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Hall’s WWE Night Of Champions 2023 Review

May 27, 2023 | Posted by Thomas Hall
WWE Night of Champions The Usos Image Credit: WWE
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Hall’s WWE Night Of Champions 2023 Review  

Night Of Champions 2023
Date: May 27, 2023
Location: Jeddah Super Dome, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Commentators: Michael Cole, Corey Graves

We’re in Saudi Arabia again and this time around the focus is on championships. That should give us some interesting possibilities as more than one title could change hands here. The show features a triple main event, with the new World Heavyweight Champion set to be crowned. Let’s get to it.

The opening video, narrated by HHH, talks about how important it is to be a champion and how it can change your life.

Video on the World Heavyweight Championship, which has been brought back to give Raw its own World Title. Seth Rollins and AJ Styles both want the title and want the other at their best.

World Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins

For the inaugural title and they’re starting big here. They take their time to start with Styles sending him to the apron but it’s too early for the Phenomenal Forearm. Styles rolls out of a headlock but Rollins is right back with a kick to the head to take over. Back up and Styles drives him into the corner for some shoulders to the ribs. The chinlock doesn’t last long and Rollins is back with a Downward Spiral into the middle turnbuckle.

Styles is right back with a suplex into the corner and the Phenomenal Blitz. The middle rope moonsault into a reverse DDT plants Rollins again but he’s right back up with a buckle bomb. The frog splash gives Rollins two but the Pedigree is reversed into an enziguri. With nothing else working, Styles loads up the super Styles Clash but Rollins slips out to avoid quite a bit of pain.

Instead, Rollins puts him on top for a reverse superplex into a reverse sitout suplex for two. The Phoenix splash misses and they fight to the apron, where Styles hits a brainbuster to knock Rollins silly. Back in and Styles tries the Phenomenal Forearm (instead of covering) but Rollins breaks it up and sends him back to the floor. The suicide dive hits Styles but Rollins comes up favoring his knee.

Back in again and Styles grabs the Calf Crusher but Rollins grabs a choke for the escape. Styles kicks away until he has to duck the Pele. Rollins’ Pedigree is countered into one from Styles for two as Styles is bleeding a bit from the head. The Phenomenal Forearm is superkicked out of the air but the knee gives out on the Stomp attempt. The knee is fine enough to hit a Pedigree, followed by the Stomp to give Rollins the pin and the title at 20:37.

Rating: B. This was a different kind of match as there was no personal issue and they were just out there fighting for the title. It worked well as the two are both incredibly talented and know how to work the main event style match. The knee injury was a nice way to go and gave the match some drama, but it was hard to imagine Styles having a real chance here. Rather awesome opener though and Rollins is the best choice possible for the first champion.

We recap Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch. Stratus turned on Becky as she took issue with her for not being thankful enough. It has turned into something of a battle of the generations, with Trish saying Becky should be grateful to her and Becky saying she has surpassed Trish.

Trish Stratus vs. Becky Lynch

Becky doesn’t wait long and charges at Trish as the fight heads outside. Trish gets in a shot of her own and takes over, including a kick to the ribs back inside. After Trish thanks herself a bit, Trish snaps off a tornado DDT for two. The reverse chinlock goes on for a bit before Trish hammers away. A neckbreaker gives Trish two but Becky fires up and starts striking away.

Becky’s legdrop to the back of the neck gets two but Trish gets in another shot to cut her off. A not so great Stratusphere connects, only to have Stratusfaction broken up. Becky hits Diamond Dust into a middle rope legdrop but Trish breaks up the Manhandle Slam. The Boston crab out of the corner doesn’t work so well and Trish scores with the Chick Kick for two.

The Disarm-Her goes on but Trish is too close to the ropes. Becky manages the Manhandle Slam but those pesky ropes get Trish out of trouble again. Trish sends her outside and cue Zoey Stark of all people with a Z360. Back in and Stratusfaction connects to finish for Trish at 14:48.

Rating: B-. The ending was a smart way to keep the story going, as Becky can now beat up Stark (who gets thrown straight into a big story) before getting to fight Trish again. The match was good too, save for a short stretch where things did not exactly go so well. Trish is still incredibly polished all things considered and it was a completely fine match which should keep the story going for awhile to come.

Video on Mustafa Ali visiting Mecca.

Intercontinental Title: Mustafa Ali vs. Gunther

Gunther, with Imperium, is defending. Ali kicks away at the leg to start but has to fight out of an early sleeper. Some running dropkicks stagger Gunther, who is right back with a slam. The pace slows as Gunther chops and pounds Ali down, setting up the Boston crab. Ali gets out and is sent out to the apron, where Gunther kicks him out to the floor.

Back in and Gunther chops away but Ali fires off some desperation shots of his own. Gunther catches him up top but gets knocked down, setting up a 450 for a near fall. A hard clothesline gives Gunther two so he tells Ali he doesn’t belong. The powerbomb is countered into a kick to the head and the tornado DDT plants Gunther. The 450 misses though and Gunther dropkicks him into the corner. That’s enough to set up the powerbomb to retain at 8:30.

Rating: C+. This was exactly how it should have gone, as Gunther dominated, Ali made a nice comeback and then got beaten down by the force that is Gunther. I’m not sure if anyone believed that Ali had a chance coming in here and that is all it needed to be. Gunther is going to lose the title one day but it is going to be in a huge spot, which wasn’t the case here. Perfectly fine way to go, even if there was no doubt about the result.

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens recap their issues with the Bloodline. Owens gets all fired up and is ready to go.

WWE did Make A Wish in Saudi Arabia.

We recap the Raw Women’s Title match with Bianca Belair defending against Asuka. Belair survived Asuka going all evil and misting her at Wrestlemania, so now we’re doing it again.

Raw Women’s Title: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka

Belair is defending and gets taken down to start. Asuka hammers away but Belair reverses and slugs right back. Some stomps to the face keep Belair in trouble but a dropkick puts Asuka on the apron. The handspring kick to the head sends Asuka outside, where she sends Belair into the steps. Back in and Asuka kicks her in the face before driving a boot into Belair’s head.

More stomping has Belair in trouble and Asuka grabs an armbar to mixed it up a bit. Belair fights back up and hits a running Blockbuster for a double knockdown. The comeback is on including the standing moonsault but Asuka kicks her off the top. A missile dropkick gives Asuka two and we hit the Fujiwara armbar. With that broken up, Belair plants her with a spinebuster for two.

The Asuka Lock is broken up and they trade rollups for two each. They head outside with Asuka being sent into the steps, allowing Belair to hammer away back inside. The KOD is countered into a cross armbreaker but Belair rolls out and powerbombs her down. Asuka bails to the ropes and sprays the mist on her own fingers. Back in and Asuka rubs the mist in Belair’s face, setting up the kick to the head to make Asuka champion at 14:50.

Rating: C+. They had to do this one as there was nothing left for Belair to accomplish. She had been champion for over a year and had cleaned out the division, so it was time for some kind of a change. If nothing else, you don’t have Asuka built up as this new heel and then beat her twice, so she more or less had to win here. The title scene needed some fresh blood and Asuka certainly applies.

Smackdown Women’s Title: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya

Ripley, with Dominik Mysterio, is defending. An early Dominik distraction lets Ripley jump her to start and they’re quickly on the floor. Ripley sends her face first into the announcers’ table and then the steps as the beating is on early. Riptide retains the title at 1:04. Ok that worked, as Ripley running over Natalya is a much better fit than having them go fifteen minutes.

Seth Rollins is very pleased with his win and is ready for whatever is next.

We recap Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes. Lesnar attacked Rhodes for still unexplained reasons (him being Brock Lesnar might have something to do with it) and laid him out. Rhodes then beat Lesnar at Backlash so Lesnar broke Rhodes’ arm before their rematch here.

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Cody is coming in with a broken arm. They go a bit tentative to start until Lesnar starts snapping off the belly to belly suplexes. Cody manages to knock him outside though and there’s the suicide dive. Back in and a top rope ax handle hits Lesnar, followed by a pair of Cross Rhodes. A third is countered into the Kimura though and Rhodes is in big trouble. Rhodes stacks him up for two but can’t get out.

Lesnar rolls him over and is sitting on Rhodes, who can’t make the rope. The referee raises Cody’s arm but he’s still in, only to have Lesnar pull him closer to the middle. Somehow Cody turns it around and makes the rope, leaving Lesnar stunned. Another Cross Rhodes gets another two and they’re both spent. Cody hits him with the cast but gets pulled into the F5 for two. The Kimura goes on again and Cody passes out at 9:36.

Rating: B. This was all about storytelling and it worked very well as a result. What mattered here was keeping Cody strong but not going too far. There was almost no way you could have him survive again here as he came in injured against a ticked off Lesnar. Cody looked strong in defeat (and didn’t tap), but he had to lose here. The trilogy match should be good, especially if one of them is champion by the time it rolls around.

We recap Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa for the Tag Team Titles. Owens and Zayn are defending, but more than that they are trying to take the Bloodline apart once and for all. The Bloodline is starting to crumble and the Usos are not happy that they aren’t getting this shot. Instead Reigns is trying to show them how it is done and that should make for an interesting match.

Tag Team Titles: Roman Reigns/Solo Sikoa vs. Sami Zayn/Kevin Owens

Zayn/Owens are defending and Paul Heyman/Sami (the latter in Arabic) handle the introductions. Owens and Reigns start but it’s off to Zayn before anything happens. More staring ensues as the fans are very hyped for all of this. Reigns tags Sikoa in and we get our first contact about three minutes in. Zayn sends him into the corner and hits a few chops, which doesn’t leave Reigns pleased.

An elbow to the face is more to Reigns’ liking so it’s off to Owens. Some chops rock Sikoa but it’s back to Zayn off the blind tag for a drop toehold. Reigns comes in for a cheap shot to Owens ad then quickly heads back to the floor. Back in and Sikoa drops a headbutt on Zayn before it’s back to Reigns as the pace slows. Zayn chops away but gets dropped with a single shot. Reigns: “You think you’re the Nature Boy now?”

After Owens chases off an invading Sikoa, Reigns slowly pounds Zayn down again. Sikoa comes back in and we hit the nerve hold. They head outside again with Sikoa getting taken down but being fine enough to cut Zayn off before the tag. A tornado DDT is enough to drop Sikoa, allowing the double tag to Owens and Reigns. Owens cleans house and knocks Reigns outside for a backsplash but Sikoa cuts him off again.

Reigns hits a clothesline but walks into a sitout powerbomb. Owens’ frog splash hits for two but he can’t follow up. The Stunner is broken up and the Superman Punch gives Reigns two. Another Stunner connects but Reigns bounces off the ropes and hits a spear before falling down. The double tag brings in Zayn to hammer on Sikoa, setting up the big flip dive to drops Sikoa on the floor. The Blue Thunder Bomb gets two back inside but the Helluva Kick is cut off with a superkick.

Zayn is fine enough to suplex him into the corner so the Helluva Kick can connect, with Reigns making the save. Reigns hammers away and loads up the spear but takes the referee out by mistake. Owens is back in to jump Reigns and they head outside for a whip into the steps. Cue the Usos (not supposed to be here) go jump Owens and a pair of superkicks rock Zayn….but the double superkick hits Sikoa.

Reigns sees what happened and is REALLY not pleased. Reigns yells at the Usos….and Jimmy finally superkicks him. Jey screams at Jimmy, who superkicks Reigns again. Jimmy says that it’s him and Jey now, leaving Jey looking very perplexed. Jey goes towards Reigns but Jimmy gets him out before he can do anything. Sikoa is back up but it’s a Stunner into the Helluva Kick for three (from a second referee) to retain the titles at 26:27.

Rating: B+. This was an interesting mix as it was a very good match but the storytelling was glorious. Jimmy FINALLY snapping and turning on Reigns after the months of abuse takes things in a new direction and we could be in for something very good in the near future. I’ve heard people talk about how Jey should be the one to take the title from Reigns. I’m not there yet, but it’s not sounding as crazy these days, which is one of the most impressive things I’ve seen in a good while. Awesome main event here, and things are going to get bigger as we keep going.

Reigns doesn’t know what to do to end the show.


Seth Rollins b. AJ Styles – Stomp
Trish Stratus b. Becky Lynch – Stratusfaction
Gunther b. Mustafa Ali – Powerbomb
Asuka b. Bianca Belair – Kick to the head
Rhea Ripley b. Natalya – Riptide
Brock Lesnar b. Cody Rhodes via referee stoppage



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The final score: review Very Good
The 411
The middle portion is a big weak, but the three main events were one hit after another. What matters here is they have set the stage for some big stuff going forward and now we get to see where things go as we head into the summer. The Bloodline is imploding, Rollins is champion, and Lesnar vs. Rhodes III is likely on the horizon. Another rather good show here, as WWE is on quite the roll at the moment.

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Thomas Hall