After winning the Royal Rumble, Cody Rhodes secured his chance to capture the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania.
However, on the Grandest Stage of Them All, Rhodes fell victim to a numbers game as The Bloodline conspired against him. Solo Sikoa aided his cousin, delivering a Samoan Spike to Rhodes out of view of the referee and allowing Reigns to pick up a pinfall victory to continue his record-breaking title reign.
Fans were outraged at Roman winning yet again, wanting Rhodes to complete his story and capture the top prize in WWE, something neither his Hall of Fame father or his brother were ever able to achieve.
Triple H insisted after the fact that “the story will continue,” and according to a new interview, Paul Heyman feels the same. Speaking to Ariel Helwani for BT Sport, Heyman compared the situation to The Undertaker‘s legendary undefeated streak at WrestleMania, saying that fans eagerly await the day that Roman’s reign ends just as they wanted to see The Undertaker pinned, and that they have to stick around for the next chapter of the story.
“I like the fact that everyone walks in now thinking this is the last title defense. And I experienced this before with something I had a hand in ending, which was the Undertaker’s undefeated streak at WrestleMania. And every year, you sat there and you said, ‘Oh no, this is it’ and during the match, the audience is actually anticipating and salivating for this to be the moment that they get to witness the historical three count on the Undertaker to which the streak would finally end.
“And then, of course, when Undertaker would defend the streak, they’d sit there, ‘oh yeah, I don’t want to see this’ and they can’t wait for the next chapter and then it finally ended and the audience was shocked because they thought they would see it, they thought they would see it, they thought they would, no, they didn’t get to see it. And this was year after year after year and then they finally got to see it.
“I think that’s the same thing with Roman Reigns‘ title defenses now. You hope this is the one, you think this is the one, you’re sure this is the one. You watch the match happening and you know this is the one and then it turns out not to be the one. ‘Oh man, I can’t wait to see the next chapter.'”
“That’s Storytelling At Its Very Best” – Paul Heyman On Cody Rhodes’ WrestleMania Loss
Continuing, Heyman made the claim that Rhodes’ loss actually benefits the star as the crowd is more passionately behind him following Reigns’ victory at WrestleMania.
“The response tonight to Cody Rhodes, which was louder than the response last week to Cody Rhodes, which was a response more passionate tonight for Cody Rhodes, which was a response of an audience that believes in Cody Rhodes this week more than they did last week when they hung their hopes into dreams on him and he didn’t disappoint them, we disappointed them.
“We took that away from Cody Rhodes. Roman Reigns took that away from Cody Rhodes and the audience. They blame Roman Reigns for it and they appreciate how close Cody came and they know, now, they know the next time Cody Rhodes steps in the ring with Roman Reigns, this will be the one. That’s the business, that’s the business at it’s very best. That’s promotion at its very best, that’s storytelling at its very best.
“That’s what you want, a challenger to come out a bigger star than he would have been if he had won the championship because then where do you go from there? What’s the story to tell? Now you know the story, it’s Cody’s redemption. He’s coming back from what was just taken from him, from the defeat he suffered that he didn’t deserve to have inflicted upon him.”
On the Monday Night Raw following WrestleMania 39, Brock Lesnar shockingly aligned with Rhodes at the beginning of the show, promising to be his partner to take on Reigns and Solo Sikoa in the main event. However, before the match could get started, Lesnar attacked Rhodes, delivering a minutes-long beatdown to send the show off the air.