How? How did they screw this up this badly? I mean there’s ways they could’ve done this but they did it in one of the worst ways possible. Look, whether you’re a wrestling fan or not, the one time of year that WWE can pull in virtually anyone is during WrestleMania. This is the biggest wrestling stage of all and carries some of the biggest moments in wrestling history. If you’re not a fan of wrestling you can still watch WrestleMania and have a great time.
However, the way WrestleMania is shaping up right now is not looking like a great time for fans. Let me give you a bit of background in case you aren’t familiar with the situation. At last year’s WrestleMania, the main event of Cody Rhodes vs Roman Reigns for the undisputed WWE universal championship. The story going into was Rhodes wanted to win the title his father never could and finish his family’s story. For Reigns, it was about continuing his legacy as one of the greatest champions of all time as his reign was over two years at that point.
It was the perfect time to give Rhodes the win and give him the championship, but they opted to not finish the story and have Reigns retain and continue his dominant reign. Many (including myself) thought this was the wrong choice and they should’ve given the moment to Rhodes but were holding on for Rhodes to finish the story the next year. Since then the whole story has been about getting Rhodes back to the top of the mountain to redeem himself and finish the story. And he did make his way back to the top. He built himself up the past year and then ended up winning the 30-man Royal Rumble for the second straight year giving him another chance to finish his story at WrestleMania against Roman Reigns. After Rhodes won he pointed to Reigns saying he’s coming for him and his title. Everything was in motion for Rhodes to finally finish his story.
And then…plans changed. The original plan was to have CM Punk vs Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship and then have Cody Rhodes face Roman Reigns for his championship. However, CM Punk got injured in the Royal Rumble match and WWE felt they needed to fill that hole by getting bigger star power. CM Punk is a big draw so they felt like they had to at least equal that level of notoriety for a replacement.
Then enters The Rock. This past Friday, Cody Rhodes was on Smackdown to make his decision of who to face at WrestleMania between Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. It seemed obvious that Rhodes would pick Reigns but then Rhodes cut a promo saying that he’s essentially giving the match against Reigns to Dwyane “The Rock” Johnson. The Rock is a huge worldwide star who was once the face of WWE and he is also cousins with Roman Reigns. The match between the once biggest star, The Rock, and the current biggest star, Roman Reigns, seemed like such an obvious match to have especially with these two being as big as they are.
But here’s the problem. I’m okay with this match happening, but in these circumstances, it’s a terrible move. Fans have waited over a year for Cody Rhodes to finally finish his story and win the championship his father couldn’t and that’s what the hope was after he lost at WrestleMania last year. Although people didn’t like that result, they were hoping the year-long build would make Rhodes winning even better. But now that build was all for nothing. Rhodes carried this company on his back for the past two years and now he’s just being pushed to the side for a guy who may get them some more clicks and is a bigger worldwide star in The Rock.
The Rock hasn’t even wrestled in years as well. On top of that Roman Reigns is a part-timer who barely shows up. So now they’re pushing aside a guy who has worked his ass off for this company for two guys who are barely there and will continue to barely be there. If you were working at a job that you put your blood, sweat and tears into to make that place great but then got none of the recognition and instead that recognition went to some guy who only shows up to work every once in a while but is more popular at work, you’d be so pissed about that. That is what this whole situation feels like and it just makes no sense. I get The Rock is a bigger draw but Rhodes has proven he is too and the reaction from the online community all seems to agree that WWE made a terrible decision.
The quarterback. The guy. The face.
— Gunnar Mathis (@GunnarMathis) February 4, 2024
The other thing that makes this situation way worse is that WWE made the championship that Cody Rhodes will now go after, the World Heavyweight Championship that Seth Rollins holds, feel like it’s meaningless. This championship was introduced less than a year ago because Roman Reigns was never around so they needed another world championship while he was gone. However, this automatically made this championship feel like a secondary championship like it’s just a silver medal and not a gold one. WWE did a solid job trying to build that title up to become relevant and was doing a decent job at it, but then right before Rhodes made his decision of which champion to face, Roman Reigns completely buried that championship. He called it the “losers bracket champion” because everyone who couldn’t beat him just went for that championship. This title just feels completely secondary and now it feels like Rhodes is going after a second-place trophy (although in reality, it’s not his choice).
Another point that makes no sense is why is Cody Rhodes just giving away his spot in a match he’s wanted for a long time? Rhodes has intentionally not gone for the World Heavyweight Championship because that title was not the one his father went after. But now he’s just changed his mind suddenly? On top of that, it makes no sense for him not to want to get revenge against Reigns and finish his story with the championship he ACTUALLY wants to win. Instead, he’s just letting The Rock face Reigns for no real reason that has been explained at this point. Wouldn’t Rhodes want to be the guy to take down Reigns and not just let someone else try instead?
The whole logic in this story and this decision makes absolutely no sense and has made Rhodes look bad, it’s made Seth Rollins look bad, it’s made the World Heavyweight Championship feel like even more of a consultation prize, and overall makes zero sense. Fans are not happy with this decision which is evident from the dislikes on this segment on YouTube which is now the most disliked video on YouTube from WWE of all time. They still have time to change this but it’s going to be messy if they do (if it’s even possible to get more messier than this situation) but will likely not happen. The Rock vs Roman Reigns will make them a ton of money so they won’t care about what the reception is.
The Rock & Roman Reigns’ segment from last nights #SmackDown has now surpassed 400,000 dislikes in under 20 hours.
Extending its record as the most disliked @WWE YouTube video of all time.
3.2M Views. 87K Likes. 400K Dislikes. pic.twitter.com/QHwBLvujeM
— Wrestle Ops (@WrestleOps) February 3, 2024
WWE is going to WWE and we really shouldn’t be surprised about it. I’m sure WrestleMania will still be great but this kills a lot of the excitement. If there’s one thing you and I can learn from this it’s that whenever you can finish your story, you should do it. In the end though, none of this really matters. I just wish people would get this upset about things like the Vince McMahon allegations instead of just brushing it to the side…