Roman Reigns versus Brock Lesnar is wasted on WWE Crown Jewel


It is safe to say that recent editions of WWE television helped the promotion gain a little bit of momentum. As AEW continues to pick up steam, rolling downhill with fans pushing them along the way, many were looking to WWE to see how they would respond. For the most part, the promotion has done well to present a strong edition of WWE SmackDown and Monday Night Raw, along with WWE NXT’s revamp that has some intrigued in what is next. However, that momentum was damaged on Thursday when the promotion announced that Roman Reigns would face Brock Lesnar at Crown Jewel in Saudi Arabia, wasting what should be a big moment in the company.

Lesnar and Reigns have a lot of history, which goes without saying. The moment Paul Heyman was introduced as Reigns’s “advocate” upon his return last year, thoughts immediately turned to what would happen when Lesnar returned. That happened at SummerSlam this year and to say Heyman is caught in a difficult situation would be an understatement.

This match should headline a major showcase such as Royal Rumble in early 2022, after a proper build that breaks out this angle. Instead, this match is tossed onto the next edition of Crown Jewel, a show that will take place on the Peacock streaming app on a Thursday afternoon while much of the WWE’s audience is at work or attending to other responsibilities.

Not only does this impact Lesnar and Reigns, but it also hinders Finn Balor. Remember, Balor as “The Demon” is set to compete against Reigns at Extreme Rules. Reigns’s booking has been nearly perfect and it would be odd to see him lose the WWE Universal title heading into this match with Lesnar a few weeks later. This announcement creates the expectation that Reigns will defeat Balor, extinguishing what was special about “The Demon” gimmick.

Then there is the whole issue about WWE continuing its partnership with Saudi Arabia. Less than a week after WWE commemorated the 20th anniversary of 9/11 with a show in Madison Square Garden and a documentary, the promotion announces that it is heading back to the country that was allegedly connected to the men that pulled off the terrorist attack.

Yes, there will be smiling fans in the crowd, and women competing on the card, but that cannot erase all that is known about the atrocities that continue to occur in that country. Yet, the WWE turns a blind eye and gives that card a huge match-up that could have pushed one of their regularly planned shows over the top.

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Imagine if Lesnar versus Reigns occurred on an edition of Friday Night SmackDown. Or if it was properly built to headline one of the big five WWE PPVs. The impact would have been massive for everyone involved. Instead, it goes on the next Crown Jewel, a show that many will watch, but many will also ignore due to the disturbing ties that Saudi Arabia has with human rights violations. Yet another example of where sports entertainment reigns supreme within the WWE.