Drew McIntyre challenged Seth “Freakin” Rollins for his World Heavyweight Championship in search of a big break in his wrestling career. However, on WWE’s 5th Crown Jewel, which took place in Mohammed Abdu Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 4th November 2023, he failed to make his big moment, as Seth Rollins delivered the final Curb Stomp on McIntyre before defeating him by pinfall.
Drew McIntyre expressed in a promotional video, “For Seth Freakin Rollins, this is another title defense in a Hall of Fame career, but for me this is everything.” In 2020, although Drew McIntyre defeated Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship in WrestleMania 36, all the flair was taken away due to the lack of an audience caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
After a lot of struggles in his wrestling career, this highly anticipated showdown at Mohammed Abdu Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia was supposed to be Drew McIntyre’s big break, but it was thwarted by Seth Rollins’ exceptional performance. Drew McIntyre left the stadium devastated at his loss.
What is Crown Jewel?
World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) is famous for its professional wrestling television shows known as RAW and SmackDown, and they hold several pay-per-view events throughout the year. The Crown Jewel is one such pay-per-view and live-streaming event which is held at Saudi Arabia due to WWE’s 10-year partnership with Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to diversify Saudi Arabia’s economic, social and cultural outlooks.
The 5th Crown Jewel took place on 4th November 2023 in Mohammed Abdu Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which was also the host stadium for Crown Jewel 2021. The event was comprised of eight matches, among which significant victors include Roman Reigns who defeated LA Knight and remained the undisputed WWE Universal Champion, and Logan Paul who defeated Rey Mysterio to win SmackDown’s WWE United States Championship. Ibrahim Al Hajjaj, famous Saudi comedian and actor also made a special guest appearance during the pay-per-view.
Drew McIntyre’s WWE Career
WWE Youtube Channel released the promotional “WWE Crown Jewel Hype Package” just before the event, which described McIntyre’s motivations for challenging Seth Rollins to win the World Heavyweight Championship.
Drew McIntyre won the Royal Rumble in 2020 which awarded him with a chance for a title match in WWE’s biggest annual event, WrestleMania. His opportunity, however, was ruined in WrestleMania 36, as due to a Pandemic hitting the entire world, the pay-per-view was shifted to a WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Thus, no crowd was present to celebrate his victory against Brock Lesnar to win the WWE Championship.
In WrestleMania 37 (2021), which took place at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, the world started to finally open again, but Bobby Lashley crushed Drew McIntyre’s moment in front of over 25 thousand fans by defeating him and retaining the WWE Championship.
After a year of struggling for opportunities, Drew McIntyre finally got featured in the main event match of WWE’s Clash at the Castle against Roman Reigns. Scottish wrestler McIntyre was to represent his country as Clash at the Castle was WWE’s first major pay-per-view event in the United Kingdom since SummerSlam which took place in London in 1992.
McIntyre almost won the match after performing a Claymore on Reigns but was defeated by pinfall after an interference by NXT’s Solo Sikoa, Reign’s younger cousin.
Crown Jewel was supposed to be Drew McIntyre’s big moment, but after a Pedigree and a finishing Curb Stomp, Seth “Freakin” Rollins came out on top as the victor.
In the Backstage, as McIntyre was shown disappointed at his defeat, Rhea Ripley, who had previously tried to recruit him for The Judgement Day, shrugs by him. Could this be a hint to a new chapter that is to unfold in Drew McIntyre’s career?