Let's Not Overthink the Endgame of Wrestlemania 40

The obvious Rocky II comeback story for Cody Rhodes is there, and I doubt WWE will want to miss a Philadephia moment.

Let's Not Overthink the Endgame of Wrestlemania 40
Photo Credit: WWE

You felt the dread, didn't you? As soon as The Rock's music hit on January 1st and he came out and acknowledged "the head of the table," you felt it. At that moment, you felt the gravitational pull that WWE would pivot. I can't blame you, either. It's hard not to look away at the obvious draw of a Rock vs. Roman Reigns second-night main event at Wrestlemania 40. It would bring in a lot of casual viewers into the fray and act as an exclamation point on the ownership of the bloodline.

But fear not, dear wrestling fan! I don't think it's going to pan out this way. I know Roman Reigns retaining Cody Rhodes at Wrestlemania 39 threw everybody for a loop. I was there, and at the end of the night, I went to a packed parking lot to attempt to call an Uber (rookie mistake. Always try to book them ahead of time). A couple of cars went by, and they were blasting Roman Reigns' theme song. Then, I had to remind myself that the money is in the chase in wrestling. There's a fine line in holding too tight to the coronation of a mega babyface. Cody Rhodes has been THAT guy for the WWE and has remained in that spot despite the arrival of CM Punk and the overtures of Reigns's famous cousin.

I'm sure Rhodes loves a Rocky-like story, and nowhere better to do that than Philadelphia. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he doesn't record a montage running up the museum steps. Wrestlemania 40 is his Rocky II. He got close to taking away Roman's invincibility and came up short. In that time, he conquered Brock Lesnar, brought Jey Uso to Raw, and even won the tag titles with him. All of that is to finish the story to fight his biggest obstacle. It would make more sense for Cody to beat Roman at the height of his powers. Nothing spells that out more than beating a legend on the way.

It's been some time since The Rock has wrestled a singles match. Whenever their singles match occurs, I don't expect it to be a 30-minute opus. Roman beating The Rock at Elimination Chamber does much more for his character than having a triple threat match or singles with The Rock at Wrestlemania 40. If things go down, as I suspect, Roman would have beaten all comparable challengers and possibly the final "what if" hanging into the balance. He would be one of the most dominant champions in history and undundoubtedlyutably hold the "head of the table" claim. A heel with that much enthusiasm would seem impossible to defeat.

But then enter Cody Rhodes, who would have to wrestle with the doubt of losing to Roman on the biggest stage in wrestling once. Cody loves his underdog stories, and this would be one for the ages. If Vince McMahon were in charge, I would level with some apprehensive fans out there because he would absolutely pivot. Roman Reigns vs. The Rock would be on every marquee, and Cody would have something else to do. I'm choosing to believe Triple H understands the implications of this long-term storytelling.

Roman Reigns won't be in the WWE forever, and his transformation into this character might be one of the best turnarounds in recent memory. His aura is so big that he wouldn't need a title to succeed — he's an attraction in his own right. I would make an educated guess there will be a Reigns/Punk feud that will practically print money on its own. Wrestling has had a rep for sometimes ignoring the obvious story for bigger box office. However, I would argue that the payoff here is what sold the tickets in the first place. Despite all the noise, I believe a sold-out crowd will be saying the WHOA in 'Kingdom' in unison on Sunday, April 7th, at Lincoln Financial Field. Let's hope the weather holds up.