All Rhodes are Detoured

WrestleMania 40 is on pace to being one of the worst booked Mania's yet.


3/13/20245 min read

Are you familiar with the road signs that say "Road Closed" and "Detour Ahead"? If so, then prepare for one of the most convoluted detours in recent memory: The booking of WrestleMania 40. Particularly the main events of both Night 1 and Night 2. Let me paint the picture for you, in case you aren't aware of what's been going on- Cody Rhodes has been on a quest since 2023 of "Finishing the Story" in which his destiny is to become the WWE Champion (of some sort) to solidify his family's legacy in pro-wrestling. To right the wrongs, so to speak, of his father, Dusty Rhodes, never becoming WWE Champion.

Now that we've painted the picture, let's go through the history of how we ended up to where we are today, which is on a detour of detours to get to WrestleMania 40. Cody tore his pectoral muscle in 2022, leading to his departure for months. He returns at the Royal Rumble in 2023, coming out at number 30, and wins the match, thus solidifying his spot in the main event of WrestleMania 39. We get this almost 3 month story of him wanting to "Finish the Story" and winning the WWE Title, wanting to dethrone the Bloodline and Roman Reigns. We get to Mania, where pretty much everyone assumes Cody wins. However, we don't get that, and Roman retains the WWE Title. The outrage from Cody not winning was honestly hilarious. People were severely upset that Cody didn't finish the story. We were led to believe to trust the process because bigger things needed to be told in the story of the Bloodline, and for Cody as well. Lets fast forward to January 2024, where things begin to pick up again, but also become severely convoluted.

Royal Rumble 2024 in Tampa, Florida. January 27, 2024. Last 2 remaining superstars in the Rumble match are CM Punk and Cody Rhodes. I had guessed Punk would win it, but was ultimately wrong, as Cody threw Punk over the top rope and became the first superstar since Stone Cold Steve Austin in 1997-1998, to win back-to-back Royal Rumble matches (2023 and 2024). The scene was clear: Punk fights Seth for the World Title at Mania, and Cody goes after Roman again for the WWE Title. Six days later on SmackDown, the detours began. I should first mention that injuries to Seth, Punk and the Vince McMahon debacle more than likely forced the creative room in WWE to change hands quickly. We get to SmackDown. Six days after Cody's win in the Rumble (2/2/24). Cody comes out to talk to Roman Reigns, and says he wants to take the title as well as EVERYTHING from Roman. Except NOT at WrestleMania. Cody says he /got advice from someone he respects and decided it wasn't time yet to finish his story. Out comes The Rock. Wait what? Yes, that's right, The Rock comes out to confront Roman Reigns. He acknowledges Cody before hand, doing a handshake, hug combination, and then Rock whispers something in Cody's ear. Afterwards, Cody leaves the ring, and SmackDown ends with Roman and The Rock staring each other down. Another six days later on February 8th, we get the WrestleMania Press Conference event. Great advertising and marketing from the WWE on this, truly. However, it was poorly executed. Seth Rollins is on stage the entire time that this face off happens between Roman Reigns and The Rock. We get a history lesson on the Bloodline and we're led to believe Rock and Roman are going to square off at Mania. Not so fast! Cody Rhodes comes out and goes crazy on Rocky and Roman. He officially challenges Roman for the WWE Title at WrestleMania. Then, Rocky gets in Cody's face and goes from squaring up to Roman to squaring up to Cody basically saying "Take my family's name out of your mouth", defends the Bloodline, and proceeds to slap Cody. We get a massive pull apart to end the show. All while Seth Rollins looks like a dog looking for a home, doing nothing but taking shots from Roman and Rocky, severely diminishing the legitimacy of the World Title. This is reminiscent of the infamous slap from Will Smith to Chris Rock at the Academy Awards in 2022. Are you confused yet? If not, don't worry, we'll make that happen shortly. Before we move on, think about what I recapped: Cody WINS the Rumble, meaning he gets a shot at the main event of WrestleMania, then declares he is challenging Roman for the title, just not at Mania, and Rocky comes out to face off to Roman. Press Conference happens and Rock is on Roman's side, Cody officially challenges for the WWE Title at Mania, and Cody gets slapped by The Rock.

Moving on to current day. 34 days between February 8th and March 13th. 24 days away from Night One of WrestleMania 40. We have our main events set in stone: Cody Rhodes versus Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship, and Seth Rollins versus Drew McIntyre for the World Championship (Drew earned this title shot from winning the men's Elimination Chamber match at the Elimination Chamber PPV on February 24th). This is not confusing, yet what is happening on Night One is where the confusion comes in. We get a tag match with Roman Reigns and The Rock versus Seth Rollins and Cody Rhodes, with the stipulation that if Roman and Rock win, the match between Roman and Cody will be "Bloodline Rules", meaning anything goes, and the Bloodline can be at ringside. If Cody and Seth win, the Bloodline will be barred from ringside for Cody and Roman's match at Night 2 of WrestleMania. This match makes NO SENSE. There is no winner in this. You mean to tell me The Rock is eating the pin? Yeah, right. Roman is taking the pin? A night before his match against Cody, where most certainly Roman will take the pin there? Nope. And you surely can't have Cody eating a pin or submitting before challenging for the WWE Title the very next night, right? That means that the World Champion, Seth Rollins HAS to take the fall. WHY? He didn't need to be involved in this storyline at all. He has a World Title match against McIntyre with its own storyline. That means Seth is probably losing twice in one weekend, making the title useless and the champion looking weak. Do you understand why this is confusing? This is a bunch of mumbled up booking going into the biggest PPV of the year, with the World watching. I'm usually looking forward to WrestleMania, but because of this atrocious booking, I'm honestly not that excited for it this year. Oh, and don't even get me started on the 12 man tag team title ladder match... good grief. But before this turns into a book more so than it is right now, I'll end this article here and save the rest for the newest episode of Beyond the Junkyard that will happen live, tomorrow night (Thursday) at 9pm eastern on our YouTube channel. Be sure to tune it, subscribe to our channel, and comment away on the stream! Until then, we are detoured out on the Rhode to WrestleMania.