The Rock vs. Roman Reigns may have been a WWE dream match fans have wanted for years – just perhaps not this year.
Cody Rhodes won the men’s Royal Rumble for the second year in succession to earn another chance at finishing his story and winning a world title at WrestleMania. Immediately after his win, Rhodes pointed to the WrestleMania sign and then pointed directly at a watching Roman Reigns screaming “You! You! Roman Reigns!” at the WWE Universal Champion clearly indicating he wanted to challenge him once again on the grandest stage of them all.
However, plans may well have changed. CM Punk was injured in the Royal Rumble putting his planned WrestleMania match with Seth Rollins on hold and as a result, Rollins made his play to for Rhodes to challenge him on the Raw after the Royal Rumble.
That then opened the door for Cody Rhodes to apparently stand aside and let The Rock challenge Roman Reigns at WrestleMania. While some might see this as a convenient way for WWE to cover for Punk’s absence – it seems the company and The Rock had a match with Roman Reigns in mind long before the Rumble even took place.
The Rock vs. Roman Reigns In WWE Minds Long Before Royal Rumble
The Rock was announced as joining the TKO Board of Directors on January 23rd but the deal for him to join the company in that position was agreed in early January. According to Dave Meltzer, who was speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, a match with Roman Reigns was part of that deal:
When he made the deal on January 3 to come in, that [facing Roman Reigns] was part of the deal. Why Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble is a question that I cannot answer because nobody will answer it for me. But, the belief was that it was Roman Reigns and Cody Rhodes, and nobody knew, but the deal had been made prior to that. It played out the way they wanted it to play out. The plan as of Friday night was Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes. We’ll see how it plays out.
[…] He’s been wanting to do that [match] for years. I can’t tell you that they didn’t tell anybody. But certainly they didn’t tell many people or almost anyone. I mean, he got $30 million. And that was a deal with Nick Khan and Ari Emanuel, it was way above the head of everyone in WWE, other than Nick. So, Nick and Dwayne are friends and Ari represents Dwayne, signed the deal and that was part of it.
Meltzer also suggested that WWE is turning the Cody Rhodes situation into an angle as the company apparently tries to claw back fan support. As of now, nothing has been made official for WrestleMania involving The Rock, Reigns, or Rhodes so it remains to be seen what will take place. Meltzer also noted that Rhodes could end up as part of a triple threat match on the show:
Roman Reigns and Rock are gonna have a match. Whether Cody ends up inserted into the match and makes it a three way, that’s a different story. And I don’t know that it will happen. But I don’t know that it won’t happen because they can still do it. Like I said, as of Friday, that was not the plan. But you can always change the plan.
WrestleMania 20 and 30 both ended with triple threat matches and if they had been part of the WWE landscape in 1994, WrestleMania 10 would likely have as well between Rumble co-winners Lex Luger, Bret Hart, and WWE Champion Yokozuna. So WrestleMania 40 playing host to that match is not out of the question.
The thought of Rhodes stacking both Reigns and The Rock to finish his story and prove that he’s the one who really sits at the Head of the Table will no doubt provide some hope to fans of The American Nightmare outraged by WWE’s decision thus far.