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5 Superstars Who Could Replace Cody Rhodes As WWE’s Top Babyface

Cody Rhodes as the American Nightmare on WWE Monday Night RAW

At WWE’s latest Premium Live Event, Hell in a Cell, Cody Rhodes revealed one of the most grusome looking injuries in recent wrestling memory.

During the introductions for his highly-anticipated match against Seth Freakin’ Rollins, The American Nightmare silenced the audience as he removed his robe to display the shocking, multi-coloured results of a severe pectoral injury.

Despite this, Rhodes put on the performance of his life. Valiantly fighting through tremendous pain to defeat Rollins in a fantastic, show-stealing bout. On the following episode of Raw, Rollins brutally attacked Rhodes one more time to leave him laying, and seemingly writing him off television.

WWE have since announced that Rhodes is expected to be out of action for nine months.

Ever since his triumphant return to WWE at WrestleMania 38, Rhodes has become a focal point and top babyface in the company. His popularity and positioning lead many to believe a Money in the Bank victory and championship run were on the horizon. However, this injury and time on the shelf have scuppered those predictions while leaving WWE without a top star, and a huge space to fill.

Luckily the promotion has several performers who can step up and step in to solve WWE’s dilemma. Here are 5 WWE Superstars that could replace Rhodes as the top face of the company.

5. Bron Breakker

One of NXT 2.0’s most powerful performers, Breakker has become one of the most popular stars on the show. His matches with Tommaso Ciampa, and Dolph Ziggler have has shown his ability to hang in the ring, while his intensity in the lead-up to these matches has drawn comparisons with his father and uncle.

WWE clearly have high hopes for the second-generation Superstar by placing the re-invented NXT brand upon his massive shoulders. He was fast-tracked to the title and ushered in a new era for the brand as the face of NXT 2.0.

His power, strength and rise through the ranks have drawn parallels to Brock Lesnar and just like the former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Breakker walks, talks and looks the part.

As WWE’s next big project he may just be the answer they need to fill Cody’s place as the centrepiece on Monday Night Raw.

4. AJ Styles

Styles is a plug-in-and-play main event star and it has been a while since his last run at the top of the card.

Despite continuing to put in exciting performances, the two-time WWE Champion hasn’t had a top-level storyline in months, which seems unfathomable for a Superstar of Styles’ calibre.

The Phenomenal One will surely go down as one of the greatest of all time. Wherever he’s been, he’s climbed to the top of the mountain, and always done it in style.

He was one of the main reasons to tune into TNA for years, and ushered in a new era for NJPW as the leader of the Bullet Club before heading to WWE and becoming a marquee name.

His arrival in WWE saw him easily insert himself into the top of the card and became a Grand Slam Champion in a short space of time. He can elevate his game whenever required, and Cody’s time away will need someone to do just that.

3. Edge

Edge Royal Rumble

The former leader of The Judgment Day was recently relieved of his duties by Finn Balor and co, leaving him in a prime position for a babyface return.

Edge’s amazing return to action at Royal Rumble 2020 will go down as one of the best surprise appearances in WWE history. The shocking comeback placed him at the top of WWE’s programming in an enthralling feud with Randy Orton on Monday Night Raw.

Since his comeback, he joined the main event ranks going after Roman Reigns and the Universal Championship. He then had great matches with Seth Rollins and an entertaining feud with The Miz, which saw the return of his Brood moniker.

As one of WWE’s most decorated Superstars, Edge has always been held in high regard by the company and the WWE Universe, importantly as both a babyface and a heel.

He’s s a multi-time World Champion, with all of the attributes needed for maybe one last run as the promotion’s top star, and could easily fill the Cody Rhodes-shaped hole at the top of the card.

2. Bobby Lashley

Bobby Lashley wins WWE Championship at Royal Rumble

The Almighty Bobby Lashley is a proven main event star and a huge hit with the fans. His celebrations after defeating Omos and MVP at Hell in a Cell are a testament to that and showed that he is once again ready to be placed at the top of the card.

Lashley has always been an impressive figure in the company but his run as the head of the Hurt Business added another level to the former ECW Champion. His look, swagger and aura, exuded star quality and demonstrated that was ready to be a main event player, which is exactly what he became.

His first run as WWE Champion in 2021 was a well-deserved reign, and one that saw him defeat legends such as Randy Orton and Goldberg along the way. But his win over Brock Lesnar at Royal Rumble earlier this year to regain the title, displayed just how much stock the company had in him.

Unfortunately an injury cut his second title run short and since then he has been itching to get the title and his place at the top back. WWE’s new dilemma is the perfect opportunity for Lashley to return to prominence as the company’s main babyface.

1. Kevin Owens

Be it headbutting Vince McMahon, pushing Roman Reigns to his limit or calling out Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kevin Owens is a fan favourite no matter what he does and could easily replace Rhodes as the face of the company.

The host of the KO Show possesses the ability to turn any angle he is involved with into gold. Just take his participation in the inexplicably-surreal feud with Ezekiel (Elias’ younger brother) for example.

Owens came off main eventing WrestleMania 37 Night One against the Texas Rattlesnake Austin into a storyline which he has single-handedly made into one of Monday Night Raw’s most entertaining threads.

The former WWE Universal Champion is one of the best in the business, both in and outside of the ring, but he has never had the sustained run at the every top of the company that he perhaps deserves.

Owens deserves to be in the top echelons of WWE, no matter Cody Rhodes’ forced status, but it’s often said that all you need to do is be in the right place at the right time. And the time might be right for Owens to dine at WWE’s top table one more time.