Well, the main event of WrestleMania 39 Night 2 certainly caused quite the stir, right?
As the returning hero desperate to do his daddy proud and win the prize that Dusty never could, Cody Rhodes was on a mission to dethrone Roman Reigns to become the new Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at the Showcase of the Immortals. Granted, the Tribal Chief had run through major name after major name as part of his ridiculous run atop the WWE mountain, but surely Cody's story and the momentum behind him meant that the American Nightmare would be the one to finally bring an end to Roman's reign of destruction.
To add further weight to this match-up, Cody's family and Brodie Lee Jr. sat ringside for what was sure to be Rhodes' crowning moment. What an emotional scene awaited the watching millions at the end of the match, as Cody held aloft the Undisputed WWE Universal Title, excessive pyro rocked SoFi Stadium, and confetti poured down from the rafters...
After 34 minutes, WrestleMania 39 concluded with Roman Reigns pinning Cody Rhodes 1-2-3 in the middle of the ring after nailing a spear following interference from Solo Sikoa.
The immediate reaction to this from many was baffled bewilderment; this was Cody's moment, and WWE completely dropped the ball on making Rhodes a made man on the Grandest Stage of Them All.
While 'Mania may not have been ideal, here's why Cody Rhodes is going to be just fine from here on out.
7. The Long And Winding Rhodes
As of this writing, Cody Rhodes is a 17-year veteran of the professional wrestling business. Truth be told, Cody's time in the industry obviously dates back way past his formal in-ring debut in 2006, with his father being the legendary Dusty Rhodes, his brother being Dustin Rhodes, and Cody taking his first bumps back when he was just 12 years of age.
The career of the American Nightmare has been a long and storied one, yet he is still only 37 years of age. From WWE developmental, to the main roster, to Legacy, to Dashing, to the Rhodes Scholars, to Stardust, to TNA, to Ring of Honor, to PWG, to New Japan, to even being a founding father of an entirely new mainstream promotion...
The point being, Cody Rhodes has done a hell of a lot in a hell of different guises throughout his career to date.
Upon shockingly departing AEW at the start of 2022, it soon became apparent that Cody was returning 'home' to WWE. Given how petty WWE has often been accused of being, what did the market leader have in mind for Rhodes? Would his public frustrations about previous creative decisions be held against him? Would the emergence of AEW be held against him? Could WWE really let all of those digs from Cody and his AEW cohorts slide? Was he being brought back just to be embarrassed?
Those concerns were ultimately unwarranted, with Cody's WrestleMania 38 appearance immediately placing him on the road to the promised land of the WWE main event scene.