TJRWrestling WWE Night of Champions 2023 Preview

wwe night of champions 2023 preview

A WWE Night of Champions preview looking at Cody Rhodes-Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins-AJ Styles and Zayn/Owens facing Reigns/Sikoa, plus a whole lot more.

John: There is a triple main event for the show based on how WWE is advertising this show. The three main events are Brock Lesnar vs. Cody Rhodes, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa and Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. AJ Styles. I like the card for the most part, but I don’t know if I would call it an amazing lineup overall. There are seven matches on the show and three of them are women’s matches, so that’s good to see for a Saudi Arabia show.

It’s a 1 pm E.T. start for me since the show is in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia so afternoon writing instead of evening writing is fine with me. My parts in this preview are going to be quick because I have a lot of previews/reviews in the coming days and it’s a lot going on at once. Let’s just try to get through it all.

Joining me for the preview are TJRWrestling writers Joel McIntyre, Matthew Fowler, Alex Podgorski, Marc Madison, Kelly Dishnow, and Kristian Thompson.

Alex: For some reason, this show just screams “filler” to me. We have a mix of rematches and predictable new challenges that doesn’t lead one to believe anything new or exciting will happen on this show. I get the feeling that the Saudi shows are back to being “glorified house shows” with few surprises and an underwhelming undercard that exists just to give the local audiences something. As a result, I don’t have the highest of expectations here, but once again I would like to be proven wrong.

Marc: On Saturday, May 27th, from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the WWE presents Night of Champions. Each match on the card appears on paper to be banger after banger, as the kids say. But regardless of how it’s booked or whose involved, I won’t be watching. While I’m very tempted to, as a father of a daughter, my convictions regarding supporting these shows taking I just can’t. If someone else decides to, that’s cool. No judgment here, but I won’t be watching. Will I be curious about the results? Definitely. And who knows if things change in the future, I may watch them. So for all experiencing Night of Champions, enjoy!

wwe night of champions 2023 ripley natalya

Smackdown Women’s Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Natalya

Joel: I can’t say I’m that interested in this. I love Natalya, Rhea will win this and probably rather convincingly. Hopefully she gets better challenges going forward.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Matthew: Rhea Ripley is one of the biggest stars in wrestling period, and it feels like she is just getting started. On the other hand, Natalya has been one of the best women wrestlers for a very long time, and has never truly gotten the respect she deserves in the WWE. Therefore, this should be a great match, and hopefully gets enough time for these two to have the match that they are capable of. As for who wins, this one is very easy to predict. Ripley wins after a great match.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Alex: Natalya is probably the best example of job security versus job satisfaction in WWE. She’s been around for what seems like forever and always seems to get the odd title shot here and there because she’s dedicated, loyal, and hard-working. In fact, there’s a specific term for someone like her: she’s what’s known in wrestling as a carpenter: someone that has recognized skill and knows how to make others look good. On the other hand, there’s no way she’s winning here. Natalya is WWE’s version of NJPW’s Hirooki Goto: someone with talent that just can’t win the big one or be treated as a division’s ace. She might put in a good competitive match here but Ripley is way above her at this point. Ripley is somehow hated in storyline but at the same time adored by many fans and her match with Charlotte at WrestleMania proved that she has a bright future ahead of her. As such, this’ll probably go 12-15 minutes and Ripley will win with some kind of emphatic statement to show how much better she is.

Winner and STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

Marc: This match seems like the equivalent to an uncontested layup in basketball. It’s tough to think of beating Natalya as being simple but from the onset and her saunter to the ring when Ripley was beating down on Dana Brooke, Natalya has been silent. She’s stood there while Ripley did all the talking, and maybe it’s a matter of allowing your actions speak louder than your words, but I don’t think so. Ripley is so over and so comfortable in her place that she backs up everything she says regardless of who is in front of her man or woman. I want to say Natalya manages to be the one to dethrone Ripley, but I can’t see that happening.

Winner: AND STILL Smackdown Women’s Champion, Rhea Ripley

Kelly: Does anyone really think Natalya has a chance here? She’s playing the part of making Ripley look good here. The bigger pressing question is when are the titles going back to their proper homes?

Winner: Rhea Ripley

Kristian: This feels like a match given to Natalya for being one of the women’s wrestlers that’s gone to Saudi before and always does right by the WWE. That doesn’t mean to sound disrespectful, it’s just my opinion. It is by no means a strong feud or has been given much build up or time. It doesn’t feel like a big match for a top-tier talent like Ripley and it’s obvious that she will win.

Winner AND STILL SmackDown Women’s Champion: Rhea Ripley

John: They are both very talented and I think stylistically they will match up well as two of the stronger women in the company. With that said, the lack of a story here is disappointing. All they did was have Natalya confront Ripley in the ring after a match and that suddenly gives Natalya a title match. Why not hold a contender’s match with Natalya winning it to earn this shot? It’s important to give wrestlers momentum going into title matches instead of just giving them a title shot. Anyway, Ripley should win a hard-hitting match in about ten minutes.

Winner: Rhea Ripley

wwe night of champions 2023 gunther ali

Intercontinental Championship: GUNTHER (c) vs. Mustafa Ali

Joel: I like the aspect of giving Mustafa Ali a chance at the Intercontinental Title. The match should be great but I don’t think anyone expects Ali to actually defeat GUNTHER. I think he will surpass Honkey Tonk Man’s record as the longest-reigning Intercontinental Champion. Just a matter of time.


Matthew: Gunther is my favorite wrestler right now and should be a world champion by the end of the year. Before Gunther becomes world champion however, he should also beat Honky Tonk Man’s record for longest reigning Intercontinental Champion. Gunther’s reign will not be a threat in this match, as he should defeat Ali in pretty easy fashion.

Winner: Gunther

Alex: The only reason Ali is getting this shot is because he’s a local boy and he’ll likely get a big pop during his entrance. But that’s all he has going for him; prior to this show being confirmed, Ali hadn’t won a singles match since January and he lost most of the rest of his matches in under five minutes. He hasn’t been built up at all and has zero credibility going into this match. As such, GUNTHER will either squash him in five minutes to get some heat or he’ll toy with Ali just to pad this match out to the ten-minute mark, which is well beyond how long this match should go.

Winner and STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion: GUNTHER

Marc: Despite all of Ali’s build and back-and-forth booking over the past few years, his most crucial promo came this past week on Raw. Fans witnessed Ali being more than simply ‘positive’ he was being serious. He was dead serious about both his place in the company and his booking. But this match against GUNTHER, even in defeat, is a win. Ali is both Pakistani and Indian, but his competing in Saudi Arabia has nothing to do with his family’s origins but religion. Ali is also of the Muslim faith, and having him compete in Saudi Arabia (as he has in the past) is once again necessary. With the Intercontinental Championship on the line this time, the opportunity presented to Ali is massive. While I don’t (and likely my TJR colleagues) don’t anticipate him winning, we do expect being emotionally invested in this match and applauding Ali’s effort in the end.

Winner: AND STILL WWE Intercontinental Champion, GUNTHER

Kelly: Here we have another title match where the challenger has no chance of winning. I really like Ali and hope he can get a decent push soon, but GUNTHER is holding on to that title until he breaks the Honky Tonk Man’s record. It should still be a really good match.


Kristian: I like Ali and am happy to see him get a little push, but this outcome is as obvious as the previous one. Ali will get the crowd going, have one close nearfall and then GUNTHER will put him away.

Winner AND STILL Intercontinental Champion: GUNTHER

John: There will be some quality nearfalls for Ali using his speed, but Gunther should use his obvious power advantage to keep the title. I believe it will be a good match because they are both so talented. I just think Ali winning is highly unlikely. I’m certainly fine with Gunther closing in on one year as the IC Champion in June.


wwe night of champions 2023 becky lynch trish stratus

Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus

Joel: This has had a better build than both of the women’s title matches in my opinion. The promo work has been stellar on both sides. I feel like this is not a one and done match. I feel like this is just the start of a much longer program between the two and I’m here for it because they are two of the best to ever do it. However, for this match, I feel like they didn’t bring Trish back to lose her first singles match so I’m going with her on this one.

Winner: Trish Stratus

Matthew: Two of the biggest stars in women’s wrestling history having their first one-on-one match in history, makes this match something special. Stratus looks the same as she did 20yrs ago, and amazingly has truly not lost a step. These two should therefore be able to have a great match, that truly is a dream match for lots of fans. As for who wins, I can’t imagine Stratus staying around long term which means Lynch should win here.

Winner: Becky Lynch

Alex: I don’t think WWE has it in them to ever do a proper “doubting myself” storyline. In theory, it would be interesting if Stratus, the much older and less worn-down veteran, pulls off some kind of big win over Lynch to shake Lynch’s confidence and thus give Lynch some kind of challenge to overcome. But this company never does something like that. I’m guessing this is some kind of attraction match for people who want to see Stratus in the ring in a one-on-one setting (though I can’t say I blame those people). If this is just an attraction match then I don’t expect anything above average. This’ll go 12-15 minutes like most midcard WWE women’s matches tend to and will have Lynch get a big win before she reinserts herself back into the title picture. It’s not the most creative direction, but then again, creativity hasn’t been WWE’s strongest suit of late.

Winner: Becky Lynch

Marc: John Cena vs. The Rock. Hulk Hogan vs. The Rock. Trish Stratus vs. Charlotte Flair. Every generation has a match that pits a noted generational talent against another. While we had seen them happen before, this one may be what fans are most excited about seeing now. With women’s wrestling at the forefront, it was essential to create a moment where an important figure from the Attitude Era could still play a crucial role against a woman with a legacy she has carved her own. Becky Lynch and Trish Stratus have all the makings of being something special between them. From their contract signing to the ‘missing’ t-shirts to the ‘thank you Trish’ to all that which came in between. As important as it was for Trish to pass the torch to Charlotte Flair, it is equally essential for her to pass it to Becky Lynch. This isn’t a match built on championship reigns, it’s about legacy. Whose legacy is defined after this night?

Winner: Becky Lynch

Kelly: I doubt this will be a one and done feud. I was really hoping they would hold this off until SummerSlam, but we get the first encounter here instead. I think this will be a really good match but they may hold back a little for future matches. Whomever wins will likely point towards the direction of this feud. I fully expect this to carry on through SummerSlam. I think I’ll pick Trish here just to keep things rolling.

Winner: Trish Stratus

Kristian: I liked their segment from this week’s Raw. Trish is at her best as the self-righteous heel who talks down to her opponents. Lynch soaked up all of the insults and you can see she’s ready to explode in Jeddah. I’m glad they held off on the physicality a bit as it adds to the build of the match. I think it will be a solid match, but I think we are looking at a series here and Trish will take the first one out.

Winner: Trish Stratus

John: In the graphic above, they had to edit Trish’s photo to cover the…um…goods. Yeah. Anyway, last year Becky got to face Lita in Saudi Arabia and this year she faces Trish there. That’s pretty cool for Becky. I feel like there are going to be a few matches between them, so I’d like to see Trish get a cheap win somehow and then avoid facing Lynch for a few months before the blowoff at SummerSlam assuming that’s when it ends. I know we want younger talent to win, but I think for the sake of the story, Trish could use a devious heel win to keep it going.

Winner: Trish Stratus

wwe night of champions 2023 bianca belair asuka

Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka

Joel: The build to this match has been much better than their build to their WrestleMania match. Asuka is better as a vicious heel in my opinion. Bianca has been an exceptional Champion for over 400 days. They might want her to beat Trish’s reign, even though Trish was injured for 120 days of it. They might want Bianca to win. The match will be great just like their WrestleMania match. I just don’t think they are going to end her reign in Saudi Arabia.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Matthew: Bianca Belair has been having one of the greatest runs as champion in women’s wrestling history, and is on top of her game. Asuka on the other hand has been refreshed since turning heel, and has a real opportunity to finally reach her full potential. Will this then finally be the time that Belair loses the title, ending a over 400 day reign? I am going to say yes, and predict that Asuka will cheat and capture the title after a good match.

Winner AND NEW Raw Women’s Champion: Asuka

Alex: As much as I want to see Asuka win here, I have major doubts that she’ll pull that off. These two had a good match at WrestleMania and that match had a decisive finality to it. Asuka threw everything she had at Belair and it wasn’t enough. What has she done to show anyone that this time around things will be different? Nothing. This match feels like a placeholder, a speedbump for Belair to overcome without much effort so that she can continue her long title reign. I would like to be proven wrong here but I just can’t envision Asuka winning now…unless she has some kind of all-powerful super-weapon that she’s going to unveil at NoC and use it to take Belair by surprise and smash her to smithereens.

Winner and STILL RAW Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

Marc: As we went into WrestleMania, the Bianca Belair championship reign was never in doubt. But as Belair’s championship reign continues to move on, fans needed someone to prove to be capable of taking out the champion. Asuka’s return in January had all the signs of being something quite special. But outside of the makeup, Asuka doesn’t appear to have the same mystique she had while in NXT. There was an edge to the old Kana character that has yet to transition during this run. So the most significant challenge leading into this match is her mist and how does Bianca defend against it.

The challenge here is that if it intends to play with Bianca’s head and whether or not Asuka can hit her with it, then it becomes all about psychological warfare. We have two long title reigns for both the men’s and women’s championships. Will it continue after this match-up?

Winner: AND STILL Raw Women’s Champion, Bianca Belair

Kelly: In my mind, this match is a toss up. I could make a case for either woman winning here. Asuka has just about fully embraced her Kana persona and could use it to walk away with the title. With WWE seemingly wanting to update the record books, I believe I saw something online about a Trish Stratus record that we could be nearing. This match will likely fully push Asuka into her Kana persona. There will likely be a third match between these two coming soon. Either way, I think I’m going to pick Belair to retain and likely carry it until SummerSlam.

Winner: Bianca Belair

Kristian: I really liked their WrestleMania match. It will probably go under the radar a bit, because Charlotte vs. Ripley was just that little bit better and stood out more. So I’m okay with another match here, especially with Asuka in full heel-mode; mist and all! Belair continues to carry the championship (it feels like a long reign) and her matches are always great. I’m certainly not over her, as she’s really talented, but I feel until we get Belair vs Ripley, there’s not many other challengers that seem like a legitimate threat.

Winner AND STILL Raw Women’s Champion: Bianca Belair

John: A title change here is a lot more likely than it was when they met at WrestleMania. Now that Asuka is in full heel mode, perhaps we’ll see her have a championship reign since Belair has held the title for over 400 days now and I’m not sure how much longer she really needs it. I have nothing against Belair, who is a tremendous performer, but I want to see this heelish, crazed Asuka carrying a title. With that said, I am still picking Belair to win. I just think Asuka could get the win here. This should be an outstanding match.

Winner: Bianca Belair

wwe night of champions 2023 tag team titles

Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championships: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens (c) vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa

Joel: Having Roman and Solo go after the WWE Tag Team Titles adds a nice little wrinkle to this program but I feel like this should end here. I’m happy for Sami getting to perform in Saudi Arabia again and I think the match will be great. I think it is too early to take the titles off Kevin and Sami. I think The Usos will play a part and “accidentally” cost Roman and Solo the match.

Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Matthew: This match should be the end of what was easily one of the greatest wrestling storylines of the last ten years, with the two sides now being on separate shows. Roman Reigns has not been pinned in a match since 2019, and having him take the loss here would be a big deal. That is exactly what I am going to predict will happen. I think The Usos will cost Reigns and Solo the match, furthering the storyline and causing Reigns to be pinned for the first time in almost four years.

Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Alex: Anyone with a functioning brain cell can figure this one out. Roman Reigns has leveraged his contract so that he only appears once in a while. When he does wrestle he doesn’t lose. In fact, he hasn’t been pinned in over three years…and one reason for that is because he has guys like Sikoa to take his falls for him.

With Sikoa in this match, you know that he’s going to take the brunt of the damage. Reigns will look dominant as always and if by some strange happenstance he ends up in a position of vulnerability then Sikoa will sacrifice himself to protect Reigns’ status and aura. As such, expect a 20-25 minute match that will see both sides get plenty of offense in. And yet, this match is already a foregone conclusion. There’s no way that Reigns will walk out of NoC with four title belts, right? Right?

Winners and STILL Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

Marc: As much as I’m looking forward to finding out the result of this match, I’m curious to read others takes on this match. The impending implosion of The Bloodline is what we are all waiting to happen. But in that process, we have seen The Usos pushed to the side while Solo and Roman take the reigns of contesting for the tag team championship.

The thought of Sikoa and Reigns winning annoys my wife to no end. But for me? Does this mean that Reigns can do precisely what Sami Zayn said? Will Roman Reigns get everything he wants? In listening to Busted Open Radio, Bully Ray suggested the idea of Solo and Reigns winning the titles and then ‘mercy gifting’ them to The Usos.

The problem could be that what if Solo doesn’t want to surrender his title? And if they lose, does Roman make Solo out to be the scapegoat? Win or lose, there will continue to be friction within The Bloodline, but after everything, Sami has had to endure due to the relationship between Syria and Saudi Arabia, having him and KO win would be a nice gesture.

Winners: AND STILL Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

Kelly: When I first heard about this match, I honestly groaned. Roman certainly does not need to hold any more championships hostage. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I get it. With The Usos in the preverbal doghouse with Roman, they’ll likely factor into Roman and Solo losing. How they pull the loss off with be the key. I think The Usos will inadvertently cause the loss with probably Zayn pinning Roman. This will lead to The Usos eventually turning on Roman and Solo, causing The Bloodline to fall. There is a good possibility that Solo eats the pin, but I think Roman has to lose here to advance the Bloodline break up angle.

Winners: Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn

Kristian: Here’s where business picks up a bit for me. This feud certainly has lost some steam (I’ve read a lot of these types of opinions) but it’s kept me engaged enough that The Tribal Chief is back in the mix, ready to add to his cacophony of shiny things on his shoulders. I’m not sure if the Usos can travel, but if they do, I’m expecting that they are involved in the ending of this match up, probably costing Reigns and Solo. I don’t think this match will close the show; the only way I could see that happening is if Zayn and KO get final closure with Reigns eating the pin, but that’s unlikely. It should be a terrific match and I see the champs retaining, as the Bloodline continues to implode.

Winners AND STILL Undisputed Tag Team Champions: Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens

John: I hope the champions retain. I’m not sure if The Usos are making the trip, but if they do then I can see them trying to interfere on their own (Roman would be angry about it) and then accidentally costing Roman/Solo the match. It seems like we’ll get the continuation of The Bloodline with The Usos possibly splitting apart from Reigns and that leaves Solo to consider siding with his brothers or staying loyal to Reigns instead.

If there is no sign of The Usos then I still think Zayn/Owens should win. I don’t think it would be Solo taking the fall instead of Reigns although WWE likes to protect Solo too. Anyway, if they try to have a regular tag team match then it should be entertaining like all Zayn/Owens tag team matches are.

Winners: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

wwe night of champions 2023 seth rollins aj styles

Finals of the World Heavyweight Championship Tournament: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. AJ Styles

Joel: This is a perfect finals for the World Heavyweight Title because #1: They’re two exceptional wrestlers who deserve to be in the title picture and #2: They are two of the only wrestlers who haven’t been beaten by Roman Reigns during his historical title reign. So, with that being said, the title isn’t seen as a consolation prize because it’s being contested among guys who didn’t lose to Reigns. I think this is Seth’s title to win. If they wanted AJ on Raw, they would’ve drafted him there.

Winner: Seth Rollins

Matthew: I hate the thought of multiple world champions, and just making another title. This title has instantly felt like a secondary belt, and was made because they didn’t want to take the belts off of Reigns. Nevertheless, Rollins and Styles are two of the best wrestlers in the world, and this match has the potential to be amazing. As for who wins this secondary title, we’ll since the title was made exclusively for Raw that seems pretty obvious. Rollins should win this after a great match, to give Raw its champion.

Winner: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Alex: I’m still confused why WWE, in their infinite “wisdom” thought it was a good idea for RAW’s new world title to include wrestlers from SmackDown. Doing so completely buried the importance of the draft and of any separation between brands, especially since some wrestlers appear on both shows anyway. This match, like pretty much every other one on the show, is a foregone conclusion with Seth winning. RAW is desperate to have someone get close to Reigns’ level, and even though this title is little more than a consolation prize for its holder, it’s at least something.

That said, there have been some rumors lately speculating that Rollins may not win because of his role in some film and Triple H made it crystal clear that this title is to be defended often and regularly. As such, the only way Styles could win is if the story is spun to make Rollins the most hated man on RAW for being unable to win for “his” brand. There’s some merit to that kind of storyline, but just don’t see WWE having the forethought to have something like that ready. If anything, they’d more likely just put in a cheap explanation to have Styles appear on RAW with something like “someone paid Styles a ton of money to appear on RAW despite being a SmackDown guy” and even that is a bit too farfetched for a writing team that only works for an audience of one.

Winner and Inaugural World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins

Marc: All signs point to Rollins walking away as the champion. His sit-down interview showed how the company is behind him and their commitment to making him the World Champion. But it is still an awkward title to have. What if Roman was to challenge for it? What stops that possibility from ever happening? That’s a discussion for another day. But this match here does have match quality written all over it. Both men are familiar with each other in the ring. Both have held a world championship, and both are set to put forth their best efforts at the possible face of Raw. Styles has returned and thrust into this spot also shows how much management believes he can put on a stellar match. But the time for Rollins to recapture world championship gold feels like it happens on Saturday afternoon.

Winner: AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins

Kelly: If you had asked me who would be the inaugural champion when this was announced, I would have said Seth Rollins. Now that Rollins has been cast in the new Captain America movie and may miss some TV time over it, I’m not so sure anymore. When Triple H reintroduced the title, he mentioned that there would be no part time champion. With that proclamation, I think Rollins’s movie schedule is going to eliminate him from the conversation right now. Styles wouldn’t be a bad choice and that can send The O.C. back to Raw to shake things up a little bit.

Winner AND NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion: AJ Styles

Kristian: This should feel like a huge match. But it just doesn’t. One of the things that bookers in 2023 struggle with is booking face vs face matches. It’s frustrating. Add to that a face vs face match FOR A NEW CHAMPIONSHIP without ANY build, and the care factor for a lot of fans has dropped away since the announcement by HHH about a month ago. Rollins has been filming a movie, which is fine, but no interaction between the two combatants before a championship match is poor.

As soon as Brock Lesnar took out Cody Rhodes, it was pretty obvious that Rollins was getting the win. WWE love him and he’s always so reliable for getting crowd reactions and the live fans caring. It’s good to see Styles back but I’m not sure he’s going to be pushed that high anymore. Finn Balor would’ve been my pick and I think he would’ve really earnt it.

WINNER AND NEW World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins

John: I think it will be Rollins winning here and I think Styles winning would be a surprise. I don’t believe every single report I read so when there’s somebody guessing that Seth Rollins being in a movie will affect a match like this, I have my doubts about it. I think Rollins is going to be around WWE on a full-time basis for many more years and he’s the right guy to be a workhorse, fighting, babyface champion on the Raw brand. I am a huge AJ Styles fan, but I think we know this is going to be a Raw title and Styles is a Smackdown guy, so we can see Styles go after Roman Reigns soon. For this match and this title, Rollins should win what should be a competitive, great match that goes 15-20 minutes.

Winner AND NEW WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

wwe night of champions 2023 cody brock lesnar

Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar

Joel: This is round two in their rivalry. Their match at Backlash was pretty good even though it ended rather abruptly. Cody Rhodes snuck in a victory earlier this month and I feel like he gets the win again here. This time I feel like the win will be more definitive because they’re building Cody back up. I’ve enjoyed the feud so far and I think this is the perfect way to build Cody back up as a credible threat by beating Brock.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Matthew: Cody Rhodes is the biggest babyface in wrestling right now, and is currently the only wrestler who could believably defeat Roman Reigns. Rhodes defeated Lesnar just a few weeks ago however, with it being hard to believe that Lesnar would lose two matches back to back in such a short amount of time. All of this, therefore, makes this match very hard to predict, as it feels like neither man should lose. I am going to go with Lesnar finding a way to win this one however, with them having a third match in the future for Rhodes to win the series.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Alex: Cody didn’t win decisively last time and Brock left the show mad as hell. He’s been beating Cody up these past few weeks and he’s very much out for blood that isn’t his own. And while I doubt that he’ll bleed too heavily on Saturday, I still think he’ll maul the living hell out of Cody in such dominant fashion that Cody will wish he was still injured. It’s clear to me that WWE sees money in this feud, even if it’s built on a shaky foundation. If Lesnar wins here, then the score’s tied 1-1 and that means a rubber match. And since Lesnar appearing anywhere is a license to print money, WWE can start the build to that third Lesnar appearance with a destructive and dominant match here that’ll see Lesnar win in about eight minutes.

Winner: Brock Lesnar

Marc: This has been a classic uphill battle for Cody. No matter what we think about Brock; he’s played the evil foil wonderfully to this point. Even if Cody wins here, they may not be unlike that of Rhodes and Rollins trilogy of matches, and they battle one more time at SummerSlam. Rhodes is fighting with one arm (that we’re led to believe) going into this match. That energy fans already know that Rhodes has to overcome the odds of defeating a Beast in Brock and then have another disadvantage being injured as well going into the match. With the odds against Cody, this may be a time to play Brock’s game and use everything against the Beast against him. We could see Brock attacked before the match, leading him to be injured going into the bout. Doing that would be outside of Cody’s character, and he isn’t as calculating, but I’d expect him to have some form of equalizer at some point in the match. Does he slip on a metaphorical banana peel in the match? Likely.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Kelly: With Lesnar “breaking” Rhodes arm at Raw, that all but guaranteed a Rhodes victory here. Had they not done that, I probably would have still picked Rhodes to win. I think they’ll keep it on the shorter side like their Backlash match. Unlike Backlash, this will not be the main event. I think Rhodes will get a slightly more decisive win here so he can focus on finishing the story locked away in a very specific briefcase.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

Kristian: It’s a Brock Lesnar match that I care about! These things are rare over the last few years but this one intrigues me, just as their match at Backlash did. I thought the finish to that match, where Rollins rolled Lesnar up whilst in the submission, was really clever. I think there are a number of ways they can go here, but I’m undecided:

  1. a) Lesnar attacks Rhodes again pre-match and they call off the match (seems like a waste of travel but they could pre-tape it)
  2. b) Lesnar gets the win and we go for a rubber match at MITB
  3. c) Rhodes somehow gets another win and Lesnar snaps again and we get a third match anyway, this time with a Street Fight or Last Man Standing stipulation.

Which one I’m leaning towards (and they could be all wrong!), I’m not sure yet but I am interested. If it’s the main event, then I think Rhodes will win. I’d like Rhodes to win here, then decisively beat Lesnar at MITB, before finally conquering Reigns at SummerSlam.

Winner: Cody Rhodes

John: The story going into the match is that Cody has a damaged left arm that could be “broken” due to Lesnar’s attack last week on Raw, so it will give Cody an out if he loses the match. Since Cody won their match at Backlash by countering a Kimura Lock into a pin attempt, my feeling is this time Lesnar is going to get the win. I don’t know if the third match will be at Money in the Bank on July 1st or if they wait one more month until SummerSlam because I think SummerSlam is a better spot for it.

I don’t think Lesnar is in the mood to have a 20-minute classic match these days, so this will probably be around ten minutes like their Backlash match was. Cody does a tremendous job of selling injured body parts whether it’s the left arm or the ribs, so I think he’ll be selling a lot here and trying to overcome, but Lesnar will be too much. Lesnar wins with a Kimura Lock armbar while Cody passes out from the pain.

Winner: Brock Lesnar


The Match I’m Looking Forward To The Most

Joel: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Matthew: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Alex: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Marc: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Kelly: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Kristian: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

John: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

The Match I Care About The Least

Joel: Rhea Ripley vs Natalya.

Matthew: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka.

Alex: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka.

Marc: Bianca Belair vs. Asuka.

Kelly: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya.

Kristian: GUNTHER vs Mustafa Ali.

John: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya. I like both women a lot, but the lack of a story makes it less interesting.

Longest Match

Joel: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa.

Matthew: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Alex: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa (20-25 minutes).

Marc: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Kelly: Seth Rollins vs. AJ Styles.

Kristian: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa.

John: Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa.

Shortest Match

Joel: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya.

Matthew: Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus.

Alex: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar (8 minutes).

Marc: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya.

Kelly: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Kristian: Rhea Ripley vs. Natalya.

John: Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar.

Excitement Level on a Scale of 1-10 (1 being low, 10 being high)

Joel: 7. I feel like the action will be stellar. It may be a rather predictable card but predictable isn’t always bad. I think it will be a good show wrestling wise as these PLE’s usually are.

Matthew: 8. This card is full of good to great matches on paper, with there being no obviously bad matches on the card. Add to that the crowning of a new world champion and three great women’s matches and this should be a great show.

Alex: 4. I just don’t see anything special or unique happening here. Neither of the women’s challengers have the credibility or believability that they’ll take the titles. The tag match is a foregone conclusion because Sikoa has been Reigns’ fall guy for months. Ali is being given the “lose in his hometown treatment” because WWE always does that and he, too, hasn’t been built up as a credible threat. The only really exciting thing here is the prospect of seeing Lesnar tear Cody apart, though I don’t know how much he can get away with since WWE is, after all, still a PG program.

Marc: 8.

Kelly: I’m giving this a 6. It’s a solid card, like most of the Saudi shows are, but many matches are easily predictable and that can kill the enthusiasm for it. This crowd will not be as hot as Puerto Rico was and that will likely take away from it.

Kristian: 5.5 – It just gets a pass for me, in terms of excitement. It’s a massive wrestling weekend and I feel NXT, Impact and AEW all have stronger cards for their shows (AEW just barely). The 3 big matches make the show somewhat interesting, but it will probably be 3rd or 4th on my PPV watch-list this weekend! I’m most interested in how Rhodes vs Lesnar plays out and how they continue the storyline between The Bloodline and the Tag Team Champions.

John: I’ll go with a 7.5 because I think there will be some outstanding (four stars and above) matches on this show. The crowd probably won’t be as loud as Puerto Rico was for Backlash, but that’s okay because Puerto Rico was one of the best crowds in WWE history. It’s going to be hard for any crowd to be like that. I do think the lineup is hurt a bit by Roman Reigns not defending his titles on a show called Night of Champions, but it also gives more attention to the Rollins-Styles match for the new World Title, so that’s a good thing. Some of the stories have been great while others have been weak going into this show. One thing I know for sure going into this show is that in the Triple H era of booking since last July, nearly every Premium Live Event has been very good or great. They know how to book shows and I have faith in the talent to have quality matches all night long. I’m looking forward to it.

In Closing

John: I’ll be back with a review of WWE Night of Champions on TJRWrestling.net on Saturday afternoon, so check that out live or any time after it’s over. You can also tweet me @johnreport as well.

If you want to send an email, send it to me at mrjohncanton@gmail.com. Thanks for reading.