Predicting Cody Rhodes WrestleMania 40 Future


It has been a while since I wrote about wrestling, but I know that some of my readers share a love for the 'sport'. WrestleMania 40 arrives live from Philadelphia this year and is likely to be a massive show, especially since it is crazy to think there have already been 39 of these spectaculars.

Last year, Cody Rhodes was in the main event challenging Roman Reigns for the WWE Universal championship, and to the shock of many, he ended up losing and not 'finishing his story' It is largely believed Roman won because WWE is obsessed with him having a several long year reign that beats many of the longstanding ones from the 1980s and 1970s (I'm pretty confident Bruno Sammartino's 8 year-long reign from the 60s and early 70s is safe). 

Of course, the whole record length is a little suss, as the kids say, as Reigns won the WWE title (which shares the historic WWF World title lineage) seven months after he won the Universal title, yet they've been treating it like one title reign when it comes to breaking the WWF World title records. I also think WWE at this point is the only one who really cares about the length of Roman's reign, and it is less impressive when you realize he defends the title a maximum of 12 times a year.

Anyway, it was a shocker Rhodes lost, and to be honest, it is pretty clear almost a year later that it was the wrong decision. There wasn't anything Roman did this year with the Bloodline that needed to have him as champion and Rhodes winning would have made him an even bigger star than he is currently. 

It appeared for most of the year that they were building Rhodes to a Wrestlemania rematch for 2024, with him this time finally realizing the dream his dad, Dusty Rhodes, never pulled off by being the WWE champion. Reign and Rhodes were kept on different shows for the whole year, and Rhodes was continually plopped into storylines and feuds that kept him away from world title matches that left a sense it was making it a bigger deal when he finally won the Royal Rumble again and got the title shot at the big WrestleMania main event.

Then suddenly, The Rock appeared on Raw and hinted he was going to challenge Roman Reigns. The heavy speculation and the smart money is that the Wrestlemania 40 main event is now going to be global mega-star The Rock challenging his cousin Reigns for the WWE Universal title, or whatever they are calling it now.

There is a chance that isn't happening, but I feel like Triple H has proven he usually has a plan that he rarely deviates from, and the tease would have made very little sense if they didn't intend to pay it off. Also, The Rock is without a doubt the biggest possible star if they want to make WrestleMania 40 come off as a historic event, and will guarantee they sell out the stadium and will get tons of media exposure. Rock is a bigger star than Rhodes, and if he wants to do the main event, then they aren't going to deny him even if it goes against the story they had simmering all year. Plus, The Rock vs. Reigns is a thing that has been discussed for what feels like at least half a decade.

Because the multiverse is all the rage, WWE has a second World title, but it isn't the one that would complete Rhodes' journey since he is all about challenging for the historic WWE title that eluded Dusty in the 1970s. The hints are that CM Punk is going to challenge Seth Rollins. This means the returning Punk likely wins the Royal Rumble and pick Rollins as his opponent at WrestleMania. This likely means one night is headlined by Punk vs. Rollins, and the other is Rock vs. Reigns.

What happens to poor Cody whom for most of the year they have tried to frame as the face of the company? He gets left out of the main event and forced into a closed book on his story finishing dreams.

Here is what I thought about while not being able to sleep one night. Cody needs to be in a major match, and he needs to come off as a top star and someone who can deliver. He can't 'choke' a second straight Wrestlemania, and he is already going into the show a little damaged if I am right about him not winning the Rumble.

My pitch is he challenges for another title. He will be the man to break the record reign of Gunther as the Intercontinental Champion. Gunther is now the longest-reigning Intercontinental champion. The company has been hyping him up as one of the biggest stars. They clearly want him in a major match on the show. They are also trying to make that title seem like the huge deal that it used to be back in the 1980s. Gunther vs. Rhodes would come off as a main event-level match, and Rhodes ending his streak would be a huge Wrestlemania moment and make Rhodes look like one of the biggest stars coming out of the show.

It would also give him something to do for most of 2024 as he would be defending the title against many top stars including rematches with Gunther. He could hold it for most of the year, which would give a reason why he goes another year not chasing the World title.

My assumption is Roman beats The Rock. They want to go another year with him as champion with the idea he breaks Hulk Hogan's original title reign, even though he doesn't really because again Roman's entire run is combining two title reigns rather than just the WWE title. We will ignore facts, just like wrestling usually does anyway.

This means Roman gets another year where he defends the title every other month and gets billed as unstoppable. Rhodes gets to add a decent IC title reign to his resume. Then at some point at the end of 2024 or the start of 2025, a Bloodline member can cause Rhodes to lose his title, and reheat his issues with Roman. Rhodes then wins the Rumble, and we finally get the rematch at 41, Rhodes finally finishes his story by becoming the WWE champion. He also has a ready-made challenger in whoever beats him for the Intercontinental title (my vote is another Bloodline member in Solo Sikoa, who they also want to make into a major player).

I think this is a best-case scenario and helps Rhodes stay strong and makes up for him losing out on a WrestleMania main event this year. I still think Rhodes should have won last year, but a Reigns vs, Rock, Punk vs. Rollins, and Rhodes vs. Gunther is a pretty decent top of the card line-up.

What do you think Cody Rhodes will do at WrestleMania 40 and do you believe Rock vs. Roman Reigns is a sure thing this year?