Cody Rhodes defeats former champion in his first WWE title defense after SmackDown went off-air 

Cody Rhodes made his first SmackDown appearance as Undisputed WWE Champion.

Cody Rhodes defeats former champion in his first WWE title defense after SmackDown went off-air 

Cody Rhodes (via WWE and @uceynightmare/X)

Cody Rhodes was present for last night’s episode of SmackDown. The American Nightmare has vowed to be a fighting champion, and he delivered on that promise last night. Rhodes defended his title after the episode went off the air. He squared off against Dominik Mysterio in a dark match for the Undisputed WWE Championship.


In a house show-type bout, Rhodes was able to quickly put away his opponent. While Mysterio was attempting the third suplex of the three amigos, the champ countered to hit the Cody cutter. This was followed by the Cross Rhodes and the pinfall to pick up the win. Whether or not Dominik Mysterio demands another title shot will be intriguing to watch.

Meanwhile, two triple-threat bouts took place on the blue brand to determine the 38-year-old’s first PLE challenger. In the first, LA Knight secured the win by delivering a BFT on Santos Escobar. Hours later, his arch nemesis, AJ Styles, put in an excellent shift to move one step closer to a championship match. The two rivals came face-to-face as the show went off the air.

As for Cody Rhodes, he looked in quite a cheerful mood while cutting a promo at the beginning of the show. The American Nightmare also addressed the awkward segment involving him and The Rock on Raw. During that, he made an NSFW reference to his wife’s infamous promo in AEW. Evidently, WWE seems to be pushing towards a future Rock vs. Cody program, which has a surprising backstage update.

The Rock seemingly wants to face Cody Rhodes at next year’s WrestleMania

On Friday morning, Dave Meltzer provided an update on The Rock’s possible future plans. According to the latest WON report, The Final Boss prefers to face Cody Rhodes rather than his cousin, Roman Reigns, at next year’s WrestleMania. This obviously comes as a surprise, given how adamant he was to have the dream match this year.

The Rock and Cody Rhodes
The Rock and Cody Rhodes (via WWE)

During the buildup to WrestleMania XL, The Rock turned heel and joined The Bloodline. While the change of character worked well, The Brahma Bull ended up overshadowing The Tribal Chief. As a matter of fact, Rocky pinned Rhodes on Night 1, justifying him as a rightful contender to challenge for the championship.

However, the duo won’t be squaring off anytime soon, as the Hollywood actor will be absent from WWE television due to acting commitments. Moreover, he is likely to be filming until August, which means that he won’t compete at SummerSlam. Therefore, it is likely that The Rock will show up on the road to WrestleMania 41 and finally resolve his feud with Cody Rhodes.

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