Cody Rhodes Should Be Next WWE Champion, MVP Better with Omos, More Raw Takes
The Raw After WrestleMania is arguably the most hyped episode of the year for the red brand. It is a chance to build off the weekend events, and this year's Show of Shows had set the stage for something special.
However, WWE Raw was oddly paced and never quite delivered a headline that would get people talking. There were some surprises along the way, but none stood out in the most positive light.
Veer Mahaan finally came to WWE, beating down Dominik and Rey Mysterio. The artist formerly known as Elias returned as Ezekiel, Elias' younger brother.
MVP turned on Bobby Lashley, choosing Omos to support instead. Bron Breakker won back the NXT Championship from Dolph Ziggler after a disappointing loss prior to the Stand & Deliver event on Saturday.
Cody Rhodes did cut an impassioned speech two nights after his return to WWE at WrestleMania. He made clear his focus was to become WWE champion for his father, Dusty Rhodes, while putting the challenge out to the best on the roster.
Monday's Raw may not have lived up to the hype, but it was a show built to create fresh takes for the future of WWE.
Cody Rhodes Should Be Next World Champion for Raw
Cody Rhodes has taken WWE by storm since his return on Saturday night. He defeated Seth Rollins in one of the best matches of the entire WrestleMania weekend, and he cut the best promo on Monday's Raw in a night loaded with solo interviews.
It was clear how much it mattered to The American Nightmare to be back in WWE. He was nearly in tears talking about his late father, Dusty Rhodes, who also worked for the company but never got the chance to be WWE champion.
Rhodes sold what it would mean to him to become world champion in the biggest wrestling company in the world. It was an honest promo that also sold why The American Nightmare should be Raw's next world champion.
Roman Reigns is currently the undisputed world champion of WWE, but it's unlikely he will stand atop Raw and SmackDown going forward, as the red brand needs a solo representative. Rhodes came off as the perfect star to sell a new-look Raw.
If WWE felt bold, The American Nightmare could beat The Head of the Table, but it's more likely the title will be vacated. That can set up a great tournament in which Rhodes can contend with Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Bobby Lashley and others.
WWE Wastes Months of Elias' Career for Nothing but a Name Change
On July 19, 2021, Elias wrestled his final match in WWE. Eight months later, his younger brother, Ezekiel, arrived on Raw.
Obviously, it's the same man behind both gimmicks, and there is no real difference between the two characters besides Ezekiel missing the beard.
Elias was one of the most popular acts in WWE during his run. He proved himself repeatedly in awkward stories that few could have sold. There was no reason to change the character, just allow him to be taken more seriously.
In his first night, Ezekiel was made into a complete joke. It is hard to say what he and Kevin Owens will be able to do together if there is any plan at all.
It's a shame that the talented 34-year-old has sat on the sidelines with no direction. It is even worse that he came back with a gimmick that was immediately laughed off the stage.
Veer Mahaan's Arrival Wasn't Worth the Wait
It took six months, but Veer Mahaan has arrived in WWE.
While he was competing for months on Main Event, his arrival on Raw was seriously hyped, even if it was often more ironic than legitimate.
After all that time, WWE brought him in as a a dominant monster. The booking portrayed him as a legitimate threat, but the company has so many people who fill that same role. Veer will struggle to stand out beyond the initial jokes about his arrival.
At the end of the day, his talent will decide his future, but he may struggle to stand out even in the midcard scene.
Luckily, he has been paired with The Mysterios to start. Rey Mysterio is one of the greatest performers of all time and will work well as a first opponent. Dominik Mysterio is a young star who still needs rivals and could be an interesting in-ring pairing for a large dominant heel.
Veer may never live up to the hype, but he can at least begin to prove himself rather than languishing in vignettes.
MVP More Important to Omos Than Bobby Lashley RIght Now
MVP managed Bobby Lashley to the WWE Championship. This dynamic has worked for a while in a way few manager-talent pairings do work, but there was a legitimate argument to be made even in late 2021 that The All Mighty was ready to break away.
The All Mighty can speak for himself at the highest level, and he comes off as a main event act without anyone to hype him. His evolution over the past year has interestingly paralleled Brock Lesnar, who has broken away from Paul Heyman.
Omos is not a terrible talker, but he isn't good at selling himself to the audience. He needs a hype man, and few are better than MVP. It was smart to pair the two together while letting Lashley work on his own.
The main concern is whether MVP can actually make Omos, who is struggling at the moment. He may not be the star WWE wants him to be, but it is going to give him every opportunity.
MVP gives Omos a chance to succeed without taking anything away from Lashley.
Bron Breakker's Title Victory Makes NXT Look Less Important
When NXT Stand & Deliver ended on Saturday, it seemed Dolph Ziggler was beginning a veteran run in NXT 2.0 that could allow him to make a career resurgence.
However, that proved to be wrong after Bron Breakker got an instant undeserved rematch on Monday's Raw and reclaimed the gold.
If Breakker was going to win the title, he should have reclaimed it on NXT programming and not Raw. It devalues NXT 2.0 to have the most important match in the brand's short history on Raw.
At least the two got 10 minutes to have a solid follow-up to the Stand & Deliver clash, but the two men deserved a more focused spotlight for the sake of their talent and the NXT 2.0 brand.
If this was a rematch after Breakker won on Saturday, it might have worked. Instead, the outlook for NXT 2.0 is murky. Will Ziggler and Breakker continue to play hot potato with the NXT Championship? Will The Showoff ever appear in NXT again?
Hopefully, NXT at least gets a bit of its own spotlight in the aftermath of this non-hyped title change.