Backstage News On Decision To Have Cody Rhodes Win WWE Royal Rumble

Over the last week, the main event picture of WWE WrestleMania XL has been murky, to say the least. For the second year in a row, Cody Rhodes emerged victorious in the men’s Royal Rumble and seemingly set up a rematch with Roman Reigns almost immediately after his win. Less than a week later, however, Cody stated on SmackDown that he would not be challenging Reigns at WrestleMania, seemingly forgoing the opportunity to allow The Rock to face the Tribal Chief instead.

An even stranger twist in the story took place at the WrestleMania XL Kickoff event last night where Rhodes appeared to go back on his word, announcing that he had chosen to face Reigns on The Grandest Stage Of Them All after all. This is despite a previous report that The Rock had already agreed to face Reigns at WrestleMania prior to the Royal Rumble Premium Live Event. This has left many to wonder why the company would have Rhodes win the Rumble and indicate he wanted to face Reigns if plans for The Rock were already in place.

Writing in the latest Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer reports that the idea behind the scenes was to try and create a Daniel Bryan-esque situation surrounding Cody Rhodes. Specifically, WWE is said to have wanted fans to feel like Rhodes was getting cheated out of his well-earned second opportunity at Reigns, and in doing so, create a swell of fan support for Rhodes. If that’s the case, then it appears the major outcry that led to #WeWantCody becoming a top social media trend last weekend was exactly what the company was hoping for.

At the time of writing, it appears Rhodes will get his chance to dethrone Reigns for the second year in a row as, following last night’s Kickoff event, Triple H confirmed that Rhodes vs Reigns II will be the main event of WrestleMania XL. Where this leaves The Rock, and his long-awaited singles match with Reigns, is unclear, though Meltzer went on to speculate that the brawl that closed the Kickoff event could indicate a night one main event featuring Rock teaming up with Reigns to take on Rhodes and Seth Rollins.