WrestleMania 40: Significance Of Cody Rhodes Challenging The Rock

As WWE continues to structure WrestleMania 40, we got a new twist with Cody Rhodes challenging The Rock to a singles match.

WrestleMania 40 Cody Rhodes The Rock
Credit: WWE

As WWE continues to structure WrestleMania 40, we got a new twist with Cody Rhodes challenging The Rock to a singles match.

On a night when the challengers for two world title matches – Becky Lynch and Drew McIntyre – locked in their title shots for WrestleMania 40 by winning their respective Elimination Chamber matches, the segment with the biggest implications for WrestleMania may have been one that didn’t even feature a wrestling match. 

It all went down during the “Grayson Waller Effect” segment at Elimination Chamber this past Saturday. Cody Rhodes and his former-foe-turned-newfound-ally Seth Rollins appeared in an interview segment.

Austin Theory was there too, playing Grayson Waller’s sidekick.

After we got news of Rollins’ imminent medical clearance, Rhodes then laid out a surprising challenge to The Rock. The man who just a few weeks earlier Cody was embracing in the ring.

And, seemingly conceding his WrestleMania match against Roman Reigns.

That all changed after a mix of genuine and corporate-influenced #WeWantCody hashtags. It led to a pivot at the WrestleMania press conference in Las Vegas. The Rock slapped Cody in the face after he reclaimed his WrestleMania main event against Reigns. 

Since then, World Champion Seth Rollins has pledged to Rhodes to serve as his “Shield” against the Bloodline. This along with heavy visuals of all four men had led many to speculate that a Rock and Roman Reigns  vs. Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins match would be added to the WrestleMania card.

But yet another twist was added to this story at Elimination Chamber during the “Grayson Waller Effect”, as Cody issued a challenge directly to The Rock, stating he wants to face him “one-on-one, anytime, anyplace.” 

What Cody Rhodes’ Challenge To The Rock Means For WrestleMania

There are a number of directions that Rhodes’ challenge to The Rock could take on the road to WrestleMania 40. 

Rhodes declared his schedule was “wide open” between Elimination Chamber and his showdown with Reigns at WrestleMania. But let’s be honest here – this match is NOT happening on a random episode of WWE Raw or Smackdown

It’s possible that we could still get the rumored tag match. This storyline continues to twist and turn to get us there. With Rollins declaring his allegiance to Rhodes whenever that showdown happens, we could easily see a promo or two turning the affair into a tag team match. Maybe, taking place on Night 1 of WrestleMania 40.

But there are a few problems with this scenario 

First, Cody Rhodes will have waited a full year to get his hands on Roman Reigns. Putting the two of them in the same ring together the night before their epic showdown really kills some of the aura. To give that moment away the night before the actual title match would really suck the aura out of that match ahead of time.

Secondly, are we really expecting Roman Reigns – who rarely appears on television and has had a grand total of 3 – yes, THREE –  WWE Universal Title defenses since last year’s WrestleMania, to now wrestle twice in two nights? 

Not to mention the injury-prone Seth Rollins. While it seems he is in fact medically cleared, is WWE really willing to risk him wrestling twice at WrestleMania? 

The tag match scenario just doesn’t add up to me, so what does this lead to?

Cody Rhodes Vs. The Rock: A WrestleMania Night 1 Main Event?

The key phrases that Rhodes’ used in his challenge to The Rock were “one-on-one” and “anytime, anyplace.”  It’s not likely they’d use the “one-on-one” phrasing at this stage if the plan was for a tag match. So, my prediction is that this match will in fact happen…at WrestleMania. 

With The Rock fully embracing his heel character, Rhodes has provided the perfect opportunity for a heel maneuver to hone in on the “anytime, anyplace” aspect of the challenge and accept the match…for Night 1 of WrestleMania

From the heel’s perspective, it’s the perfect opportunity for The Rock to “soften up” Rhodes before his match with Reigns in the Main Event of WrestleMania Night 2. With Rhodes being the heroic babyface we’ve all come to root for, he’ll accept the challenge despite the odds. 

This could set up a scenario similar to Daniel Bryan’s at WrestleMania 30. He had to first defeat Triple H in the opening contest before earning his way into the main event. Then, Bryan would defeat Randy Orton and Batista in a triple threat match.

Cody Rhodes can make history

A Night 1 match vs. The Rock could similarly serve to beat and batter the “American Nightmare.” And, further build some babyface sympathy prior to his match with Reigns on Night 2.

WrestleMania 40 Cody Rhodes The Rock
Source: WWE

In fact, it wouldn’t completely shock me if The Rock won that match. Thus, planting the seeds for a Bloodline power struggle with Reigns. If Reigns fails to do what The Rock did and loses his championship to Rhodes on Night 2. 

Either way, the way this challenge was laid out almost guarantees a Rhodes-Rock match at WrestleMania. And, you can bet your “candy -ss” that The Rock – the newest real-life members of TKO’s Board of Directors – is not going to be wrestling on the undercard. 

My prediction: Cody Rhodes vs. The Rock is the Main Event of WrestleMania 40 Night 1. Therefore, making Cody Rhodes the first wrestler to main event twice since the beginning of the “Two Night” era of WrestleManias.

Be sure to follow Marc Clair for the latest videos and stories about pro wrestling, movies, comics and more.

A lifelong fan of comics and pro wrestling, Marc Clair seemingly never shuts up about either. Marc is an... More about Marc Clair

Mentioned In This Article::

More About: