WWE Crown Jewel 2023 results: Roman Reigns vs. LA Knight, plus four more title matches

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WWE Crown Jewel 2023 — Mohammed Abdo Arena, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Kickoff Show (12 noon ET)

Megan Morant, Matt Camp and Peter Rosenberg form the kickoff show panel. The trio are not on site, instead broadcasting from a WWE studio in the United States. They begin by running down the card. They waste no time in throwing to video packages for the matches, beginning with a preview of Drew McIntyre challenging Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship. They then discuss the match. The panel continues this format all the matches on the card.

Kickoff Match: Sami Zayn vs. JD McDonagh

Michael Cole and Wade Barrett are on English-language commentary. Cole mentions a new ‘WWE Experience’ that is being put in place a few hundred yards from the Mohammed Abdo Arena, which feels a little smaller than most of the venues that WWE has used for its Saudi shows.

Sami Zayn comes out first to a rapturous reception. McDonagh, not so much. They get off to a deliberate start, exchanging holds. The crowd loves Sami, very loudly cheering an arm drag.

You can’t fault the crowd for enthusiasm. In the midst of a back-and-forth segment, they are already chanting, “This is awesome.” Sami wins with an exploder suplex, the Helluva Kick and a Blue Thunder Bomb.

Winner: Sami Zayn by pinfall in 9m 43s.

Main Card (1 pm ET)

We get a video package backed by Imagine Dragons’ ‘Believer’ to open the show, narrated by the biggest stars on the card. A pyro display follows as Michael Cole welcomes viewers to the “hottest ticket in the world.”

World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre

Drew’s strength as the larger man is the story of the early going, as he knocks Seth to the mat several times. Seth finds his rhythm in retaliation with his high-flying moves and speed. Rollins is soon selling his back.

As the match gets into its stride, the crowd seems to be around 60:40 in favor of McIntyre in a “yay/boo” chop exchange. Rollins evens things up as he knocks McIntyre to the mat with a combination of strikes and kicks. The near-falls soon follow for both competitors.

As both men are outside the ring, McIntyre punishes the back of Rollins by throwing him into the steps, and then hitting a side slam on the ring apron. Back in the ring, Rollins manages a Pedigree for a big near-fall. Rollins then counters the Claymore with a superkick and hits The Stomp for an even bigger two-count. Seth then kicks out of a Claymore. Both have now escaped each other’s finishers.

Rollins eventually gets the pin with another Pedigree and a Stomp to retain.

Winner: Seth Rollins by pinfall in 18m 22s.

Damian Priest runs to the ring with the Money in the Bank briefcase, but he is driven into a ring post by hooded Sami Zayn, who then grabs the briefcase and sprints off into the crowd with it.

Rhea Ripley approaches McIntyre backstage and gives him an “I told you so” shrug.

Women’s World Championship (Fatal 5-Way): Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Rodriguez

Jax, Rodriguez, Baszler and Stark make their way to the ring in quick succession.

Ripley gets a special entrance as several male “cup-bearers” line the way for her. All the women are wearing gear that covers them up to the neckline, but we are a long way from the era of giant baggy T-shirts. Their gear is much more fitted and custom to their characters.

Jax gets out of the ring as soon as the bell rings. After dealing with the other opponents in the ring, Jax re-enters and goes after Ripley. Soon after, the others get back into the fray and Shayna Baszler gets Jax, Ripley and Rodriguez in submission holds at one time. This is broken up by Stark.

We enter a period of one-on-one combinations, with pinning attempts broken up by one of the other competitors.

In one of these, Ripley dumps Stark onto Rodriguez and Baszler. Ripley then pins Baszler to retain.

Winner: Rhea Ripley by pinfall in 11m 5s.

What can only be described as a commercial for Saudi Arabia featuring LA Knight, Bayley, Drew McIntyre and Bianca Belair is shown.

John Cena vs. Solo Sikoa

Sikoa is first out. The crowd goes wild for Cena. This smaller venue — an arena with a listed capacity of 13,000 — feels a little more rowdy than previous Saudi shows.

A rather basic match ensues. The pair fight outside the ring soon after the bell, and then there is a rather slow exchange of moves back inside the ropes.

Cena ducks the Samoan Spike, and then Sikoa escapes the Attitude Adjustment. Another attempt at the Samoan Spike is countered into the STF, but Sikoa gets out and starts to get the better of Cena.

A third attempt at the Samoan Spike is dodged by Cena, who counters with shoulder tackles and a Five Knuckle Shuffle, but Solo escapes the AA. Cena goes for a cross-body from the top rope, but only for two. A series of near-falls follows.

Yet another Samoan Spike is countered into the STF, but Sikoa reaches the ropes. Solo then successfully nails the Spike, but he is selling an injured arm and cannot make the pin. Cena gets up and gets a second Spike, followed by a third and then a fourth. Sikoa then repeatedly nails Cena’s throat and gets the pin.

Winner: Solo Sikoa by pinfall in 16m 9s.

Cena finally gets up to a standing ovation and goes to the back, heavily selling his throat.

There is a commercial for ‘The WWE Experience’, opening in Riyadh in January 2024. It seems to be a WWE megastore and permanent exhibit.

Miz TV

Miz introduces Saudi actor and comedian Ibrahim Al Hajjaj, whom the crowd seems to like. They talk about Al Hajjaj’s movie but are interrupted by Grayson Waller. Waller changes the set from Miz TV to the Grayson Waller Effect.

Miz and Waller trade barbs. Al Hajjaj says that the hottest WWE talk show is Miz TV. Waller is angry and tells Al Hajjaj to get out of his ring. Al Hajjaj squares up to Waller, who knocks him down. Miz then throws Waller into a kick from Al Hajjaj and delivers the Skull Crushing Finale. Al Hajjaj then delivers a People’s Elbow. 

There is another advert for Riyadh. This includes showing “social media megastar” Logan Paul racing a sand buggy in the desert. He then drives the vehicle into the arena for his entrance.

WWE United States Championship: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Logan Paul

The crowd is firmly behind Mysterio. As they tie up, Paul backs Rey into the corner and then pats him on the head. Paul’s bigger size and height are accentuated in the first couple of minutes, but Rey comes back with his lucha libre offense.

An early attempt at the 619 is countered and Paul again gets the momentum. Paul hits a few offensive moves, including the Ultimate Warrior’s Warrior Splash.

Some showboating from Paul allows the momentum to finally swing back to Mysterio, who gets several two-counts. Paul catches Rey from a second-rope springboard in what looked like a perilous move. Paul then hits a fallaway slam on Rey from the second rope.

As Mysterio picks up steam, he again misses a 619 but manages a Code Red for a near-fall. At this point, one of Logan Paul’s entourage appears and hands Paul brass knuckles. The knucks end up outside the ring as Santos Escobar runs Paul’s friend off.

Paul still manages to grab the brass knuckles and uses them to blast Rey and get the pin for the US Title.

Winner: Logan Paul by pinfall in 17m 28s.

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

A very even start to this title match by two of the most athletic women on the roster. One of the stories of the match is Bianca dealing with a bad right knee. She seemed to shake it off with a kip-up and a series of slams but this was short lived. SKY punishes Belair by getting her into the Tree of Woe and kicking the bad leg.

As Bianca looks to make a comeback, Bayley appears at ringside. SKY escapes the KOD and hits a series of kicks, using Bianca’s braid to hold her in place. SKY then hits a big moonsault to Belair on the outside. Back in the ring, SKY can only manage a two-count. A spinebuster from Belair only leads to a near-fall for the challenger.

Belair gets IYO into a pinning position but Bayley distracts the referee. Belair then goes after Bayley, looking for a KOD, when Kairi Sane appears, taking out Belair. This is enough to allow IYO SKY to retain.

Winner: IYO SKY by pinfall in 16m 51s.

After the bell, Kairi hits the Insane Elbow on Belair as Bayley looks on in confusion.

Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Priest

Priest is out first, minus his Money in the Bank briefcase, which Sami Zayn ran off with earlier. Cody then makes his way to the ring, to a big reaction. Before Cody’s music even ends, Priest attacks.

After a solid but fairly standard beginning to the match, the announcer desk comes into play. There is some back and forth but it is Priest who manages to hit The Reckoning to Rhodes on the desk. Back in the ring, Rhodes recovers enough to hit the Cross Rhodes on Priest.

At this point, Finn Balor comes to the ring. As Rhodes is distracted, JD McDonagh appears, but Cody makes short work of him. Next, Dominik Mysterio makes his way to ringside with a chair but Jey Uso comes to the rescue and runs the rest of The Judgment Day off with a chair.

Cody hits his series of Dusty moves, which are acknowledged by the crowd with a chant, but he can only get a near-fall. Another big near-fall follows from a top-rope Cody Cutter.

After another period of to and fro, Cody hits the Cross Rhodes three times for the win.

Winner: Cody Rhodes by pinfall in 11m 3s.

The match is followed by another advert for Riyadh.

Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) vs. LA Knight

We get a pre-match video package showcasing the build to the match. LA Knight is out first and gets a huge reaction from the crowd, who are wielding signs stating “Yeah” in English and Arabic.

Reigns is out next for his usual slow march to the ring as Michael Cole lists his achievements. Paul Heyman is with him.

Knight gets in Roman’s face as the Champion is introduced. 

Knight is out of the gates fast with his offense but is cut off by Reigns, who mocks Knight’s catchphrase. As Knight gets back some steam, Cole actually mentions his stint as Max Dupri, saying he would let nothing hold him back.

Outside the ring, Reigns gets the better of Knight and rams him into the announce desk. Knight makes it back into the ring at a seven-count, as Cole mentions the “methodical” pace that Reigns likes. We are into a slow period of the match.

Reigns taunts the crowd as Knight eats Roman’s methodical offense. Knight soon makes a mini-comeback and we get the pair exchanging clubbing blows, with the crowd chanting “Yeah” for every piece of Knight’s offense.

Roman kicks out of a DDT and then nails Knight with a Rock Bottom. Reigns misses with his first Superman Punch attempt but lands the second, for a near-fall.

Reigns then misses a spear, winding up hitting the post. Knight manages to hit a top-rope suplex and then a jumping elbow, but only for two.

At this point, Jimmy Uso appears at ringside. Knight deals with him but off the distraction, Reigns hits the spear on Knight for a big near-fall.

Knight powers out of a headlock to hit the Blunt Force Trauma. Reigns looks set for a three count when Jimmy puts Roman’s leg on the rope to stop the count. After Knight deals with Jimmy, he is speared through the barricade by Reigns. Roman gets Knight back in the ring for a final spear to grab the pinfall.

Winner: Roman Reigns by pinfall in 20m 02s

The commentary team do a heroic job of putting over Knight despite the loss, saying he got screwed.

Full results

  • Kickoff: Sami Zayn def. JD McDonagh
  • World Heavyweight Championship: Seth Rollins (c) def. Drew McIntyre
  • Women’s World Championship (Fatal 5-Way): Rhea Ripley (c) def. Nia Jax vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Zoey Stark vs. Raquel Rodriguez
  • Solo Sikoa def. John Cena
  • WWE United States Championship: Logan Paul def. Rey Mysterio (c)
  • WWE Women’s Championship: IYO SKY (c) def. Bianca Belair
  • Cody Rhodes def. Damian Priest
  • Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) def. LA Knight

Right after Crown Jewel ends, John Pollock and Wai Ting will go live on the POST Wrestling YouTube Channel to review the show.

 

About Neal Flanagan 745 Articles
Based in Northern Ireland, Neal Flanagan is a former newspaper journalist and copy editor. In addition to reporting for POST Wrestling, he co-hosts The Wellness Policy podcast with Wai Ting and Jordan Goodman.