WWE returns to Saudi Arabia on Saturday where both of WWE’s World titles are on the line.
Roman Reigns will wrestle for the first time since SummerSlam, taking on LA Knight. Since making his return to SmackDown following a hiatus, Knight has made it clear he wants to be the one that ends Reigns’ historic reign with the championship.
Seth Rollins will defend the World Heavyweight title against Drew McIntyre. Rhea Ripley has attempted to get involved with both Rollins and McIntyre, saying Judgment Day could help either one of them walk out as champion. Both have rebuffed Ripley, but Rollins doesn’t trust McIntyre based on his recent actions.
Other title matches will see Ripley defend her Women’s World Championship in a five-way against Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark, and Raquel Rodriguez. Logan Paul will make his WWE return, challenging Rey Mysterio for the United States title. IYO SKY will defend the WWE Women’s Championship against Bianca Belair.
John Cena will also be in action, taking on Solo Sikoa while Cody Rhodes will face Damian Priest. The kickoff pre-show match will have Sami Zayn take on JD McDonagh.
Join us for live coverage starting at noon ET.
Kickoff pre-show: Sami Zayn defeated JD McDonagh
Simple, effective WWE match. They weren’t given a ton of time for it to be really good or anything, but it was clear this was designed for Zayn to get a nice win.
After some back and forth early, Zayn went for a monkey flip into the ropes. McDonagh didn’t go all the way and landed on the ropes awkwardly. Zayn teased the blue thunder bomb but McDonagh bailed to the apron, where he was able to cut off Zayn.
McDonagh developed a very nasty looking bruise on his abdomen as he was cut off the corner by Zayn. McDonagh came back with a jawbreaker and went for a superplex. Zayn fought him off, but McDonagh connected with a dropkick as Zayn was coming off the ropes, scoring a nearfall. Zayn came back with a big lariat. McDonagh made a brief comeback but Zayn connected with an exploder into the turnbuckle then hit the blue thunder bomb for the win.
Seth Rollins defeated Drew McIntyre to retain the World Heavyweight title
This was an excellent opener, a real classic WWE style main event with some great nearfalls.
McIntyre started off with momentum, taking down Rollins. The two traded chops until McIntyre hit a suplex. Rollins hit a running knee coming off the apron then went for a suicide dive, but McIntyre caught him in midair and connected with a belly to belly suplex.
McIntyre continued to chop Rollins in the ring until Rollins started firing back with some of his own. McIntyre hit a kick for a nearfall. Rollins ended up being on the ropes, cutting off McIntyre, landed back on his feet and connected with a kick to the head. Rollins connected with a knee and launched off with a rolling senton and a lionsault for a nearfall.
Rollins connected with the falcon arrow and went for a superplex, but as Rollins rolled through McIntyre countered with a suplex of his own for a nearfall. McIntyre then with the future shock DDT for a nearfall. Rollins started a comeback, hitting a suicide dive. McIntyre responded by ramming Rollins back first into the steel steps, with announcers putting over his bad back. McIntyre then gave Rollins a side slam into the apron.
Rollins countered McIntyre and hit the pedigree for another nearfall. He went for the stomp, but McIntyre escaped and hit another belly to belly. McIntyre called for the claymore but Rollins countered with a superkick and the stomp, but McIntyre still kicked out. Rollins went for the phoenix splash but McIntyre hit the claymore for a good nearfall. Rollins then came back, hitting another pedigree and the stomp for the win.
After the match, Damian Priest came to the ring and told the referee he wanted to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase. However, a hooded person came out of the crowd and attacked Priest, revealing themselves to be Sami Zayn. The segment ended with Zayn leaving with the briefcase.
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A dejected Drew McIntyre was seen sulking backstage following his loss. Rhea Ripley smirked at him as she walked away.
Rhea Ripley defeated Nia Jax, Raquel Rodriguez, Zoey Stark, and Shayna Baszler to retain the Women’s World Championship
Good, but these type of matches all feel pretty patterned at this point, with everyone needing to do one tower of doom spot, everyone going for their finishers toward the end, and so on. Still, this was a good match.
Pinfalls were attempted early. Jax dragged Rodriguez out of the ring. Baszler, with the help of Rodriguez, took out Jax with a suplex. Ripley and Jax went at it, but Jax overpowered her and hit a legdrop for a nearfall.
Baszler got in double heel hooks in Ripley and and Rodriguez and attempted to choke out Jax, but Stark broke it up and scored a nearfall on Baszler. Stark went to the top rope but Ripley cut her off. It soon turned into the superplex of doom spot you see in almost every WWE multi-person match you’ll ever see.
Ripley and Rodriguez covered and were knocked off the apron by Stark, who did a springboard dive to the floor and connected with a missile drop kick on Ripley. She went for the Z360, but Jax broke it up. He laid out Baszler and went for the Banzai drop but Rodriguez caught her and hit the Tejana bomb for a nearfall. Ripley went for the riptide, but Baszler came in with the kirifuda clutch.
Ripley was going for the riptide on Stark off the top rope, but then saw Rodriguez cover Baszler. Ripley planted Stark on top of Rodriguez then covered Baszler for the win.
Solo Sikoa defeated John Cena
This got pretty repetitive toward the end where Cena either went for his finish or Solo went for his finish over and over again. Gotta say though, if you’re going to put someone over strong, this is the way to do it.
Cena and Solo started off with some brawling. Solo gained control with some headbutts. After a few minutes in control, Sikoka went for the spike, but Cena countered with an AA attempt. Sikoa quickly cut him off and hit a running hip attack into the corner.
Sikoa went for the spike again but this time Cena countered into the STFU. Sikoa escaped and regained control, hitting another hip attack in the corner. Cena eventually started to make his signature comeback, hitting the five knuckle shuffle. Sikoa dodged the AA and hit a Samoan drop for a nearfall. Cena came back with a crossbody for another nearfall.
Sikoa went for the spike again but Cena cut him off and hit a chokeslam. Another AA attempt, but Sioka this time hit the spinning Solo. Another spike attempt, this time Cena countered with the STFU again. Solo made it to the ropes and finally hit Cena with the spike, then another, then a third, and a fourth. Solo grabbed Cena on the floor then repeatedly gave him the spike before finally pinning him.
Cena eventually recovered in the ring and got a standing ovation from the crowd as he walked to the back.
The Miz came out for an unannounced edition of Miz TV. He introduced his guest, Ibrahim Al Hajjaj, who Miz said had the highest grossing movie in Saudi Arabia. Micheal Cole called him one of the greatest actors in the Middle East. Hmm.
Grayson Waller quickly interrupted and started to put down Miz and put over the Grayson Waller Experience. Hajjaj said he was here to be on the hottest show on WWE TV, Miz TV. Waller told Hajjaj to get out of his ring. Waller attacked Hajjaj and kicked him out of the ring. Miz attacked Waller. On the apron, Hajjaj connected with a kick and Miz laid out Waller with the skull crushing finale. Hajjaj then hit the people’s elbow. A segment purely for the SA audience.
Logan Paul defeated Rey Mysterio to win the WWE United States title
This took a while to get good, but it did get good eventually until the finish, which was pretty weak. You can at least give the “entourage member” a name. Paul did some good spots during the match at least.
After some back and forth early, Paul took down Mysterio and held him on the ground. Paul connected with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Mysterio dodged a charge in the corner and hit a suicide dive to the floor. Back in the ring, Paul managed to connect with the buckshot lariat for a nearfall.
Paul missed a right hand and walked into a Mysterio crossface. Paul made it to the ropes. Mysterio went for a moonsault but Paul barely managed to catch Mysterio before slamming him. Paul then hit a very cool-looking fallaway slam moonsault for a nearfall.
Mysterio gained the advantage and tried for a 619, but Paul grabbed him. Paul lifted Mysterio on his shoulders but Mysterio counters and hits a sunset flip bomb, then followed with a code red. Suddenly, someone from Logan Paul’s entourage (who was not named) gave Paul some brass knux. Paul got posted by Mysterio as Paul’s entourage member attempted to give Paul the knux back. However, Santos Escobar emerged. Cole referred to the entourage member as “that jerk Jason” as he was chased away by Escobar.
Escobar, however, had left the knux on the apron, allowing Paul to grab them again. As Mysterio was going for the 619, Paul blasted him with the knuckles and pinned him.
IYO SKY defeated Bianca Belair to retain the WWE Women's Championship
This was good until Bayley came in. Was pretty much a House of Torture match after that where every other spot was a distraction. I feel like I've seen this rerun before where Bayley and SKY tease not being on the same page. But it looks like there's something to the tease this time with Kairi Sane making her WWE return.
Belair started off hot, attacking SKY around the ring and hitting a vertical suplex for a nearfall. SKY cut her off and began working on Belair’s knee, which had been injured in storyline. Belair hit a series of suplexes but SKY cut her off. After putting Belair in a leglock, SKY went for a senton but Belair dodged.
Belair hit multiple bodyslams and hit a knee to the gut. SKY regained control briefly but Belair cut her off with a suplex. Bayley then emerged on the apron as Belair missed a dive and SKY got a nearfall. SKY seemed surprised that Bayley was at ringside. SKY used Belair’s own hair to attack her then hit a big moonsault to the floor. Belair managed to cut off SKY with a glam slam but Bayley kept repeatedly getting involved. At one point, SKY accidently took out Bayley.
The finish had Belair being in control when suddenly Kairi Sane made her WWE return, attacking Belair. The referee teased counting out Belair, but she made it back in after 9 only to be laid out by a moonsault by SKY for the win.
After the match, SKY and Sane repeatedly attacked Belair. Bayley, who was still recovering at ringside, was surprised by Sane’s arrival.
Cody Rhodes defeated Damian Priest
This was fine. Crowd was super into it but for the third match in a row there was tons of interference towards the end and by this point on the show, it started to get exhausting.
Rhodes started off hot, but Priest managed to cut him off at ringside. Rhodes floated over Priest but landed on his injured ankle, allowing Priest to get the advantage. Rhodes came back with the disaster kick. They made their way to the announce table, where Priest managed to lay out Rhodes with the reckoning. Back in the ring, Rhodes fired back with the crossrhodes.
Oh my word, for the upteenth time in a row someone has come out to distract people. This time it’s Finn Balor and JD McDonagh. Balor distracted the referee as JD laid out Rhodes long enough for Priest to hit the South of Heaven chokeslam. Dominik Mysterio came out with a chair. Jey Uso then came out and supericked Mysterio. Rhodes made a comeback, and hit a Cody cutter from the top rope for a nearfall. Rhodes then hit three crossrhodes for the win.
Roman Reigns defeated LA Knight to retain the Undisputed WWE Universal title
This ended up being pretty good, but again there was lots of interference at the end. You expect that in most Roman Reigns matches, though. They pushed hard that LA Knight belonged on Reigns' level and he was booked strongly despite losing.
Knight started off strong with punches but Reigns immediately cut him down. Knight came back with a shoulder block on the apron and slammed Roman down. As Roman consulted with Heyman, Knight hit a baseball slide to the floor and took down Roman with a clothesline off the apron. Reigns regained control and slowly began his offense, whipping Knight into the turnbuckle hard.
Roman laid down and applied a hold as he started to cut his monologue. Reigns spent a whole lot of the early part of the match doing a move then reacting to the crowd. Knight cut him off and hit a top rope bulldog, but Roman regained control and went for the Superman punch. Knight blocked the first attempt, but was laid out with a second attempt for a nearfall.
Reigns attempted a spear, but Knight leapfrogged over him and went for a superplex. Reigns knocked Knight off, but Knight leaped back on the turnbuckle and connected for a nearfall.
In the fourth interference spot in a row, Solo Sikoa distracted officials as Jimmy Uso dragged Reigns out of the ring. Knight attacked Jimmy but Reigns hit a Superman punch on the outside then hit Knight with a spear for a nearfall.
Reigns applied the guillotine to Knight, but night escaped, cut off Reigns and hit the BFT. Jimmy emerged again and put Reigns’ foot on the rope before the referee counted to three. Knight attacked Jimmy and eventually put him through a table. Reigns speared Knight on the outside through the barricade, took him back into the ring, then speared Knight again to retain his title.
Final Thoughts: This was a pretty good show, with Seth Rollins and Drew McIntyre being the standout match. There was just way too many interference spots for my liking.
Maybe it's because I focus more on posting news than doing reports like this but man did this show open my eyes on the amount of distraction finishes WWE does. AEW has been just as guilty recently too. That isn't a great trend and can become a real crutch, as evidenced by this show.