HEYDORN’S RAW RECEIPT 4/18: Cody Rhodes continues to thrive as focal point of the show

BY ZACK HEYDORN, PWTORCH ASSISTANT EDITOR

Cody Rhodes update on surgery to repair his torn pec
PHOTO CREDIT: WWE

SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...

This week’s episode of WWE Monday Night Raw has wrapped. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and relive some of the madness.

-Cody Rhodes is getting loads and loads of time on Raw. More importantly than that, he’s being framed by WWE as the show’s biggest star. With that in mind, call me crazy, but Cody is delivering. The audience seems there for him and the story with Seth Rollins is intriguing with Cody’s central story of the championship in focus. Thumbs up so far.

-Kevin Owens as Cody’s surprise opponent in the main event wasn’t all that surprising given that both have been working together in dark matches. The finish felt off with Cody winning, but ya know, not really winning. Cody needs top star momentum and finishes like this risk slowing him down.

-Sasha Banks and Naomi are going to do their darnedest to get those WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships over. I liked the match with Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan, but those belts need sustained attention before fans will truly invest, regardless if a star like Banks is holding them.

Rhea Ripley as a heel was the only way to go at this point. She can do the job and WWE has a big match with her vs. Bianca Belair at Summerslam if they want it.

-You may want some of what I’m having, but tell me that Sonya Deville’s in-ring promo this week wasn’t one of the best heel promos on WWE television outside of Roman Reigns in the last 12 months. Deville looked smooth, comfortable, and got legit heat that boosted Belair as a babyface.

-Ohhhhh Veer Mahaan. This just ain’t working, is it? Not buying it. You?

-Look, the lie detector test segment was obnoxious. Especially Kevin Owens going from Steve Austin at WrestleMania to lie detector test segment. That said, Owens shows the value he brings to WWE within segments like this one. He was in on things out there and made what really should have been an eye-roll inducing segment and turned it into something passable. Chad Gable showed some of those same chops as well.

-I’ll take the edgy, heelish Street Profits any day of the week. They’ve needed it and play that part incredibly well. Now, I won’t take Street Profits being added to the tag team championship unification match in order to take a pinfall.

-Edge is trying, folks. He’s trying and this week’s vignette wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good either. The act is riddled with a lack of authenticity that even a well-worked promo can’t fix. The A.J. Styles match at WrestleMania Backlash works well, but the character has a ceiling at this point and Styles is probably it.

-Theory is the new United States Champion. This is good for Monday Night Raw. Theory’s association with Vince McMahon and the spots he’s occupied since the turn of the year have led to this moment. The guy is going to a player.

-I’ll keep this simple. A “no” from me on the 24/7 wedding craziness.

-Well, last week it was reported that Bobby Lashley was listed internally in WWE as the number one babyface on Raw. That didn’t come across this week. Context is important here. If this were Lashley occupying a mid-card spot and involved in his feud, it works. Your number one babyface, though? The company needs to do more for him if that is the role he’s in.


CATCH-UP: 4/18 WWE MONDAY NIGHT RAW RESULTS: Keller’s report on Sasha & Naomi vs. Ripley & Morgan for tag titles, Double Wedding, Lie Detector Test, Balor vs. Theory

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