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What’s Next For WWE Champion Cody Rhodes?

Image of WWE Champion Cody Rhodes

Everyone loves a babyface champion, and Cody Rhodes is no different. Let’s ask an age-old question though. What happens when the dog catches the car?

As recently as the first week of May, Wrestling Observer is reporting that WWE has no long-term plans for Rhodes and the Undisputed Universal Championship. Coming off of one of the most impactful title reigns, what can WWE do in the interim to make sure they keep the momentum going?

“Rhodes has no real big-time direction until Rock and Roman Reigns are back in the picture. The other biggest star on the brand is Randy Orton, but they’re doing nothing to tease anything in that direction.”

– Dave Meltzer

The First Month

Since the WrestleMania 40 victory, this is the Rhodes’ reign by the numbers. The title has been defended in house shows or supershows on nine occasions. He has had two dark matches that were title matches and one televised defense. Plus, the Backlash PLE in France. Equaling 13 defenses since winning. With eight of those matches being against Shinsuke Nakamura and three against AJ Styles, Rhodes has been a fighting champion.

After Backlash, Smackdown General Manager Nick Aldis, announced a title match for the King and Queen of the Ring PLE in Saudi Arabia. The challenger is the United States Champion Logan Paul. This title versus title match has the wrestling world talking but is it enough?

There is little question that matches are the highlight of Rhodes’ title run. However, without a long-term story in place, will the dog who caught the car drown in a sea of banger matches with no real meat on the bones? As we round the bend and hit the halfway point of the first quarter under the American Nightmare, the IWC is starting to have grumbles. What can WWE do to avoid the crowd turning on the American Nightmare?

Two Simple Fixes

Let’s be honest, we only need to make it a few months until The Rock or Roman Reigns are back. One of the answers might be staring us right in the face. Randy Orton is looking strong thus far in the tournament. Let’s pick the low-hanging fruit and say Orton wins and becomes King Randy.

This feud would check all the boxes. The two have a history as both competitors and tag team partners. Their in-ring work is second to none right now as they are at the top of their game, excluding Orton’s injury.

Why not let Orton chew through the field to build to SummerSlam? The addition of Orton’s current feud with The Bloodline and Rhodes’ long-term feud could allow for a no contest, building up for a second match. Allowing the Universal title, Rhodes and The Bloodline to stay intertwined.

Another option, albeit an unpopular one, is Paul. He has shown time and again that he was made for the spotlight. His flamboyant personality has made him a top performer in all his ventures. SummerSlam is in his hometown of Cleveland. Use this all to the advantage and put butts in seats.

Allow Paul/Rhodes to build over the next month until the showdown in Cleveland, put both belts on the line (again), and have some fun with the crowd. Both men can handle the mic well, and we have already seen the seeds planted for a battle in Saudi Arabia.

Fickle Fans

At the end of the day, fans wanted a champion who worked more. They have it, but now they want a champion who tells better stories. The wrestling business is booming, we have viable competition and alternatives to WWE like never before. As fans let’s just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Cody, the Universal Championship, and WWE will be just fine.

More From LWOS Pro Wrestling

Header photo – WWE – Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.


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