Mark Henry & Bully Ray Critique Cody Rhodes Vs. AJ Styles From WWE Backlash

WWE had tremendous financial success at Backlash: France this past weekend, which saw Cody Rhodes' first major defense of the Undisputed WWE Championship. AJ Styles was soundly defeated by Rhodes, and on "Busted Open Radio," former World Heavyweight Champion Mark Henry said the show's substance, the finish of the main event, in particular, didn't pass muster.


"I watched twice because I was critical of how the finish went. I was not one of the fans that thought the finish felt flat, like some of what I read on the internet, but I did think it was a typical finish. It just didn't seem like Cody was gonna lose."  The WWE Hall of Famer didn't feel Rhodes and Styles were able to find a third act twist, like most Bloodline matches, which often involved an Uso. He believes the match coming so soon after Rhodes "finishing his story" at WrestleMania meant Styles had no chance at winning. 

"I thought that the finish was what it was. AJ Styles and Cody had a great match ... It was a "A" match and it had a "B" finish because we knew what the outcome was gonna be," Henry said, adamant that some wrestlers just don't have the momentum to be a believable threat. "R-Truth is not gonna beat Cody Rhodes," Henry used as an example. The AEW coach says that a challenger's worth is often made by their narrative momentum. "When we have an "A" finish, it's gonna be because of the story that's been told."


Bully Ray Invokes Rocky III

Bully Ray agreed with Henry, citing the famous "Rocky" film franchise, which eventually saw its protagonist compete in less-than-competitive matches in the build up to fights with major villains like Clubber Lang or Ivan Drago. "[In 'Rocky 3'] when Rocky was beating everybody after he had beaten Apollo Creed, and those were no-name fighters, where you knew Rocky was gonna win," Bully explained, hedging that Styles very much has name value. Bully and Henry both agreed that they didn't think there was a chance at Styles upsetting Rhodes and ending his title reign so soon.


"You always have a defining babyface and a defining heel. Leading up into that match, there were a couple of incidences where they almost made AJ Styles come off as a pseudo-babyface," Henry explained, noting the promo Styles cut about "two Georgia boys" fired him up as a fellow Georgian. As someone who wrestled as a heel, Henry felt the respect between the two men kept the match from having the heat it could've had.

"I want to see people respect each other. Cody and AJ both...respected each other and as a heel, I never respected nobody," Henry concluded. While Henry and Bully were non-plussed with the match, WWE wasn't, as WWE CCO Paul "Triple H" Levesque recently thanked France for the warm introduction.