The Rock Vs Roman Reigns Is Still “100% The Plan” For WrestleMania Despite Fan Reaction

By Joe Burgett
Feb 6, 2024

Last week on Friday Night SmackDown, WWE decided to do something that just seemed really strange. Cody Rhodes came out at the end of the show and told Roman Reigns that he still wanted to win the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. However, he will not be competing for it at WrestleMania 40. He then brought out The Rock to seemingly take his spot against Reigns. Setting up for The Rock vs Roman Reigns to main event WrestleMania 40. The whole thing came off as incredibly messy.

In fact, Rhodes even claimed that perhaps “finishing the story” meant taking everything away from Reigns, not just his championship. This was odd to hear from Cody because while he’s had issues with The Bloodline, he never cared that Roman was the “Tribal Chief.” He only ever cared about winning the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship. Everything else, however, Roman could keep if he wanted.

This is because the story Rhodes wants to finish has never once, nor ever needed to be about Roman in any form. It has only ever been about the title. Now WWE is trying to sell us on this concept. One might say that Rhodes may have been forced to amend his original story because ending The Bloodline is the only way he can win the title. If that is the case, sure.

However, even this was never spoken during the segment. It’s such an easy thing to throw in that would not have taken more than 2 seconds of time. At the same time, it would have perhaps gone on to be one of the most important lines of the segment.

That said, this segment caused a ton of backlash online. Now one has to wonder, has WWE changed their mind?

The Rock Vs Roman Reigns Still Happening

The Rock & Roman Reigns Face-To-Face

Apparently, WWE does not learn their lesson very well. According to PW Insider, The Rock vs Roman Reigns is still “100% the plan” for WrestleMania. Despite how fans have pushed back hard against this, WWE does not care, it’s happening. In fact, Insider even claimed that barring an injury or unpreventable occurrence, there is “no scenario” where it doesn’t happen.

The reason for this is apparently down to the rumor that part of The Rock’s deal to join the TKO Group Board of Directors was to have this main event match with Roman. Of course, this has not yet been proven to be the case. One could say that The Rock may have asked to have a match with Reigns and was told he’d have it. Yet the TKO Group never told him when or where it would happen at the time. This would have been the most sensible thing they could have agreed to.

Especially since they gave him $30 million and the rights to “The Rock” moniker for the first time.

With CM Punk and Brock Lesnar out, Rock may have pushed for the board to let him have the match at WrestleMania 40. Which they seemed to have agreed to, likely overriding any creative decision Triple H had planned.

It’s Totally Cool Now, Right?

PW Insider went on to say that WWE believes that the shock of The Rock’s appearance will wear off soon. Now they have several weeks to adjust the program and to “make it make sense.” What is so odd here is that one should have to make something make sense.

They actually think that this will make Cody Rhodes an even bigger babyface with the story. However, the plan has never been to turn The Rock heel, and they don’t want it to come off like he is taking Cody’s spot.

Well, it’s too darn late for that nonsense!!

Funny enough, it is being reported that WWE was actually handing out the #WeWantCody signs last night at WWE RAW. Which may have been a Triple H move to further push his initial idea. While The Rock vs Roman Reigns is a sensible match built for a WrestleMania main event, without a doubt, there was a struggle over what to do. This is why the segment was put together at all, as it was possibly done to “test the waters.”

The SmackDown segment was despised by fans. It is also very likely that Triple H did not write it, as it goes against every type of booking and writing concept that he is known for. Yet it did exactly what many who follow the product expected it to.

The Messy Newswire

Rhodes, Rock, and Reigns

There has been a ton of news coming out in the last few days about a power struggle. It is more than likely that The Rock does want to try and make some creative contributions to the product. However, he is far too busy to run creative himself and even adding a proxy to run day-to-day would be tough to manage. Many feel that if Rock was trying to make a case for having more creative control over WWE, this died quickly after fans pushed back.

It is claimed that The Rock wanted to make Cody Rhodes into a Daniel Bryan-like figure. However, this would be ignorant. Bryan’s whole problem was that he was loved by fans but never given a chance at the top of the card. He deserved but was never given a WrestleMania main event. That led to the YES! Movement, giving fans everything they wanted for Bryan. The difference is that Cody is already the face of WWE and has been used near or at the top of the card ever since his arrival.

He also competed in the main event of WrestleMania just last year and just recently became a back-to-back Royal Rumble winner. He is hardly in need of a Daniel Bryan-like movement. Rhodes is already as over as one can be. That is why the fan outcry was so loud.

Fans Proved They’ll Turn On The Rock Before Turning On Cody:

The Rock did not help to make Cody a bigger deal or “famous.” The fans came out in favor of Cody, who loved him already, and showed the WWE just how much they did with their response. If anything, this proved how fans will turn on The Rock before turning on Cody Rhodes right now. That should really show just how bad the idea of The Rock vs Roman Reigns can be. Keep in mind, WrestleMania takes place in Philadelphia and these are the same people who threw snowballs at freakin Santa Claus!

Now you’ve made fans so angry they chanted “Rocky Sucks!” on RAW! It is unlikely WWE expected that type of response from fans. Keep in mind, if the Insider report is true, they are trying to not make The Rock heel or make it seem like he is taking Cody’s spot. Yet the latter narrative is impossible to believe because it’s a clear and obvious fact. Fans now do not seem to care for The Rock, thereby making him a heel in their eyes.

It is uncertain when The Rock will make another appearance, in person or via satellite. However, when he does, expect fans to boo him. Something he has never experienced as a babyface since the mid-1990s. Even Michael Cole mentioned on RAW that it “felt like 1996” again when fans chanted “Rocky Sucks.”

Seth Rollins responded during the segment that this aired that he “never thought he’d hear that one.”

Which goes to show how much fans love Cody. They love him so much that they are willing to boo the biggest star on the planet today not named Taylor Swift.

Can The Rock Vs Roman Reigns Happen At This Point And Make Fans Happy?

The Rock & Cody Rhodes

While The Rock vs Roman Reigns is still the plan, it is clear that most fans do not seem to want it. How does WWE make this match happen while still making fans happy enough to not boo the entire match? At this point, if they go with the idea of just The Rock vs Roman Reigns and perhaps Cody Rhodes vs Seth Rollins, they’ll never be able to sell that to fans properly. They want Cody/Roman at WM40, and won’t settle for anything less.

The beauty of WWE now having two nights for WrestleMania allows for this type of thing to happen.

WWE could have The Rock vs Roman Reigns take place for the “Tribal Chief” role for Night #1. Then on Night #2, Reigns will have to defend his WWE Undisputed Universal Championship against Cody. For Reigns, he would be the first person to work both nights. He will likely also make the historic mark of perhaps being the first and only person to ever main event both nights too. Therefore, it is worth doing for Reigns and only makes his legacy greater.

Of course, forcing Reigns to work 20% of his perspective 2024 schedule at WrestleMania might not be something he enjoys. Yet it would solve every problem WWE is dealing with right now. You get to have the corporate main event while also giving the fans the main event they want. Everyone wins. Theoretically, this is what WWE will want to build to. However, we will have to wait and see if that is where things lean.

Things Were Apparently Planned:

The newswire over the last few days has claimed that Rock vs Reigns has been planned ever since early January. This is an odd thing to buy into if we’re being frank. If that is true, why did they not have CM Punk win the Rumble over Cody? Sure, Punk still would have been hurt but Cody would not have been able to work with Reigns. Since he needs the Rumble win to get to Reigns as a member of the RAW Roster, he’d have no option to face him without it. Now you have an easier setup for Cody/Seth.

However, we all know the real plan was to do Seth Rollins/CM Punk for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. Before Punk went down, this was essentially a guarantee for WrestleMania. That meant that Cody made the most sense to win the Rumble if you wanted Reigns/Cody & Rollins/Punk as your two main events.  This is why buying that they planned Rock vs Reigns before the Rumble and the fallout from it just seems illogical.

Unless they had planned all along to have Reigns work both nights. That is why most feel if it is true that they planned this by early January, then Reigns was going to work both nights. Yet the injury to Punk sort of made it to where Rollins needed a main event-level opponent. It made sense to then have Cody face Seth. You could then sell Rock/Reigns as the other main event.

This supports the idea of the “testing the waters” concept. Where they were seeing if they should do the original plan or slide Cody over to work with Seth. The reaction pretty much means that the original idea needs to remain unchanged.

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