What’s Next For Cody Rhodes After Win vs. Brock Lesnar at WWE Backlash 2023?


Fluky Finish Must Lead to Rematch
First and foremost, WWE made the wrong call by putting Rhodes vs. Lesnar on last, if that fluky finish with Rhodes barely pinning Lesnar’s shoulders to the mat while in the kimura lock was what they had in mind.

They had quite an entertaining affair in the main event, but there can be no question that the San Juan Street Fight between Bad Bunny and Damian Priest stole the show. Rhodes and Lesnar had the tough task of attempting to top it, but they did what they could to make their encounter special.

Lesnar winning would have been counterproductive, to say the least. Rhodes needed this credibility-boosting victory after already promising to get the job done at WrestleMania and failing to do so.

Rhodes can’t move on to anything else without first finishing his feud with Lesnar properly. Getting the first win was key, but ending it on the note that they did at Backlash would be anticlimactic.

It isn’t necessary to stretch this storyline until SummerSlam, but extending it at least one more event would be ideal.

Decisively Defeating Brock Lesnar
Rhodes flat-out mentioned in his promos on Raw and SmackDown this past week that he viewed Lesnar as just another obstacle for him to overcome on his path to becoming Undisputed WWE Universal champion.

He did what he promised by beating Lesnar, but he must acknowledge on Monday’s Raw that it didn’t come cleanly. Worse yet, running off following the win made him look cowardly, which is what he accused Lesnar of early on in their rivalry.

To avoid fans turning on him, Rhodes has to prove that he can conquer The Beast on his own and decisively. Anything less than that could hurt his momentum considerably.

Night of Champions is the perfect place to host such a colossal clash. Lesnar tends to work the Saudi Arabia shows anyway, and if WWE wants to increase the excitement level even more, a stipulation will be added.

Lesnar has nothing to gain from a victory over Rhodes at this stage of his career. There should be no doubt that Rhodes is the superior Superstar, and only then will he feel like a true threat to Roman Reigns and his record-setting reign again.


Winning World Heavyweight Championship
Perhaps the biggest blessing in disguise in regards to Rhodes vs. Lesnar continuing–assuming that’s the end game–is that it should keep them both out of the upcoming tournament to crown an inaugural World Heavyweight champion.


With the finals taking place at Night of Champions over Memorial Day weekend, it would be practically impossible for them to pull double duty in two high-stakes matches, and that’s a massive positive.

As previously noted, Rhodes’ unresolved story is with the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, not Lesnar or anyone else. If it was all about winning any world title, he’d likely be a front-runner to win it first.

It’s possible WWE will move away from Rhodes vs. Lesnar as soon as Monday and quickly have him shift his focus toward Raw’s top title, but that wouldn’t be doing his story justice. Rather, it would feel like a consolation prize at that point.

If Rhodes has redemption on his mind, he can’t have the World Heavyweight Championship in his crosshairs.

Entering and Winning the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match

The biggest reason why Rhodes transitioned into the feud with Lesnar immediately following WrestleMania is that Reigns wasn’t around to appear. It has been compelling enough so far and shouldn’t be cut short because he’s headed back to SmackDown next Friday night.

Regardless, Rhodes and Reigns wound up on separate shows in the 2023 WWE draft, seemingly putting an end to their rivalry for the time being. The only way that changes is if Rhodes finds a loophole to join the blue brand, and Money in the Bank is his best bet.

The always-anticipated event in early July will feature the annual Money in the Bank Ladder matches containing contracts for future championship opportunities.

If Rhodes reigns supreme, he can choose to cash his briefcase in at SummerSlam and announce it ahead of time. If it’s not there, then WWE may just be holding out on running Reigns vs. Rhodes again until WrestleMania 40.

That would throw Rhodes’ immediate future into disarray, but at least his unpredictable path back to the pinnacle of WWE will be fun to follow.


Leave a Comment