WWE champ Cody Rhodes dishes on The Rock’s return, how WrestleMania 40 main event was shaping up


Cody Rhodes headlined both nights of WrestleMania 40 earlier this year, as his rivalry with Roman Reigns and The Bloodline faction evolved into a feud with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

At one point, despite Rhodes earning a shot at the WWE title with his win at the Royal Rumble, there was doubt that he would challenge Reigns as it seemed The Rock was going to go up against him in the main event. That storyline was put on hold as The Rock did main event Night 1 of WrestleMania, but in a tag-team match with Reigns against Rhodes and Seth Rollins.


Rhodes went on to win the WWE Undisputed Championship over Reigns on Night 2 of WrestleMania, but the reason behind the decision to catapult him into the main event is still a mystery to most fans. The story is set to be told in WWE’s documentary on Wednesday night, “WrestleMania XL: Behind the Curtains.”

“The American Nightmare” touched on how he felt about the ordeal in an interview on “The Pivot.” He said he had the utmost respect for The Rock and knew he was, in his soul, a pro wrestler when he got to know him. However, he was not just going to step aside for him.

“Where we could butt heads is in the idea that you could just come back in the midst of a story that was taking place and, just because you’re The Rock, you can step into the starting lineup and take WrestleMania for yourself,” Rhodes explained. “A lot of people will say, ‘He’s The Rock, he can do whatever he wants.’ I even saw this really fun podcast with two wrestling heads talking back and forth, and they said, ‘I’m sure Cody’s fine stepping aside for WrestleMania and then doing it later in the year.’ In my mind, I’m thinking, that’s insane. That’s the Super Bowl for what we do.


“To get to the Sunday, the last day of WrestleMania, the last match, is our Super Bowl. And it used to be, financially, to get to that match was the big money match, when the pay was all different. The idea that somebody thought I would just be cool with it, they don’t know me. That’s nonsense. I’ve worked my whole life for this. 

“Rock should know I wouldn’t be cool with it. I think maybe that’s an understanding that him and I had. He found out I’m not cool with it. That’s a good thing. Because you know who wasn’t cool with The Rock was Steve Austin, and they made magic together. They rubbed together so much, they created diamonds, they made magic together. So I do have a lot of respect for him.”

The Rock told Rhodes at the “Monday Night Raw” after WrestleMania that he would see him when he returned. Rhodes said his head has been on a swivel ever since.

Rhodes is still the champion and has had multiple title defenses since defeating Reigns. He has since been performing for “SmackDown” and is still dealing with The Bloodline – though it is now led by Solo Sikoa, who has a lot of firepower by his side.


Rhodes is set to take part in a 6-man tag-team match at Money in the Bank this weekend against Sikoa, Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa. He will have Randy Orton and Kevin Owens on his team.

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