The main event of Monday Night Raw last week was Cody Rhodes fighting without preparation against a surprise opponent of Seth Rollins’ choice. The ensuing fight was, needless to say, full of twists and turns.
Events leading up to the challenge
Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes are supposed to face off at WrestleMania Backlash for the WWE World Championship. In a conversation in that context, Seth ‘Freakin’ Rollins tried to downplay Rhodes’s victory at WrestleMania, saying that the fact that Seth Rollins did not know he was about to face Cody Rhodes gave Rhodes an unfair advantage in terms of game plan and preparation. When both Rhodes and the crowd dismissed that claim, an infuriated Rollins ended up posing this challenge to Rhodes, trying to give him a dose of his own medicine. Rhodes accepted the challenge.
After Cody ‘The American Nightmare’ Rhodes made his way to the ring, Seth Rollins emerged, giddy with excitement. Without any delay, he introduced Cody’s opponent for the night, who turned out to be no one but Kevin ‘KO’ Owens. Owens made his way to the ring and the fight started.
From the beginning it was clear that Cody was at a disadvantage. Owen’s seemed to stay one step ahead of him all the time. Owens dominated the fight, although Cody tried hard to claw his way back. One notable instance of resistance was Cody Rhodes turning an attempt to fling him onto the ropes on its head, as a result throwing Owens right out of the ring. However his attempt to build on this counterattack failed, as Owens punched him in the face and then body slammed him into the barricade hurting his back.
Owens continually targeted Rhodes’ injured lower back, once jumping on it from a height, and another time holding him in a submission move with his knee to Cody’s back. Owens held him in a pindown cover twice, with Rhodes kicking out just in the nick of time, Seth Rollins getting more and more frustrated. Superplexes, powerbombs, sunset flips, nothing could defeat Rhodes. Once in the match, Rhodes put his foot up to the bottom rope to avoid getting counted out in an excellent display of game awareness.
The match ended in a pretty anticlimactic manner. Cody Rhodes managed to throw Kevin Owens out of the ring, and Kevin Owens took some time to get back to his feet. Seth in his frustration ended up rebuking and insulting Owens, which was too much for Owens to bear. He abandoned the match midway, making Rhodes the winner by count out.
Rollins has the last laugh
Rhodes, although not the happiest he could have been, was celebrating his victory when Rollins attacked him from behind, throwing him onto the barricade. As Cody Rhodes lay squirming with pain, Rollins looked on defiantly. The heat of rivalry had just been turned up a notch.