Becky Lynch talks rigors of the WWE and how to succeed in it
WWE Superstar Becky Lynch talks to USA TODAY Sports about the never-ending schedule of professional wrestling and how to take advantage of it.
WWE’s 2023 international pay-per-view tour will wrap up Saturday, as wrestling returns to Saudi Arabia for the second time this year with Crown Jewel.
Eight matches will take place at Mohammed Abdu Arena on Saturday, the most for a pay-per-view since the nine matches at SummerSlam in August. Five titles will be on the line, highlighted by the return of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns going up against rising star LA Knight. Seth “Freakin” Rollins will attempt to defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Drew McIntyre, and both women’s champions – Rhea Ripley and Iyo Sky – will be in action.
Logan Paul will be going after the United States Championship after calling out Rey Mysterio, with other stars getting in the ring including Cody Rhodes and John Cena.
Follow along for live coverage of the action from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Is this the end for Cena?
Sikoa controlled a majority of the match with his strong stature and hard-hitting moves, looking to land the Samoan spike early and often. Yet each time Sikoa went for it, Cena countered with trying to pull of a finisher of his own. Cena couldn’t land an attitude adjustment, and was able to lock in an STF, but Sikoa got out.
The momentum didn’t last long, as Sikoa got back in control. He went for a third Samoan spike attempt, but Cena once again got out with some of his signature moves. He landed a five-knuckle shuffle, and went for the win once more, but Sikoa got out and was able to get back on the offensive with a Samoan drop.
After five misses, Sikoa was finally able to land a Samoan spike, and landed three more for extra measure after making it an emphasis ahead of the match. Sikoa picked up Cena, went all-in on spike after spike in a ruthless attack. In total, 15 spikes were landed before Sikoa pinned Cena for the win.
Sikoa had a great coming out match that should give him more credibility as a singles competitor, and should be a good omen for The Bloodline in maintaining control of WWE. Meanwhile, Cena doesn’t get to end his singles winless streak, in what could possibly be his last match in the company.
The crowd made sure to appreciate the WWE great, giving him a standing ovation as he left the ring and walked back into the locker room.
The Judgment Day continues to hold the gold.
Jax was the easy target for this match, and even with an early display of power, all competitors were keen on taking her out early and frequently in the match. A quick star in the match was Baszler, who had Rodriguez, Ripley and Jax all in submission moves at the same time in something rarely seen in any WWE match, and then pulling off a powerbomb on four of the stars.
Each star eventually got their moment to shine, and Ripley pulled off a riptide on Baszler to put it away, but Stark interfered. While the two were locked up on the ropes, Rodriguez tried to sneak a pin on Baszler to steal the title. Ripley saw, and pulled off a riptide on Stark while landing on Rodriguez and Baszler. The champion then pinned Baszler to retain and maintain her dominance in the women’s division.
“Mami’s always on top. I told y’all,” Ripley told the camera.
Mami is making it known she’s always on top.
While each contender in the Women’s World Championship match made their usual entrance, Rhea Ripley made a grand entrance into Mohammed Abdu Arena with several men coming out and making way for the champion, getting an emphatic pyro moment as she puts her title on the line against four other women.
Señor Money in the Bank had a chance, but Sami Zayn isn’t going to let it happen.
Damian Priest came out after Rollins defended his title, determined to cash in his Money in the Bank contract against an injured Rollins. But just as Priest was handing a referee the briefcase, a masked man attacked The Judgment Day member. It was Zayn, who made it his mission not to let the faction run WWE.
The crowd was glad to see Zayn once more, and he ran off with the briefcase while Priest chased him, keeping Rollins safe once again.
The main card started off with a bang, and another major match from Rollins.
This match was one of those rare moments where the crowd was rooting for both stars, but it was all McIntyre early in the match, showcasing his power and dominant stature over the champion. Once Rollins was able to get on offense, he did some damage to McIntyre’s left shoulder, but back-to-back moonsaults and a falcon arrow weren’t enough to defend the title in the early stages.
But just as Rollins tried to target McIntyre’s shoulder, the contender returned the favor by focusing on Rollins’ back, which has been well documented as not being 100% in recent months. It looked like McIntyre was about to land a claymore kick to put it away, but Rollins countered and landed a curb stomp. It still wasn’t enough as McIntyre kicked out at the last moment. After a failed corkscrew moonsault, McIntyre landed the claymore, but Rollins barely kicked out in the wild sequence of events.
McIntyre tried to claymore again, but Rollins countered with a pedigree and landed another curb stomp, which was enough to secure the win and successfully defend the title once again.
The crowd was amped to see Sami Zayn compete in Saudi Arabia once again, and the Canada-native got the crowd going for the big match card.
Zayn and McDonagh traded blows in the early parts of the match, with an early highlight being Zayn launching McDonagh towards the ropes and his neck appearing to bounce off the bottom rope. He didn’t appear injured, a good sign for what could’ve been a dangerous move.
McDonagh countered Zayn jumping off the top rope with an impressive dropkick, but couldn’t get the pin. The Judgment Day hopeful had other chances to secure the win, but Zayn kicked out each time. Zayn returned the favor with a counter to McDonagh jumping off the top rope. That’s when he put the match away, landing a helluva kick and finishing it off with a blue thunder bomb to get the win, much to the applause of the crowd.
Props to McDonagh, who had a massive bruise on his side and didn’t miss a beat.
The stage at Mohammed Abdu Arena has a massive screen where stars will enter from, but just above the ring is a massive jewel stealing the spotlight.
When is Crown Jewel 2023?
Crown Jewel is Saturday, Nov. 4, at 1 p.m. ET. The kickoff show will begin at 12 pm ET.
How to watch Crown Jewel 2023
The event can be streamed on Peacock, but you must have their premium or premium-plus subscription to watch. Internationally, it will be available on the WWE Network.
Crown Jewel 2023 match card
Matches not in order of schedule
- Kick off match: Sami Zayn vs. JD McDonagh
- Cody Rhodes vs. Damain Priest
- John Cena vs. Solo Siko
- United States Championship match: Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Logan Paul
- WWE Women’s Championship match: Iyo Sky (c) vs. Bianca Belair
- Fatal five-way match for Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Shayna Baszler vs. Nia Jax vs. Raquel Rodriguez vs. Zoey Stark
- World Heavyweight Championship match: Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match: Roman Reigns (c) vs. LA Knight
- Kick off match: Sami Zayn defeats JD McDonagh
- Cody Rhodes defeats Damain Priest.
- John Cena defeats Solo Siko.
- United States Championship match: Logan Paul defeats Rey Mysterio (c).
- WWE Women’s Championship match: Iyo Sky (c) defeats Bianca Belair.
- Fatal five-way match for Women’s World Championship: Rhea Ripley (c) defeats Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax and Raquel Rodriguez and Zoey Stark.
- World Heavyweight Championship match: Drew McIntyre defeats Seth “Freakin” Rollins (c).
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match: Roman Reigns (c) defeats LA Knight.
The Tribal Chief is ready.
Roman Reigns will be competing in his first televised match since he won the Tribal Combat match at SummerSlam in August. Despite the near-three month layoff, the champion is ready to defend his title once again.
“No more talking. Time to do what I do best,” he said.