Kickoff: SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos def. The Hurt Business (Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin
Yes, this was a random match between two heel teams. No, there was no chance Hurt Business would win with The Usos being the SmackDown Tag Team Champions and Hurt Business being on Raw. However, I can't complain because this is probably the closest we'll get to Hurt Business vs. The Bloodline. Despite the heel vs. heel dynamic, the crowd was very much behind The Usos. This was a fun affair for the time given.
Edge def. Seth Rollins in a Hell in a Cell Match
It was a very smart call to have this kick off the event. If it wasn't going to be the main event, then having it serve as the opener was the next best thing. Plus, the crowd was at their hottest and was into all of this, so that only added to the excitement. This was an outstanding Hell in a Cell match and one of the best I've seen in years. They didn't have to go overboard with some of the hardcore elements, but I loved the attention to detail and callbacks to their other encounters. The in-ring action was exceptional and the storytelling was stellar. What more could you possibly ask for? Edge winning made the most sense to put this rivalry to rest once and for all.
Mansoor def. Mustafa Ali
Mansoor's undefeated streak may have come to an end earlier this year, but at least he's still undefeated in Saudi Arabia, for whatever that's worth. I'm glad he won here to keep that streak alive. Even though they had to follow that hot Hell in a Cell match, they had a very well-wrestled bout and got more time than I was expecting. Saudi Olympia Tareg Hamedi coming out afterward to knock out Ali and celebrate with Mansoor was a cool moment as well.
Raw Tag Team Champions RK-Bro def. AJ Styles and Omos
I'm shocked WWE dragged the feud out this long just to get to this show because there was nothing out of the ordinary about this at all. Okay, so Riddle coming down to the ring riding the camel was funny, but the match itself was fairly average considering who was involved. They didn't have a ton of time, but what we got was solid. The important thing is that RK-Bro are still Raw Tag Team Champions because it's still too early for them to be breaking up.
Zelina Vega def. Doudrop to Win the 2021 Queen's Crown Tournament
This entire tournament has been one giant mess. Most of the matches have been short and inconsequential. Some of the booking decisions have been even worse. Truthfully speaking, I had little desire to see either one of these women win, but Vega was the logical pick because the queen shtick fits her better. Doudrop is talented, but her character since splitting away from Eva Marie has been awful. At least they got more than five minutes here, but it was total throwaway and it was impossible to care.
Goldberg def. Bobby Lashley in a No Holds Barred Falls Count Anywhere Match
I realize this isn't saying much, but this was arguably the best Goldberg has looked so far. This greatly benefited from the stipulation, which allowed them to take their fight all around ringside. Alexander and Benjamin interfered but to no avail. The Spear off the ramp to Lashley was a pretty cool way of ending it and I liked that Lashley lost after taking so much offense, though I have no clue where he goes from here.
Xavier Woods def. Finn Balor to Win the 2021 King of the Ring Tournament
For Woods to even be included in this year's King of the Ring after all the campaigning he's done over the years was cool, let alone for him to make it this far. I figured Balor would win, so Woods winning clean was huge and made for an awesome moment that I'm sure meant a ton to him personally. My one nitpick is that we didn't hear him cut a heartfelt promo about it on television leading up to the event. He did on social media, but WWE should have aired on of them on Raw. Nonetheless, this was a quality contest with some nice drama down the stretch. I don't expect Woods to be elevated by winning, but the crown has historically meant nothing for years, so I don't see the harm in him holding it.
WWE Champion Big E def. Drew McIntyre
Speaking of drama, this match had none of it because McIntyre already got drafted to SmackDown and it was a foregone conclusion he was losing here. Despite that, they worked hard and put forth a hell of an effort. Big E proved he was on McIntyre's level, and McIntyre kicking out of the Big Ending at one point kept people guessing. This was what it needed to be and gave Big E another high-profile victory as WWE Champion.
SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch def. Sasha Banks and Bianca Belair in a Triple Threat Match
You put three of the top talents in WWE and you're bound to get a terrific Triple Threat like we did here. It helped that the outcome wasn't predictable as Banks easily could have won and taken the title back to SmackDown. WWE didn't have women's matches on the Saudi Arabia shows three years ago, and yet they had one of the best bouts of the night. They kept the pace moving and there were several suspenseful nearfalls and cool sequences. I'm not sure why Lynch needed to cheat to win seeing as how there aren't disqualifications in Triple Threats, but I guess it protected Banks and I appreciated that Belair wasn't the one pinned.
Universal Champion Roman Reigns def. Brock Lesnar
This was briefly advertised as a No Disqualification match on the Kickoff show, but then we were told Reigns and Lesnar didn't want the stipulation, so it was reverted back to a standard singles match. How strange. Regardless, this was awesome stuff. Lesnar matches tend to be brief more often than not, but they gave this one some time and it had a great layout. The Paul Heyman factor was especially interesting and I loved how he tossed the belt into the ring at one point without picking a side. I know he's been champion for over a year, but it still felt like the wrong time to take the title off Reigns, so I was happy he retained. I expected a non-finish of some sort, but Lesnar getting screwed before getting pinned leaves the door open for a rematch, so I didn't have an issue with it.
It goes without saying that this ranks at the very top of the Saudi Arabia events WWE has done to date, and props to the crowd for being the hottest they've ever been for any of these shows. Was it because the build was better than usual? Or because the matches actually mattered? Or because it's been almost two years since they last had one of these shows? Regardless of the reason, they added to the atmosphere and enhanced my enjoyment of the show. There weren't any mind-boggling booking decisions and the wrestling was above average. It was a quick, clean and crisp four hours and I honestly don't think it's a stretch to say that it's among the best pay-per-views WWE has done this year. That may say more about the other events than this one, but don't let that take away from how strong of a show this was.