Brock Lesnar-Cain Velasquez, Tyson Fury-Braun Strowman matches set for 2019 WWE Crown Jewel card
The boxing champ and the man who took the UFC title from Lesnar are set to compete in Saudi Arabia
Two heavyweight combat sports stars will officially cross over into the world of WWE competition when Cain Velasquez battles WWE champion Brock Lesnar and Tyson Fury meets Braun Strowman at upcoming WWE Crown Jewel event. Both monumental matches were confirmed by executive vice president of talent Paul "Triple H" Levesque on Friday during a WWE press conference in Las Vegas for the pay-per-view which is set to take place in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, Oct. 31.
Former UFC heavyweight champion Velasquez made a big splash in the final moments of the WWE SmackDown debut on Fox one week ago, attacking Lesnar and running "The Beast" off after he defeated Kofi Kingston for the title in mere seconds. Velasquez, who defeated Lesnar for the UFC heavyweight championship in October 2010 via first-round TKO, has been training in pro wrestling and working a small handful of matches for top Mexican lucha libre promotion AAA. He was introduced into WWE programming as support for Rey Mysterio and his son Dominick (who is Cain's storyline godson) after both were viciously attacked by Lesnar during an episode of Raw.
"I am so excited to be joining the WWE," Velasquez said at the press conference. "Brock Lesnar crossed the wrong familia. For that, he needs to pay. I know Brock is big. He's the biggest. But he ain't the baddest. I beat him once before in the UFC, and I'm ready to do it again October 31 at the Crown Jewel."
Subscribe to our wrestling podcast -- State of Combat with Brian Campbell -- and listen to our analysis of Velasquez and Fury's involvement with WWE below.
Fury, meanwhile, took part in a brief staredown with Strowman during the same SmackDown debut effort on Fox before Strowman launched the body of Dolph Ziggler into the lineal heavyweight boxing champion. Fury, feeling disrespected, jumped the guardrail, only to be restrained by security. Fury was then given an open mic on the most recent edition of Raw this past Monday, but that, too, required security as well as mic-card wrestlers from the locker room as Strowman and Fury would not relent in charging at one another. Fury is slated to challenge reigning WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder in February in what will serve as a rematch from their thrilling December 2018 title fight which ended in a somewhat controversial draw. To pass the time as well as gain some publicity for the bout, Fury will now try his hand at pro wrestling.
"It's something I've always dreamed of as a lifelong WWE fan," Fury said of the match. "Me being the undefeated lineal heavyweight boxing champion, I fear no man ... I'm going to knock Braun Strowman out. He talks about how good his hands are, but he's messing with the man who has the best hands in boxing."
The Crown Jewel PPV in Riyadh on Halloween will serve as the latest event under the controversial 10-year partnership between the Saudi General Sports Authority and WWE. In addition to the two mainstream crossover matches announced on Friday, a 10-man tag match with teams being led by WWE Hall of Famers Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair has also been confirmed for the card.
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