“Awful Moment”: Fans Angrily Demand Answers After Dwayne Johnson Steals Cody Rhodes’ WrestleMania 40 Match vs Roman Reigns

Published 02/02/2024, 11:11 PM EST

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The world was on its toes when Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson made his WWE SmackDown return this week. While fans were anticipating a WrestleMania 40 matchup between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns, something unexpected popped up. Initial reports and rumors suggested The Rock was present backstage during SmackDown 02/02. However, his involvement between Rhodes and Reigns came off as rather surprising.

The Birmingham crowd went crazy as soon as The Rock’s music hit, and what later followed was a series of mixed reactions. As Rhodes and Reigns locked eyes, fans heard what was cooking. While ‘The American Nightmare’ expressed his choice of not facing Reigns at ‘Mania, Johnson made his return.

No physical conflict took place between the cousins. The arena was filled with electricity as the stare-down began. With a match being rumored for a long time between the two Anoa’i family members, fans might finally get to see it. Theories started circulating about the Reigns vs. Johnson match during WrestleMania 39. But that would mean Cody Rhodes losing his limelight. WWE built Rhodes for the past two years to dethrone Reigns. Unfortunately, The Rock’s return would mean Rhodes potentially losing his spot, unless WrestleMania 40 sees a triple threat.


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Similar to what happened in 2013 with The Rock’s return, Cody Rhodes might undergo a similar fate as CM Punk.

Fans were left upset with Dwayne Johnson possibly stealing Cody Rhodes’ WrestleMania 40 spotlight

As soon as Dwayne Johnson entered the ring, he would whisper in Rhodes’ ear. This would lead to Rhodes silently leaving the ring and going backstage while Reigns held onto his title just a bit more tightly. WWE SmackDown then went off the air. Neither man said a single word to each other. Soon enough, the internet burst, claiming ‘The Rock’ stole The American Nightmare’s spotlight.

Many fans took to X ( formerly Twitter) to share their displeasure at what happened. The consensus is that Reigns will face Johnson at WrestleMania 40.


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Dwayne Johnson had previously expressed his ambition of wanting to face his cousin. And the idea of a family feud was appealing to fans. In fact, this feud has been lurking in the background of Reigns’ Undisputed WWE Universal Championship run.

Roman Reigns held his title over the 700-day mark while Johnson hasn’t shown much interest in a title opportunity. But Rhodes was waiting to dethrone Reigns at WrestleMania.

Fans were worried about the Cody Rhodes storyline staying unfinished.


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While what The Rock whispered in Rhodes’ ears is still unclear, it led to one of the most anticipated sequences in a long time. A stare-down between Roman Reigns, and Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.


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Do you guys want to see a WrestleMania 40 bout between The Rock and Roman Reigns? Let us know in the comments.

Watch this story – Dwayne Johnson’s Daughter Simone to The Undertaker’s Daughter Kaia – Meet Daughters of Top WWE Stars


Written by:

Shounak Chakrabarti


One take at a time

Shounak Chakrabarti is a WWE writer at EssentiallySports who brings a wealth of knowledge and a keen eye for detail to his analysis of professional wrestling. With a deep passion for the sport that dates back to his childhood, Shounak has immersed himself in every aspect of the industry, from the career trajectories of WWE superstars to their personal lives and beyond. As a journalism graduate, Shounak is a firm believer in the power of digital journalism to provide fans with a unique perspective on pro wrestling.
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