Last week The Rock returned to SmackDown to seemingly set up a WrestleMania match with Roman Reigns and the wrestling world has been in an uproar ever since. Following Cody’s Royal Rumble win last month it seems that many fans were hoping to see Cody Rhodes vs. Roman Reigns at the Royal Rumble, but The Rock’s return has drastically changed the situation.
Fightful Select reports that sources noted there were meetings held on January 1 and other meetings along the way that indicated to Cody Rhodes plans hadn’t changed and he was slated to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. Only a select group of people were informed as of Royal Rumble weekend that WWE would be going in a different direction. There’s currently no word as to why WWE had Cody win the Royal Rumble as several people in creative were told the day of the Royal Rumble that the company would be moving forward with plans for The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania, and that merchandise had been created to promote it.
After winning the Royal Rumble match Cody Rhodes confronted Roman Reigns on the following episode of SmackDown as he told The Tribal Chief wouldn’t be coming for him at WrestleMania. The American Nightmare then seemingly gave up his chance to face Roman on the Grandest Stage of Them All as Cody Rhodes introduced The Rock.
People who spoke on the situation noted that Cody expressed to WWE that he thought the reaction wouldn’t be the desired one, but did the segment. Cody was said to have been in a somber mood after. Other sources claimed that the decision was above Triple H and Nick Khan and goes all the way up to Ari Emanuel and Mark Shapiro.
As of last week Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins at WrestleMania was the plan told to creative. However, WWE is said to be monitoring the reactions and while there’s no word on whether or not plans will change moving forward there were options being discussed in the days following SmackDown.