Cody Rhodes found himself entangled in a web of alliances and rivalries on Monday’s WWE Raw, as the road to WrestleMania 40 continues to heat up. With the support of world heavyweight champion Seth Rollins, Rhodes faced challenges from all sides, setting the stage for potential blockbuster matchups.
Rhodes officially threw down the gauntlet to undisputed WWE universal champion Roman Reigns for a WrestleMania showdown, securing relief for fans concerned about The Rock’s return disrupting his plans. The prospect of a tag team clash between Rhodes and Rollins against Reigns and The Rock was teased throughout the show, adding anticipation to the unfolding narrative.
The episode also featured Elimination Chamber qualifiers, with LA Knight and Bobby Lashley vying for a shot at Rollins’ title. SmackDown representation was strong, with three qualifiers taking place on the red brand.
In the midst of discourse over the WrestleMania 40 challenger, Rhodes addressed the fans, expressing gratitude for their support amid chants of “We want Cody” and “Rocky sucks.” He promised payback to The Rock for a recent slap and received encouragement from Rollins, who pledged support against Reigns and The Rock, citing his history as Reigns’ former ally in The Shield.
Backstage, Rhodes thanked Sami Zayn for his support and wished him luck in his match against Shinsuke Nakamura. Zayn, however, fell victim to Nakamura’s Kinshasa, leading to a post-match attack. Rhodes intervened, saving Zayn and delivering a Cody Cutter to Drew McIntyre and a Cross Rhodes to Nakamura, concluding the show on a high note.
The episode, while not spectacular, laid the groundwork for compelling storylines. Rollins’ encouragement added a simple yet effective layer to the build-up for the tag team match. The storyline involving McIntyre, Nakamura, and Zayn provides Rhodes with engaging material, balancing his involvement in a WrestleMania-level feud with less active superstars. Nakamura’s victory was a pleasant surprise, addressing concerns about his standing in the main event scene. Zayn’s portrayal as a plucky underdog heading into WrestleMania added an intriguing dynamic. Overall, the episode earned a solid grade of B+.
Other notable events on WWE Raw included Jey Uso and New Day defeating Imperium, Bobby Lashley qualifying for the men’s Elimination Chamber match by defeating Bronson Reed, Liv Morgan qualifying for the women’s Elimination Chamber match with a victory over Zoey Stark, and LA Knight securing his spot in the men’s Elimination Chamber match by defeating Ivar. The night also saw a brawl between Rhea Ripley, Nia Jax, and Becky Lynch after an in-ring promo.