Full 2023 WWE Night Of Champions Predictions Including Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar And Rhea Ripley
WWE is giving us five title matches!
What was originally going to be King Of The Ring 2023 turned into Night Of Champions, and now, instead of the winner getting a crown, we’re getting a battle between Seth Freakin’ Rollins and AJ Styles to be crowned the new World Heavyweight Championship. I’m really excited to see where WWE goes with that match, and I’m also excited for the rest of the card.
The Saudi fans, as well as those of us watching at home, are getting five title matches, as well as Brock Lesnar and Cody Rhodes and Trish Stratus and Becky Lynch. That’s a strong card for a non-Big 4 premium live event, but unfortunately, most of the matches, at least on paper, seem to have pretty obvious winners. I went 6-1 in my Backlash predictions, and I’d be disappointed if I didn’t do at least that well this time around. Here’s a look back at how I’ve done so far this year, as well as my overall record…
|2023 Royal Rumble||5||0|
|2023 Elimination Chamber||3||2|
There’s a sense on wrestling Twitter that for a show to be good, it needs some surprising results. Maybe. I love a good upset, but I’d rather have predictable results than giving out wins that don't make sense storywise. Plus, just because a certain person wins doesn't mean we can't get a good amount of character development, and I suspect we'll see some of that this weekend. Here's what I think will happen...
AJ Styles Vs Seth Freakin' Rollins For The World Heavyweight Championship
Seth Freakin’ Rollins is really hot right now, and AJ Styles is, well, that’s complicated. AJ Styles is AJ Freakin’ Styles, and he’ll always be some level of over. But he also recently returned from a serious injury and hasn’t really had a compelling storyline in awhile. So, from a purely what we’ve seen on television over the last six months standpoint, this should be a squash match.
But I’m never going to write off AJ Styles because he could get going again in a hurry if WWE would give him a little momentum. Plus, there are a lot of rumors around Seth Rollins’ role in Captain America 4, with some wondering if his movie star aspirations will cause WWE to second guess any potential plans to put this newly created title on him. Because of that, it’s not a guarantee Rollins wins here. But I still think it’s very likely. Fans have been screaming his theme song, and he’s unquestionably on a heater right now. Throw in the fact that AJ Styles and The OC would have to switch brands if he won and I think there’s at least an 80% chance Rollins takes the gold and then plays out one of the many fun possible scenarios.
I think the better questions are whether this will main event and how much time it’ll get. I think WWE should give it the hammer because it'll help fight the perception this title is less important than the ones Roman Reigns carries around, but I suspect it won’t main event because it’s not on par, at least not yet. I do think these two will get a lot of time to cook though, and there are few people in WWE I trust more to put on a good match than these two.
Predicted Winner: Seth Freakin’ Rollins
Roman Reigns And Solo Sikoa Vs Sami Zayn And Kevin Owens For The Tag Titles
Roman Reigns has won basically everything put in front of him for the last three years, and WWE has been very invested in making him seem like an unstoppable force. Even his loss to Seth Rollins at The 2022 Royal Rumble was by disqualification for essentially beating him up too much. So, you’d think he’d be a strong candidate to win here and become, to my knowledge, the first man to simultaneously hold four belts in WWE.
But I think giving him the Raw and Smackdown Tag Team Championships, in a time in which he’s working less than ever, is a bridge too far. He’s not going to defend these belts on a regular basis; so, if he won, he’d have to quickly drop them and if he was just quickly dropping them, what’s the point of even having him win them? The only scenario I could see would be if he won them, then immediately made a big show of forfeiting them and told The Usos he was just proving he could.
That’s more complicated than necessary though. So, I think, in order for the disintegration of The Bloodline plotline to continue, we’ll see Roman and Solo lose because of something The Usos did or did not do. That’ll create a bigger rift that can be explored in coming weeks, and Sami and Kevin will hold onto the tag titles.
Predicted Winner: Sami Zayn And Kevin Owens
Gunther Vs Mustafa Ali For The Intercontinental Championship
Gunther is going to win this match. If he doesn’t, it will make even less sense than Goldberg beating The Fiend in Saudi Arabia. The Ring General is on his way to being the greatest Intercontinental Champion of all-time and Mustafa Ali, while fantastic inside the ring, isn’t even remotely close to over. He’s getting almost zero crowd reaction when he comes out, probably because his current gimmick is trash. That's why he broke character to at least start a heartfelt promo on Raw before Brock Lesnar interrupted him.
Because he’s really good in the ring, however, I expect Mustafa Ali to get some hope spots and put on a really good match. I don’t want it to be too competitive, as that wouldn’t make sense for Gunther, but seven minutes of high energy spots with one near fall sounds about right. Expect it to look something like Zelina Vega and Rhea Ripley at Backlash, though I don’t think we’ll see anywhere close to the same crowd reaction. Still, if Ali performs well and can get some crowd support, this could be a launching pad for some more screentime. That worked for Bronson Reed at Elimination Chamber.
Predicted Winner: Gunther
Bianca Belair Vs Asuka For The Raw Women’s Championship
WWE needs to do something long-term with Bianca Belair. She has now been booed at two consecutive premium live events between WrestleMania and Backlash, and while I think she’ll get cheered here, I wouldn’t bet large amounts of money on it. And that’s the thing. If someone is supposed to be a yearlong babyface champion, you’d think huge rounds of applause would be a given. They’re not right now, not because she’s not great but because her character hasn’t seen any worthwhile storylines or real development in months.
Because of that, I expect Belair to lose her title at some point soon. Maybe we’ll see a heel turn or Charlotte Flair will show up, embarrass her and take her title? Something has to change, but even so, it’s hard for me to imagine Belair losing the title after more than a year to a build that has no momentum whatsoever. What are Asuka and Belair even feuding over? She’s just the next challenger, and the crowd isn’t exactly hot for it, which sucks because Asuka is fantastic and there’s an alternate universe filled out with thoughtful character development in which this is a headliner of a major show. That's why I think there's a small chance she still could win but not nearly enough of a chance to pick her.
Predicted Winner: Bianca Belair
Cody Rhodes Vs Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar is one of the most dominant forces in WWE history, but that shine has started to come off a little bit over the last year or so. He’s lost a lot of big matches, and while it’s worth a shoutout to him for putting people over, the end result of all those losses has been a reduction of his character. You can’t just keep losing and remain The Beast forever, which is why I think he’ll score a win here off Cody Rhodes, probably by working the arm he injured on Raw earlier this week.
The American Nightmare got the best of him at Backlash. If Lesnar wins here, they can fight for a third time at SummerSlam or Money In The Bank before Brock heads back to his farm to take a few months off. He’d leave in a way that would allow fans to be hyped when he came back, and Rhodes would get the biggest wins of his WWE career against an all-time legend.
Predicted Winner: Brock Lesnar
Rhea Ripley Vs Natalya For The Smackdown Women’s Championship
With all due respect to the newly promoted Cameron Grimes, Rhea Ripley is the one headed to the moon, and it wouldn’t shock me at all if ten years from now, we were talking about her being the greatest female wrestler in the history of the business. She’s got everything you’d hope for in a WWE superstar, and The Judgment Day, which has always had tremendous potential, feels like it’s getting even hotter, given Finn took out the rising Shinsuke Nakamura this week, Damian Priest is at an all-time high after his terrific performance at Backlash and Dominik Mysterio is still getting booed every time he tries to talk.
So, no, Rhea Ripley will not be losing at Night Of Champions for about a thousand reasons including the fact that this match with Natalya has been given very little screentime to build. I do think they’ll get a nice little chunk of time though, and they should be able to put on a good match. I thought Natalya looked really good at Elimination Chamber earlier this year, and historically, she’s performed well when given someone talented to work opposite. So, look for a nice little back and forth, maybe around ten to twelve minutes, before Rhea takes over and wins cleanly.
Predicted Winner: Rhea Ripley
Trish Stratus Vs Becky Lynch
I’ve really enjoyed seeing Trish back on television every week. She’s a really good promo, and I like the angle of her wanting appreciation for pushing the women’s division forward. It’s a nice story that’s surpassed any of my expectations, but Becky Lynch is the future and shouldn’t be taking a loss from a woman getting close to 50, even if she’s an all-time legend who looks spectacular for her age.
My guess is this is the shortest match on the card. I think they’ll get around five minutes or so. Trish will get a hope spot. I think they’ll put it together in a fun way that engages the crowd, but ultimately, Becky is going to go over clean and looking like a top contender for one of the women’s championships. Assumedly, that’s where she’s going to end up long-term. The bigger question for me is whether Trish sticks around. I’d love to see her transition into an authority figure role opposite Adam Pearce, but we’ll see what happens. Either way, thanks for the past few months, Trish. It's felt both nostalgic and modern in the best ways.
Predicted Winner: Becky Lynch
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By Adam Holmes