Cody Rhodes-WWE 2K23; Sasha Banks, Naomi Rumors; Sami Zayn Reacts to Bloodline Photo

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVMay 25, 2022

CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Cody Rhodes is introduced during AEW Dynamite on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.

Cody Rhodes Hints at Possible 'Special' Role in WWE 2K23

Rhodes' return to WWE at WrestleMania 38 in early April came about a month after the release of the WWE 2K22 video game. It raised questions about whether he'd become available as part of a future downloadable content (DLC) release.

Michael Straw of Sports Gamers Online reported the company tried to work with 2K Sports, the game's publisher, on a solution but there was simply "too little time" to go through the process of getting The American Nightmare in this year's game.

"WWE tried, but it was quickly shot [down]," a source told Straw. "They knew it was unlikely, but you don't know for sure unless you ask."

While it's disappointing news for Rhodes fans and gamers who prefer an updated roster, the fan favorite responded to a message Tuesday suggesting he should grace the cover of WWE 2K23 next year:

Cody Rhodes @CodyRhodes

I don’t know the talented folks at <a href="https://twitter.com/WWEgames?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@WWEgames</a> - but I’m a pretty decent gambler and I would bet they’re working very hard on something special for pro wrestling fans <a href="https://t.co/IqiiiK9lHQ">https://t.co/IqiiiK9lHQ</a>

Rhodes, who left WWE in 2016 for stops in several promotions including All Elite Wrestling, has garnered ample crowd support since his return and is likely staring down a major title run in the coming months.

It's possible he'll be one of the company's top titleholders heading into next year's WrestleMania season, which would certainly seem to make him a serious candidate for the 2K23 cover, especially since other options like Roman Reigns and Becky Lynch were already spotlighted in recent years.

Even if Rhodes doesn't receive cover placement, he'll likely be heavily involved in the promotional material heading into the release.

Mixed Feelings Toward Sasha Banks, Naomi Walkout

Banks and Naomi were the WWE women's tag team champions when they walked out of Raw last week, leaving their titles on the desk of head of talent relations John Laurinaitis. It forced the company to change that night's main event, and it led a rare statement concerning an out-of-storyline development.

"Monday Night Raw is a scripted live TV show, whose characters are expected to perform the requirements of their contract. We regret we were unable to deliver, as advertised, tonight's main event," the company stated.

Longtime WWE announcer Michael Cole provided an update Friday on SmackDown, saying the pair was suspended and would vacate the titles:


Sasha Banks and Naomi have been suspended indefinitely. There will be a future tournament to crown the new WWE Women's Tag Team Champions. <a href="https://t.co/8xhJe0l5bV">pic.twitter.com/8xhJe0l5bV</a>

One of the key questions amid the drama is how other Superstars feel about the duo's actions.

PWTorch reported (via WWF Old School) two schools of thought have emerged backstage:

"I can say there are people in that locker room—colleagues of theirs, [including] active wrestlers and otherwise, who are disappointed and not sympathetic to the way Sasha and Naomi handled this. And there are others who, yes, think this is a cool thing that they did. And they sort of wished that they had the guts to do something like that and take a stand."

Banks is one of WWE's most mainstream stars, having garnered a high-profile acting role on the Disney+ series The Mandalorian, and Naomi had long been one of the company's most underrated performers. They would represent major losses to the roster.

But, unless this is one of the best works in history, WWE is taking a hardline stance against the pair, likely with hope of avoiding similar actions in the future.

Sami Zayn Jokes About The Bloodline Photo

Zayn has been rocking a Bloodline shirt on TV in recent weeks, a sign of his growing role in a storyline with WWE and universal champion Roman Reigns and the unified tag team champions The Usos, Jimmy and Jey.

It spawned a photoshop of Zayn in a family photo alongside Reigns and The Usos, who are real-life cousins, that caught his attention on social media:

Sami Zayn @SamiZayn

My Sargent Pepper phase. <a href="https://t.co/RXiqBywV2w">https://t.co/RXiqBywV2w</a>

Jey Uso responded to the photo on Instagram, calling Zayn the "help dawg" of the faction.

The three-time intercontinental champion has shown how it's possible to get over and make a weekly impact without needing a top-tier title reign.

He put together a terrific feud with actor Johnny Knoxville leading up to WrestleMania, where the Jackass star picked up a win using various antics, and his interactions with Paul Heyman as part of the Bloodline storyline have been fantastic.

It'll be interesting to see where things go from here as Zayn's overexuberance will likely cost The Bloodline at some point, which could either thrust him into a marquee feud with Reigns or simply mark the end of an increasingly entertaining angle.

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