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WWE Night of Champions 2023 preview: The Cody Rhodes injury angle is completely ridiculous

WWE Night of Champions 2023 takes place today (Sat., May 27) from the Jeddah Super Dome in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It begins at 12 pm ET with the Kickoff show leading right on into the main course at 1 pm ET on Peacock in the U.S., WWE Network everywhere else, or your local cable pay-per-view provider.

The Cody Rhodes injury angle is completely ridiculous

Last year, Cody Rhodes famously wrestled inside Hell in a Cell with a legitimate torn pectoral muscle. We’re essentially getting the worked sequel of that story today, as now Cody is preparing to fight Brock Lesnar with a broken arm.

WWE wanted to find a way to milk more out of this Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar feud after Cody won their first match earlier this month at Backlash. On the one hand, it’s completely ridiculous that WWE doctors are once again allowing Cody to compete under these dangerous circumstances. On the other hand, sometimes going over-the-top with an injury angle works really well in pro wrestling. Cody is quickly making up for all the adversity he didn’t face on the road to WrestleMania 39, that’s for sure.

Cody is the toughest babyface around, so he’s going to persevere through the injury and take this guaranteed ass kicking from (checks WWE’s notes) The Most Decorated Combat Sports Athlete of All-Time. Beating Brock with a broken arm is an impossible task. Then again, beating Seth Rollins with a torn pec also should have been impossible, but Rhodes found a way to do it.

Will WWE double down on last year’s angle and have one-armed Cody find a way to pull off a miracle and actually defeat The Beast? Or does this injury give Cody a good excuse for losing, paving the way for a trilogy with Lesnar? Which weapon is Cody hiding in that cast, waiting for the right time to zonk Brock over the head with it? Is Brock just going to squash this guy and quickly send him to the hospital because WWE’s doctors are terrible?

We should find out the answers to most of these questions in just a few hours.

The rest of the card

Here are the six remaining matches that are currently advertised for Night of Champions:

Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn (c) vs. Roman Reigns & Solo Sikoa for the WWE tag team titles

Today is Roman Reigns’ 1000th day as Universal champion. He gets to celebrate the occasion by winning another championship in WWE. This time he is gunning for the tag team titles against longtime rivals Owens and Zayn.

The Usos embarrassed The Bloodline last month at WrestleMania by losing these belts to KO and Sami; Jimmy and Jey doubled down on that humiliation by losing a championship rematch that they dedicated to their Tribal Chief. Roman has taken matters into his own hands to show the Usos how it’s done, dedicating this victory to the Wild Samoans. However, cracks are forming in the Bloodline as the Usos continue to be taken for granted and treated like garbage by Roman.

Are you ready for Roman Reigns to hold onto another set of WWE title belts for multiple years?

AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship

Nobody in WWE can beat Roman Reigns, so WWE created a new World Heavyweight Championship to be the top prize on Raw. Rollins and Styles each won multiple tournament matches to qualify for this bout at Night of Champions, where the winner will become the first ever titleholder.

This is a battle of babyfaces; Styles recently returned from injury and hasn’t missed a beat as the leader of The O.C., while Rollins is riding a wave of popularity that is largely based on fans singing his entrance music. This looks like the best match on the show from a workrate perspective, but will Seth and AJ be able to overcome the perception that they are fighting over a secondary title or consolation prize?

Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus

Trish Stratus turned on Lita and Becky Lynch last month, costing them the WWE women’s tag team titles. Trish has since explained that she is nobody’s sidekick; she’s the most important woman in WWE history, but Lynch never treated her with the level of respect she deserved. With Trish’s inflated ego completely out of control, it’s up to The Man to punch her in the face and knock her back down to earth. Trish was drafted to Raw and will presumably stick around in WWE for a while, so this probably won’t be a one-and-done feud.

Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka for the Raw women’s championship

This WrestleMania rematch came about after Asuka turned heel and ruined Belair’s homecoming celebration by spitting mist in her face. Bianca has had enough of Asuka’s antics and looks to put a definitive end to their feud with another successful title defense against The Empress.

Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Natalya for the SmackDown women’s championship

Just like earlier this month when she defended the gold against Zelina Vega at Backlash, Rhea Ripley is the clear favorite to run right through Natalya at Night of Champions. Nattie knows her chances of winning are slim, but she says the champ will respect her when all is said and done. I don’t know about that one, given all we know about The Judgment Day.

GUNTHER (c) vs. Mustafa Ali for the Intercontinental championship

Mustafa Ali has tried to be a beacon of positivity, but this kid needs to get a life. His new mindset helped him win a Battle Royal to become the number one contender to challenge The Ring General. Ali is a massive underdog in this match, and appears to be in way over his head against the man who is looking to break the record the longest Intercontinental championship reign of all-time.


It’s amazing how successful WWE’s been at normalizing these Saudi shows. This is how sportswashing works.

What will you be looking for at Night of Champions?

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