WrestleMania 40, Cody Rhodes, WrestleMania

Why Are WWE Fans Outraged About Cody Rhodes, The Rock, and WrestleMania 40?

WWE is firmly on its Road to WrestleMania, however, all is not as rosy as it should be. When Cody Rhodes won the most open Royal Rumble in years on January 27th at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, many expected the American Nightmare to choose to face off against Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the main event on the Grandest Stage of Them All for the second straight year.

However, not even a week later, those same fans who were celebrating wildly following the Atalnta-born star’s second straight Rumble match victory were up in arms. But why?

Cody Rhodes Wins the Royal Rumble

Well, first, let’s set the stage. Ever since a certain CM Punk returned to WWE back in November at Survivor Series, plans appeared to be set in stone for WrestleMania 40. The Second City Saint would face off against Seth Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship in night one’s main event, while the aforementioned Rhodes and Reigns clash would headline night two. And heading into the Royal Rumble, WWE seemed fairly dead set on that course. The only question that remained was who would win the Rumble match itself, and who would have to embark on a more arduous road to WrestleMania?

During his days in the Octagon, UFC odds continually made Punk an underdog, pricing him at +265 for his second clash with the company against fellow 0-1 fighter Mike Jackson. The former WWE Champion duly lost that contest, and he would lose this year’s Royal Rumble match as well, only this time as the betting favorite. He was odds on to win the 30-man extravaganza last month however, he was the last man eliminated by Rhodes, sparking jubilation amongst the 45,000-plus in attendance at the Trop.

However, during his stint in the match, Punk legitimately tore his triceps, an injury that will see him miss WrestleMania altogether and forcing WWE to change plans on the fly. Many thought that this wouldn’t affect Reigns vs Rhodes II, but it certainly appears that they will.

The Rock Returns and Fans Turn on Him Almost Immediately

On the February 2nd edition of Friday Night SmackDown, WWE advertised that Reigns and Rhodes would be going face-to-face for just the second time since the night after WrestleMania 39. Fans tuned in in their millions to see the highly anticipated showdown, and when the American Nightmare’s music hit, the 15,000 in attendance in Birmingham, Alabama lost their collective mind. However, almost immediately, things weren’t exactly as they appeared.

Since his return to the company almost two years ago, Cody Rhodes has incessantly spoken of the need to finish the story. That story is lifting the one title that his father, the late great American Dream Dusty Rhodes, never did. The WWE Championship. A unified version of that title is currently held by Roman Reigns and has been for the past 1,200-plus days.

Rhodes had his chance at glory at SoFi Stadium last year and couldn’t take it. He has worked tirelessly over the past year to get the opportunity again and he finally earned it with his victory at the Royal Rumble. So, fans were shocked to hear him say that he would be aside and making way for someone else to challenge Reigns at WrestleMania.

But before the sheer shock from that statement could settle in, The Rock’s electrifying music hit, and Birmingham was sent into a frenzy once more. The Great One then went face to face with Reigns, who is his real-life “cousin”, setting the scene for a generational clash. Chants of “This is awesome” reigned down from the crowd, but almost immediately after the show, anger set in.

What Happened Next?

Once the dust had settled, fans had a chance to think things over. And when they did that, they realized that Roman Reigns vs The Rock wasn’t the WrestleMania main event that they wanted to see. No. They wanted to see Cody Rhodes finally finish his story after a career of blood, sweat, and tears. Seeing his opportunity ripped away from him at the final hurdle by a 51-year-old well past his prime version of The Rock simply wasn’t in the script, and nor did they want it to be.

Throughout the weekend following Friday Night SmackDown, #WeWantCody was the number one trend worldwide for over 72 hours on X, formerly known as Twitter. Over 250,000 posts were sent in support of the American Nightmare, with fellow superstars such as Logan Paul and Ricochet seemingly supporting the Royal Rumble winner.

And that support has gone parabolic, turning into almost nuclear hatred for The Rock, a man who has universally loved the world over. The Brahma Bull has had his social media accounts hit with tens of thousands of comments from angry fans saying that he sucks and that they want Cody in the WrestleMania main event.

What happens next remains unclear. Will WWE continue steadfast in its plans for Roman Reigns vs The Rock? Or will they bow down to fan pressure and let Cody finish his story? Only time will tell, however, one certain thing is that the next six weeks of WWE programming is going to be must-see.

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