Ring the bell! This is the debut of WWE/AEW Recaps on Pop Culture Beast. I’m tremendously excited to join the team and I promise to do my best to give you honest, complete coverage of Smackdown, Raw, NXT and Dynamite. But promises are made to be broken, so we’ll see what happens.
HERE WE GO!
Roman Reigns vs. Shinsuke Nakamura – Intercontinental Title Match
We’re LIVE in Indianapolis, Indiana and we begin with a championship match. An Intercontinental Championship match, no less! Good to see Nakamura get some marquee time, and his challenger is…Roman Reigns? I’m not saying that’s bad, but it seems a bit strange for the #1 draft pick/2K20 Cover Superstar to be challenging for the #3 singles title in the company. Anyway, let’s proceed as Sami Zayn joins Cole and Graves on commentary.
Cole reminds us that Shinsuke won the IC title from Finn Balor, which tells you how much this championship has been forgotten. Not to harp on this, but it does the title zero favors to have it defended in a match against someone who clearly doesn’t need it. I’m harping, aren’t I? Yeah, definitely harping.
Sami lasts about a minute on commentary until he returns to ringside to save the champ from a Roman Reigns Drive-by. Nakamura apparently gets in some offense during a commercial, but we don’t see that live. Instead, we come back from break to see a thrilling chinlock. Roman makes a comeback, but finds himself in a triangle hold, nearly tapping out by accident. The men exchange some offense until Tall Joffrey, er, King Corbin shows up to cause a DQ and beat up Roman for a bit.
Cue Daniel Bryan to save the day. Bryan clears the ring then sets up to dive on Shinsuke but Sami grabs his ankle. And keeps grabbing it. And grabs it for a really long time as apparently Nakamura was a bit tardy returning to the fray. Eventually he shows up with a TIMELY knee strike. The heels bail and Cole expounds on the fact that these guys are the top picks on Smackdown. Um, is that a good thing?
Backstage with The New Day and Heavy Machinery
This isn’t worth wasting much word count. Otis shows up in a bikini apron, makes some disgusting pancake batter, then drinks it. Ugh.
Back from commercial, Kayla asks Corbin a question and gets no response. Probably for the best.
Before our next match, we see a video package trying to explain the logic behind calling someone Shorty Gable. A for effort, guys.
Shorty Gable vs. Curtis Axel
It didn’t take long for Gable to make Axel tap out with the Ankle Lock. The match was uneventful, but at least it was short. See what I did there?
Kayla is in the ring to interview Gable, who tells us he’s embracing the short jokes and accepting who he is. So much so that he now wants to be called Shorty G. Oh. Oh no. This has me very, very worried.
“Live” Hulk Hogan Interview
Apparently Seth Rollins is out of Crown Jewel so we need to find out Hogan’s plan for his team. Cut to an obviously pre-taped Skype interview with Hulk Hogan who delivers the bombshell that he is adding Ali and Shorty G to his team. Yeah. But if you’re underwhelmed, don’t worry, he’s going to announce his new team captain later tonight. Is Heath Slater in the building?
Pancake pals Heavy Machinery and The New Day make their way to the ring. We’ll have 8-man tag action after the break!
Heavy Machinery/The New Day vs. The Revival/Roode and Ziggler
This match is to promote “The Largest Tag Team Turmoil Match EVER IN THE HISTORY OF TAG TEAM TURMOIL MATCHES!” at Crown Jewel. This is clearly an experiment in how many superlatives it takes to make people forget that Saudi Arabia is kind of an awful place.
This one lasts a while and everyone gets a chance to play but this highlights my issue with these wrestling traffic jams. Too many people with no real story. It’s just a way to get more faces on my TV and remind us they still work there. Xavier Woods gets the hot tag to Otis who runs right through the opposing four. Some chaos ensues which ends with The New Day hitting their finisher on Dawson for the win. It was fine.
COLE TELLS US THERE’S BREAKING NEWS! It’s been signed for later tonight! Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan will take on Nakamura and Corbin. Folks, match making like this happens every. single. week and calling this “Breaking News” is frankly insulting.
But wait! Bayley is here, and she’s ready to break her silence on MizTV. Next!
WWE reminds us Braun Strowman is wrestling Randy Quaid at Crown Jewel. What? That’s not Randy Quaid? Tyson who? Huh, how about that?
Oh and John Cena has a new movie. He plays a cranky firefighter, and I’m IN.
We’re back and Ali is telling us about his desire to shred labels. Maybe he should follow Gable’s lead and call himself Ali G. Just a thought. Nice Iron Man glove though.
MizTV with special guest Bayley
The Smackdown Women’s Champ enters the arena to her new music with Sasha Banks by her side. She’s got a sour look on her face and is ready to explain herself. Miz throws to a video package which features cell phone video of children crying as the new Bayley murders her inflatable Buddies. What a monster!
Miz asks the simple question “Why?” and Bayley responds with no response. After some Miz prodding where he tries to sow some seeds of discontent between Bayley and Sasha, Bayley finally explains that the fans took too much and gave back nothing, especially after Hell in a Cell when no one was there to hug her. Then she goes on to say the women’s division is lazy, and offers the crowd some motivation, telling them “Life sucks, and then you die.” Harsh.
Well, Nikki Cross is done listening to Bayley. She’s here to fight! So are Dana Brooke, Lacey Evans, and three other women who apparently we don’t need to see. GO TO COMMERCIAL!
Nikki Cross vs. Carmella vs. Lacey Evans vs. Dana Brooke vs. Mandy Rose vs. Sonya Deville – Winner gets Smackdown Women’s Title opportunity
Another mess of a match as all six women are fighting at once as Bayley and Sasha are ringside to observe. Rose and Deville start off beating on Nikki, then turn their attention to Carmella.
During a commercial break, we missed a six-person suplex. Seems like a spot we’d want on live TV, but whatevs. As is commonplace in these matches, there are several back and forth sequences, with two or three women grappling at a time. Mandy and Carmella spend some time fighting before a melee ensues with all six women. Nikki Cross sneaks in a swinging neckbreaker and pins Mandy Rose to earn a title match with Bayley. The champ stares down the Scot as Cole and Graves preview Strowman/Fury with the help of Flo from Progressive.
Hey Progressive, can I name my price for WWE Network? Because if this is the highlight of Crown Jewel, I would like to not pay $10 a month anymore.
Back from commercial, and we’re getting a recap of Rollins/Wyatt, which has included attempted murder and arson…by the guy who ISN’T a psychopath. Go figure. And it appears the WWE is going to make things right with a Falls Count Anywhere match at Crown Jewel. That’s a bit like Burger King apologizing for a spoiled Whopper by offering a spoiled Double Whopper.
Braun Strowman comes to the ring as we revisit the contract signing with Randy Quaid. Sorry! Tyson Fury. Tyson Fury. I’ll get it right at some point.
Braun Strowman vs. Drew Gulak
Drew takes the mic to trash talk a bit, complete with Powerpoint presentation, and that doesn’t end well for the former 205 Live champ. Strowman wins over the guy half his size.
After a quick promo for WWE 2K20 (because it’s gonna need all the promotion it can get), we’re set for our main event!
Daniel Bryan/Roman Reigns vs. King Corbin/Shinsuke Nakamura
Daniel Bryan is introduced, we get a commercial break, we return with Corbin and Nakamura in the ring, then Roman Reigns is introduced. Why this insanity? Because we needed to hear that Roman Reigns is now the captain of Team Hogan at Crown Jewel. What a twist!
The match isn’t terrible, but it’s nothing special either. Roman spears Corbin through the barricade, Bryan kicks the stuffing out of Nakamura and pins the IC champ after a flying knee strike. Cole tells us this is the action we’ll see every week on Smackdown as they continue to sell to the casual viewer. This is WWE on FOX!
It was a night of wrestling for sure. It wasn’t necessarily amazing wrestling, but this wasn’t necessarily amazing writing, and we all made it though just fine, right?
Until next time!