Crown Jewel Was Another Predictable Roman Reigns Win, but LA Knight Passed the Test | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors
WWE wasn’t going to end Saturday’s Crown Jewel premium live event from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in a tie, but Roman Reigns retaining his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship over LA Knight was as close as it gets.
Which is to say it was a win for both guys—and especially Knight.
Reigns gets to keep marching along to what could be an eventual surpassing of Hulk Hogan’s historic time as champion, remaining the focal point of the tip-top of WWE and leaving the door open for things like, say, a feud with The Rock.
And Knight exits a “loser” who is solidified as a main event threat for years to come. Entering Saturday, it was never a question of whether fans would keep supporting him—they will. But there was a doubt over whether he’d look the part, and perhaps an even more concerning question of whether WWE would let him look the part.
Both get a resounding yes, though. Sometimes guys get in the ring with the biggest Superstars and just don’t look up to snuff. Knight was, wrestling a high-impact style that worked surprisingly well with Reigns’, to the point where even the rest holds were engaging.
And WWE (and Reigns deserves a lot of credit for this too) let Knight be important. The man kicked out of a Spear. His finisher, the BFT, technically got a three-count on its first attempt had outside interference not put The Tribal Chief’s foot on the rope.
That outside interference will be a sticking point for many fans, yet interestingly enough, there’s a bit of a give-and-take here.
WWE put itself in this awkward position where the interference makes a lot of sense because it helps Knight look good while taking a loss. The history-making reigning champion couldn’t beat him on his lonesome, right?
But…WWE has relied so much on the interference in past Reigns matches that it felt eye-rollingly predictable and Knight ends up looking like a dork who didn’t scout his opponent because he got mad and chased Jimmy Uso to the outside.
That’s still a minor nitpick in the grand scheme of things if (hopefully) WWE stops leaning into this match format for Reigns so much. But again, we could go the other direction—if and when that help isn’t there for him because of betrayal, it’s going to feel pretty sweet.
And if he had just been winning clean this entire time, fans may throw Super Cena accusations out because he’s too dominant and…well, that’s a conversation for another time, perhaps.
As a whole, this could have easily been a “let’s just get this over with” match. But it was far from that. Reigns sold everything in a big way, and Knight really had onlookers convinced at least once that maybe an upset could happen.
It was the sort of match that, when looking back at a title run this long through the benefit of hindsight, will actually be remembered fondly and not skipped over—because, boy, there are a few of those.
And it was also the sort of contest that will go down as a massive springboard to bigger things for the challenger and technical loser.
What are those things? It seems obvious Knight will move on to something like challenging Logan Paul for the U.S. title. Actually, that’s about as good as it gets for WWE—Paul will put his massive platform to work outside of the company, essentially promoting to all the lapsed fans and new ones that they’ve got this Attitude Era throwback by the name of LA Knight and he’s worth checking out.
As always, a predictable result in pro wrestling doesn’t have to mean it can’t entertain. That was the case at Crown Jewel. More importantly, a predictable result can still move Superstar, company and otherwise forward in important ways.
It sounds ridiculous to say Knight was fighting for something bigger than a unified championship on Saturday. But in this blurred-lines reality that is pro wrestling now, fans understood all too well what was at stake if he didn’t look the part.
But he did, which is a credit to him and the others involved and in the process. Knight has gone from a maybe with catchphrases and a fun gimmick to an undeniable presence who will get his shine in due time, which is quite a feat considering where he was just one year ago—and the GOAT-level roster he’s leapfrogged in the process.