WWE Night of Champions 2023 event is WWE’s Premium Live Event which took place on May 27, 2023. The event aired from at Jeddah Superdome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The inaugural World Heavyweight Champion was crowned at the event as Seth Rollins defeated AJ Styles. Roman Reigns unsuccessfully challenged for tag team titles while Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar clashed in a rematch.
- This was the 10th event in the Night of Champions series, but the first event since 2015. The event was renamed as Clash of Champions after 2015 and took place sporadically between 2016 to 2021.
- The concept of Night of Champions was to have every title in the promotions to be defended at the event with no non-title matches on the card, but this year’s event only had 5 titles on the line and 2 non-title matches.
- The event was first announced as King & Queen of the Ring on March 6, 2023, Later on April 13, the event was renamed as Night of Champions.
- This was the 9th WWE PLE event to take place in Saudi Arabia.
Seth Rollins vs AJ Styles – World Heavyweight Championship
On April 24 RAW episode, WWE Chief Content Officer Triple H revealed a new World Heavyweight Championship. He also announced that the first champion would be crowned at Night of Champions. A tournament was later announced to crown the new champion with the final taking place at this event. 2 triple threat matches would take place on RAW May 8 episode with the winners facing off later in the main event that night. Similarly, 2 triple threat matches would also take place on SmackDown May 12 episode and the winners would later clash in the main event. The winner from both main event matches would go on to clash at Night of Champions.
From RAW, Cody Rhodes, Damian Priest, Finn Bálor, Seth “Freakin” Rollins, Shinsuke Nakamura and The Miz were announced for the tournament. From SmackDown, AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Bobby Lashley, Edge, Rey Mysterio and Sheamus were announced. The tournament bracket and results are as below:
- Round 1
- Seth Rollins defeated Shinsuke Nakamura & Damian Priest
- Finn Balor defeated The Miz & Cody Rhodes
- AJ Styles defeated Edge & Rey Mysterio
- Bobby Lashley defeated Austin Theory & Sheamus
- Seth Rollins defeated Finn Balor
- AJ Styles defeated Bobby Lashley
Winner: Seth Rollins
Becky Lynch vs Trish Stratus
Becky Lynch got help from Lita and Trish Stratus in her rivalry against Damage CTRL. Lita and Becky even defeated Damage CTRL’s Iyo Sky and Dakota Kai to win Women’s Tag Team Championship. Becky, Lita and Trish defeated Damage CTRL at WrestleMania 39. Later, Lita and Becky were supposed to defend the title against Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez on April 10 RAW episode, but Lita got attacked backstage and Trish has to take her place in the title match. Trish was pinned in the match as Liv and Raquel won the titles.
After the match, just as Becky was leaving, Trish attacked her from behind and went on to manhandle her, leaving him out of action for weeks. During this time, Trish kept taking shots at Becky. Becky finally returned on May 8 RAW episode to attack Trish. On May 15 RAW episode, Becky announced that she would take on Trish at Night of Champions. They came face to face in a contract signing segment on May 22 episode of RAW where they engaged in a war of words and Trish flipped the table on Becky.
Winner: Trish Stratus
Gunther(c) vs Mustafa Ali – WWE Intercontinental Championship
Intercontinental Champion Gunther was drafted to WWE RAW in Draft 2023. WWE announced a Battle Royal for a contender to his title. Gunter then announced on RAW May 15 episode that the winner of Battle Royal would face him at Night of Champions. Mustafa Ali won the battle royal to set up a match against Gunther.
Bianca Belair(c) vs Asuka – WWE RAW Women’s Championship
Bianca Belair retained RAW Women’s title at WrestleMania 39 against Asuka. On May 12 SmackDown episode, Asuka interrupted Bianca’s celebration in her hometown of Knoxville, TN, and spit green mist to her face and eyes. WWE announced a rematch between them a week later. On Smackdown May 19 episode, Asuka defeated Zelina Vega in a singles match but held onto the Asuka lock even after the match. Bianca ran out to make the save and Asuka once again spit Green mist on her.
Rhea Ripley(c) vs Natalya – WWE Smackdown Women’s Championship
Natalya came out to confront Rhea when she hit Dana Brooke with a Riptide and put on cloverleaf. On May 15 RAW episode, Natalya told Rhea that she was making it difficult for everyone to like her. However, Rhea retorted by saying that Natalya tried to save Dana to become a topic of conversation again and warned her not to repeat it. The following week, Rhea announced that she would defend the title against Natalya.
Winner: Rhea Ripley
Brock Lesnar vs Cody Rhodes
Brock Lesnar brutally attacked Cody Rhodes on RAW After WrestleMania episode after offering to be his tag team partner in the match against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa. Cody then challenged Lesnar for a match at Backlash. Cody went on to defeat Lesnar when he turned a kimura lock into a pinfall. Lesnar then attacked Cody during his match in World Heavyweight Championship match on RAW May 8 episode. Lesnar then put Cody through the announce table with an F5 and told him that he sneaked a win over him at Backlash and he wants a fight at Night of Champions. Cody accepted Lesnar’s challenge for the rematch. Lesnar attacked Cody on RAW May 22 episode and hurt his arm. It was later revealed that Cody fractured his arm but he managed to convince WWE Management, especially Triple H, to let him fight Brock.
Winner: Brock Lesnar
Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn(c) vs The Bloodline(Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa) – Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship
Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens reunited as a tag team in their quest to take the Bloodline down. They ended The Usos’ 600+ days tag team title reign in the main event of WrestleMania 39 night 1. Roman Reigns got The Usos a rematch on SmackDown April 28 episode but The Usos failed to win the titles back after dedicating the match to Roman. Solo Sikoa led the Bloodline in a trios match at Backlash against Matt Riddle, Owens and Sami.
Roman returned to WWE TV on SmackDown May 12 episode where he expressed mistrust on The Usos for carrying out the task to bring back tag team titles to the Bloodline. So, he would take the matter into his own hands and team up with Solo Sikoa at Night of Champions to take on Owens and Sami. Imperium’s Gunther confronted Sami and Owens on RAW May 15 episode for disrespect shown to his stablemates a week ago by Owens and Sami and set up a trios match for May 22 episode. Paul Heyman went to RAW May 15 show and brokered a deal with Imperium which saw them interrupting KO & Sami’s match against Judgment Day, leading to Judgment Day’s win.
Winner: Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn