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The Story is Complete

Cody Rhodes completed his destiny on the second night of WrestleMania XL, ending Roman Reigns' long championship run

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished about a month ago 5 min read
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You always remember your first, and this one is simply unforgettable.

It can be said that this was nearly two years in the making, ever since Cody Rhodes returned to WWE. It can also be said that this was at least a decade and a half in the making, ever since Cody's WWE career began. I think Cody Rhodes himself would have said that this dream started long before he was even born.

Cody's goal was to fulfill a goal that his late father, the iconic "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes, didn't: capture the WWE Championship. I just want to say that I liked that Cody referred to the title as the WWE Championship, because that's what it is. It's known as the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship because someone decided to unify Universal and WWE Championships for some ungodly reason. Anyway, Cody actually made history by becoming the first AEW talent to actually leave for WWE, which is ironic considering that All Elite Wrestling was basically his baby.

Now, we all remember Cody's original WWE run. Started out as just a rookie kid who was inserted into his father's feud with Randy Orton back in 2007. He ended up under the mentorship of Hardcore Holly, which led to the pair winning the World Tag Team Championship, only for Cody to betray Holly and share that glory with Ted DiBiase, Jr. The pair ended up aligning with Orton to form the faction known as Legacy, with the alliance kicking off in 2008 and gaining a lot of steam in 2009 until disbanding in 2010.

Following Legacy's disbandment, Cody found more success; another tag title run with Drew McIntyre, and he would hold the Intercontinental Championship twice. Speaking of that title, one of Cody's memorable moments was his resurrecting of the classic IC Title, which took place in October of 2011. Following his title runs, Cody was one half of Rhodes Scholars with Damien Sandow, and his last years of his original run saw him paired up with Goldust (Cody's big brother Dustin Rhodes). Part of the partnership actually included a three-on-three bout that saw both Rhodes brothers teaming with their Hall of Fame father against The Shield, which had Roman Reigns as a member. What followed was a drastic gimmick change for Cody that, due to my immense respect for Cody, I won't mention here.

Cody's post-WWE road led him to Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and of coruse, led him to help build All Elite Wrestling, which started when 2019 did. So when Cody left AEW and shockingly returned to WWE as Seth Rollins' surprise opponent at WrestleMania 38, it was a hugely stunning moment. This began a long feud with Rollins, which included Cody actually competing in Hell in a Cell against Rollins--while displaying a terribly bruised and torn pec. After returning from injury, Cody entered the Royal Rumble in 2023, and won it. He was one big win away from finishing his story, finally becoming WWE Champion, fulfilling the family dream.

But that story, as wonderful as it is, remained unfinished after WrestleMania 39. And that upset a lot of fans, myself included.

Cody had to start from scratch after that, and it was a road that actually saw him capture the tag titles with former Bloodline member Jey Uso for a brief while, as well as feud with Shinsuke Nakamura. However, he was not deterred from his goal: finishing his story. Cody liked winning the Rumble so much that he decided to do it again this year, but it was later followed by Cody's rightfully won title shot actually going to, of all people, The Rock. The WrestleMania press conference rectified that, but Cody now had to deal with The Rock being part of The Bloodline, but he would have backup in the form of not only Jey Uso, but Seth Rollins, who already had a World Heavyweight Championship defense to deal with.

Seth and Cody even challenged Rock and Roman to a tag team bout, with high stakes for the title match. Seth and Cody win, no Bloodline involvement in the title match. But if Rock and Roman win, it's Bloodline Rules. Oh boy. For some reason, I expected Drew McIntyre to get involved and cost Seth and Cody, but he didn't. He didn't have to. The match was basically Bloodline Rules from the get-go, and it ended with The Rock pinning Cody, who would now face Bloodline Rules on the following night. Cody would take advantage of the rules just like Roman, but they would involve Jimmy Uso and Solo Sikoa getting involved. Jimmy was removed by twin brother Jey, who defeated him in Night 1.

As for who handled Solo, well, I'll let you see him...and you can see him.

John Cena appeared and made a beeline for the ring before fighting Solo and delivering the Attitude Adjustment to Roman. He later put Solo through a table, but then, he found himself face to face with The Rock. We ended up with an intense staredown that homaged Rock's encounter with Hulk Hogan 22 years prior, but after that, Cena was on the receiving end of a Rock Bottom. Just as Rock was about to give yet another whipping to Cody, we received an even more epic surprise:

The Undertaker, the very person who is the most synonymous with WrestleMania, made a surprise appearance right behind Rock. Just one day after the 10th anniversary of "The Streak" ending, The Deadman went face to face with Rock for the first time in 22 years, and he--once again--made Rock famous. After Rock was dispatched, Cody delivered the Cross Rhodes to Roman, and then...

...the story was finished.

I felt like I had watched the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup on a continuous loop. The story was finished. Cody Rhodes fulfilled his destiny and his father's destiny, and he celebrated with his family. Not just Brandi Rhodes and her father. Not just his mother, Michelle Rubio. He celebrated with his WWE family as well. No pair of eyes were dry. Samantha Irvin struggled to maintain her emotion when she made the announcement, and who the hell could blame her? Michael Cole was full of emotion as well, as he congratulated Cody on his win. It was an absolutely grand and beautiful moment that was a long damn time coming.

1,316 days. That's how long Roman Reigns held the title. And it's finally over. Last year, I was angry that Cody didn't win. Now I understand. It needed to be properly well done and get literally all of the pomp and circumstance in the entire world. This moment definitely delivered. The evening of April 7, 2024 will be etched into not only my memory, but the memories of every wrestling fan who watched the 40th anniversary of WrestleMania.

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About the Creator

Clyde E. Dawkins

I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also into film and TV, especially Simpsons and Family Guy.

Feel free to follow my social media:

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  • Philip Gipsonabout a month ago

    I'm so happy for Cody Rhodes. :)

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