The John Report: WWE Crown Jewel 2023 Review

wwe crown jewel review 2023 tjrwrestling

It’s WWE Crown Jewel with Roman Reigns facing LA Knight, Seth Rollins battling Drew McIntyre, Rhea Ripley against four opponents, John Cena in action, and more.

This is an afternoon show for me here in southern Ontario, Canada, which I like especially since it’s my birthday and I’m able to hang out with some family/friends tonight. Thank you for all the support for so many years. I always try to celebrate birthdays by reflecting on life a bit and in this case, thinking about all my years writing about wrestling puts a smile on my face. I’m proud of what we have built at TJRWrestling, proud of the team we have and I hope we can keep it going for many years to come. Age is just a number. Work hard, be respectful and never stop learning in life. That’s how I was raised. That’s how I’ll always be.

I think Crown Jewel has a very good lineup with several big titles on the line and a lot of huge WWE stars set for the show. Some good talent is missing too, but that’s what happens when you have a big roster. It has been an excellent year of WWE Premium Live Events, let’s hope for another good one.

There was a Kickoff Show match with Sami Zayn beating JD McDonagh by pinfall in about 10 minutes. Zayn won with a Helluva Kick followed by a Blue Thunder Bomb for the win. That was the expected result of that match.

The main show was next with Seth Rollins facing Drew McIntyre up first.

WWE Crown Jewel
From Mohammed Abdu Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
November 4, 2023

The opening video package featured all of the big names wrestling on the show. John Cena spoke during some of it saying this is the big time and this is WWE Crown Jewel.

There was an impressive pyro display to start the show with a big crowd as usual. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett were on commentary to welcome us to the show. Cole and Corey Graves were on commentary for most WWE PLEs this year, but Corey’s wife Carmella is very pregnant so maybe he’s staying home.

A video package aired to set up the opening match for the World Heavyweight Title with Seth “Freakin” Rollins defending the gold against Drew McIntyre.

Seth “Freakin” Rollins made his entrance as the World Heavyweight Champion with the fans singing his song as usual. Drew McIntyre made his entrance with the sword and the kilt. Michael Cole and Wade Barrett welcomed us to the show while the Arabic announcers were at ringside as well. They were using Byron Saxton as the ring announcer. Byron has done it a lot of over the years, but I wouldn’t say he’s as good as Samantha Irvin or Mike Rome. Anyway, the wrestlers were in the ring for the championship introductions. It was mentioned by Cole that Rollins hasn’t been pinned in a singles match since January 2nd.

Analysis: I think WWE should start the PLE shows right after the opening video. I get wanting to show a video package to get us ready for Rollins-Drew but taking nearly 15 minutes to get to the first match feels like too long.

World Heavyweight Championship: Seth “Freakin” Rollins vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew got the first knockdown with a shoulder tackle. Rollins tried a shoulder tackle, but Drew came back with a shoulder tackle to knock Rollins down. Drew did a Christiano Ronaldo goal celebration (thanks Barrett) since Ronaldo plays in Saudi Arabia now. He likes money. Anyway, Drew hit a suplex. Drew charged, Rollins avoided him and sent Drew over the top to the floor. Seth hit Drew with a running knee to the face from the apron to the floor. Drew caught Rollins on the floor and hit a belly-to-belly suplex on the floor. Back in the ring, Rollins tried a charging attack and Drew caught him with a spinebuster for two. Drew chopped Rollins to knock him down. Rollins tried a move by the turnbuckle to jump over Drew, but Drew kicked Rollins in the ribs for a two count. Drew hit a running elbow to the face. Rollins came back with a step up enziguri kick to the head. Rollins sent Drew into the turnbuckle. Rollins delivered several kicks to the body followed by a running knee. Rollins hit a senton bomb splash leading to a moonsault off the ropes for a two count. They exchanged holds leading to Rollins hitting a Falcon Arrow sitout slam for two. Rollins with a spinning forearm to the head, Drew hit Rollins with an elbow and Drew went up for nothing, so Rollins went after him with a superplex. Drew came back with a suplex that may have been a brainbuster for two. Drew lifted up Rollins going for a move off the turnbuckle, Rollins tried to counter it and Drew hit a Future Shock DDT for two. Rollins was down selling a back injury and got back up with an inside cradle for two. Rollins clotheslined Drew over the top to the floor. Rollins hit a suicide dive onto Drew on the floor. Drew got a hold of Rollins on the floor leading to Drew slamming Seth’s back against the steel steps. Drew hit a backbreaker on the apron as the story becomes about Seth’s back again.

They were back in the ring with Rollins delivering a slap and Drew hit a headbutt. Rollins came back with a Pedigree for two as Drew got his left shoulder up. Rollins hit two forearms to the back of the head/neck to knock Drew down. Rollins charged, but Drew caught him and hit two belly-to-belly suplexes along with a neckbreaker. Drew wanted a Claymore Kick, but Rollins hit a superkick. Rollins hit The Stomp for one…two…but no because Drew got his left shoulder up. There’s the first finisher kickout. Rollins went up top, Rollins jumped off with a corkscrew moonsault, Drew hit a Claymore Kick for one…two…and Rollins got the right shoulder up. Drew charged, Rollins hit a superkick and Drew went for the Claymore Kick, but Rollins ducked it. Rollins came back with a Pedigree and The Stomp back to back for the pinfall win. It went 18:20.

Winner by pinfall: Seth “Freakin” Rollins

Analysis: **** They had a great opening match as expected. While I thought a title change was possible, having Rollins retain is certainly fine with me because he’s entertaining as the champion. They each kicked out of finishing moves while building up to the finish very well. I would have liked to see Drew try to cheat a few times during the match to show that he might be becoming a heel, but instead, it was a babyface vs. babyface type of match. They have a lot of chemistry due to wrestling a lot over the years. The final few minutes were excellent. I liked the match a lot.

After the match, Rollins celebrated with the World Heavyweight Title. Drew McIntyre had a frustrated look on his face as he walked up the ramp. The announcers wondered what was next for Drew after this.

Damian Priest made his entrance with the Money in the Bank briefcase and a referee. Priest was ready to cash in Money in the Bank, but somebody in a hooded sweater was there to shove Priest into the ring post. Zayn took the MITB briefcase and ran away through the crowd with Priest running after. Rollins was in the ring breathing a sigh of relief.

Analysis: I’m not one of those people that predicts Money in the Bank cash-ins all the time, but I predicted it here. Nope. Not yet. I like how Sami Zayn stopped it from happening as he remains a thorn in the side of The Judgment Day as usual.

Drew McIntyre was backstage sitting on some equipment boxes. Rhea Ripley, the Women’s World Champion, walked up to Drew and shrugged her shoulders as if to say “I told you so.” She walked away.

Analysis: I feel like this is going to set up Drew’s heel turn. It is the perfect time for it.

A video package aired for the Women’s World Title match.

The entrances took place for the Women’s World Title match. All five women had their arms and legs covered as per usual at the Saudi shows. Nia Jax was first followed by Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark and the champion Rhea Ripley was last. Ripley got a long entrance and by far the biggest reaction of the women in this match.

Fatal 5-Way Match for the Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Zoey Stark

The first pinfall or submission wins a fatal five-way match. There are no disqualifications or countouts in a fatal five-way match.

Jax bailed to the floor while Stark got a pin attempt on Ripley for two. There were several pin attempts early in the match. Jax pulled Raquel out of the ring and Jax sent Raquel into the ring post. Ripley kicked Jax, but Jax tripped up Ripley on the apron. Jax with a body slam to Stark. Raquel kicked Jax leading to a Baszler suplex on Jax. Raquel hiptossed Baszler and clotheslines for Ripley, Baszler & Stark. Ripley did a hair pull slam on Raquel to stop that. Ripley slammed Stark onto the mat. Jax faced off with Ripley as they exchanged punches. Ripley kicked Jax in the head. Jax tackled Ripley and did some head slamming into the mat. Stark broke up Jax’s pin attempt. Stark hit a corkscrew splash on Jax that barely touched her. Raquel kicked Stark down and Baszler applied a leg lock on Raquel & Ripley at the same time. Ripley applied a sleeper on Jax at the same time, so Baszler was doing three submissions at once. Stark broke up with a kick. Stark hit a back suplex on Raquel. Ripley and Stark battled on the turnbuckle with Stark. Baszler joined it for the Tower of Doom spot out of the corner. Jax got a two count on Stark when Baszler broke it up with a knee. Ripley stopped a Jax splash and Raquel hit an elbow splash on Jax. Ripley and Raquel got into a shoving match along with slaps to the face. Raquel and Ripley each did boots to the body at the same time. Stark dropkicked Raquel and Ripley off the apron to the floor. Stark jumped off the top with a cross body block on both women on the floor while also knocking the camera guy down too! Back in the ring, Stark hit Z360 on Ripley for two because Jax broke it up.

Jax headbutted Stark and did a body attack to knock Stark down. Raquel got a hold of Jax and hit a Tejana Bomb on Jax for two because Ripley broke up the pin. Baszler caught Ripley with a Kirifuda Clutch, but Raquel broke it up with a boot. Ripley headbutted Raquel. Ripley hit Riptide on Baszler for two because Stark broke it up. Ripley battled Stark on the turnbuckle and Ripley gave Stark a Riptide slam onto Raquel’s back while Raquel was trying to cover Baszler. Ripley covered Baszler, who was at the bottom of the pile. Ripley got the pinfall win at 11:15.

Winner by pinfall: Rhea Ripley

Analysis: **3/4 The match was okay with a lot of action and nearfalls throughout the match, but I wouldn’t say it was an exciting match. The crowd really wasn’t into it that much. I think that’s a problem with five-way matches sometimes because there’s less of a story and it’s all about hitting moves while going for pin attempts. Ripley retaining was the obvious result. I figured she would beat Stark or Baszler. Raquel had some impressive moments. I thought there might be more Ripley-Jax moments, but there wasn’t much there. This was one of the more predictable matches on the card.

A video package aired with WWE superstars Bianca Belair, Bayley, Drew McIntyre & LA Knight talking about their trip to Saudi Arabia. They spoke about how amazing and special everything was. It was an advertisement for “Saudia” bringing the world to Saudi Arabia.

There was a commercial for Survivor Series WarGames coming in three weeks on November 25th. I’m ready for it.

John Cena’s match with Solo Sikoa was next, so there was a video package for that.

Solo Sikoa made his entrance first looking ready to go as usual while staring at his wrapped thumb since he uses that for the Samoan Spike. John Cena got a huge ovation from the crowd as usual. Cena was introduced as the “Greatest of All Time” again as the fans popped big for him.

Solo Sikoa vs. John Cena

There were loud chants for Cena to start the match. Cole noted that Cena doesn’t believe he’s the greatest of all time, but Cole believes it. Cena got a waistlock takedown followed by the stomp on Solo’s right arm. Cena delivered multiple shoulder tackles to knock Solo down. Solo wrenched on Solo’s right arm and hand. Cena slammed Solo’s right hand/thumb onto the steel steps. Cena slammed Solo’s right hand into the top of the steps. Solo hit Cena with a headbutt to knock him down. Cena tried to fight back, but Solo hit a spin kick. Solo splashed Cena on the ribs. Cena ducked a Samoan Spike, Cena tried a lift and Solo hit a superkick to knock Cena down. Solo hit a running hip attack on Cena against the turnbuckle. Cena avoided the Spike, Cena took Solo down and Cena applied a Crossface submission. Solo got out of that and hit a clothesline. Solo set up Cena upside down against the turnbuckle leading to Solo hitting a running headbutt for two. Solo hit a belly-to-belly suplex on Cena for a two count. The referee Jessika Carr held up five fingers to the guys at ringside, so that’s probably about the time. Solo hit a running hip attack against the turnbuckle. Solo went for the Samoan Spike, Cena avoided it and Cena hit his running shoulder tackles. Cena hit a spinning suplex followed by the Five Knuckle Shuffle fist drop. Cena went for the Attitude Adjustment, but Solo got out of that and Solo hit a Samoan Drop for two. Solo hit another running hip attack on Cena against the turnbuckle. Cena pulled on Solo’s arm against the top rope. Cena jumped off the top with a cross body block for two.

Cena lifted Solo on his shoulders, Solo broke free and hit a superkick. Solo went for a move, but Cena got out of it and Cena hit a Chokeslam. I’ve literally reviewed hundreds of Cena matches and never seen him do that one. Solo with a headbutt, Cena came back with punches and Cena tried another AA, but Solo got out of it and Solo hit a Spinning Solo for two. Solo went for the Samoan Spike again, Cena blocked it by catching the hand and Cena trapped Solo in the STF submission. Solo got to the bottom rope to break the hold. Cena was back up, Cena charged and Solo hit the Samoan Spike…but Solo was too hurt on the right arm to make a cover. Cena was grabbing his throat to sell it. Solo hit another Samoan Spike. Solo didn’t go for a cover. Cena was back up as Solo hit a third Samoan Spike. Cena was down on the mat talking to Solo. Cena got back up, the fans chanted for Cena and Solo hit another Samoan Spike. Solo delivered another five Samoan Spikes to Cena’s throat for the pinfall win at 16:10.

Winner by pinfall: Solo Sikoa

Analysis: *** A dominant win to put over Solo Sikoa in a big way. Give Cena a lot of credit for doing the right thing to put over the younger, current star who is on the rise. This is something that Solo can brag about (with Paul Heyman) for years to come. Cena kept on trying for the Attitude Adjustment, but he couldn’t do it. Having Solo win the way he did was the right move. I liked it a lot because it will mean a lot for Solo.

After the match, Solo celebrated the win while the fans booed him. Cole did a great job on commentary talking about how this could be the end of John Cena’s career or at least throwing the idea out there.

Cena slowly got back to his feet with the Riyadh crowd giving him a standing ovation. Cena had a frustrated look on his face selling the loss. Cena waved at the crowd to acknowledge them. The fans chanted “thank you Cena” at him. Cole put over Cena in a big way as Cena walked to the back alone.

Analysis: I thought Cole was terrific on commentary putting over Cena’s legacy and the loss feeling like possibly the end of Cena’s career. I think it means Cena is taking a lengthy break, but I doubt it’s his retirement. That retirement could be coming in the next year or two, likely at a WrestleMania. I don’t know if it would be longer than that.

A commercial aired for the NXT Deadline PLE on December 9th. That’s the last WWE PLE of 2023. The main roster’s last PLE is Survivor Series.

There was something called the WWE Experience coming to Saudi Arabia in January 2024. It will be a facility with WWE merchandise, superstar appearances and so much more. Cole talked about it after the video.

Analysis: That’s the kind of thing WWE needs to do in the US in Orlando or something like that where they can put a Hall of Fame. Obviously, WWE is happy with their business in Saudi Arabia since they opened up a big facility like that.

Miz TV

The Miz was in the ring hosting Miz TV and introduced Ibrahim Al Hajjaj, who is a successful actor and comedian. The announcers put him over for being a funny guy. Ibrahim sat down with The Miz to talk, but Grayson Waller walked out to interrupt.

Waller said that they need an actual talk show set for Ibrahim. Waller called for his set to be brought in as the Grayson Waller Effect set was brought into the ring. Miz said he’s been there for 20 years and Waller has been there for 20 minutes. They argued about the sets on the show. Ibrahim said that he agreed to be at WWE for the hottest talk show. Ibrahim said that was Miz TV. Ibrahim kept on saying that Miz TV was better. Waller said that this was his ring and Ibrahim was disrespecting him. Waller told Ibrahim to get out of the ring now. Waller kicked Ibrahim and threw him to the apron. Miz saved Ibrahim and hit Waller with a boot to the face. Miz tossed Waller toward Ibrahim, who hit a big kick. Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Waller. Ibrahim saw Waller on the ground, so Waller did his own version of a People’s Elbow on Waller. The fans loved it. That was it.

Analysis: It seemed like The Miz was turned babyface last Monday on Raw, so that was furthered here. Ibrahim is a good showman and you can tell that with this performance. It was fine to do something like that midway through the show as a break between the action.

The Rey Mysterio-Logan Paul match was next, so there was a video package about it.

United States Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Logan Paul

I missed the introductions and the first few minutes of this. Rey got some offense going with a headscissors that sent Paul across the ring. Paul with a leapfrog while Rey ran the ropes and then Rey stopped himself. Rey sent Paul into the middle ropes, but Paul was back up to send Rey to the apron. Rey with a punch, Rey jumped off the top with a cross body block and Logan drove Rey into the turnbuckle. Logan hit a springboard moonsault for a two count. Logan delivered knees to the body along with a whip into the turnbuckle that led to Rey collapsing to the mat. Paul caught Rey with a waistlock on the mat. Rey stomped on Paul’s foot to break free. Paul hit a backbreaker for a two count. Paul pressed Rey above his head and dropped Rey to the mat like the Ultimate Warrior. Paul ran the ropes leading to a splash like the Ultimate Warrior for a two count. Paul grabbed bearhug, Rey broke free with elbows and Paul hit him with a knee to the ribs. Paul went for a backbreaker on the shoulder, but Rey hit an armdrag to get out of it. Paul went for a running corner attack, Rey moved and Paul hit the ringpost leading to a bump to the floor. Rey hit a suicide dive onto Paul on the floor.

Rey put Paul back in the ring and Paul jumped off the top with a senton followed by a springboard cross body block. Rey got three straight nearfall pin attempts. Paul sent Rey throat first into the top rope. Paul did his own version of a Buckshot Lariat for a two count. Paul’s landing wasn’t perfect, but it was decent. Rey ducked a punch and Rey got a takedown leading to a Crossface submission while trapping the left arm. Paul got his hand on the bottom rope to break free. Rey went for a moonsault, Paul stepped forward and caught Rey leading to a powerslam. They exchanged strikes by the turnbuckle and Paul hit a fallaway slam off the middle turnbuckle for a two count. That was an impressive move as Logan did a moonsault onto Rey to pin him. Barrett credited Paul for being able to pull that move off. Paul went up top, jumped off with nothing because Rey moved and Rey sent Paul into the middle rope. Paul blocked a 619 attempt. Rey was on the apron leading to a jumping kick to the ear. Rey countered a Paul move into a Sunset Bomb. Rey hit a Code Red for the two count. A friend of Logan Paul handed Paul brass knuckles at ringside while the referee looked at Rey. Rey shoved Paul into the ring post and the brass knuckles went to the floor. Santos Escobar was there to stop the brass knuckle usage. Escobar left the brass knuckles on the apron while Escobar chased Paul’s friend away. Rey hit a dropkick leading to the 619 kick. Rey went for a leaping attack, but Paul was back up and Paul punched Rey with the brass knuckles on Paul’s hand. Paul covered for the pinfall win at 17:50.

Winner by pinfall AND NEW United States Champion: Logan Paul

Analysis: ***1/2 It was a very good match, but not at the same level as Paul’s greatest matches. The interesting thing about the brass knuckles usage is that Santos Escobar did stop it momentarily, but then Santos left the knuckles on the apron as he chased Paul’s friend. I don’t know if WWE is going to follow up on that or if it’s going to be forgotten, but you could certainly say that Escobar may have left it there on purpose if there’s going to be a heel turn. Anyway, they had chemistry in the ring while Paul showed off some more creativity in the ring compared to some of his earlier matches. Rey is always great. The crowd was into some of it, but not that loud for all of it. I think this was a predictable match and title change. I wonder how often Paul will appear as champion.

Logan Paul celebrated with the United States Championship. The announcers talked about the attention that Paul will get now that he has won his first title in WWE. Paul went over to Rey saying that he did what he had to do. Paul said he loved him. Paul continued to celebrate.

The WWE Elimination Chamber PLE is heading to Perth on Saturday, February 24th. Tickets are on sale this Friday. They will sell fast.

Bianca Belair was interviewed by Jackie Redmond. They flew Jackie over for this? Nice for her, I guess. There aren’t a lot of interviews on the show, but perhaps some website content. Belair said she could not be more excited about this match.

Bianca Belair made her entrance looking confident as usual. IYO SKY was all alone as the WWE Women’s Champion. The crowd wasn’t really that loud at this point.

WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY vs. Bianca Belair

They had a great match at Backlash in May with Belair as the champion, so now we get to see it again with Sky as the champion.

Belair was in control with a delayed vertical suplex and a standing moonsault after bouncing off the ropes. After Belair hit the ring post, Sky took control. Sky trapped the left knee against the ropes and then Sky wrenched the right knee. Belair hit a jawbreaker followed by a rollup for two. Belair hit a suplex, but Sky went after the knees again. Sky continued to work over the knees followed by Sky hitting a double foot stomp to the chest. Sky continued to work over the right knee as the fans sat there in silence. Sky went for a dropkick off the top, but Belair moved and Sky hit the mat. Belair got some offense going with a fallaway slam followed by three body slams in a row. Belair did a gutbuster into the knee for a two count. Sky tied up Belair upside down against the turnbuckle and Sky hit a running dropkick for two. Belair came back with a suplex with Sky bumping like a moonsault onto the mat. Sky and Belair exchanged holds on the mat. Sky went for a headscissors, but Belair blocked that and slammed Sky down. Bayley arrived at ringside, so Belair was distracted and Sky slammed Belair down. Sky didn’t seem happy about Bayley being there. Sky did a necksnap across the top rope. Sky held Belair’s hair leading to Sky delivering knee lifts to the body. Sky went up top and hit a top rope moonsault onto Belair on the floor.

Back in the ring, Sky hit a springboard missile dropkick on Belair for two. Sky hit an uppercut, but Belair came back with a spinebuster for two. Belair went for a bounce off the ropes, but Sky avoided it and Sky sent Belair into the middle rope. Sky jumped off the top, Belair caught Sky by the arms leading to a Glam Slam-style move. Bayley was on the apron so there was no count by the distracted referee. Belair knocked down Bayley on the floor and Belair jumped onto Bayley. Sky ran at Belair, who moved and Sky ran over Bayley on the floor. Belair sent Sky into the barricade. Bayley held onto Belair, so Belair punched Bayley. Belair picked up Bayley on the floor, but Kairi Sane showed up and saved Bayley. Sane hit a spin punch on Belair on the floor. Sane hit a knee smash to Belair into the ring post. The referee was looking at Sky during all of this. Belair went into the ring and Sky went up top and hit the Over the Moonsault on Belair for the pinfall win at 16:35.

Winner by pinfall: IYO SKY

Analysis: *** There was good action throughout the match although it never got going to the level of their match at Backlash earlier this year. The crowd just wasn’t into this match. They reacted to the Kairi Sane return at least, but Sky and Belair were working so hard in this match, yet the fans didn’t seem to care that much. Because of that, the match felt like it dragged on a bit. Sky worked over the knee early and then they went away from it in the second half, so it felt meaningless. That’s also the second straight match with a cheap heel ending. We know Triple H likes booking those a lot.

After the match, Sky put Belair in position and Sane hit her impressive Insane Elbow drop off the top rope. Sky and Sane hugged in the ring while Bayley was watching at ringside with a stunned look on her face. Cole mentioned that the last time we saw Sane she was taken out by Bayley. Sky and Sane celebrated in the ring.

Analysis: Welcome back to Kairi Sane. I assume the story will be something about how Iyo Sky didn’t like Bayley bossing her around, so Sky called her buddy Sane to come back to WWE and now they are united. Maybe it’s the end of Damage CTRL, but I don’t know if it’s just going to end like that. If WWE wants to turn Bayley into a face then it could work with this story, but I don’t know if that’s the plan.

The video package aired for the Cody Rhodes-Damian Priest match.

Damian Priest made his entrance as an Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champion. Priest is also Senor Money in the Bank, but he no longer had the briefcase since Sami Zayn took it earlier in the show. Cody Rhodes got a big pop as usual with the fans singing the song and chanting “WHOA-OH” at the right times.

Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Priest

Priest tried to attack Cody early, but Cody was ready for it. Cody hit a lifting slam almost like a flatliner. Priest regrouped on the floor, Cody followed and Priest sent Cody into the barricade. Back in the ring, Priest hit a double axhandle smash. The fans were into this match more than the previous match. Cody was selling the injured left ankle as Priest punched him and hit a lifting flatliner. Priest hit two running splashes against the turnbuckle. Cody came back with a dropkick. Cody hit a running forearm followed by a powerslam. Cody hit the springboard Disaster Kick to the head for a two count. Cody sent Priest into the steel steps. Cody cleared off the Arabic commentary table, which led to Priest clotheslining Cody on the floor. Priest went for a table attack, but Cody avoided it and sent Priest into the ring post. Cody hit a suicide dive on Priest onto the floor. Priest gave Cody his move The Reckoning on Cody on the table. The table didn’t break. The fans chanted “you suck” at Priest because he didn’t break the table. Priest was confident as they went back into the ring, so Cody was able to recover and Cody hit the Cross Rhodes. Cody wasn’t able to make the cover. Finn Balor made his way down to the ring to support his buddy Priest. Balor was on the apron, so JD McDonagh went into the ring and Cody punched JD to knock him down. Priest hit the South of Heaven slam for a two count. Good nearfall. Balor called for some more help as Dominik Mysterio appeared with a steel chair in hand. Jey Uso arrived to hit Dominik with a superkick. Jey hit superkicks on Balor and McDonagh too. Jey chased Balor, Dominik and JD to the back.

Priest was watching all of that, so Cody got a rollup for two. Cody jumped off the ropes with a Cody Cutter followed by the bionic elbow combo for a two count. Priest got out of a Cross Rhodes attempt and kicked Cody in the head. Priest to the apron, he kicked Cody again and Cody came back with a kick to the gut. Cody jumped off the top rope with a massive Cody Cutter for a two count. They each went for moves, but there were counters. Priest went for a clothesline, Cody ducked it and Cody hit the Cross Rhodes three times in a row for the pinfall win at 11:08.

Winner by pinfall: Cody Rhodes

Analysis: ***1/4 This was a pretty good match with Cody Rhodes needing to hit the Cross Rhodes three times to put Damian Priest away. That puts over Priest in a big way as a tough opponent. Cody hit the Cody Cutter multiple times for nearfalls because it’s only a two count spot, but that top rope version of the move looks great. Priest had only one good nearfall after the assist from his buddies. Cody winning was obviously the right call here. I think all of that action on the floor is going to lead to the WarGames match featuring mostly Raw guys with the top Raw babyfaces against The Judgment Day. There could be others involved as well, so we’ll see how it is set up in the next three weeks.

Cody Rhodes celebrated the win while the crowd sang his song. Cole said that Cody was back on his path to finishing the story.

A short video aired about WWE superstars doing community events in Saudi Arabia earlier in the week.

There was another commercial for Survivor Series: WarGames on November 25th in Chicago.

This Monday on Raw:

* Ricochet vs. The Miz vs. “Big” Bronson Reed vs. Ivar. The winner gets an Intercontinental Title shot against GUNTHER.

* Akira Tozawa vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

The video package aired for the Roman Reigns-LA Knight match in the main event. It was just over three hours into the show at this point.

LA Knight got a big ovation for his entrance, so if you were wondering if he was popular in Saudi Arabia the answer is definitely yes. They were loud for every part of his entrance as Knight got into the ring.

Roman Reigns made his entrance as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion with the Special Counsel, “Wise Man” Paul Heyman by his side as usual. Reigns took his time getting to the ring as usual. I didn’t time it, but it felt like about four minutes. The wrestlers stood in the ring as Saxton did the introductions. The fans chanted “YEAH” after Knight’s name. Reigns was confident as usual.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (w/Paul Heyman) vs. LA Knight

Knight and Reigns exchanged punches, which led to Knight hitting a neckbreaker. Reigns hit an elbow smash to knock Knight down. Knight hit dropkicks to the knees to knock Reigns down. Reigns sent Knight out of the ring. A lot of fans had “YEAH” signs. Knight did a necksnap across the top rope along with a shoulder tackle for just a one count. Reigns with a kick to the chest, but Knight hit a powerslam. Heyman distracted Knight a bit so that Reigns could regroup on the floor. Knight hit Reigns with an elbow smash to the chest. Knight hit a clothesline from the apron to the floor. Knight cleared off the English announce table and Reigns came back with a punch. Knight sent Reigns into the hood of the commentary table, but Reigns sent Knight into the steel steps. Reigns sent Knight hard into the steel steps. They went back into the ring with Reigns sending Knight hard into the turnbuckle. Reigns hit a suplex for two. Reigns grounded Knight with a headlock on the mat. Knight broke free with a punch, but Reigns ran the ropes and hit a jumping clothesline. Reigns hit a running clothesline that knocked Knight down against the turnbuckle. Reigns hit another clothesline against the turnbuckle as the pace really slowed down. Reigns charged, Knight hit an elbow, boot to the face and a bulldog off the top. They both got back up and they exchanged punches with Knight getting the upper hand as the crowd chanted “YEAH” for all of them. Knight hit a leaping clothesline along with a side Russian legsweep. Knight hit a DDT for a two count. Knight stomped on Reigns repeatedly followed by a running knee attack. Reigns came back with a uranage slam for two. Knight came back with a neckbreaker. Reigns came back with a running Superman Punch for a two count, which is the usual for that move. They were both down to sell the flurry of offense there.

Reigns went for a Spear, Knight did a leapfrog and Reigns hit the turnbuckle. Knight set up Reigns by the turnbuckle, Reigns punched his way free and Reigns did a headbutt to knock Knight down. Knight jumped back up to the top rope and hit a superplex. Knight did his “LA Knight Yeah” running elbow drop for a two count. The fans were absolutely on fire for this. Solo Sikoa was in the aisle way, but some WWE Officials and referees were there to stop him. Jimmy Uso pulled Reigns out of the ring. Knight grabbed Jimmy and Reigns hit a Superman Punch to Knight. Reigns hit a Spear for one…two…no! Knight got his left shoulder up as the fans chanted “YEAH” for him. Great nearfall there while Reigns sold it like he was shocked by the kickout. The fans were chanting “Roman sucks” as Reigns grabbed a guillotine choke. Knight did body punches to break the hold, but then Reigns re-applied it. Knight picked up Reigns for a stun gun into the top rope. Knight hit a Blount Force Trauma by the ropes, but Jimmy Uso put Roman’s left foot on the bottom rope and the referee saw it so it was only a two count. Knight got a hold of Jimmy on the floor and Knight slammed Jimmy’s head into the commentary table hood repeatedly. Knight slammed Roman’s head into the commentary table hood repeatedly as well. Knight picked up Jimmy and slammed him through the commentary table. Reigns got back up and gave Knight a Spear through the barricade on the floor! Back in the ring, Reigns hit a Spear for the pinfall win at 20:06.

Winner by pinfall: Roman Reigns

Analysis: ***3/4 It was the typical Roman Reigns main event match that we have seen many times over the last three-plus years. It’s repetitive although I think the match structure is very well done and it’s an above average match. Knight had the match won with the BFT near the ropes, but Jimmy Uso putting Roman’s foot on the bottom rope saved Reigns. That was the typical nearfall that you see in a Reigns match where the challenger comes so close to winning, but somebody from The Bloodline helps Reigns win. I like Reigns as much as anybody, but it’s certainly gotten repetitive at this point. I didn’t think there was any chance for Knight to win. It was still a good main event level match that we have seen many times from Reigns in this spot.

Roman Reigns celebrated with the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at ringside. That was the end of the show.

Analysis: It has been reported that Reigns isn’t working Survivor Series, so we may not see him in a match again until the Royal Rumble in late January. Enjoy yet another break, Roman.

This event had a runtime of about 3:37:36 on WWE Network.


Five Stars of the Show

  1. Seth Rollins
  2. Roman Reigns
  3. Drew McIntyre
  4. Solo Sikoa
  5. Logan Paul/LA Knight


Final Thoughts

I’m going with a 7.5 out of 10 for this show.

I thought it was a pretty good WWE PLE overall. I’d say it was around the Payback & Fastlane level (which is around the bottom of WWE PLEs this year) although there was more star power on this show. There weren’t any standout matches in terms of match of the year contenders, but I thought the Rollins-McIntyre opener was the best match. The heel turn from Drew is coming soon, I think. The Reigns-Knight match was the typical Reigns main event where the challenger has the match won but The Bloodline gets involved (Jimmy Uso in this case) and Reigns comes back to get the win.

There weren’t many surprises, but I liked how Kairi Sane returned to help Iyo Sky beat Bianca Belair to keep the WWE Women’s Title on Sky. Sane and Sky together will be fun to watch for sure. That match and the Logan Paul-Rey Mysterio match had cheap endings just like the Reigns match. Logan’s win over Rey to become US Champion was very cheap, but that’s fitting for Paul as a heel character in WWE.

The crowd was hot some of the bigger names, but also quiet at times during some of the matches. It’s a long night so I get it. They might have been sad after the John Cena-Solo SIkoa because they wanted a Cena win. It didn’t happen. Solo decimated Cena and I really liked how it was booked too because it makes Solo look strong moving forward. Anyway, I’m looking forward to Survivor Series in just three weeks time.

My WWE PLE/PPV rankings for 2023 look like this.

WrestleMania 39 – 8.75 (out of 10)

Elimination Chamber – 8.25

Backlash – 8

SummerSlam – 8

Money in the Bank – 8

Night of Champions – 7.75

Royal Rumble – 7.5

Crown Jewel – 7.5

Fastlane – 7.25

Payback – 7.25


As a reminder, I have a listing of every WWE PPV that I reviewed in order by year. Thank you for supporting us at TJRWrestling. We appreciate you.

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Twitter/X: @johnreport