Cody Rhodes-Paul Heyman Raw Segment Was “Completely Different” From Original Plans
The heavily praised Cody Rhodes segment on Raw with Paul Heyman was originally planned to be different than what actually aired.
On the February 6th episode of Raw, Cody Rhodes was in the ring doing a promo about WrestleMania 39 talking about his championship match against current Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Cody earned the championship match by winning the Men’s Royal Rumble.
Without any warning, “ladies and gentlemen” was heard as Paul Heyman, the Special Counsel to Reigns, entered the building. What ensued from there was a very interesting promo exchange between Rhodes and Heyman sharing memories of Cody’s late, WWE Hall of Fame father Dusty Rhodes.
Cody Rhodes told the story about how in 2000 when his family was dealing with some hard times, Heyman booked Dusty in an ECW angle and Cody said it gave Dusty his confidence back while also giving him some much-needed money to support the family. Heyman also spoke throughout the promo about how much he loved and respected Dusty. It came off as a genuinely emotional segment between the two men.
At the end of the promo, Heyman said that Cody Rhodes was Dusty’s favorite son, but Roman Reigns was the son that the son Dusty always wanted. The fans booed that loudly. As he shook Heyman’s hand, Cody said that everybody wants to make it personal and that’s what Heyman just did. Cody told Heyman he isn’t going to pay for it, Roman Reigns will pay for it when Cody takes those titles…personally.
In this week’s Wrestling Observer Newsletter (available via subscription), Dave Meltzer noted that the original plans for the segment were completely different and Heyman wasn’t originally booked to be at Raw in Orlando.
“Heyman was originally not booked to appear on the show. He was always going to be in Orlando because Brock Lesnar was booked on the show, and Heyman is a key part of all creative when it comes to Roman Reigns, Lesnar and Ronda Rousey. That changed during last week.”
“The concept of what was planned late last week and what ended up happening was completely different. The final product was largely put together by Heyman and Rhodes in the direction both wanted to take it.”
As he continued, Meltzer wrote about how a key to the segment was to emphasize the importance of the Roman Reigns-Cody Rhodes match at WrestleMania being for the Universal and WWE Titles that Reigns currently holds.
“The very much behind-the-scenes key was to make this into the ultimate top match of the year, since that is what the world title match at WrestleMania is.”
“A key aspect that Rhodes noted is that there are now two championships that Reigns holds, and not one unified title. He made sure to say the match is for both the belts, and not ‘the belt’ as had been the term used for Reigns ever since the unification of the titles match last year.”
“As noted before, there had been talk that on the Saturday WrestleMania show they would create a new world title belt, which likely was going to Rhodes (others in the conversation were Drew McIntyre and Rollins) when the hoped for plan was for Reigns vs. The Rock.”
Before Reigns gets to WrestleMania 39 on April 1st and April 2nd, he has to defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship against Sami Zayn at WWE Elimination Chamber on February 18th. The winner of that match, which is likely going to be Reigns, will move on to WrestleMania to face Cody Rhodes with both championships on the line.