RIYADH, Nov 2, 2018 – World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc held its second show this year in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Friday as the WWE Crown Jewel unfolded before a sold-out crowd of 25,000 at the King Saud University (KSU) Stadium in Riyadh. In the premier match, Brock Lesnar was awarded the WWE Universal Championship title after beating Braun Strowman.
Besides Lesnar and Strowman, a long list of top WWE stars displayed their wrestling skills at the one-day event. The wrestling card included such well-known names as Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley, Kurt Angel, Dolph Ziggler, Jeff Hardy, The Miz, Rey Mysterio, Randy Orton, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe, among others.
The football stadium at KSU was filled to its 25,000-seat capacity for the Crown Jewel. The organizing committee announced that tickets sold out in three hours.
The Crown Jewel is the second WWE event to be held in Saudi Arabia this year as part of a 10-year agreement between WWE and the Saudi General Sports Authority (GSA), with GSA Chairman Turki Al-Sheikh and Chairman and CEO of WWE, Vince McMahon, signing for the two parties.
The agreement is in in line with Vision 2030, the Saudi roadmap for the future that encourages the growth of athletics and entertainment in the Kingdom. Aired live on the WWE Network, the Crown Jewel was available on pay-per-view outside the Middle East. The WWE has had a successful presence in the region for 20 years and enjoys widespread popularity there.
The Kingdom hosted the WWE Greatest Royal Rumble earlier this year on April 27th, at King Abdullah Sports City in the port city of Jeddah.
Friday’s show included several bouts important to the WWE World Cup. There were quarterfinal matches, and, then, the semi-finals leading up to the final championship round.
Besides the Lesnar and Strowman face-off in the headlining WWE Universal Championship Match, the evening afforded spectators with a number of other exciting displays of wrestling prowess.
In the first-round match-ups, Rey Mysterio took care of Randy Orton; The Miz defeated Jeff Hardy; Seth Rollins beat Bobby Lashley; and Dolph Ziggler prevailed over Kurt Angel.
In his pre-match interview, Rollins said: “One thing I can make sense of is I have to go back to being me, and go back to doing what I do best, and that’s clawing, scratching fighting and by competing tonight at the Crown Jewel, I will prove that I am the best in the world and I will burn it down.”
The New Day trio of Big E, Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods challenged The Bar duo of Cesaro and Sheamus along with Big Show for the SmackDown Tag Team Championship. The Bar emerged victorious in the fiercely fought battle.
Later, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe faced off for the WWE Championship, with the former bagging the trophy.
In the WWE World Cup tournament, The Miz beat Mysterio, while Seth Rollins vs Dolph Ziggler ended with a Ziggler win, putting him in the finals against The Miz. But The Miz was unable to fight in the final bout due to injury, so he was replaced by SmackDown Commissioner, Shane McMahon, who defeated Ziggler to clench the title of ‘Best in the World”.
And for the first time in many years, Shawn Michaels returned to the ring alongside Triple H as DX took on The Brothers of Destruction, comprising The Undertaker and Kane, with DX emerging as the winner.