WWE seemed to have a solution to Roman Rains’ problem with Cody Rhodes appearing as the main draw, but Rhodes’ recent chest injury has left “Monday Night Raw” in a state of real change. Wrestling shows, as a rule, are always organized and sold because of the main attractions. When Raines has worked fewer shows since renegotiating his contract, and “American Nightmare” has been on the shelf for more than six months due to injury, “Raw” suddenly turns out to be a show with significantly less star power than otherwise.
Reigns doesn’t quite fit Brock Lesnar’s schedule, but it’s close enough that WWE fans probably haven’t seen the undisputed champion on TV for weeks in a row. And that’s just that he’s setting up matches on the microphone; he’ll fight even less often than before the title unification at WrestleMania 38. He hasn’t defended an undisputed championship title since he won it—unless fans believe he’s beaten Drew McIntyre ten times on various house shows—and that’s left a vacuum on Raw in terms of drawing championships.
It was a problem Rhodes was able to solve, as his feud with Seth Rollins was the driving force behind Monday nights. However, he won’t be able to fight for the foreseeable future, which means there’s a gaping hole at the very top of the Raw map. Given Raines’ contract and Rhodes’ injury, WWE will have to solve this problem. There is more than enough talent to fill these holes—it’s just a matter of the company succeeding in creating someone other than Reince and Lesnar.
There is reason to believe that Rhodes will still be present on Monday Night Raw once he begins to recover from surgery. He teased an appearance in Money In The Bank and struggled with a torn rib cage in Hell In A Cell. If Rhodes can be involved, he will. Reigns will still be “defended” as a landmark, which means that in the coming months the likes of AJ Styles, Finn Balor and Kevin Owens — all former champions in their own right — will need to be more relied upon.
Not only do these former outstanding NXT players have to be put in positions to succeed, but someone like Riddle can also turn into a legitimate title contender. He called Reigns on the June 6 edition of Raw and will apparently appear on the June 10 edition of Friday Night SmackDown trying to track down the tribal chief. Maybe viewers will see Riddle vs. Raines in Money in the Bank, and maybe not, but now that Raines and Rhodes have suddenly disappeared from everyday life, maybe it’s time to pull the trigger on Riddle as the main… off the map baby face. He, along with the rebuilt Edge, will bring more than enough entertainment to keep Raw afloat while Rhodes is treated and Raines is kept from televised singles matches that don’t take place in arenas.