Dustin writes down a few quick notes and reactions to a recent announcement made regarding WWE’s upcoming controversial pay-per-view event, Crown Jewel.
Last month WWE held their “Hell in a Cell” PPV and for the most part it was a pretty well-received success. This is important because the latest rival company, AEW had just come out of the gates on fire with a highly rated debut episode. Then the main event match came between Universal Champion Seth Rollins and ‘The Fiend’ Bray Wyatt.
Wyatt had spent months rebuilding, retooling and repackaging his character into something more interesting and sinister than most fans were used to or expecting. His ‘Firefly Family Funhouse’ segments quickly became the only must-see part of Monday Night Raw and each hit well over 1 million views on YouTube within the next day after the show. To millions of WWE fans, this match with Rollins represented the chance for WWE to finally put it’s full faith behind Wyatt, a charismatic performer who never failed to interest fans but was always a bridesmaid when it came time actually be legitimized by the company.
Their main event match was almost entirely a disaster. Bizarre red lighting made it nearly impossible for fans in attendance to see inside the Hell in a Cell cage. Wyatt’s ‘The Fiend’ character was made to look unstoppable and invincible, kicking out of everything Rollins threw at him. And then Rollins buried him under a pile chairs and a ladder and smashed a tool box into his head repeatedly. The crowd began to boo, realizing that they were wrong to get their hopes up again that Wyatt would actually finally win. Then, Rollins smashed the chairs, ladder, tool box and Wyatt with a sledgehammer and the ref called for the bell and declared the match over. A Hell in a Cell grudge match that is supposed to be a No-DQ, winner take all contest was stopped in the name of protecting both the champion and the challenger that WWE still wanted to look like a legitimate threat. That show ended with fans audibly chanting “BS”, “Refund,” and “AEW” and WWE had so much egg on their face that they didn’t even mention the match, Wyatt or Rollins the next night on RAW, trying to quickly wipe the memory of the failed match away.
Which brings us now to this rematch taking place in Saudi Arabia at WWE’s Crown Jewel event. Let’s take one more look at the picture announcing the rematch:
Here are just a few issues with all this:
- “Can’t Be Stopped for Any Reason” is less a stipulation and more a guarantee that it is definitely going to be stopped for some reason.
- Rollins is the Universal Champion, the Universal Title is a RAW title.
- Wyatt is on the Smackdown Live roster. If Rollins loses, that leaves RAW without a top champion. Which would make the outcome seem predictable.
- If Wyatt loses, that drops him down to 1-1-1 since returning to matches as ‘The Fiend.’ I wouldn’t be surprised if WWE did book him to lose, but it would absolutely kill any remaining momentum the character had.
- Rollins burned down the Firefly Fun House on last week’s RAW, apparently this is because Bray is a Smackdown wrestler and Fox just didn’t want it anymore. Why put Wyatt on Smackdown if they’re going to just cut his gimmick in half? Maybe this makes it predictable the other way with Wyatt winning and him and Rollins switching shows.
- Less an issue and more I’m just curious: How will ‘The Fiend’ be received by fans over in Saudi Arabia? Will WWE tone down his extremely vivid entrance?
- The Saudi Arabia shows are extremely controversial already and many fans don’t watch them in protest. Some of their performers skip the shows because of personal beliefs as well. If WWE pulls more trickery to try and make this match a non-finish at this show particularly, it may have lasting ramifications to the company’s viewership.
- This PPV takes place on Halloween day, that has to be a positive sign for Wyatt right? Right?
- Falls Count Anywhere? Just how much leeway are they going to have to fight through the crowd and arena? The setup for these shows is always elaborate but we’ve always just seen the action kept in the ring and immediate ringside area. Also, typically that means the match can’t end in DQ or anything either so the fact that they double clarified it only makes it more likely that something weird is going to happen.
- What if it’s the first match to start the show? These shows typically tend to favor special attraction bookings with part-time superstars (or even completely retired superstars that come back for a sweet payday, looking at you Shawn Michaels). If ‘The Fiend’ is way over in Saudi Arabia and the fans are just as anxious to see him win, can you imagine how bad the rest of the show would be received if their match is first and disappoints again?
- Last one: Remember when all rumors and signs pointed to WWE wanting to save ‘The Fiend’ as a special attraction and have him pop up without warning and randomly to keep the mystery up and avoid overdoing it? Yeah seems like WWE forgot too.
No matter what happens on Halloween, fans are sure to have an opinion on this match. Let’s just hope WWE has the sense to make sure they get the ending right this time.
Catch ‘Crown Jewel’ on the WWE Network on Halloween, 10/31 at 1pm EST/10am PST. Dustin Brewer is a freelance writer and co-editor of HefferBrew. You can follow him on Twitter and stay tuned to HefferBrew for all the latest WWE news.