Cody Rhodes Was Supposed To Be More Enthusiastic About Giving Up His WWE WrestleMania 40 Main Event For The Rock

Cody Rhodes was meant to be happy about stepping aside for The Rock at WWE WrestleMania 40, according to Brian Gewirtz

WWE's original plans for the main event of WrestleMania 40 didn't exactly come to fruition. The company ended up pivoting from The Rock vs. Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship to Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes for the gold belt following a fan backlash to Rhodes standing aside for Dwayne Johnson on the February 2 episode of SmackDown. 

The segment on February 2 saw Cody, who had already won the Royal Rumble, announce that he would face Roman Reigns at a later date for WWE's top title as he wanted to take everything from the Tribal Chief. This led to a visibly upset Cody introducing The Rock, with the show going off the air with a staredown between Dwayne Johnson and Roman Reigns. 

Speaking about the segment on The Ringer Wrestling Show, Brian Gewirtz, a close confidante of The Rock and the SVP of Development at Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions, revealed Cody was supposed to be more enthusiastic about stepping aside for The Rock. 

"I will say Cody (Rhodes) is a human being who is genuine and real and he wears his heart and emotions on his sleeve and I will say, in Alabama, certainly, even if you tell me, dude, that will never work. That's stupid to even propose it. But the idea was supposed to be, again - it’s like a Nixon-Kennedy debate a little bit where it's like if you read the transcript, you're like, oh, Nixon kicked his ass. If you watch the actual footage, you go, ah, it was a sweaty, terrible mess. Because Cody, it was supposed to be, in some form, like, yeah! F*ckin’ A! Go get 'em Rock! You're gonna get your ass kicked Roman! Let’s do this! And kind of this uplifting promo and instead, he looked like someone shot his dog in the face in the parking lot," Gewirtz said.

"Like you said, just look at his expression and by the way, someone else who even when the team wins, sometimes looks forlorn and upset and despondent, Julius Randle. Hey. So yeah, that, I don't think helped matters. It might not have changed, it might not have affected anything. But certainly on paper - and by the way, I don't even blame Cody for that because he's real, he's one of the realest people I've ever met so yeah, it's like, he said what he had to say in the promo. But you couldn't mask what he was really feeling and I think the fans felt that a lot. I think the fans felt like he doesn't mean a word of this. This is being forced for him to say. He's despondent. He's literally doing the Michael Cera-Arrested Development-Charlie Brown walk out of the arena, when he's supposed to be on cloud nine so, I think that had a lot to do with it."

The backlash to the segment led to The Rock pivoting and deciding Cody should challenge Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title instead. Dwayne Johnson then turned heel and aligned with The Bloodline, teaming with Reigns to defeat Cody and Seth Rollins in the main event of WrestleMania 40 night one. 

Gewirtz detailed how The Rock's pivot came together, adding: 

"The conversation and it's talked about in the doc but to touch on it here a little bit is we have two choices here, and by the way, so Rock, he communicates normally via voice message. I am very paranoid about voice messaging. I don't know how to do it, I don't like the sound of my voice if I have to hear it back so I always text. But also, because I get a lot of voice messages from him and I don't wanna miss anything, I save them all. So I saved our conversation from post-Alabama and yeah, it's essentially, to sum it up, it's like, 'We have two choices here. We can push forward,' like WWE in the past has often done, which is like, yeah, let 'em get it out of their system and eventually, we'll do what we need to do. 

"Or, we could do something pretty incredible, because we've always, always, always have been, in terms of putting promos together of like, 'Ah, if I was a heel again, I could have so much fun. I never actually pulled the trigger,' but it's also been on the back of Rock's mind as far as like, hmm, can we? Is it possible? And he's essentially brought the idea in of, 'You know what? Let me talk to you about Vegas for a minute' and I'll leave it at that. But it was certainly something like, yeah, a choice needed to be made. Go ahead and push forward and they'll hopefully - it'll die down and blah, blah, blah. Or, not only react to it, but make it better and create something that the world is just not ready for in a good way." 

The Rock's heel turn was widely praised by fans and a showdown between Cody Rhodes and The Rock is reportedly planned for WrestleMania 41.

With WrestleMania 40, though, not only was The Rock vs. Roman Reigns the original plan but Dwayne Johnson was scheduled to win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WWE's biggest show of the year. He then would have immediately vacated the belt and gone back to Hollywood. 

H/T POST Wrestling

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