WWE Crown Jewel 2023 Preview: Here's What To Expect

On Saturday, WWE heads to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the 2023 edition of Crown Jewel. There are eight total matches on the card for the premium live event, including a kickoff show match, as well as numerous title bouts, including Roman Reigns taking on LA Knight and a fatal five-way match for the Women's World Championship.

In what may be Reigns' last appearance at a premium live event for the rest of the year, the "Trial Chief" will face off against the white-hot Knight for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. The pair have been exchanging words for weeks after Knight came to the aid of John Cena, helping Cena defeat Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso at Fastlane. Knight earned the title shot, presumably due to his meteoric rise in popularity with the fans (and thus, merch sales). In recent weeks, Knight has taken issue with Reigns and the fact he doesn't often defend the title, and has said the belt is coming home from Saudi Arabia with him. Knight even had the gall to sit at the head of the table during his contract signing with Reigns last week, furthering issues between the two ahead of their bout.

Meawhile, World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins will take on Drew McIntyre, who is coming for the title he feels he is owed after carrying the company through the Thunderdome era as champion with no fans in attendance. McIntyre's demeanor has changed on the red brand in recent months. McIntyre has also decided he's not interfering in things that are no longer his business — unless that includes The Judgment Day getting near the title. Of course, Damian Priest and the Money In The Bank briefcase hover over both title matches on the card.

More Title Bouts, Conclusions to Feuds?

Speaking of Priest, he'll go face-to-face with Cody Rhodes at Crown Jewel. Rhodes has been feuding with the Judgment Day for weeks now, and has challenged all of its members in various tag team matches on "WWE Raw" with a variety of partners, from Jey Uso to Sami Zayn. Rhodes even had a blink-and-you-miss-it tag team title reign alongside Uso, though the pair recently lost the titles back to Priest and Finn Balor.

There are two women's matches on the card in Saudi Arabia. The first, announced weeks ago, is a fatal five-way match where Rhea Ripley will defend her Women's World Championship against Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Zoey Stark, and Raquel Rodriguez. Ripley and Rodriguez had previously been in a feud, but things have broken down into a big brawling morass involving all the women, each of whom believes she deserves a shot at "Mami" for the title. On the "WWE SmackDown" side of things, WWE Women's Champion IYO SKY will put her title on the line against a very recently returned Bianca Belair. Belair skipped the line of women waiting for a chance at SKY, coming to the aid of Charlotte Flair on an episode of "SmackDown" when Flair failed to capture the title from SKY.

The final championship match on the card will see Rey Mysterio defend his United States Championship against part-time WWE star Logan Paul. The match was set shortly after Paul called out the WWE Hall of Famer following a boxing victory. Paul said he was coming for the championship gold, but it was nothing personal against Mysterio. 

Return Of The Kickoff Match

John Cena has been feuding with The Bloodline on "SmackDown" since his return to the ring during the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike in Hollywood. While he has a victory in tag team action against two of the group's members, he will go one-on-one with Solo Sikoa at Crown Jewel. Sikoa previously laid Cena out with a big splash backstage ahead of Fastlane, and "The Greatest of All Time," as he's being touted by WWE, has not forgotten. This could also be Cena's final match with WWE during this run, with no further dates for the star currently announced.

Crown Jewel will also see the return of a kickoff show match ahead of the main card, as Sami Zayn will take on JD McDonagh, the latter of whom is still attempting to become a member of The Judgment Day. Now without Kevin Owens to back him up, Zayn looks to continue his war against the stable, and the superstar of Syrian descent has something resembling homefield advantage in Riyadh. The Crown Jewel kickoff show begins at 12pm EST, with the main card at 1pm. Fans can stream the premium live event through Peacock or on the WWE Network.

Make sure to check out Wrestling Inc. this weekend for live coverage of Crown Jewel as well as all the latest news leading into the event.