Whether they were called pre-show or kickoff matches, they used to be a staple of the free, 30-60 minute programs WWE streams before their subscription-required premium live events. But there hasn’t been wrestling on a main roster* pre-show/kickoff since Clash at the Castle’s in September 2022, when Madcap Moss & Street Profits teamed up to defeat Austin Theory & Alpha Academy in Cardiff, Wales... for reasons we’re quite sure we can’t remember.
That streak will be broken this weekend. We’ll get more than just recaps and hype for the main card at noon ET on Sat., Nov. 4 on the Crown Jewel Kickoff, as Sami Zayn will face JD McDonagh.
It was set-up by a fiery promo on The Judgment Day by Zayn early in Oct. 30’s go home episode of Raw:
That set-up a main event of Zayn vs. Damian Priest, which ended in a melee between Rhea Ripley’s faction and Sami, Cody Rhodes & Jey Uso. McDonagh has been trying to work his way into Judgment Day, and he did so again in Raw’s closing scene with a run-in on the group’s behalf that resulted in him taking a Helluva Kick from Zayn and two Cross Rhodes-es on the announce desk from Cody.
Now they’re bringing a match back to the Kickoff in Riyadh!
Here’s an updated look at the card for Saturday in Saudi Arabia:
• Roman Reigns (c) vs. LA Knight for the Undisputed WWE Universal championship
• Seth Rollins (c) vs. Drew McIntyre for the WWE World Heavyweight title
• Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Nia Jax, Raquel Rodriguez, Shayna Baszler & Zoey Stark in a Fatal 5way for the WWE Women’s World championship
• IYO SKY (c) vs. Bianca Belair for the WWE Women’s title
• Rey Mysterio (c) vs. Logan Paul for the United States championship
• Cody Rhodes vs. Damian Priest
• John Cena vs. Solo Sikoa
• Sami Zayn vs. JD McDonagh (Kickoff match)
* Not every NXT PLE pre-show has featured a match during the past year, but several have.