Kickoff Show: The O.C. def. The Viking Raiders
I feel like we've seen a million matches between these two teams over the last year, but truth be told, this was a lot better than I thought it would be. They could have phoned it in on the Kickoff show, but it wasn't nearly as dull as some of their other encounters. In fact, the crowd was giving them "This is awesome!" chants by the end. I don't know about "awesome," but it was very good. This marked the second time The O.C. has beat Viking Raiders in Saudi Arabia with Crown Jewel being the first. I assume the idea is to keep The O.C. looking strong going into WrestleMania, despite Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows both losing to Ricochet in singles action recently on Raw.
The Undertaker def. AJ Styles, R-Truth, Erick Rowan, United States Champion Andrade and Bobby Lashley in a Gauntlet Match to win the Tuwaiq Trophy
I didn't have high hopes for this to begin with, but wow, what a mess it turned out to be. The entire layout was terrible with Truth pinning Lashley and Andrade in fluky fashion and then beating Rowan by disqualification. I dig Truth's comedy as much as anyone, but there was no reason for him to last as long as he did in this thing. Styles made quick work of him, only to be pinned by a returning Undertaker following a single chokeslam. Yes, Undertaker just won the Tuwaiq Trophy the same way Shane McMahon won the WWE World Cup at Crown Jewel 2018. It was a silly angle that didn't make Styles look great at all, but it did lay the groundwork for them to face each other at WrestleMania 36. I've seen some fans say that it should be 'Taker and Aleister Black teaming up against The O.C. in a 3-on-2 Handicap match and I honestly like that idea a little more.
The Miz and John Morrison def. The New Day to Win the SmackDown Tag Team Champions
I don't think it'd be a stretch to say that this was the best bout on the entire show. Miz and Morrison have lost their last two matches on SmackDown, so it was pretty crucial that they won here and I'm glad they did. it was a very well put together tag team match with the right result. I assume it ends up being a Fatal 4-Way also involving The Usos and some combination of King Corbin, Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode for the titles at WrestleMania.
Angel Garza def. Humberto Carrillo
These two had a very fun match together on Monday's Raw and this was equally entertaining. I said then that the fact that they're cousins is probably why their in-ring chemistry is so strong and I wouldn't mind more matches between them down the road. The crowd clearly wasn't overly familiar with either of these men, but they delivered and made them care through their hard work. Garza continuing to win doesn't do Carrillo any favors, but it's better than going with 50/50 booking. Garza has to walk out of WrestleMania as the new United States Champion in my opinion.
Raw Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Murphy def. The Street Profits
Rollins and Murphy haven't teamed a ton together since they won the Raw Tag Team Championship a month ago, but they're a terrific tandem. It helped that they had quality opponents in Street Profits and thus I enjoyed this immensely. This crowd was only really into Rollins, unfortunately, but I think any other crowd would have been much hotter. I'm curious if Rollins will hold the gold going into WrestleMania or if he and Murphy will drop the belts before then so he can face Kevin Owens.
Mansoor def. Dolph Ziggler
I'm all for Mansoor competing in his home country, but it's a law of diminishing returns at this point. The crowd went crazy when he won that Battle Royal at last year's Super ShowDown. The reaction he received when he beat Cesaro at Crown Jewel wasn't as strong but still solid. Here, he came across like just another guy to me. I received flack for assuming he would lose here, but I really thought Ziggler might pick up the victory considering he's in the middle of an angle with Otis at the moment that should be leading to a one-on-one match at WrestleMania. Oh well, Ziggler will be Ziggler no matter what happens. This was a decent matchup, but I found Mansoor's outing against Cesaro to be more exciting. It's high time he became a regular on NXT TV and isn't saved solely for these Saudi Arabia shows.
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar def. Ricochet
Of course, no one actually expected Ricochet to win, but this was disappointing. At the very least, he should have scored some offense, not been completely squashed in 90 seconds. It's not like Ricochet has been on fire in recent months (he was actually fairly directionless before becoming the number one contender to the title), but he could have had an interesting David vs. Goliath-esque match with Lesnar a lot like Styles, Rey Mysterio and Finn Balor have in the past. Instead, this wound up being a waste of time. Back to Raw midcard purgatory, Ricochet.
Roman Reigns def. King Corbin in a Steel Cage Match
Needless to say, there was zero reason for this match to happen in the first place. No one asked for this, and ultimately, it was a total bore. Maybe I missed something, but Reigns having the key to the cage door in his possession made no sense to me. Why were they fighting over that? The faint "This is awesome!" chant down the stretch was bizarre, but otherwise, the crowd sat on their hands for most of the matchup and rightfully so. Let's move the hell on now and never be subjected to seeing Reigns vs. Corbin again.
SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley def. Naomi
To say this was an improvement over Natalya vs. Lacey Evans from the last Saudi Arabia show wouldn't be saying much. I appreciated that there was a face vs. heel dynamic, but the crowd was quiet and nothing they did was exciting in the slightest. Maybe this would be better at WrestleMania, and based off the way Bayley won (which I personally thought was silly but whatever), it's possible they extend it until then. It might be more likely that they have Sasha Banks challenge for the championship, depending on whether she's available/healthy by then.
Goldberg def. "The Fiend" Bray Wyatt to Win the Universal Championship
I'm at a loss for words with this one. First of all, there's not a ton I can write about the match itself; it consisted of a few finishers, some stalling and that was it. Basically, it was any other Goldberg match. The outcome was what bothered me because by no means should WWE have taken the title off Wyatt before WrestleMania. I'm well aware that not everyone has been enamored with his Universal Championship reign and his less-than-stellar matches, but from a booking standpoint, it was insanely stupid for him to ensure his first major defeat (I don't count that atrocity at Hell in a Cell) before WrestleMania to Goldberg of all people. This further proves that WWE has a problem creating new stars. Whatever momentum Wyatt had as The Fiend was ruined with this loss. Sure, he can bounce back by demolishing John Cena at 'Mania, but what does that even mean since a title won't be on the line? I have a lot of questions coming out of this and I'm not sure how the situation can be salvaged. This reeks of the road to WrestleMania in 2017 when Goldberg defeated Owens in under a minute and dropped the belt at WrestleMania 33 a month later. I have no problem with Goldberg competing at WrestleMania 36, but I hate how it comes at the expense of The Fiend.
This is going to sound weird following that finish to the main event, but I didn't totally hate this show, at least not nearly as much as I did the other Saudi Arabia events. It didn't feel like a glorified house show since stuff actually happened, for better or for worse, with new champions being crowned and Undertaker coming back. There was some solid matches in the middle there, but Super ShowDown fell off a cliff starting at Lesnar vs. Ricochet. It was all downhill from there. Maybe Elimination Chamber next weekend will wash away the stench of this show before WrestleMania (not to mention that AEW Revolution is this Saturday night), but I'm not holding my breath.