Real Reason For Cody Rhodes' 'Promo Of The Year' Performance On WWE Raw

Here's how WWE Raw's incredible Cody Rhodes/Paul Heyman segment came to be.

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Last night's acclaimed WWE Raw promo battle between Cody Rhodes and Paul Heyman was a response to Sami Zayn's growing popularity, reports Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.

Meltzer states that the segment, which has drawn rave reviews across the board, was because WWE is well aware of Zayn's immense overness - and doesn't want its WrestleMania 39 main event to feel secondary to that.

Rhodes is due to face Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WM39. Zayn, meanwhile, challenges for the same prize at Elimination Chamber 2023 on Saturday 18 February.


Meltzer adds that WWE knew it had to do something to prevent Rhodes from feeling secondary to Zayn, hence last night's segment. It is important that the promotion ensures Cody/Roman doesn't feel like a comedown from Roman/Sami. Similarly, WWE doesn't want to create a sense of "competition" between Zayn and Rhodes, in that people getting behind Sami might "screw up" Cody as a babyface.

Sami Zayn's split from The Bloodline drew one of the loudest wrestling pops in recent memory at Royal Rumble 2023, where he slammed a chair in Reigns' back. Cody has commanded similar reactions since the same event, however, including last night.

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Senior Reporter
Senior Reporter

Andy has been with WhatCulture for six years and is currently WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A writer, presenter, and editor with 10+ years of experience in online media, he has been a sponge for all wrestling knowledge since playing an old Royal Rumble 1992 VHS to ruin in his childhood. Having previously worked for Bleacher Report, Andy specialises in short and long-form writing, video presenting, voiceover acting, and editing, all characterised by expert wrestling knowledge and commentary. Andy is as much a fan of 1985 Jim Crockett Promotions as he is present-day AEW and WWE - just don't make him choose between the two.