By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
The following are live updates on the press conference that WWE held on Friday in Las Vegas, Nevada at T-Mobile Arena. Refresh the page for the latest updates if you are reading this during the press conference.
-A video package opened the event and recapped Cain Velasquez beating Brock Lesnar to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship, and spotlighted Braun Strowman and boxer Tyson Fury.
-Michael Cole stood at a podium and hosted the press conference. Cole introduced Paul “Triple H” Levesque as the man who was instrumental in making it all happen.
-Triple H took the stage and noted that WWE will be holding the Crown Jewel event in Riyadh (SAUDI ARABIA) on October 31. Levesque said Riyadh will host over 100 events from the biggest brands in sports, music, theater, food, “and anything else you can think of” in just two minutes. Triple H set up a WWE video package. Triple H said Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair will appear along with current stars Roman Reigns, Randy Orton, and Seth Rollins.
-Triple H said they were holding the press conference to announce two matches for Crown Jewel. He officially announced Brock Lesnar vs. Cain Velasquez, and Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury for the Crown Jewel event and listed the height and weight of each man. Triple H set up a video package on the Strowman and Fury angle from last week’s Friday Night Smackdown and Monday’s Raw.
-Cole said this would not be your typical press conference. He said all of the participants have agreed to leave the fighting to the ring. Cole introduced Strowman, who walked onto the Smackdown stage were the podium was set up. Strowman recalled winning The Greatest Royal Rumble “in Saudi Arabia” last year. Strowman said Fury is a “bad dude.” Strowman told Fury to heed his warning. He said they don’t wear gloves in WWE and Fury is coming into his world. Strowman said that when his hands put Fury down for good, the whole world will remember who Strowman is. Strowman thanked the attendees and headed backstage.
-Cole introduced Top Rank boxing promoter Bob Arum, who stepped up to the podium. He said he met a 29 year-old Vince McMahon in 1974 and they co-promoted Evel Knievel’s jump over the Snake River Canyon. Arum said he’s proud of what Vince has built in WWE. Arum spoke about Fury and said he’s a great personality and real showman. Arum spoke about Fury’s heart as a fighter and then introduced him.
-Tyson Fury walked onto the stage and shook hands with Arum, who then headed backstage. Fury said he’s always dreamed of working for WWE and is a lifelong fan. He spoke about how great it is to work at such a major event in Saudi Arabia. Fury said he fears no man and is unbeaten in over 30 contests. He said he’ll remain undefeated by knocking out Strowman. Fury did some shadow boxing and said Strowman doesn’t want any of those hands.
-Cole called for Strowman to come out so that he and Fury could go face to face. Strowman and Fury did the face to face pose and then turned and held up their fists for another pose. Strowman patted Fury on the back, then Fury returned the favor. They went back and forth with the back patting, then laughed and shook hands. Fury went to walk away, but Strowman held onto his hand. They went nose to nose. Triple H came out while Cole reminded both men that they agreed to remain professional.
-Once Strowman and Fury headed backstage, Triple H said it’s not often he feels short by he does around those two. He turned the focus to the Lesnar vs. Velasquez match. Triple H said there wasn’t anything he couldn’t say that Paul Heyman hasn’t already said. He said he’s known Lesnar for over 20 years and he remains in awe of him as an athlete. Hunter set up a video package on the Lesnar and Velasquez angle from Friday Night Smackdown.
-Cole introduced Rey Mysterio, who came out with his left arm in a sling. Mysterio spoke about how his son Dominic has always wanted to follow in his footsteps and dreamed of fighting side by side with him, but his dream has been crushed for the moment. Rey said it breaks his heart that the first time they shared the ring together it was at the hands of Lesnar. Mysterio said Lesnar crossed a line that should never have been crossed by brutalizing his son. Mysterio said he was proud to introduce the person who stood by his side since the attack and the person who dominated Lesnar.
-Cain Velasquez joined Mysterio on the stage. Velasquez said he’s excited to be joining WWE. He said Lesnar crossed the wrong family and for that he needs to pay. Velasquez said he knows Lesnar is the biggest, but he ain’t the baddest. Velasquez said he beat him once before in UFC and he’s ready to do it again on October 31 at Crown Jewel. Velasquez spoke in Spanish for a moment, then said thank you and left the stage with Mysterio.
-Cole introduced Paul Heyman as Lesnar’s advocate. Lesnar walked onto the stage without music. Heyman introduced himself and spelled his name. Heyman said Velasquez is a once in a lifetime athlete, but Lesnar is a “once ever athlete.” Heyman said Lesnar will beat Velasquez and labeled it a spoiler rather than a prediction. Heyman introduced Lesnar as “the Cain conquerer.”
-Brock Lesnar made his entrance while his theme song played. Lesnar came out with the WWE Championship and set it on the podium. Lesnar said words can’t describe what went through his mind when Velasquez appeared last week. Lesnar said this is his world and he’s been waiting for ten years to face him again. Lesnar said he has to look at the scar on his face that Velasquez created when they fought. Lesnar said it will be a different outcome when they fight again.
-Cole called for Velasquez to come out for the face to face with Lesnar. Lesnar and Velasquez posed. Lesnar smiled and nodded, then Velasquez nodded back at him while Heyman stood behind the podium with the title belt. Music played and the wrestlers left the stage to end the press conference.
Powell’s POV: WWE is making this Crown Jewel event feel a lot bigger than their previous Saudi Arabia shows. The press conference was fine, though the atmosphere was flat. It sounded like they only had media in attendance, so they basically played to a silent live audience. The full video of the event is available below.
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