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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

WWE Crown Jewel: Brock Lesnar wins Universal title in Saudi Arabia as Shawn Michaels and DX triumph

Michaels and Triple H defeat the Undertaker and Kane in main event in Riyadh, while Shane McMahon is surprise WWE World Cup winner

Brock Lesnar won the vacant WWE Universal Championship at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh. Image courtesy of WWE
Brock Lesnar won the vacant WWE Universal Championship at WWE Crown Jewel in Riyadh. Image courtesy of WWE

The WWE's second visit to Saudi Arabia in 2018, WWE Crown Jewel, proved to be a night of drama and history.

A world champion was crowned in Saudi Arabia for the first time, while one of the company's greatest ever stars made his return to the ring after more than eight years.

Here are the results and some talking points on each match-up.

Brock Lesnar wins the vacant WWE Universal Championship against Braun Strowman

Saudi Arabia got to see a WWE world title change hands on their soil for the first time as Lesnar won a sixth world title.

It was not the hard-hitting match people had hoped for as Baron Corbin, the acting Raw General Manager, struck Strowman with the belt from behind before the bell rang.

Lesnar unleashed a number of F-5s on the defenceless Strowman and got the pinfall in quick fashion.

The WWE are in danger of missing the boat with Strowman, who has been massively over with the WWE audience over the past 12 months.

He cannot afford to keep on losing title opportunities.

WWE probably felt giving Strowman the belt with little build, given the sad reasons by which Roman Reigns vacated it, would hurt him, so they have gone with what they know in an absentee champion in Lesnar.

It will be interesting to see where WWE go with this Lesnar reign. He has a non-title showdown with SmackDown World Heavyweight champion AJ Styles at Survivor Series on November 18 so he is definitely around for a little while.

Strowman presumably now hunts down and causes Corbin in an attempt to build his heat back up.

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AJ Styles retains the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Samoa Joe

At 11 minutes this was shorter then some of their previous classic matches, but they still packed a lot in before Styles won with the Phenomenal Forearm.

Joe has now lost twice cleanly in the past month to Styles so it is hard to see where we goes, and he needs to find some momentum.

Styles is now guaranteed to have his title reign pass the 12-month point, and he continues to shine on pay per view.

His next goal is to avenge his loss at Survivor Series to Lesnar when the pair meet again in two weeks.

Shawn Michaels and Triple H defeated The Undertaker and Kane in a tag match

It was the epic that everyone knew that it would be, but it proved a lot of fun as Shawn Michaels proved he can still put together a great story in the ring in his first match in eight years.

This was full of false finishes and drama, but Michaels, particularly as the face in peril during the middle of proceedings, told a fantastic narrative.

Michaels can still go, that is not really too shocking given how great he was in his prime. But, the fact he was busting out moonsaults and other big moves was great to watch and hopefully this is not just an one-off return.

Triple H got the pin on Kane after Michaels had super kicked him into his tag partner's path.

The Undertaker was the dominant force for much of the match, but was powerless to prevent his team's defeat as he also fell victim to a super kick.

This is the end of the feud, but what next for Michaels is the big question.

Shane McMahon wins the inaugural WWE World Cup

Right, a lot to unpackage here. A very bizarre finale, which delighted the fans in Riyadh admittedly, saw McMahon, the SmackDown commissioner insert himself into the final, after the Miz suffered an ankle injury before his showdown with Dolph Ziggler had started.

McMahon took Miz's place and won with a coast to coast on Ziggler.

To say it was a surprise would be an understatement. McMahon's celebration was completely over the top, making it fun and how this is referenced on SmackDown will be fascinating.

It had been an unpredictable tournament. Miz beat Rey Mysterio and Jeff Hardy, both in clean fashion, to reach the final on his side.

Ziggler defeated Seth Rollins with assistance from Drew McIntyre, and then rolled up Kurt Angle.

The other matches saw Mysterio beat Randy Orton, while Rollins did for Bobby Lashley.

Sheamus and Cesaro retain the SmackDown Tag Titles against The New Day

A fairly fun, if short, match-up which saw the champions stay on top.

Big Show interfered with a punch on Big E that left him exposed to a kick from Sheamus.

This rivalry looks set to go on to Survivor Series, most likely in a 3x3 match-up to get Big Show involved directly.