I never thought I’d actually say these words: I’m actually looking forward to Crown Jewel!! WWE’s twice-annually heavily-scrutinized blood-money sunrise-hour PLE is this weekend and is going to happen as scheduled. There was some concern earlier in the week with U.S. intelligence being told of a potential attack by Iran on [country redacted], but it seems like the show will go on. While most [country redacted] shows have usually been complete throwaways and only serve to do something with a result that would only be accepted by the audience they were in front of and not any other (yes, looking at you Fiend vs. Goldberg, if you would’ve happened in the States there would’ve been a riot). PLE’s in [country redacted] can be hard to book. For one, the government in said country usually wants big nostalgia acts but many are either retired (Undertaker, Triple H, Goldberg), injured (Randy Orton), or as otherwise unavailable (John Cena). The other reason is the talent that now refuses to even participate in the event such as Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn make it that much harder to fill the card. As of this writing, there are 8 matches scheduled for the show. Usually something crazy happens at these events so it remains to be seen what that will be, and as long as it isn’t Logan Paul walking out with the Titles around his waist (in which case I’m pretty sure most of the IWC would riot outside of both Titan Towers and their new as-of-now unoccupied HQ in Stamford), then I think we should be fine with it……maybe. With that, this is Mansfield’s Matchups and let’s get to it!!!
UNDISPUTED WWE TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) ( c ) vs. The Brawling Brutes (Butch and Ridge Holland)
Saturday is going to be FIGHT NIGHT!!! (……or….”Fight Afternoon”, really). The Brawling Brutes are becoming so over on SmackDown in a way I never thought they would. I remember when everyone (myself very much included) was FURIOUS when Pete Dunne got called up, changed his name to Butch, and got put into this stable. It was annoying. But their rivalry with Imperium has made The Brawling Brutes 1. Babyfaces and 2. Fan favorites!!! The Brawling Brutes are red hot right now, and with Jey not being really “ucey” right now, there’s a possibility it could make it seem like The Usos may lose the straps due to Jey. However, I think the plan is still to drop them to Kevin and Sami, but they could also split up the Titles and have one team win one set while they wait for the right time to team up Kevin and Sami as babyfaces vs. The Usos. The SmackDown (and Raw) tag team division and factions are red hot right now, but I don’t think the Usos are losing both titles here. If they said it was just for one, then I’d switch my pick, but for now, Usos retain.
WINNERS – The Usos (champions retain)
Omos w/MVP vs. Braun Strowman
Okay, first off Braun, this match ain’t in any way, shape, and/or form bigger than Hulk Hogan vs. Andre the Giant at WrestleMania III. It’s not, full stop right there. Secondly, this is the match I (and probably most of you lovely NoDQ Galaxy members reading this) are looking forward to the least. Now, I love Strowman. He’s so much fun to watch in the ring, but we all know, big guy vs. big guy matches rarely come out on the other end as classics we remember, but matches that tomatoes are perpetually thrown at. Now, I think both Braun and Omos know this. I didn’t *hate* the Omos/Lashley feud, and Bobby did everything he can to make those matches presentable. Whether Braun can do that remains to be seen. Now, as to the victor, you’d think with MVP in Omos’s corner that this would be a no-brainer. However: Omos is a Vince guy, Braun is a Triple H guy. Make of that what you will. The fans have not rallied behind Omos at all. Braun, he still has a very big level of support amongst the fans, even with his whole CYN thing. Braun looks to be in incredible shape and looks to be staying dominant. Let’s hope Triple H keeps it that way.
WINNER – Braun Strowman
WWE WOMEN’S TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Asuka and Alexa Bliss ( c ) vs. Damage CTRL (Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai)
Okay, I’ll admit, this one I’m confused by. Alexa and Asuka winning the Titles back on the Monday before a PLE after Damage CTRL having only a 49 day reign and then defending them again at said PLE is an interesting move for Triple H, but I’ll trust him on this one. I love both teams, they both do great, but I think right now Asuka and Alexa are placeholders until team You-Know-Who finally come back since it was revealed they are still a part of the company. Both teams are going to look to shine in this match. Women’s matches always try to mean something in [country redacted] so all four of them will look to pull all the stops out. Now, will You-Know-Whos finally come back after this match? I’d like to think so, but at this stage, I’m not holding my breath. However, I don’t think they’d have Damage CTRL lose the titles just to win them right back, so this pick is easy for me.
WINNERS – Asuka and Alexa Bliss (champions retain)
STEEL CAGE MATCH
Karrion Kross w/Scarlett vs. Drew McIntyre
This feud is a blood feud and it is fun to watch! Their Strap Match at Extreme Rules was okay, but the aftermath in seeing Drew run into Kross’s car and try and smash his head in the door was brutal and shows just how much these two will tear each other apart. A Steel Cage match is absolutely the right call here. No one can run away. But it could limit what they can do in the ring, but I don’t think that will stop these two from using every inch of the cage to their advantage. As to the winner, as much as we would normally factor in WWE’s 50-50 booking, I think with how much they’re trying to build him back up, Kross needs to come out of this with the WWE, and not by escaping the cage, either. Kross needs to make McIntyre pass out. Will Scarlett interfere? Probably, but that’s part of what makes this act so unpredictable and terrifying.
WINNER – Karrion Kross
SIX-MAN TAG TEAM MATCH
The Judgment Day (Finn Balor, Damian Priest, and Dominik Mysterio) w/Rhea Ripley vs. The O.C. (A.J. Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson)
This is gonna be fun!! VERY fun!! Give me A.J. and Balor in a ring together any day of the week and it’s already a good time, but now we have The Club (or, O.C. as WWE has to call it right now, cause New Japan). The absolute POP that Gallows and Anderson got when they showed up to backup A.J. was fist pumping worthy! With the O.C. back at full WWE-wise strength, they need to clearly send a message to the Judgment Day. Yes, Rhea Ripley is still a factor, but one that can be dealt with if the right partner for the O.C. comes along to even the odds (who that might be I’m not sure). If these guys are allowed to go all New Japan on each other, this match *could* be match of the night. It’ll also be interesting to see if Anderson remains in the match the whole time or not, since he is the reigning NWPJ NEVER Openweight Champion, who was originally scheduled to defend his title in Japan on the same day, and New Japan has threatened to strip him of the championship. So it remains to see how this will unfold. Either way, The O.C. absolutely needs the win here to seem like a credible threat to the Judgment Day. Wether this will eventually lead to War Games, I’m not sure, but The Judgment Day do not need this win here.
WINNERS – The O.C.
LAST WOMEN STANDING MATCH FOR THE RAW WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP
Bianca Belair ( c ) vs. Bayley
Alright, if Bayley doesn’t win, we riot, okay? Simple as? Good. This feud has been downright fun and has made the Raw Women’s Title feel important again. The fact that this match is a Last Woman’s Standing match shows exactly how personal and important this title match is. Bayley has been chasing it since she returned at SummerSlam with the rest of Damage CTRL and has been the only one to pin Bianca since before she won the Title. If there is anyone right now who can, and should, take the Title off of Bianca for a bit, it’s Bayley. Bayley has always been viewed as the bottom of the Four Horsewomen totem pole. But with a win here over Bianca, that won’t stay the same anymore. If Damage CTRL is going to continue to be this dominant force, than Bayley needs this win and this Title. Why they lost the Women’s Tag Team Titles, I’m not sure, but if they want to survive as a threat to the rest of the Raw women’s roster, this match is make it or break it for Damage CTRL. I know people have been saying Bianca should wait till she beats Charlotte to lose the Title, but who is the final boss of the WWE women’s roster other than Charlotte Flair (yes, Rhonda too, but still)? Should not Bianca have to beat Charlotte for the Title rather than just defend it against her? Yes that means Bayley eventually dropping the Title to Charlotte, but that would still be a good bridge if WWE still goes that route. No matter what, Bayley needs to win this match or else I don’t see what else they do with Damage CTRL on Raw.
WINNER – Bayley (new champion)
Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Okay, time to watch a killer whale go after a killer shark. How this match is not No Holds Barred or something after what happened on Raw, I don’t know. Either way, I’m not sure if Roman and Logan Paul will have much of a ring left once these two are done killing each other. We FINALLY get to see this match one on one without any potential of any other shenanigans. That’s what makes this match so interesting: it doesn’t have the handcuffs that the Rumble match had to it. And, if Lesnar is in a good mood (I hope and pray), that means he’ll actually show up to put on a great match like he cares! These two have brutalized each other for weeks so how either will keep the other down for a three count is anyone’s guess. However, this likely will continue after Crown Jewel. And because of that, I suspect we will have a Lesnar win, as much as we may hate it. Lashley got the win at the Rumble thanks to Roman, so Lesnar will likely get the win back here.
WINNER – Brock Lesnar
UNDISPUTED WWE UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Roman Reigns w/ Paul Heyman ( c ) vs. Logan Paul
FOR. THE. LOVE. OF. ALL. THAT. IS. HOLY. PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS TO US, WWE!!!!!!!!!!!! The very fact that there is actual legitimate thought by some that social media darling Logan Paul is walking out of this, even remotely able to walk, is terrifying. Logan Paul, yes, has looked great in his two matches he’s had so far, I will absolutely give him credit. But that doesn’t make him an actual threat to Roman Reigns. Yet, he’s actually being presented as a threat!! And to make it worse, rumor has it his brother Jake Paul, who just defeated legendary MMA fighter Anderson Silva mind you, will be in his brother’s corner for the match!!! Reigns won’t have Sami and there’s a chance he won’t have Solo either. So Reigns, even with the-already competed Usos watching his back, looks like, on the surface, he could be in trouble. Honestly, I don’t know how good the match will be. Logan Paul has been training with Hurricane Helms and Shawn Michaels to get ready for this. But I just hope that Reigns’ reign doesn’t come to an end because of this annoying pompous YouTuber. Please, dear Lord Almighty, don’t let it happen!!
WINNER – Roman Reigns