WWE Friday Night SmackDown turned the Road to WrestleMania 40 upside down, when in the final segment Cody Rhodes declared that he will not exploit his victory at the Royal Rumble against Roman Reigns, instead handing this role over to The Rock.
And despite the enthusiastic reaction of the crowd in Birmingham, Alabama, the city that hosted the show, fans in the rest of the world welcomed WWE's new plans in literally the opposite way. Among other things, the effects of a potential Roman Reigns vs.
The Rock at WrestleMania caused a shower of angry posts on the WWE Shop address, and even a new record on the company's YouTube account. But far from good. Cody Rhodes will apparently step aside to allow The Rock to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL, challenging him for his Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
The full segment of the SmackDown episode that revealed this news has been uploaded to WWE's YouTube channel. And despite the many visits, it was also the ideal place to gather the discontent of the fan base. Within 12 hours of its release, it quickly became the most disliked video in WWE's YouTube history, with around 250,000 dislikes and less than 70,000 likes in just over two million views.
The previous record had stood since 2009, and concerned Randy Orton's bloody assault on members of the McMahon family as part of his feud with Triple H leading up to WrestleMania 25. The fury of the fans then spilled onto X, with a long series of posts in which we can read about people who asked to be able to return merchandising products linked to the name of Cody Rhodes.
During the last episode of Friday Night SmackDown, WWE decided to give a very strong boost to the Road to WrestleMania, when in the face-to-face between Cody Rhodes and Roman Reigns, the American Nightmare turned his back on the Tribal Chief, saying he didn't want a challenge with him at WrestleMania, but at another time..
In fact, instead of Cody, it was The Rock who showed up in the company ring, who with his impassive gaze challenged his younger cousin for the Show of Shows, without uttering a sound or a word of any kind. Apparently, the official challenge should arrive in the Las Vegas press conference this Thursday, with a face-to-face match between The Rock and Roman Reigns that should take place right in the casino city.
At the moment, however, WWE Universe fans are starting a real war against WWE's choice to replace Cody Rhodes with the returning The Rock, with the SmackDown video recap aired in WWE's latest live event in Knoxville , which was drowned out by boos and whistles from fans in the arena.