Fightful Select has provided another detailed backstage update regarding The Rock, Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns, from last Friday’s WWE SmackDown and the situation with the changes for WrestleMania. The Rock is now set to challenge Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 40 in Philadelphia., PA.
Fightful Select also said that WWE, TKO has definitely taken note of all the various negative social media, polls, dislikes and mainstream coverage of the change in creative direction for what was expected to Cody Rhodes challenging Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title at WrestleMania 40.
One source said to Fightful Select that you cannot rule out the possibly of this all being a work from the very start, or at least becoming one. It was further added that if all this is indeed all a work, or becoming one, all who are involved are keeping it very quiet.
FIghtful Select further notes reactions internally within WWE seemed to have had a slight change, since the initial negative reactions after the angle on last Friday night’s episode on FOX.
One WWE source told Fightful Select – “Well, this is preferable to the coverage of Vince McMahon, but that’s not going anywhere either. At least with this there can be peaks and valleys, and some sane people can justify it. With the coverage we were getting last week, it was all negative.” However, many within WWE did agree with another source saying that – “maybe the company prefers to appear inept than malicious by proxy of Vince [McMahon].”
In addition, there are some within WWE who are reportedly oblivious to all the negative reactions from fans, with some even outright denying how fans are looking at it.
Fightful Select notes that a reaction from one top talent in WWE said that they think Rock vs. Reigns is a great match to have at WrestleMania and that fans are excited. The same talent then went on say that Cody will still get a huge match at Mania – and all this will do for Cody is make the fans rally behind him even more coming out of it and believes all will be fine.
A newer talent within WWE said Dwayne Johnson is impossible to dislike if you meet him. The talent then went on to say they think a lot of what Johnson has built himself on, would be undermined by him actually going through with this. The talent then concluded by saying that if you listen to the many of the things Johnson has said, especially to people like them, it makes them think this won’t happen the way it appears.
Another talent, according to Fightful Select said this is just a big test as The Rock got cheered at SmackDown and then booed when he appeared on the screen at the house show in Knoxville, TN on Saturday. The talent also added that when the same video is played on the big screen at Raw, followed by the press event in Las Vegas and then on SmackDown again, it will be telling. The talent concluded by adding that they don’t even know if The Rock will be Friday’s Smackdown.
Another talent added by saying that if they know Dwayne Johnson like they think they know him, perception is very important to him. The talent concluded by saying that they think the chances are high that Johnson does take this head on will address it in some capacity.
Fightful Select added further that many within WWE are under the impression that The Rock vs. Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins vs. Cody Rhodes are the planned matches for this year’s WrestleMania, but also made sure to point out that top matches as past WrestleMania PLE’s have changed as the event drew closer and public reaction to the matches is not what was expected internally when the company planned everything in advance.
Fightful said that when asking if there were issues with Reigns taking negative shots at Rollins and the title he holds or Rollins taking negative shots at the title Reigns holds, one higher-up responded by saying “look who we’re in business with now. That happens all the time. One champion has a reason their title is more valid than another’s…“Perception is reality in that kind of situation. We definitely want to create that discussion. Do you value the guy who isn’t around as much and beat everyone, or do you value the guy who is around all the time and Roman didn’t actually beat? It’s not an accident.”
It is said that mostly everyone Within WWE is confident that regardless of how all this plays out, Cody Rhodes will handle it professional and “roll with the punches” as things happen.