The Rock, Cody Rhodes, and Roman Reigns

The Rock, Cody Rhodes, and Roman Reigns is the hottest subject in wrestling at the moment and it’s not difficult to see why. After all, when Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble, everyone expected him to finally finish his story and defeat Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Everyone that is, except The Rock.

If you have somehow missed this story—perhaps you’ve just woken up from a 20-year coma—here’s a quick breakdown of what happened. Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE at WrestleMania 38 as Seth Rollins’ surprise opponent on the first night. He defeated Seth—as of course he did, what would be the point otherwise?—and then set his sights on winning the WWE Championship, putting him on a collision course with the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.

After a few twists and turns—including that incredibly brutal injury he suffered to his pectoral that he wrestled through because he’s hard as f*****g nails—he would win 2023’s men’s Royal Rumble match, setting up a match between himself and Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39.

And that was that: Cody defeated Reigns, becoming the undisputed WWE Champion, ending Reigns mammoth title run at its logical point, putting both Reigns’…er…reign and Cody’s babyface run into the hall of fame of greatest things to ever happen.

Except…it didn’t.

For whatever reason—*cough* Vince McMahon *cough*—the WWE decided that the best thing to do would be to have Reigns win by cheating and in doing so, forcing us all to wait another year for Cody to go back-to-back at the Royal Rumble, setting up one final chance for him to dethrone Reigns at WrestleMania 40. And this time they got it right.

Oh wait, our mistake. Instead what happened was—by all accounts—The Rock got involved and decided that he wanted to face Roman at this year’s WrestleMania, so to hell with Cody, he can face Seth instead. And lo, the interweb did have a meltdown of biblical proportions, and plagues of toads rained from the sky and the rivers did run red with blood, and the lion did lay down with the lamb and the final days were upon us.

Alright, we’re being a tad facetious here, but if you’ve been anywhere near social media these past couple of days, you’d have thought that instead of taking a main event spot away from Cody Rhodes at WrestleMania, denying him the chance to finish his story with Roman Reigns, The Rock has instead blown up a bus full of school children and brought about the apocalypse.

“So then, smarty pants”, we hear you say, “What do you think is going on?”

Why, thank you for asking. Allow us to chip in with our two cents.

First off, we’d like to state for the record that we think that this whole situation is stupid beyond reason. It makes zero sense from a storyline point of few. Cody saying that he wants to take everything from Roman, and not just the title, is just a grade-A cop-out from a creative team that had been doing stellar work ever since Triple H took over, got Vince’d, and then took over again. It is a clusterf**k, and everyone and their grandma has an opinion on it that seems to be “Fuck the WWE, this is bullshit.” However, as is always the case, not everything here is as cut and dried as it seems.

For example, the line coming out of those “in the know” is that The Rock himself is to blame for all of this, that he pushed to be the one to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, and that he’s solely responsible for the entire shitshow that the WWE is facing. It’s also being “reported” that The Rock expects to win the title off of Roman Reigns at WrestleMania for…reasons as nobody seems to want to explain why The Rock would want to do this.

Well, while we admit that this makes for good copy and clicks galore, we’d like to call bull honkey on these reports, and here’s why.

Now, do we think that The Rock has pushed for this match with Roman Reigns? Yes. Yes, we do. Do we think that he used his position as the face of TKO to wangle his way into the WrestleMania main event? No. No, we don’t. What we think happened was that The Rock dropped his Head of the Table line without warning anyone because he’s The Rock and that’s what he does, and got backstage to be greeted with a very sound “Nice try, but it’s not going to happen.” And then fate intervened.

We fully believe that the plan was for Cody Rhodes to face Roman Reigns and CM Punk to face Seth Rollins at WrestleMania, then Punk’s body crapped out on him again and the WWE found themselves having to scramble for a plan B. That plan B just happened to come in the shape of The Rock and Endeavour.

Let’s not be under any illusion here. Endeavour had the final say in this and it is purely a business decision. Here’s a company that spent 9 billion dollars to purchase the WWE and that’s a lot of bananas no matter how you look at it. Now, we truly believe that Endeavour wants to have as little input in the creative side of WWE as possible. If they did, then they would’ve replaced HHH when they kicked Vince to the curb, but when the opportunity presented itself to have The Rock—one of the biggest stars in Hollywood—in the main event at WrestleMania, and in a way that they could justify—no matter how weakly—then they grasped it with both hands.

Let’s not forget, CM Punk is out. He won’t be at WrestleMania. So who do you have step up? They need someone who can carry RAW, and the company, on their back because after Seth takes the pin, he’s going to be away for a very long time as well. He has a list of injuries the length of your arm that he needs to get fixed, so it makes sense—from a business standpoint—to have Cody Rhodes be the face of the company. Cody is the ultimate babyface, nobody holds a candle to him anywhere in wrestling at the moment when it comes to this, and no matter how much they might deny it, RAW is the WWE’s number one show, their top brand. So you have Cody beat Seth at WrestleMania and he goes on a year-long run with the whole company on his shoulders, before dropping the belt at the following WrestleMania, probably to our man, Gunther. Cody is going to be the face of the WWE, at least for the next 12 months; it just so happens it won’t be on SmackDown.

So, what of The Rock and Roman Reigns in all this? Well, as we stated, we don’t doubt for a second that The Rock pushed for this match, but—again, as we’ve stated—we don’t think he would’ve gotten near this year’s WrestleMania if fate hadn’t taken a massive crap on plans within the company. But this talk of him winning the strap is, quite frankly, hogwash.

There is no way, and we mean no way, that The Rock walks out of WrestleMania 40 as the WWE Champion, and if he does, we will get our narrator on the 25YL YouTube Channel to do a video where people pour dog food on him. This isn’t about the Rock having one last run, as most people seem convinced it is; this is about the Rock’s retirement from in-ring action. It’s just that it’s currently about as popular as a dose of clap in a nunnery. The fact is that The Rock will take the 1-2-3 at WrestleMania and Roman will be victorious. This means the car crash that The Bloodline story has now become will roll on for a little longer, but that’s the state of things as they stand.

Do we think that any of this makes sense from a creative point of view? No, it bloody doesn’t. It’s stupid and cobbled together with chewing gum and gaffa tape. It’s going to set back WWE Creative about 2 years, as the fans are going to lay the blame at someone’s door—even though injuries have played a HUGE fucking part in all of this—and that door is going to be marked Triple H. But do we think it makes sense from a business point of view? Ah, now that’s an entirely different question.

Love it or hate it, The Rock is one of the biggest stars in the world today, and the fact that he is going to be at this year’s WrestleMania is going to be a goldmine for Endeavour. It will bring casual fans back in their droves and along with them, fans who have only ever seen The Rock as Dwayne Johnson movie star will flock to watch the Great One in action. This will be the biggest-selling WrestleMania the company has ever had and by a country mile. it will break records across the board, and this time they won’t have to fudge the numbers.

“But, what about their fanbase? Surely we’re more important than the casual fan?”

Yeah…not so much. Don’t get us wrong: without the fanbase the WWE would be nothing, but the fact is they know, and you know, that you’ll watch the WWE no matter what happens—*cough* Vince McMahon allegations *cough*—so they already have your dollar. What they want is for those people who have either lapsed or have never had an interest in wrestling to get their eyes on the product. And that’s what the WWE is. A product. No different from the movies or TV shows. And the best way to do that is to have a mega-star like The Rock step back into the squared circle.

From now until WrestleMania, this story will be splashed across every major media outlet across the globe. It will be such a huge deal that nearly everyone will know about it, and that will bring thousands and thousands if not millions and millions of people to a show that they would never even contemplate spending hard-earned money on without The Rock being a part of it.

Is it good creative? No.

Is it spitting in the face of a dedicated fanbase? Definitely.

Does Endeavour care? If it helps them make a huge chunk of change towards the initial outlay they made to buy the WWE, not in the slightest.

We know that seems harsh, but it’s the truth.


Written by Cult Cinema Saves The World

Cult Cinema Saves The World

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