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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

Do all Rhodes really lead to Reigns?

Roman+Reigns+faced+Cody+Rhodes+this+past+April+at+Wrestlemania+39.
Photo from wwe.com
Roman Reigns faced Cody Rhodes this past April at Wrestlemania 39.

This past April at WrestleMania 39, the dream of Cody Rhodes went up in smoke while the legacy of the World Wrestling Entertainment’s world champion, Roman Reigns, became even further solidified. 

 

Following a surprise return to the company at WrestleMania in 2022, Rhodes made a promise to fans after the event on the weekly flagship show, Monday Night Raw. 

 

It was there that Rhodes let fans in on his intentions to do what his father, the late Dusty Rhodes, couldn’t, which is become WWE Champion.  

 

Cody gives a speech where he referred to a moment in 1977 when his father Dusty technically won the championship at Madison Square Garden. However, he won by count-out and that method of victory doesn’t result in a title change in WWE. 

 

From that point on, it seemed inevitable that a matchup with Reigns, who just won the WWE Championship from Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 38. Reigns unified the title alongside his Universal Championship that he’s held since Aug. 30, 2020. 

 

Rhodes picked up momentum up until June 2022, where he tore his pectoral muscle and started recovery after a match he won while injured. 

 

He returned from his injury at the Royal Rumble, one of WWE’s four biggest events, in January 2023 and won a match that earned the winner a championship opportunity at WrestleMania. 

 

From there, it set up the story of Rhodes’ story versus Reigns’ legacy, which continued to be solidified in the months that Rhodes was gone. He continued to dominate over his competition with help from his family stable, “The Bloodline.” 

 

However, due to the inference from Reigns’ family and Rhodes’ inexperience in the main event, Rhodes’ story went unfinished, which led me to thinking: 

 

Is it really Rhodes’ story that needs finishing? 

 

Rhodes’ story has nothing to do with Reigns’ but has everything to do with the championship. However, Reigns’ story of being the “Tribal Chief” is still unfulfilled. 

 

Reigns established his dominance during the pandemic where he returned to the company after a hiatus. Upon his return, he won gold and donned himself the Tribal Chief who makes the elders of his family, the Anoa’i Samoan Dynasty, proud. 

 

Now you may be wondering, who are the elders in Reigns’ family?  

 

The names that he’s related to are legendary, and includes Rikishi, Yokozuna and most notably, his cousin, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. 

 

To gain control, Reigns fought his cousins, The Usos, to get them to acknowledge him as the family’s leader and remain champion, while employing their younger brother, Solo Sikoa, to be the championship faction’s enforcer. However, the story they haven’t told, and may have the chance to do so because of the 2023 SAG-AFTRA strike, is how Johnson feels about Reigns’ corrupt status. More specifically, how Johnson feels about Reigns being the leader of the family after his return to the company in September. 

 

While WWE may want Rhodes to headline next year’s WrestleMania, there is a lot more money to be made by pitting cousins against one another. Johnson has revealed that the matchup has been slated to happen in the past and has even called himself the Tribal Chief of the family in interviews, but the perfect opportunity hasn’t arisen yet. 

 

No matter where Reigns’ storyline goes with the formidable cracks formed in “The Bloodline” this past year, he needs to finish his story and to cement his legacy further as the Tribal Chief of the Anoa’i family. To do this, his status as leader needs to be threatened and there is no bigger threat to his reign than his Hollywood renowned cousin returning for a once-in-a-lifetime match. 

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Brandon Fairweather
Brandon Fairweather, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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