Backstage Update On How Those Within WWE See The Rock/Cody Rhodes Situation

On Friday night, a "WWE SmackDown" segment involving Cody Rhodes, Roman Reigns, and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson led many viewers to believe Rhodes was stepping aside to let Reigns and The Rock face each other at WWE WrestleMania 40. The backlash was immediate and overwhelming, with fans booing promotional materials featuring The Rock at WWE NXT Vengeance Day and even mainstream media outlets covering the response. It's now unclear whether this whole situation was purposeful or not.

According to an update from Fightful Select, sources backstage claim Rhodes was professional but "seemed somber" on Friday. It was stated that there is confidence Rhodes will handle the situation well regardless of what happens. Meanwhile, some within the company now believe this has been the plan from the start or, at the very least, the company may pivot to include Rhodes.

If WWE is orchestrating the situation, it's being kept quiet within the company. One source within the promotion pointed out that the discussion surrounding Rock-Reigns-Rhodes is preferable to people talking about the recent Vince McMahon allegations. At the same time, another said that WWE officials may be attempting to project an air of incompetence rather than the malice implied in the McMahon lawsuit.

Conflicting Reports On The Reigns-Rhodes-Rock Situation

Fightful's report also cites some sources within WWE who don't believe the fan backlash is as intense as it seems on the surface. This individual was under the belief that Rhodes will still receive a title shot against Seth Rollins at WrestleMania and the situation will only make the fans get even more behind Rhodes as a deserving babyface.

Another source is quoted stating that Johnson is an incredibly likable individual in person, and shoving Rhodes out of his storyline would hurt that image. That individual expressed disbelief that the situation is going to unfold exactly as it appears right now. At the same time, others within the company have said they're under the impression that Rock vs. Reigns and Rollins vs. Rhodes are planned for the big event as of right now.

It seems there are three possibilities. Either WWE intends to run The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40, it has been a misdirection from the start and the plan is for Rhodes to face Reigns in some capacity, or the company is playing it by ear and is open to switching plans around based on the reaction. For now, fans will have to wait for the situation to play out as WrestleMania approaches.