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    Monday, October 25, 2021

    The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Crown Jewel 2021

    Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar

    This year's Crown Jewel event, the first back in Saudi Arabia after the pandemic caused an extended layoff, was meant to be the second mainline Saudi pay-per-view for the WWE. For all intents and purposes, what it meant to be was exactly what it was, down to the typical WWE-isms attached to the company's main narrative.

    What was originally a big house party for Saudi Arabian fans (which had definitely grown in number over time, a long way from the first Saudi show drawing baffled and confused reactions over the company's current roster) is now that plus some bad habits WWE loves to do. 

    For one thing, parts of the card did feel like a WrestleMania in Saudi, with a Hell in a Cell match outside the Hell in a Cell PPV, two tournament finals (one of which was King of the Ring), and a lot of title matches. Gone are the days of big-name legends coming over to appease the Saudi prince, which is fine—it makes the show a lot more digestible by fans all around the world. Stacking the card was something very much appreciated.

    But because WWE now has to advance their main storylines on this show, the Saudi fans now got a taste of what we have to deal with on the regular (assuming they weren't already familiar). This comes in two instances: the SmackDown Women's Championship match, where Becky Lynch quietly retains the title via a (legal) dirty pin, and the main event for the Universal Championship, where shenanigans ensure that Reigns retains over Brock Lesnar.

    This is not to say that those were the wrong choices, though. Had this been a regular pay-per-view, we would have written it off as another Sunday in the month. But the grandeur of Crown Jewel, something they had been pushing really hard, makes it feel like they had to hit home runs from top to bottom. They did for some moments, but not all of them, and certainly not when it mattered the most.

    That said, they did still produce some must-watch moments from the show, and if anything, that does fulfill some of the promise they held for Crown Jewel. But they need to remember that for the money they're getting to put these events on, they need to follow all the way through.

    Crown Jewel 2021 Rating: B+

    Match of the Night

    Seth Rollins and Edge get 30 minutes to tell their story inside Hell in a Cell, which they maximize to its full potential. It's easily the most realized match on the show, and a nice win that proves that Edge isn't just a part-timer.

    Photo from WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Pay-Per-Review: Crown Jewel 2021 Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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