Most Intriguing Storylines to Track on Road to WWE Crown Jewel 2023
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WWE presents its annual fall spectacular, Crown Jewel, on November 4 from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and we already know of one major event planned for the show.
Seth Rollins will defend the World Heavyweight Championship against Drew McIntyre, whose story is one of the most intriguing on WWE Raw.
Why is the Scot one of the storylines to watch as the premium live event approaches and which other ones deserve your attention?
Find out with this early preview of Crown Jewel.
Sami Zayn’s Reaction to Kevin Owens Trade
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Kevin Owens was revealed Friday as the Superstar traded to SmackDown in return for Jey Uso. On the surface, it looks like a main eventer-for-main eventer switch, but there are potential storyline implications even beyond that.
From a storyline perspective, did Cody Rhodes know when he lobbied for Jey Uso to be traded to Raw that it would be in return for KO? If so, now that they are tag team champions, it looks suspicious to have one-half of the former titleholders and top contenders sent away.
How will Sami Zayn react to the departure of his best friend and teammate to the blue brand?
Will he resent Rhodes for essentially breaking up his tag team? Perhaps he will use the opportunity to get away from Owens, his last connection to the Bloodline saga?
Whatever the case, Triple H and the WWE creative team are not going to suddenly forget about one of the most over guys in the company, nor will they fail to offer a follow-up to a partnership that helped fuel the hot streak the company currently finds itself on.
Zayn will play a potentially significant role on Monday nights, kick-started by the decision to move Owens to SmackDown.
Damian Priest, The Judgment Day and Money in the Bank
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JD McDonagh cost Finn Bálor and Damian Priest the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship at Fastlane, drawing the ire of the latter on a night when he planned to cash in his Money in the Bank briefcase but was unable to after suffering a knee injury caused by the hapless NXT export.
As Crown Jewel approaches, it will be interesting to see how else McDonagh tries to assert himself with The Judgment Day, how it gets under the skin of Priest and, most importantly, how it affects his attempts to use his guaranteed shot at the World Heavyweight Championship.
Does McDonagh flub that up and cost Priest the opportunity he has waited his entire career for, or does he prove himself by providing the assist that nets The Archer of Infamy the title?
If it proves to be the first option, expect the systematic dismantling of The Judgment Day as Bálor attempts to defend his protégé. If it’s the second option, the most dominant faction of 2023 may well have a new member on its hands.
LA Knight’s Journey to the Top
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The rise of LA Knight as wrestling’s hottest star is one of the best stories of 2023.
Left behind creatively after being saddled with a woeful male-model gimmick just over a year ago, The Megastar has scratched and clawed his way to relevancy.
Knight shined in a feud with Bray Wyatt, worked with anyone put in front of him and has formed a bond with fans despite wandering aimlessly with nothing of any real substance to do.
That connection is based on megawatt charisma and catchphrases that allowed the WWE Universe to stay involved and engaged in his appearances.
Now, thanks to WWE Creative’s attempts to match his efforts with a main event push, he is able to stand toe-to-toe with Roman Reigns in a feud over the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship and be believable in that spot.
It is almost unthinkable considering where Knight was when he made the jump to the main roster. Assuming he is up next for Reigns at Crown Jewel, which is a safe bet based on the booking of Friday’s SmackDown, it will be the culmination of one of the most improbable turnarounds in WWE history regardless of whether he wins the title or not.
Drew McIntyre’s Descent Into Heeldom
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After three years spent as a top-tier babyface in WWE, it feels as though we are about to be reintroduced to the aggressive and intense Drew McIntyre who rose up the ranks and into world title contention in the first place.
The seeds were planted with a feud against The New Day when Xavier Woods reminded him that he was WWE champion when no one was watching during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It continued Monday night when he watched Damian Priest jump world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins and did nothing, at least until he stopped Dominik Mysterio from delivering the Money in the Bank briefcase and preventing The Judgment Day from winning the title and taking over Raw.
A tense confrontation with Rollins and the announcement that McIntyre will challenge him for the title at Crown Jewel has The Scottish Warrior’s journey back to the dark side on track.
Does McIntyre snap if he fails to dethrone Rollins? If he wins, does it soften the grit and determination we have seen out of him of late?
Does the road to a heel turn run through Priest and The Judgment Day successfully capturing the title and asserting dominance on Raw, all while the Scot blames Rollins for letting it happen?
There are several different directions this storyline can take, and it gives McIntyre something to do after a solid year of directionless midcard programs.
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