WWE Night Of Champions 2023: 7 Thoughts

wwe night of champions 2023 reigns uso sami zayn kevin owens

Another Saudi Arabia show is in the books with WWE Night of Champions and what a great show it was.

These Saudi shows are always kind of a hit-or-miss show but these last few have been really stellar. The in-ring action was great as usual. Even the booking decisions were mostly spot on. Check out the John Canton review here in case you missed it. Let’s get into it.

wwe seth rollins night of champions triple h


I knew Seth Rollins and AJ Styles would deliver and they sure as hell did not disappoint. AJ looked like the AJ of old and Seth did his best to match him move for move. These two don’t face each other often so the match felt fresh. With two huge babyfaces, the crowd was split for a good portion of the match but Seth still got most of the cheers in the end.

Ever since the title was introduced, most thought that it was Seth’s to lose as did I. He’s a perfect first champion and it makes the title feel less secondary when you put it on one of the few guys who was not beaten by Roman Reigns during his historical run as Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. Neither Seth nor AJ were beaten by Reigns, which I thought was an important first step in establishing that this title isn’t a consolation prize. Sure, guys like Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn and so on will probably eventually fight for that title but I thought it was essential that the first champion be a guy Roman Reigns has not pinned over the last 1,002 days.

Trish Stratus Zoey Stark


I will admit I did not see these two going nearly 15 minutes but they did and it was a great match. Trish hasn’t had many singles matches since she retired back in 2006. They’ve been mostly tags. She hasn’t wrestled a singles match since losing to Charlotte Flair at SummerSlam in Toronto four years ago. It was her first singles match win since her retirement.

Becky was excellent as usual. I figured this was not going to be the end of this feud and I was right with the introduction of Zoey Stark. Zoey is destined for big things on Raw. You could tell by the way they’ve used her. Having her interfere here and hit Becky with the Z360 was an interesting move. I assume Zoey was inserted to give Becky someone to feud with while Trish takes a bit of a break. I think this feud will continue at SummerSlam where Becky will likely get her win back. I’m enjoying Trish’s heel run. It’s refreshing considering we haven’t seen her as a heel in almost 20 years. Damn, I’m old.


GUNTHER retained his Intercontinental Title as I thought he would. Mustafa Ali put on a great showing considering the match lasted less than 10 minutes.

I hope this is a sign of things to come as Mustafa Ali is too good of a talent to waste in squash matches. Hopefully his showing here opened some people’s eyes. Ali’s promos are always good but he just needs the right vehicle to get to that next level.


Asuka defeated Bianca Belair to end Bianca’s Raw Women’s Title reign at 416 days. I loved this match. Not as much as I loved Trish and Becky, but it was still great. Having Asuka spray the mist on her fingertips and use it to get the win was a creative finish and a perfect tribute to her idol, The Great Muta. It was different than the usual mist to the face so I was happy with it.

Bianca has become a household name in the last two years. Her Raw Women’s Title reign was probably my favorite title reign by a women’s wrestler ever. From bangers with Becky to Bayley and multiple bangers with Asuka. She really excelled over the last 13 months as the champion and I’m interested to see what she does without the title. Especially when you consider that since her WrestleMania 37 clash with Sasha Banks, Bianca has been Women’s Champion for 17 out of the last 25 months.

Money in the Bank is next on July 1st so I could see them running this back since at least six women will be involved in the Money in the Bank match, but we’ll see. I’d like them to hold the next match off until at least SummerSlam.


I figured this was how it was going to play out once they said Cody has a “broken arm”. The match was okay. Their Backlash match was a bit better but they told the story well. I’ve never seen somebody pass out from a Kimura so that was a little silly although I get it.

They wanted to protect Cody. It’s just his second loss since he returned to WWE back at WrestleMania 38. I think Brock may take some time off. They could finish this at Money in the Bank, but I feel like Cody is going to be in the Money in the Bank Ladder match. I’d have him win it and immediately challenge Roman Reigns at SummerSlam, but something tells me that is when we are getting the third match between Brock and Cody. I hope I’m wrong. I just feel like that is where we are heading.


I was worried going in that WWE would put the Tag Team Titles on Roman and Solo here. I’m glad they didn’t. This was a phenomenal match from beginning to end. I don’t think there’s a better big match wrestler than Roman Reigns in the business right now. He’s the new John Cena. Every match he’s in just feels like a big deal, even if his Universal Title isn’t on the line. The World Tag Team Titles have main evented two of the last three PLEs. I can’t remember if that has ever happened.

This angle has really elevated the status of the Tag Team Titles. I was glad Sami and KO finally got their long-awaited payback. I’d have a really bad taste in my mouth if this Bloodline story ended without them getting some measure of revenge. Now it’ll be interesting to see how they keep those Tag Titles elevated moving forward. Obviously, I don’t expect them to feel as important as they do when Roman Reigns is going after them but they can use this to catapult the tag division to heights it hasn’t seen since the Attitude Era. I hope they capitalize on it.

Jey Uso Jimmy Uso Roman Reigns


The big takeaway coming out of that match was Jimmy Uso finally pulling the trigger on Roman. After Reigns speared the referee, The Usos came out to attack Kevin Owens. This is where I started to worry. They trapped Owens under the announce desk and went into the ring to attack Sami. They delivered multiple superkicks, but when they went for the kill shot, Sami ducked and they took out Solo with a double superkick. Reigns saw the whole thing and slid into the ring. After he pie-faced Jimmy into the corner, Reigns started arguing with Jey. Jey tried to reason with him but Reigns screamed “THERE AIN’T NO DAY ONE NO MORE” and pie-faced Jey twice. Once Roman turned around, Jimmy nailed him with a Superkick to a huge pop. You could see it in Jimmy’s eyes that this was a long time coming.

Jey tried to reason with his brother but Jimmy snapped out of his trance and told Jey he was doing what he should have done a long time ago. Then Jimmy knocked Roman out with another Superkick to leave no doubt that that’s what he meant to do. Reigns bumped to the floor to sell it.

Think about when Jimmy first returned from injury during The Bloodline angle. Jimmy told Roman that Roman wasn’t going to talk to Jimmy any kinda way like Roman does Jey. Jimmy told Roman he was nobody’s bitch. Since then, Roman had kind of left Jimmy alone, instead focusing most of his bullying tactics on Jey. At Clash of Champions 2020, Jimmy threw in the towel to protect his brother Jey from a further beatdown from Roman. At Night of Champions 2023, Jimmy delivered a kick heard around the world to also protect his brother Jey. That’s been the main issue between Roman and Jimmy.

Jimmy’s loyalty has always been to Jey, not Roman. Jimmy fell in line because he knew he had to or Jey would suffer the consequences. Jey turned on Sami to stay with Roman because he knew if he didn’t, Jimmy would suffer the consequences. This has been the best story told in the last twenty years. I’m convinced. You can send me all your hate tweets. I don’t care. This story has had so many twists and turns to keep you guessing. There’s really only one domino left to fall and it’s the domino that started all of this. That’s Jey Uso. He has to deliver the final blow to The Bloodline and I think that happens on Smackdown during Roman’s 1000-day celebration. This has essentially been three years in the making. Sami Zayn was right all along and that kills Roman. Sami and Cody Rhodes predicted the fall of The Bloodline and Roman can’t handle it and once The Bloodline is finished, I don’t think there’s anywhere else you can go with his Universal Title reign. It’s been a generational run for the last three years. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

That’s it. I enjoyed the show from top to bottom as I have the last few Saudi shows. I know some don’t watch them because of the politics and I get that. I don’t agree with the politics either, but when I see how far women’s wrestling on these shows has come. When I see how guys like Mustafa Ali feel performing in front of his people. When I see guys like Sami Zayn allowed the perform here for the first time in nine years. I choose not to take it out on the performers. They’re doing their job which is to entertain us. They did that solidly for over three hours on Saturday night.


Thanks for reading. Check out my TJRWrestling writing archive here. I’m on Twitter @GiftedMoney talking about wrestling among other things, so feel free to message me on there with any thoughts or comments. Until next time.