The Rock Hinders The Nightmare PART II: Let The (Philly) Crowd Speak

So…I can’t believe I’ll be writing a follow-up column with the same title

It was indeed a huge way to end January for TKO and WWE that they created many groundbreaking news, which most of them are good except for that one thing. From the groundbreaking broadcast deal of WWE RAW on Netflix starting 2025 to The Rock’s appointment as a board member of TKO. Everything was going well until allegations of former WWE Chairman Vince McMahon and other employees, came out by the end of that week. Coincidentally, Cody Rhodes went back-to-back as the winner of the annual Royal Rumble match and during the closing moments, Cody immediately pointed towards Roman’s location inside the Tropicana Field seemingly, wanting to grab the Undisputed WWE Championship and “finish his story” for the second time. Until Friday came and The Rock was “introduced” by Cody Rhodes to Roman Reigns and the two megastars (sorry not you LA Knight) stared down in the ring as people wanted the match-up for a long time before, but things might have changed in the present times.

On an earlier article, it was mentioned by yours truly that Cody’s opportunity to finish the story will be delayed again, it coincidentally came out not just an opinion but a mere fact due to the recent happenings in WWE. Although it is not yet official, the call of The Rock’s appearance on the first episode of SmackDown this February, and their face off with Roman Reigns will tell the audience a lot. Looking back at the start of the week, Seth and Cody had a wonderful promo segment during the Royal Rumble fallout episode of RAW where Rollins lifted the importance of the World Heavyweight Championship in contemporary WWE timeline, where Rollins said that he always shows up and defend the title without much hesitation, while Roman Reigns does the opposite.

The look of Cody during that promo seems like he was convinced and probably changes his mind to go with the World Heavyweight Championship instead of chasing the Tribal Chief once more. Fast forward on SmackDown, he just announced that he talked to someone that “knows [Roman] very well” and The Rock made his entrance. It was a turn of event for some reason since knowing the Royal Rumble match winner wanted to “finish his story” with Roman as early as 2023, but ended up losing through Solo Sikoa’s interference, and this year he opted not to challenge Roman?

Dwayne Johnson just focused on himself


At the Day 1 episode of Raw, The Rock shot a promo that he wanted to sit at the “head of the table” which references none other than Roman Reigns. The WWE Universe should have been put on notice during this segment since the probability that The Rock will face Roman at WrestleMania will be high. Right now that Dwayne is already a member of TKO’s board of directors, he might establish himself with more political power than ever before. Call this a power abuse but that may be the part of the deal as reported by some sources. Going back during those times when Cody Rhodes was not yet the top guy in the company, Roman Reigns vs The Rock is the ultimate dream match as of late since both people are within the Anoa’i clan and both are undeniably huge megastars.

If The Rock is slated to compete at WrestleMania 40 and Cody Rhodes will just be “hindered” in finishing his story, then the political power of Dwayne Johnson in the company is just too obvious to tell. It will be another copycat scenario of the happenings in 2014 where Batista, an established Hollywood superstar, grabbed a ticket for him to main event WrestleMania to challenge the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Randy Orton by winning the Royal Rumble match. The “Yes! Movement” showed force that Daniel Bryan deserves to be in the main event championship match, which led him to be qualified in a match in the early part of WrestleMania 30 by defeating Triple H. And there it is! “The Miracle at Bourbon Street” happened when Daniel Bryan won the championship in front of over 70,000 people celebrating his victory. It was indeed one of the best moments in recent WWE history.

Triple H might be ousted by TKO if he’s included in the list of people “close to Vince”

As Vince McMahon came into resignation due to allegations against him and some long-time major sponsors withdrawing from the upcoming Royal Rumble PLE, TKO Chief Executive Officer Ari Emanuel allegedly wanted to clean the company until everyone close to Vince McMahon is out of the company for a “fresh start”. This might be a huge threat to Triple H and his fans since he might be actually included in this list. Although, I am somehow confident that Triple H will not be ousted due to his output to do what’s “best for business” and his close working relation with Nick Khan. Without these two, WWE will not be in a better place to either draw a great amount of live crowd in both televised and non-televised events, and high viewership numbers in both online and linear television within and outside United States.

However, I am still skeptical that Triple H did not know anything about his father-in-law’s allegations, especially on how he answered the question during the post-Royal Rumble Press Conference. Despite being in a hospital in 2021 due to his heart failure, it was not a good excuse for him to be ignorant in those kinds of problems. On the other hand, these happenings might also triggered his overall health condition since it is a huge issue to handle by him and the entire WWE if in case it was reported to the public. I still hope that Triple H was not involved in this or else it will be a mystery on who will run the company’s creative direction next.

Current fan reception at WrestleMania when Cody Rhodes did not challenging Roman Reigns

Moments after the 2nd of February episode of SmackDown, the hashtag #WeWantCody trended at number 1 spot on X (formerly called Twitter) where fans seemed to be disappointed by The Rock “claiming” the main event spot from Cody Rhodes. Although it was not directly mentioned by WWE, fans seemed like they jumped into conclusions about how that episode of SmackDown ended. It is not final yet, as of this moment of writing, since Cody himself has not clearly announce yet what champion he’s choosing to challenge at WrestleMania. Things might change a lot yet. The stretch from the aftermath of Royal Rumble to WrestleMania is still far, yet we still have the Elimination Chamber PLE in Australia. With a WrestleMania Press Conference happening this February, either The Rock, Triple H, or Cody Rhodes will announce the plans at WrestleMania for who will be their respective picks in the much anticipated wrestling event of the year. We might still see a huge swerve in the near future.

Let the crowd speak

The Rock unceremoniously interfered the match and helped his cousin, Roman Reigns, to win the 30-man Royal Rumble match during the closing moments of 2015 Royal Rumble. The Philadelphia crowd blew the roof off where someone like The Rock received a thunderous boo from the people in attendance. The Philly crowd went out and expressed their disappointment which I think it was still a bad move ever since both WWE and Dwayne Johnson are protecting The Rock’s character. Good thing is that Seth Rollins, who currently holds the Money in the Bank contract, cashed it in at WrestleMania 31 and unexpectedly won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship against Roman Reigns and the current champion Brock Lesnar. This moment was dubbed as the “Heist of the Century” because it became a triple threat match from the original Reigns vs Lesnar bout, and everyone was happy. Will it be the same reaction as WrestleMania 40 ends?

This year will be no different from the happenings in 2014 and even in 2015 where another rising megastar, a future Hall of Famer, and a true contender, is being hindered to claim its long-time dream of winning the WWE Undisputed Championship that his father did not accomplish. Will the WWE continue this plan of having Roman Reigns and The Rock to fight one-on-one at WrestleMania?

If so, then I will just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show…and observe the crowd’s reaction.