Raw airs tonight (June 12) with a live show from the Intrust Bank Arena in Wichita, Kansas. This is the third episode of Raw during the five week build towards Money in the Bank, which takes place on July 1 in London, England.
Cody Rhodes needs to find something to do at Money in the Bank
The next match in the ongoing feud between Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar is expected to happen at SummerSlam in August. Brock is a part-timer who isn’t around this month, and that means Cody needs to fight someone else at Money in the Bank on July 1.
Rhodes is the top babyface in WWE and just recently main evented WrestleMania, so it makes the most sense for him to compete in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match. The MITB contract is Cody’s only path towards finishing his story in 2023 and getting a championship rematch with Roman Reigns, after all. This should be a top priority for Cody.
Yet, for some reason, Cody wasn’t included in any of the Money in the Bank qualifying matches, which means he’s not in the ladder match. Being medically cleared isn’t the issue, because Cody has a singles match with The Miz tonight. I can’t think of a good kayfabe explanation for why Cody isn’t interested in the Money in the Bank ladder match.
However, I can definitely think of a good non-kayfabe explanation for his absence from the ladder match. As the top babyface in the company, WWE doesn’t want to put Cody in that match if he isn’t going to win it. They clearly have someone else in mind to win it this year, but they don’t want Cody to be one of the five losers in the match. Keeping Rhodes out of the match will protect him from showing that he’s not good enough to win it.
That doesn’t help explain his exclusion from the match in kayfabe, though. Cody now needs to find something else to do at Money in the Bank that doesn’t involve Brock or the ladder match.
The solution to this Cody problem may very well be a match in London against nuclear heat magnet Dominik Mysterio. Dom got into it with Cody last week on Miz TV and slapped him in the face. Perhaps Dom and Rhea Ripley will show up during Cody’s match tonight and continue to antagonize the American Nightmare, leading to a match at Money in the Bank.
Because if it’s not Dom, then who else is there for Cody to fight in London?
The title scene
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER defeated Kevin Owens last week on Raw. WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Owens now have a (presumably non-title) tag match tonight against GUNTHER and Ludwig Kaiser. Kaiser looks like the obvious fall guy here, if the idea is for Owens to get a win back.
World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins retained the title with a victory over Priest last week. Finn Balor showed up during the match despite Priest’s request that he stay in the back. This setback for the Judgment Day may result in some tension between Balor and Priest going forward. Is Finn the next one in line for a shot at the champ?
SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley doesn’t have any competition on Raw at the moment, so perhaps she will provide backup for Dominik in London if he does indeed get booked into a match with Cody. As far as tonight is concerned, Rhea should be in line for a new women’s championship belt, just like Asuka received on SmackDown. What will it be called?
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler defeated Katana Chance and Kayden Carter last week on Raw. WWE has now booked the champs in a title unification match against NXT Women’s Tag Team Champions Alba Fyre and Isla Dawn later this month on SmackDown. Rousey and Baszler are the clear favorites to dominate all of the women’s tag team gold in WWE.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The field for the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match currently includes Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, LA Knight, Santos Escobar, and BUTCH. The final men’s qualifier takes place tonight when Matt Riddle goes one-on-one against Damian Priest. The ladder match could use another heel, so I like Priest’s chances here. Will Imperium get involved and make sure the Original Bro fails to qualify?
- The field for the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match currently includes Zelina Vega, Becky Lynch, Zoey Stark, Bayley, and IYO SKY. It looks like one more Raw star should be added to the match in order to even things out with SmackDown. Could it be Raquel Rodriguez?
- Bronson Reed is a little sore about missing out on the men’s ladder match, and he made Ricochet and Nakamura pay for it last week. Will they give him a receipt tonight?
- Alpha Academy’s Maxxine Dupri apparently has the perfect outfit in mind in order to train for a match against Valhalla and the Viking Raiders.
- JD McDonagh thought it would be a good idea to start his main roster run with some wins over Dolph Ziggler. I think he’s quickly learning that a feud against Dolph comes with the risk of not getting much TV time.
- Which jobbers will be fed to Indus Sher tonight?
What will you be looking for on Raw?