WWE Crown Jewel 2019
Running Time: 207 Minutes
Number Of Discs: 1
Studio: Fremantle Home Entertainment
Released: January 6 2020
(Thanks to Fetch Publicity for arranging this review.)
Though many fans have a negative perspective on the WWE-Saudi Arabia working relationship, there’s no doubt that the twice-annual supershows have some interesting line-ups. Crown Jewel 2019 was perhaps the most intriguing yet, with Tyson Fury and Cain Velasquez brought in for two headline-grabbing attractions, along with special appearances by Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.
In the case of Velasquez, a knee injury unfortunately meant that his showdown with Brock Lesnar to open the card barely lasts two minutes, and has very little offence before Velasquez submits to a Kimura lock. This very disappointing opener is salvaged somewhat by the post-match angle which sees Rey Mysterio surprisingly pound Lesnar with a steel chair. The Tag Team Turmoil bout to determine the world’s best tag team has its moments but is very long and often dull; conversely, Mansoor vs. Cesaro is a strong effort by both, with home country hero Mansoor picking up a big victory.
Tyson Fury fared better than Cain Velasquez by holding his own for a fair amount of time and by beating Strowman after KO’ing him to the floor. It wasn’t a particularly great match, but considering that Fury had a month’s notice to train, it was acceptable enough, and a future WWE return for Tyson seems likely. AJ Styles vs. Humberto Carrillo is well-worked but instantly forgettable, which sums up their feud as a whole, really. Then, Natalya and Lacey Evans battled in the first ever women’s match to take place in Saudi Arabia, which was a historic and emotional moment to witness.
Team Hogan vs. Team Flair is a fun ten-man clash with an exciting finishing sequence, and though there weren’t any stakes, this still felt important and served its purpose well. Finally, the Falls Count Anywhere match between Seth Rollins and The Fiend has some intriguing spots, and after their disastrous Hell In A Cell main event, this ends the card with a bang (literally) as The Fiend captures the Universal Championship, a prize that he still holds as of this writing.
If you’re against WWE’s dealings with Saudi and/or you have no interest in non-wrestling celebrities competing in the ring, then this is best avoided. For the casual WWE fan, though, Crown Jewel is definitely the best of the four Saudi supershows so far, and with several good matches and a few memorable moments, this is a card that is worth checking out a second time on DVD.
Overall Rating: 7/10 – Respectable