual legacy amongst greats like Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret Hart and Booker T.

    The road ahead could be exciting for Woods. For the first time in his career, he has been allowed to branch out on his own. Woods can absolutely work as a singles star much like Kofi and E have before him. He just needs the opportunity.

Losers: Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks

5 of 5

    Becky Lynch's return to WWE SummerSlam signaled the downfall of Bianca Belair and Sasha Banks. While both are still major stars, they were the top acts before Big Time Becks returned.

    WWE Crown Jewel was the biggest opportunity to potentially give back some momentum to one of the two women, but both were unable to regain anything thanks to the crafty tactics of Lynch.

    The EST has been on a tear, but when it has mattered most, she has not been able to get the win. There's always a new excuse to keep her away from the gold since she lost it. She could still defeat Charlotte Flair soon for the Raw Women's Championship, but nothing is certain.

    The Legit Boss returned and inserted herself into the perfect position to escape with the SmackDown Women's Championship. She even recently defeated Lynch in a fair singles match on the blue brand. Banks will likely feud with Charlotte as the top women on SmackDown, but will she be a champion again?

    WWE has set itself in the odd situation where the champions hold the gold for the wrong brand. The Queen is a member of SmackDown holding Raw gold. Big Time Becks is a member of Raw holding SmackDown gold.

    If the two genuinely swap titles like New Day and The Street Profits, it would be a slap in the face of Belair and Banks, who could have set up a far more natural situation ahead of WWE Survivor Series where these brands are supposed to be at war.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.