The hot topic coming out of this week’s WWE RAW was the in-ring promo segment between Cody Rhodes and Paul Heyman, where the late WWE Hall of Famer Dusty Rhodes was discussed.
A new report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes that Heyman was not originally booked to appear on RAW, but he was already in Orlando because Brock Lesnar was booked for the show. Lesnar is a key part of all creative when it comes to Lesnar, Ronda Rousey, and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.
WWE changed plans last week and booked Heyman to appear on RAW. The concept of what was planned late last week was completely different from what ended up airing on RAW.
It was noted that the final product was largely put together by Heyman and Rhodes, in the direction that they both wanted to take it.
The key to the creative is to make Rhodes vs. Reigns at WrestleMania 39 into the ultimate top match of the year. WWE officials are reportedly aware of how hot the Sami Zayn vs. Reigns storyline is, and it was imperative to not have Rhodes vs. Reigns feel secondary as a main event angle. WWE knew they needed something special on RAW, and that’s the direction they went.
One important aspect of the RAW segment was having Rhodes acknowledge that there are two titles held by Reigns, and not one unified title. We noted before how there was talk of splitting up the WWE Title and the WWE Universal Title, but they are going forward with both titles up for grabs at WrestleMania 39. Word is that at some point they still want to have a RAW champion and a SmackDown champion, but there’s no word on when. The same goes for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Titles.
There were a few more key aspects to the RAW segment. Described as the most important element, WWE wanted to get the match over in a major way because to a lot of fans, the match they wanted at WrestleMania and saw as the biggest bout was the WWE Elimination Chamber main event, with Reigns defending against Zayn.
The other important part of the segment was how they had to address the Zayn situation, and make sure that, while this is far more less likely to happen with the current fan base, that if it was the fan base of 5-8years ago, they could have revolted against Rhodes as the hand-picked top guy to go for the title, as they did in the past with guys like John Cena, Batista, and Reigns. It was also key to have Rhodes endorse Zayn, saying he hopes to wrestle Zayn.
For those who missed it, below is footage of the Rhodes – Heyman segment from RAW:
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