Raw airs tonight (Apr. 4) with a live show from American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. This is the first Raw episode during the five week build towards WrestleMania Backlash, coming up on May 8.
Cody Rhodes has a lot of explaining to do
Former AEW Executive Vice President Cody Rhodes returned to WWE over the weekend at WrestleMania 38, where he was handpicked by Vince McMahon to defeat Seth Rollins. Cody is scheduled to appear on tonight’s episode of Raw to explain what the future holds for him in WWE.
Will Cody take any shots at AEW as he explains why he’s back in WWE? Is he allied with Mr. McMahon in kayfabe? After beating Seth, does the American Nightmare already have his eyes set on being the first challenger for the Undisputed WWE Universal championship? Will he use his mic time to explain away that horrible tattoo on his neck?
One of the most interesting things about the end of Cody’s time in AEW was how the audience thoroughly rejected his babyface persona. Will the exact same thing happen to him tonight when he grabs that mic and cuts his first WWE promo in years?
This could be the most important promo of Cody Rhodes’ pro wrestling career. It should be fascinating to watch it play out, that’s for sure.
The title scene
Roman Reigns defeated Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania and is now the Undisputed WWE Universal champion. Roman hasn’t been pinned in over two years. If he decides to spend most of his time on his home turf of SmackDown going forward, Monday nights could be left without a top men’s championship for an indefinite period of time. As for Brock, it’s not clear if he’ll appear on tonight’s show. If he does show up, WWE may have to find a way to write him off television for a while.
Bianca Belair and Becky Lynch had arguably the best match on either night of WrestleMania 38, culminating with Belair using the KOD to become the new Raw women’s champion. We should find out tonight if Belair will be set up for an immediate rematch with Big Time Becks for WrestleMania Backlash, or if someone like Asuka, Bayley, or Alexa Bliss could return to television tonight and immediately enter the title picture.
RK-Bro used a couple of well-timed RKOs to retain the Raw tag team titles at WrestleMania against the Street Profits and Alpha Academy. It’s hard to think of any other viable teams on the Raw brand who can challenge the champs, especially with the Mysterios losing at WrestleMania.
Sasha Banks and Naomi won the Women’s tag team titles in a Fatal 4-Way match at WrestleMania 38. The Boss and Naomi can show up on Monday nights as long as they are the champs, and the three hour show can certainly use her presence. In the short-term, the new champs may have to fend off a challenge from the former titleholders, Carmella and Queen Zelina Vega.
The 24/7 title scene is all about marriage these days. Reggie and Dana Brooke are going to tie the knot, as are Tamina and Akira Tozawa. R-Truth plans to crash the ceremony and get his baby back, of course.
United States Champion Finn Balor lost twice at WrestleMania SmackDown and wasn’t good enough to get booked onto the actual WrestleMania 38 card. Former champ Damian Priest saw the writing on the wall about this worthless mid-card title and decided to focus on more important matters by joining up with Edge at WrestleMania. Will AJ Styles and Balor join forces to take on Edge’s new yet-to-be-named group?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Cody Rhodes isn’t the only wrestler who has some explaining to do tonight. The Miz surprisingly turned on Logan Paul after the duo won their tag team match over the Mysterios at WrestleMania. He’ll likely explain his actions tonight, and it will be interesting to see if the crowd treats him like a babyface for what he did to Paul.
- Will Kevin Owens show his face on Raw tonight after being humiliated by Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania?
- Omos suffered his first ever pin fall loss in WWE at WrestleMania 38 after he was speared in the ass by Bobby Lashley. Are the floodgates now open for Omos to continue showing vulnerability, or will he go right back to squashing the low card fodder on the Raw roster?
- Austin Theory lost against Pat McAfee at WrestleMania and then got his ass kicked by Stone Cold Steve Austin. What advice will Vince McMahon mumble in Theory’s direction after his failure on the big stage?
- Now that WrestleMania is over, will Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan decide that they no longer want to be a team?
- Tonight is the Raw after WrestleMania, which is almost always one of the most exciting episodes of the year. The atmosphere should be wild tonight, and there’s a good chance we’ll see some NXT call-ups, surprise returns, and debuts. Is Bron Breakker already headed to the main roster after failing to win the NXT title from Dolph Ziggler? Are Tommaso Ciampa, Io Shirai, or LA Knight ready to join Raw and deal with the headache that is WWE Creative?
- Speaking of highly-anticipated debuts, Veer Mahaan will finish off five straight months of coming when he finally arrives on Raw tonight. Is WWE going to swerve us all by debuting him with a completely different gimmick?
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?