Roman Reigns and The Rock may have their dream match at WrestleMania 40, but there are plenty of people associated with the company that are against it.
Fans of WWE have made their voices clear all over social media ever since the end of Smackdown on Friday night in Birmingham. That show ended with The Rock having a stared with his cousin, the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns while Cody Rhodes walked away from the situation and said he didn’t want to challenge Reigns at WrestleMania 40.
On WWE’s YouTube channel, the clip of Roman Reigns and The Rock in the main event segment has set a record for the most Dislikes in the history of WWE’s YouTube channel, which is massive.
It has been reported by multiple outlets that WWE planned on doing Reigns against the Royal Rumble winner Rhodes at WrestleMania 40. However, The Rock pulled a power play of sorts as a member of TKO/WWE’s Board of Directors. Add in the fact that the planned Seth Rollins-CM Punk match at WrestleMania 40 is off due to Punk’s torn triceps and it has led to WWE reportedly changing plans. The new plan is apparently Rock against Reigns and Rhodes against Rollins.
A recent from also noted that some people in the company think that Reigns-Rock was planned before the Royal Rumble, so even with Cody’s win, Rock was going to be in his spot.
There is more about the behind-the-scenes thoughts from people associated with WWE. Fightful Select reached out to over three dozen contacts within WWE across all departments with most people not liking the change made by WWE and Fightful shared some comments with subscribers.
These comments are from a wrestler who knows The Rock.
“I’ve known Dwayne a long time. Not only did the look on Cody’s face tell a story, the look on Dwayne’s told a story. I think in that moment he knew that this decision wasn’t going to work out quite the way that he imagined it. He was experiencing the same thing that he and Roman experienced in Philadelphia. He was being co-signed for something the vast majority didn’t want.”
The Philadephia experience was the 2015 Royal Rumble when The Rock raised Rumble winner Reigns’ hand and the fans booed even though Reigns was supposed to be a babyface.
A former champion explained that Rock-Reigns would have worked in the past, but it just doesn’t fit as well this year.
“The Rock vs. Roman made sense several years ago when we were running back Roman and Lesnar repeatedly. It could have made sense this year had Cody won the title last year. This is one of the few years it just doesn’t make sense in any capacity.”
There was also a comment from somebody involved in WWE’s creative process saying they were deflated by the WrestleMania 40 title match change. They also felt like it was something the previous regime (led by Vince McMahon) would have done.
Another individual who has worked with The Rock in the past said he was a great guy, but the timing of this move was bad.
“The Rock eroded his trust with the comic and superhero community, with the film community, maybe with the football community, and might do it with the one he has almost universal goodwill with. He’s not a bad guy, don’t mistake that or get me wrong – he’s a great guy. However, bad timing and overexposure and fatigue will make fools of us all. You have to know when to take a back seat.”
Did The Rock Use His TKO-WWE Power Due To Not Liking Cody Rhodes?
Fightful also shared this comment from a top talent who agreed with PWInsider saying that this move was not done to take Cody Rhodes out of his main event spot out of malice and it is certainly not a personal thing.
“I truly believe that The Rock wasn’t being malicious. Not being malicious with intent and actions not having malicious repercussions aren’t exclusive.”
Lastly, there was a member of WWE’s creative team talking about potential Rock matches in the past and how it makes less sense than ever to do the match now.
“There have been numerous meetings, pitches, attempts to get The Rock in on this match, or really any match, for years and it never happened. One year the excuse was that the story didn’t make sense. Not only does it make less sense than ever right now, it’s undermining one of the biggest stories we’ve ever told and turning off a lot of our fans.”
Thanks again to Fightful Select’s Sean Ross Sapp for the tremendous information above.
As we have noted numerous times, WWE has yet to make any Roman Reigns match official for WrestleMania 40. That means there is still time for WWE to change it because, after all, Cody Rhodes is still the Royal Rumble who has yet to officially state what championship belt he is going after.
There is a WrestleMania 40 Kickoff press conference this Thursday in Las Vegas where it’s expected that WWE will announce some of the big WrestleMania 40 matches.