WWE sets up returnee Cody Rhodes’ biggest match to date on Monday Night RAW: The “American Nightmare” makes a career debut at Hell in a Cell.
In the shadow of the big backstage Sasha Banks and Naomi scandal, WWE made the biggest match yet official for the upcoming big event on Monday Night RAW – and took Cody Rhodes’ comeback to new heights.
Rhodes, who returned to WWE from AEW at WrestleMania 38, will face Seth Rollins once again at Hell in a Cell on June 6 – the third duel between the two will take place in the title-winning “Hell Cage”.
The son of legend Dusty Rhodes, who passed away in 2015, defeated Rollins at Mania as well as WrestleMania Backlash the previous weekend (under slightly more contentious circumstances there), with an attack by Rollins at last year’s RAW initiating the continuation of the feud.
The stipulation underscores that Rhodes has returned to WWE with a far higher-profile status than when he left the league.
Cody Rhodes makes singles debut in Hell in a Cell match
The Hell in a Cell match is a match with a special aura reserved for bigger stars, Rhodes is now taking part in one as a singles wrestler for the first time. Rhodes’ only previous appearance in the giant cage made legendary by the classics featuring The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, Triple H and Mick Foley was in 2009, when he still formed a youngster duo with Ted DiBiase (Jr.) and lost a tag team bout to Michaels and Triple H. (How the Hell in a Cell match Undertaker – Mankind almost ended fatally).
Opponent Rollins is boarding Hell in a Cell for the fifth time. His previous record is one win (against Dean Ambrose in 2014), two losses (to Kevin Owens in 2016 and Edge in 2021) and a no-contest loss to The Fiend in 2019.
Rhodes vs. Rollins could be the main Hell in a Cell match, especially since double champion Roman Reigns has not been announced. Especially in the context of Reigns’ new contract and his significantly less frequent appearances in the future, it will be exciting to see what means the ambitious Rhodes will use to position himself in the race for number 1 status in WWE.
In the AEW league, which he co-founded, the otherwise rather down-to-earth Rhodes has repeatedly attracted attention with daredevil actions in big “gimmick matches” – the cage jump against Wardlow, the fall through a burning table against Andrade El Idolo and most recently also various spectacular stunts in his farewell ladder match against Sammy Guevara.
In a “normal” cage match that opened the show, Bobby Lashley defeated 2.20-metre man Omos. The finish, which also featured the giant strongly: Omos threw Lashley against the cage wall – which tore out of its moorings, sending Lashley crashing to the floor and thus, according to the rules, making him the winner of the fight.
With Edge’s dark faction Judgment Day having recently grown to include Rhea Ripley, rivals AJ Styles and Finn Balor have now recruited Ripley’s old rival Liv Morgan – who assisted them in a victory over the Los Lotharios duo.
As well as apparently the Lotharios, Lacey Evans has also moved from SmackDown to RAW. Having most recently been reintroduced from her maternity leave with a series of videos telling the story of her troubled youth and military career, Evans now addressed the audience on-site for the first time.
In what was supposed to be a different main event, Asuka secured a title shot against RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair by defeating Becky Lynch. The difference in the end was made by the “Green Mist”, Asuka’s paint mist attack made famous by her legendary compatriot The Great Muta.