WWE Backlash 2023 Finale: Did Cody Rhodes Get the Win He Deserved?

WWE Backlash 2023 Finale: Did Cody Rhodes Get the Win He Deserved?

WWE Backlash 2023’s main event concluded with Cody Rhodes beating the legendary Brock Lesnar after countering the Kimura Lock. This win was meant to be the start of Cody Rhodes’ redemption arc; however, it received mixed reactions from the fans.

The Rhodes vs. Lesnar match was highly advertised last week with Rhodes stating in one of the promo videos that if he didn’t win this fight, there would no point in finishing his story.

Cody Rhodes’ story as one of the most adored babyfaces in the present era took an odd turn after he lost the WWE Heavyweight Championship title to Roman Reigns in WrestleMania 39.

Since then, WWE is setting up Cody Rhodes to face adversity in order to build up his redemption arc.

Cody Rhodes did not get the win he deserved at the 2023 edition of Backlash. WWE should have dragged out his story a little longer for him to face more adversity, and then give him a big win that would have been worth the pay-off.

In hindsight, it makes sense that WWE would want to try out the redemption storyline since the same thing worked for John Cena when he started receiving almost negative reactions during his otherwise perfect run as a babyface.

To solve the problem of his adversity, WWE put Cena on a path of disappointing losses until he finally came back stronger than ever and went on to win several matches in a row. The build-up paid off and Cena’s journey kept fans at the edge of their seats.

However, Cody Rhodes’ situation was nowhere close to John Cena’s before his redemption arc. The fans loved his big-hitting moves and there didn’t seem to be any problem with the way things were going.

But for reasons unknown, WWE insisted on giving him a story, one they could have executed slightly better.

WWE Backlash 2023 Finale: Did Cody Rhodes Get The Win He Deserved?
Cody Rhodes vs. Brock Lesnar in WWE Backlash 2023 | Source: WWE

The Rhodes vs. Lesnar fight was otherwise a great match with both wrestlers showing off their best moves. The best part was Lesnar smashing into a turnbuckle and having blood streaming down his face, something we haven’t witnessed in a long time in WWE.

A Lesnar win would have raised the stakes for Rhodes’ next match and given him a reason to fight harder. Instead, the first major chapter of his story was put to an end by a roll-up win which seemed more like a set-up for a Rhodes vs. Lesnar feud than a proper conclusion.

Many fans also pointed out that Rhodes’ win felt too forced because of how easily he was able to take down the former UFC Champion when even pros like Roman Reigns need an intervention to beat him.

On top of all the controversy, matters were made worse at Backlash 2023 when Rhodes walked out of the ring and went backstage instead of celebrating a supposedly huge win for his career.

The ending was shabby and half thought-out, and not what we expected from a main event.

It’s disappointing that the crowd in Puerto Rico, which is probably the most amazing one WWE has had so far, had to go home with a result that was sort of a letdown.

WWE Backlash 2023 Finale: Did Cody Rhodes Get The Win He Deserved?
Bad Bunny at WWE Backlash 2023 | Source: WWE

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Bad Bunny vs. Damien Priest fight which might have been a better option to close the show.

WWE could have taken their time with Cody Rhodes’ redemption storyline instead of trying to wrap it up the way they did in Backlash 2023.

Although, there is still a chance to make Rhodes’ feud with Lesnar an impactful one. We could see Lesnar coming back with vengeance the next time he’s up against Rhodes and a potentially massive showdown when Roman Reigns defends his title at WrestleMania 40.

Hopefully WWE won’t make the same mistakes AEW made with Cody Rhodes, which eventually forced his exit from the company.  

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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc., doing business as WWE, is an American professional wrestling promotion. A global integrated media and entertainment company, WWE has also branched out into other fields, including film, American football, and various other business ventures.

WWE shows are sports entertainment, featuring story line-driven, scripted, and partially choreographed matches; though including moves that can put performers at risk of injury, even death, if not performed correctly. It was founded in 1953 as the Capitol Wrestling Corporation and is the largest wrestling promotion in the world. It is headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut.