Date and location

Friday, Nov 2 | 12 PMET/9 AMPT


Where to watch

Get the WWE Network

When to watch

Friday, Nov 2 | 12 PMET/9 AMPT

United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev

United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura def. Rusev

In a Kickoff Match befitting the global scale of WWE Crown Jewel, Shinsuke Nakamura retained the United States Championship against a very game and aggressive Rusev.

Shinsuke Nakamura punishes Rusev with a series of brutal kicks: WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Kickoff

United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vigorously fights to defend his title against Rusev in the WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Kickoff Match.

In a rare title defense for Nakamura since claiming the U.S. Championship at WWE Extreme Rules, The King of Strong Style nearly saw his star-spangled prize slip away when he fell victim to the excruciating Accolade. However, as Rusev momentarily released the hold to drag The Artist to the middle of the ring and seal a submission victory, Nakamura literally used his head to deliver a low blow to the challenger, leaving him vulnerable to the Kinshasa and the pinfall.

Although it remains to be seen whether this was incidental contact or an intentional underhanded tactic, history has proven that Nakamura tends to aim low to score victories. Regardless, Nak-America remains strong, and The Artist will carry his title to SmackDown LIVE. Whether he chooses to defend it anytime soon is another question entirely.

In a Kickoff Match befitting the global scale of WWE Crown Jewel, Shinsuke Nakamura retained the United States Championship against a very game and aggressive Rusev.

Shinsuke Nakamura punishes Rusev with a series of brutal kicks: WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Kickoff

United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura vigorously fights to defend his title against Rusev in the WWE Crown Jewel 2018 Kickoff Match.

In a rare title defense for Nakamura since claiming the U.S. Championship at WWE Extreme Rules, The King of Strong Style nearly saw his star-spangled prize slip away when he fell victim to the excruciating Accolade. However, as Rusev momentarily released the hold to drag The Artist to the middle of the ring and seal a submission victory, Nakamura literally used his head to deliver a low blow to the challenger, leaving him vulnerable to the Kinshasa and the pinfall.

Although it remains to be seen whether this was incidental contact or an intentional underhanded tactic, history has proven that Nakamura tends to aim low to score victories. Regardless, Nak-America remains strong, and The Artist will carry his title to SmackDown LIVE. Whether he chooses to defend it anytime soon is another question entirely.