Amid the electrifying atmosphere of the WWE WrestleMania 40 Press Conference, one moment stole the spotlight: The Rock delivered a resounding slap to Cody Rhodes, setting off a chaotic altercation that reverberated throughout the wrestling world.
The press conference, held on Friday, unfolded against a backdrop of controversy surrounding the main event clash between The Rock, Cody Rhodes, and Roman Reigns.
As tensions reached a boiling point, The Rock’s surprise return stirred up speculation about his potential involvement in the headline match, overshadowing Cody’s anticipated showdown with Reigns.
Following the intense confrontation at WWE Smackdown last week, the atmosphere at the press conference became charged with anticipation and uncertainty.
The Rock’s bold remarks, labelling Rhodes’ passionate supporters as “Cody Crybabies” earlier that day on the Pat McAfee Show only added fuel to the fire.
Despite the fervent reactions from fans and the wrestling community, the press conference provided clarity on the WrestleMania 40 main event picture.
Although other WWE Superstars, such as Bianca Belair, Rhea Ripley, and even CM Punk, were featured, all the attention was focused on finishing the story.
What started with Seth Rollins asking who would be in the Main Event of Wrestlemania 40 quickly devolved into a measuring contest once Roman Reigns made his entrance.
The Las Vegas crowd erupted in cheers and brief chants of “Tribal Chief” as Roman Reigns made his presence known before Rollins began taunting Reigns about his sporadic appearances.
Reigns swiftly fired back, accusing Rollins of wearing his wife’s shoes to work. Amid their banter, Reigns shifted the focus to Cody Rhodes, dubbing him “Mr. Hesitation.”
Asserting his authority, Reigns declared that he alone would determine his WrestleMania opponent, promptly choosing The Rock for the coveted spot.
The Rock emerged, clad in all black, to accept the challenge, eliciting a mixed reaction from the audience. While cheers greeted his entrance, boos erupted as his music faded, intermingled with chants both for him and Cody.
With anticipation mounting, The Rock addressed the crowd, employing his signature “finally” catchphrase. He engaged the audience, questioning their belief in his ability to defeat the Tribal Chief, only to be met with chants clamouring for Cody’s inclusion in the main event.
Undeterred, The Rock asserted the magnitude of the impending clash, dismissing doubts and dubbing dissenting fans “Cody Crybabies.”
In a bold move, The Rock showcased his family lineage, inviting further scorn from the audience.
Unfazed, he asserted the significance of the impending showdown, declaring it the pinnacle of WrestleMania history, irrespective of fan sentiment. With a defiant embrace shared with Reigns, The Rock cemented their alliance, bound together by familial ties.
Having heard enough from both Samoans, Cody Rhodes, The American Nightmare, boldly spoke out against the proceedings, denouncing them as “bulls**t” to a raucous crowd.
Addressing Roman Reigns, Cody told him that despite his position as Tribal Chief and Head of the Table, it was not his right or distinction to determine the main event: “It is mine! I won the Royal Rumble,” responded Cody defiantly.
He asserted his authority by affirming that Roman Reigns does not hold the power to dictate WrestleMania challengers. Cody then dropped a bombshell, revealing his decision: “At Wrestlemania 40, in the Main Event, I choose you Roman Reigns.”
In response, Reigns dismissed Cody, questioning his ‘finish the story’ narrative, “You must be crazy. You must be stupid or something, huh?”
“This is a done deal; you’re old news. Go play with the number twos; the numbers two table will have you now. Loser bracket, right there with the dummy in green. Just go. Leave! You’re embarrassing yourself now.
“Last year was your year; that was your moment; you’re only a chapter in my book. Nobody cares about your story, nobody cares about you ‘finishing the story,‘ you’re embarrassing your entire family now. Just understand this: you’re irrelevant, just like your dad.”
Undeterred, Cody retaliated by questioning the legitimacy of Reigns’ claim to superiority: “Here you are talking about family. Is that what The Bloodline is?”
“Let me ask you a question: how’s Jey? It’s not a family; you’re a meal ticket, and they are nothing but lackeys, but yes, men. They’re goons! And what is this match all about right here? Who sits at the head of the table? What does it matter when neither of you have been doing the cooking for two years?
“Earlier, we had that family tree up there, and you’ve invoked my family before, so let me go ahead and do the same: if your grandfather was here, if the high chief, his grandfather was here, they’d be ashamed of you.”
The Rock interjected, intensifying the confrontation by shockingly aligning himself with Reigns and asserting a familial connection to his adversary’s legacy.
“Let me make something perfectly clear to you,” The Rock began.
“When you talk about [Roman Reigns’] family, you’re talking about my family.”
“When you’re talking about his ancestors, you’re talking about my ancestors,” said The Rock passionately.
“And when you’re talking about his blood, you’re talking about my blood.”
Then, while looking Cody in the eyes, The Rock said, “So now we have a problem,” before slapping Cody in the mouth, escalating the tension to new heights and prompting intervention from officials.
With Cody Rhodes held back by security, Seth Rollins, visibly agitated by the unfolding chaos, directed a barrage of profanities at The Rock, telling him he doesn’t give a s**t whether he’s on the board, “you don’t get to do whatever you want.”
And, of course, The Rock responded in kind: “We can do whatever the f**k we want; open your mouth about our family again.”
The drama continued to unfold, with The Rock confronting Triple H backstage, hinting at further drama on the Road to WrestleMania.
“Have him talk s**t about my family again; that’s what happens,” The Rock told Triple H before issuing a stern warning to the CCO: “If you don’t fix it, we will.”
Originally published as The Rock slaps Cody Rhodes for WrestleMania 40 Main Event decision to face Roman Reigns