6 reasons why The Rock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40 is a mistake

The showdown between Roman Reigns and The Rock is on the horizon.
The showdown between Roman Reigns and The Rock is on the horizon

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While it hasn’t been made official, it looks like WrestleMania 40 will host the long-awaited showdown between The Rock and Roman Reigns.

On the latest episode of SmackDown, Cody Rhodes was set to make his decision regarding his opponent for WrestleMania 40. Seth Rollins made a compelling argument on RAW, and Rhodes ultimately claimed he’d decide on SmackDown.

It seemed like he’d finally get the chance to finish his story with Reigns. He then claimed he would take the title . . . but not at WrestleMania 40. That brought out The Rock for a show-closing staredown with Reigns.

The pairing of the two cousins is no doubt a huge moneymaker for WWE, especially at WrestleMania 40. A lot of fans want to see the dream match at WrestleMania, but it’s also a mistake for the following six reasons.

#6. The outcome of the match won’t change anything for SmackDown

What's next for Knight, Orton, and Styles after the Royal Rumble?What’s next for Knight, Orton, and Styles after the Royal Rumble?

Roman Reigns has been the major champion on SmackDown since the summer of 2020. He’s dispatched every challenger, often with help from The Bloodline. The Rock is an unbranded star but is on a level where he can come back whenever and get whatever he desires.

Names like AJ Styles, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Finn Balor, LA Knight, and others could have used a major title win against Reigns. Instead, it falls to The Rock. As mentioned above, he’s a part-timer and isn’t likely to stick around past one event cycle.

For that reason, The Tribal Chief will assuredly win at WrestleMania 40, and nothing will be different on SmackDown. And if Rock does win, it doesn’t speak well to how WWE considers the rest of the stars who fought and lost to Reigns.

#5. WrestleMania 40 could have featured a triple threat with Cody Rhodes

WrestleMania 40 started to take shape after the post-Royal Rumble SmackDown.
WrestleMania 40 started to take shape after the post-Royal Rumble SmackDown.
Cody Rhodes earned the right to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 40. He could have chosen The Tribal Chief and then been surprised when The Rock showed up to do the same. A triple-threat match could have been made for April, and Rhodes could have pinned The Rock to win the title.

He’s already received an endorsement from Brock Lesnar and deserves one from The Great One. Rhodes could have then moved on to other challengers, while Reigns and The Rock could have had their singles match in Saudi Arabia at the next event.

The Head of the Table could blame The Rock for ruining his historic run, making the angle even more personal. Rhodes gets his rightfully earned main event title shot against the man who cheated him out of a win last year. Fans wanting the dream match still get it, but not at the expense of another star.

#4. Rhodes has already defeated Seth Rollins multiple times

Another question raised by a potential showdown between The Tribal Chief and The Rock at WrestleMania 40 is Rhodes’ next step. He’ll likely challenge Seth Rollins due to having to take a backseat to The Great One’s return.

The problem with that is The American Nightmare has already defeated Rollins three times, including his gutsy Hell in a Cell win in 2022. Rollins could gallantly pull out a victory, but then it makes Rhodes’ back-to-back Royal Rumble wins meaningless.

Stars who win the Rumble should rarely fail in their Mania matches. Rhodes already did so last year. The Architect also wasn’t a champion as Rhodes tried to ‘finish the story.’ The pairing at WrestleMania 40 would feed into the ‘consolation prize’ narrative around the World Heavyweight title.

#3. The history of Roman Reigns’ huge title defenses

Most of Roman's biggest defenses have been lengthy affairs.
Most of Roman’s biggest defenses have been lengthy affairs.

Most of Reigns’ defenses over the last year were heavily involved with storytelling. It happened against Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, and Rhodes. Those feuds necessitated the need for a match of nearly 30 minutes. The pairing with The Rock also has a story behind it, but can it stack up time-wise with the other fights?

His defenses against Zayn, Jey Uso, Owens, and Rhodes all exceeded 25 minutes. The Rock looks like he’s in great shape, as his physique is one of the most famous ones in the world.

The problem is that for a match of such magnitude, the main event will need the action to meet the 25-30 minute mark. Huge muscles require a lot of oxygen.

In MMA, stars who are severely muscular can lose steam and have trouble with endurance. Rocky hasn’t had a sustained match in a decade and is over 50. The quality of the bout may not live up to the hype at WrestleMania 40.

#2 The feud is more about familial dominance than a title

The Tribal Combat match at SummerSlam 2023 was steeped in family tradition.The Tribal Combat match at SummerSlam 2023 was steeped in family tradition.
The entire Bloodline angle has been built on the lineage between its members. While not a member by blood, even The Wiseman has history with numerous members of the Anoa’i family.

Being The Tribal Chief is the highest achievement in the Samoan culture, and that person has absolute power. Roman Reigns has used that station to rule not only over his own family but also the rest of the WWE. The only problem is that the rest of the roster isn’t in his Bloodline, and thus doesn’t need to ‘acknowledge’ him.

Because of the societal ramifications, a potential match at WrestleMania 40 doesn’t need a title. It’s more about being atop The Bloodline rather than holding a championship.

WWE always likes to load up main event matches, but it’s not always necessary. This happened at WrestleMania 35 when Charlotte Flair was randomly added to the match between Becky Lynch and Ronda Rousey.

#1. It takes away a main event spot for a full-time star

Unless you are Hulk Hogan, John Cena, Steve Austin, or Roman Reigns, it’s hard to get more than one main-event match at WrestleMania. Almost every star dreams of having a WrestleMania moment, and even more dream about closing out The Show of Shows.

Seth Rollins, Bayley, CM Punk, and a host of others have mentioned this aspiration. For many, however, it’s something that they will never achieve. While Rhodes did achieve this last year, Rollins’ other potential opponents will now be deprived of main-eventing a match at WrestleMania 40.

Bayley, Rollins, Rhodes, Gunther, Drew McIntyre, and others are full-time stars who put in the work every week. The Rock’s returns are sporadic and may pop the audience, but they usually only benefit him or the face he’s endorsing at the moment.

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