Paul Heyman Thinks WrestleMania Loss Will Help Cody Rhodes
At WrestleMania 39, Paul Heyman was at ringside to witness his Tribal Chief Roman Reigns give Cody Rhodes an American nightmare for the ages.
Rhodes rode high into WrestleMania and many expected him to be the one to do what Drew McIntyre couldn’t do in the UK or Sami Zayn couldn’t do in Montreal and finally defeat Roman Reigns to become Undisputed WWE Universal Champion. But, to doubt Roman Reigns would be a foolish thing to do and The Head of the Table made fools of all Rhodes’ supporters as – with a little help from Solo Sikoa – he retained his titles.
Speaking to Ariel Helwani, Paul Heyman likened Roman Reigns’ seemingly never-ending title reign to another monumental record that was thought to be unbreakable – The Undertaker’s WrestleMania Streak:
“I like the fact that everyone walks in now thinking this is the last title defense. And I experienced this before with something I had a hand in ending, which was the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. And every year, you sat there and you said, ‘Oh no, this is it’ and during the match, the audience is actually anticipating and salivating for this to be the moment that they get to witness the historical three count on the Undertaker to which the streak would finally end.
“And then, of course, when Undertaker would defend the streak, they’d sit there, ‘oh yeah, I don’t want to see this’ and they can’t wait for the next chapter and then it finally ended and the audience was shocked because they thought they would see it, they thought they would see it, they thought they would, no, they didn’t get to see it. And this was year after year after year and then they finally got to see it.
“I think that’s the same thing with Roman Reigns’ title defenses now. You hope this is the one, you think this is the one, you’re sure this is the one. You watch the match happening and you know this is the one and then it turns out not to be the one. ‘Oh man, I can’t wait to see the next chapter.'”
Paul Heyman continued suggesting that following his loss at WrestleMania Cody Rhodes is an even bigger star and fans will want even more to see him conquer Reigns in the future:
“The response tonight (at Raw) to Cody Rhodes, which was louder than the response last week to Cody Rhodes, which was a response more passionate tonight for Cody Rhodes, which was a response of an audience that believes in Cody Rhodes this week more than they did last week when they hung their hopes into dreams on him and he didn’t disappoint them, we disappointed them.
“We took that away from Cody Rhodes. Roman Reigns took that away from Cody Rhodes and the audience. They blame Roman Reigns for it and they appreciate how close Cody came and they know, now, they know the next time Cody Rhodes steps in the ring with Roman Reigns, this will be the one. That’s the business, that’s the business at it’s very best. That’s promotion at its very best, that’s storytelling at its very best.
“That’s what you want, a challenger to come out a bigger star than he would have been if he had won the championship because then where do you go from there? What’s the story to tell? Now you know the story, it’s Cody’s redemption. He’s coming back from what was just taken from him, from the defeat he suffered that he didn’t deserve to have inflicted upon him.”
When Cody Rhodes gets his redemption or steps in the ring with Roman Reigns remains to be seen but WWE will return to Saudi Arabia in May for King and Queen of the Ring on the day that Reigns’ title reign will hit 1,000 days. Whether WWE is keeping that title change for the Saudi show rather than for the WrestleMania crowd that spent hundreds of dollars – if not more – to be at SoFi Stadium remains to be seen.