The build towards Crown Jewel almost guaranteed disaster.
Cain Velasquez was presented as a terrible challenger to Brock Lesnar; he wasn't over to begin with, he hardly got over with his pulled worked punches, and he entered a match he shouldn't have entered with a bum knee. For the second consecutive pay-per-view, WWE booked a match involving a big investment that said big investment should not have been booked in. It was lamb-to-the-slaughter stuff, a wild combination of inept greed.
WWE went the customary pull-apart route with Tyson Fury Vs. Braun Strowman. Also Fury failed to break a pen in a failed comedy bit. As far as anticipated celebrity matches go, this was more Snooki than Floyd Mayweather. Seth Rollins turned himself heel, again, by burning down the Firefly Fun House and making sure to mention, to make his catchphrase a thing, that he had in fact Burned It Down. It was better when he cried, somehow. Ric Flair cut some inexplicable promos to build his team's match with Hulk Hogan's band of Hulkamaniacs, and still felt like a bigger star than the men that made up his team.
Crown Jewel was, in fact a disaster - as far as the two big publicised attractions went.
Elsewhere, weirdly, this show did actually succeed.
9. Battle Royal To Determine #1 Contender To The United States Title
A ring comprised mostly of misfits compete for a Championship Opportunity: a plot hole people buried AEW for at Double Or Nothing, but didn't even materialise as a blip on the radar of social media last night.
Funny how that goes.
This wasn't good, at all, and didn't even follow the usual mass of flesh mess/exhilarating finish template. Drake Maverick's comedy spots saw him swiftly eliminated, as were several of his 205 Live colleagues before the ejection of Eric Young, which painted a grim and predictable picture. Titus O'Neill eliminated Mojo Rawley amid much non-action. Back to the mirror he goes. Or catering.
Andrade eliminated Sin Cara, whose new valet wasn't at all conspicuous by her absence. O'Neill then spent several glaring seconds visibly calling his own elimination, but he has terrible form in this department, so it was understandable. Akira Tozawa drew stifled, unprofessional laughter from Michael Cole, but his looking like a total geek nanoseconds after No Way Jose was eliminated after also challenging Rowan was perversely amusing. Again: understandable.
"We're about to see the end of the career of Akira Tozawa, courtesy of Harper and Rowan!" Corey Graves said.
*Troy McClure voice*
"Tozawa's career was already over!"
Humberto Carillo won after some miscommunication between Harper and Rowan, who were depicted as powerhouses in the match and idiots after it.
Also some unfunny 24/7 Title b*llocks happened.
Star Rating: ¾★