Raw airs tonight (May 23) with a live show from the Ford Center in Evansville, Indiana. This is the third Raw episode during the four week build towards Hell in a Cell, coming up on June 5.
There’s one glaring concern with Cody Rhodes’ return to WWE
Cody Rhodes is all the rage in WWE since returning to the promotion at WrestleMania 38. He’s already the top babyface in WWE and could potentially sweep Seth Rollins in a trilogy of matches if Cody beats him one more time inside Hell in a Cell. A win in the cell would also give Cody a great argument for why he deserves a shot at the WWE Universal championship this summer. Cody is the hottest thing going in WWE right now (aside from Ezekiel), and some folks would argue WWE should strike while the iron is hot.
That’s why it was pretty interesting when a list of Roman Reigns’ next three title challengers was reportedly revealed and didn’t include Cody’s name on it. Is WWE thinking about saving Reigns vs. Rhodes for either Royal Rumble 2023 or WrestleMania 39?
Cody is advertised for a match tonight against The Miz. This is a rematch from the April 11 episode of Raw. Cody has faced Miz, Kevin Owens, and Theory in singles matches on Raw since he returned to WWE in April. Given that WWE is already booking Cody in a Raw rematch without much of a story behind it, it raises concerns about how WWE plans to keep Cody fresh and from being overexposed or cooling off for the rest of the summer if he really isn’t getting that title match with Reigns for a while.
That’s a concern for after Hell in a Cell. As far as tonight’s match goes, former WWE Champion Miz is there as a tune-up guy to fill TV time and take a beating from Rhodes. Rollins will almost certainly show his face in some capacity. After seeing what Seth did to Cody a couple weeks back, the Visionary should be careful to avoid getting too close to a fired up Rhodes.
The title scene
Asuka used her green mist to defeat Becky Lynch last week and become the number one contender for Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair at Hell in a Cell. Becky will have the mic tonight to complain about what happened, and I bet she conveniently ignores the fact that she was also trying to cheat to win the match. Will Lynch still find a way to get involved in the title scene on June 5?
WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns doesn’t appear to be interested in wrestling at Hell in a Cell or showing up on Raw.
RK-Bro is in rough shape after last week’s tag team title unification loss against the Usos. Are Jimmy and Jey going to follow in Roman’s footsteps and decide they have better things to do than show up on Monday nights?
Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of WWE, which means the Women’s tag team titles are now vacated. WWE suspended and buried Sasha and Naomi via commentators Corey Graves and Michael Cole, and announced a tournament to crown new champs. Booking a tournament when there are only two teams in the division means we’re about to see even more makeshift teams than usual in WWE.
Mustafa Ali really wants to win the United States championship from Theory, but losing on three straight episodes of Raw isn’t moving him closer towards that goal.
Reggie and Akira Tozawa have both been served with divorce papers. Carmella has now joined R-Truth in his quest to take the 24/7 title from Dana Brooke.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- After getting lucky and beating Omos in a steel cage match last week, Bobby Lashley has an All Mighty Challenge in store for MVP and the Nigerian Giant. Is WWE planning to book a fourth match between these guys at Hell in a Cell?
- Alexa Bliss has returned to WWE television with consecutive wins over Sonya Deville. Does WWE have a new opponent or angle in mind for Alexa tonight, or will she go for a third win over Sonya? More importantly, when will Bliss get mic time to give us some insight into her current motivations?
- Edge is actively recruiting a fourth member for The Judgment Day while fending off the trio of AJ Styles, Finn Balor, and Liv Morgan. Can anyone really blame Balor if he soon decides that he’s been subjected to way too much bullshit in WWE since last summer and it’s time to join Edge’s winning side?
- The Mysterios are back to deal with Veer Mahaan. That probably means they’re losing against him in handicap match at some point in the near future.
- Ezekiel pinned Chad Gable last week and evaded Otis and Kevin Owens in the aftermath. Is KO’s obsession with Ezekiel’s identity leading to a match at Hell in a Cell?
- Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop are struggling to find success as a team, but merely existing as a team means they are arguably the best women’s tag team in all of WWE.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?