On the SmackDown on FOX Premiere, we saw the debut of two legendary Combat Sports Heavyweight Champions. The first saw Boxing Lineal Heavyweight Champion Tyson Fury have a scuffle with Braun Strowman, while the final moments of the show saw the debut of 2-time UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez, who confronted the man who he beat to win the first title – Brock Lesnar.
If you’re not aware, the two men are celebrated in their respective sports. Fury is undefeated and never lost his title, while Velasquez is widely considered one of the greatest Heavyweights in MMA history. If you haven’t seen his fight with Brock Lesnar, we recommend you do. It was a decimation of The Beast and Velasquez finished him within the first round.
Many were surprised at their appearances and feuds against top superstars, especially since they’re both newcomers to the business. Velasquez had reportedly been negotiating with All Elite Wrestling as well, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. However, it seems as though it was WWE that managed to persuade him.
Perhaps there’s some bitterness over the fact that Kofi Kingston‘s beloved WWE Championship reign ended in just 10-seconds. That will always be a bitter pill to swallow, but we believe that Kingston will come back stronger than ever. As for Velasquez and Lesnar, it’s still an interesting prospect, now that it’s happening in a pro wrestling ring.
WON also reported that Lesnar vs Velasquez & Fury vs Strowman will both be booked for WWE Crown Jewel, which is the second PPV of the year in Saudi Arabia. It takes place on October 30th and will be right before Survivor Series. While we understand that many fans are not excited for the match-ups, they can still prove to be very entertaining and the situation may not be as bad as many people make it out to be.
It’s interesting that WWE chose to go with Velasquez and Fury, two names who aren’t necessarily the biggest from a mainstream perspective. This has been a bit troublesome since most fans have no idea who either of them is and in reality, probably don’t care that much either. But with that being said, there’s no real harm done if they are booking the matches for Crown Jewel.
For one, it’s important to remember that these Saudi Arabia PPVs aren’t significant whatsoever when it comes to storyline progression in WWE. It’s a simple build to it and there are some special attraction matches featured in what many have come to term as a “glorified house show”.
Whether you choose to believe that or not, that’s where we come to the second point. The PPV is all about revenue for WWE and they will always try their best to stack the cards with special attraction match to draw as much interest as possible. But they could be disappointed in seeing the relative lack of interest in these cards.
Thirdly, they may not be so bad if you give it a chance. A motivated Brock Lesnar is always great to watch and Velasquez has proven to be a natural athlete in the ring during his last two appearances with AAA. As for Tyson Fury, we’re yet to see what he’s going to be like in the ring. While his RAW debut didn’t exactly set the world on fire, he is a great talker and can build a good story with Strowman. Their bout won’t be an in-ring classic, but if it’s more of a spectacle to watch, it will always be more entertaining.
In short, it’s actually a good thing that WWE decided to use them rather than part-timers for the Saudi Arabia show. While it may disrupt 3-weeks of programs in WWE, it’s not going to have any long-term implications. We should be back on track as soon as the build to Survivor Series begins.