Explaining WeWantCody movement after shocking WWE WrestleMania 40 pivot

Taking a look at the WeWantCody social media movement over WrestleMania 40 plans involving Cody Rhodes, The Rock, and Roman Reigns.

Jan 27, 2024; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cody Rhodes celebrates after winning the Men   s Royal Rumble
Jan 27, 2024; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Cody Rhodes celebrates after winning the Men s Royal Rumble / Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

There's no denying the passion of professional wrestling fans. They become so invested in the week-to-week programming to see the conclusions of some of the top feuds to not only watch who emerges as the winner but if the story surrounding the match was up to par. Fans want to see the conclusion of the movie or television series to make their determinations on whether it was worthwhile and if it met expectations.

WWE fans have waited to see "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes "finish the story." Rhodes is seeking to win the WWE Championship, a title that his father never won. After winning the 2024 men's Royal Rumble, Rhodes looked destined to challenge Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns once again at WrestleMania 40. Rhodes did point towards Reigns, who was seated in a luxury suite in Tropicana Field, while celebrating his Rumble win.

But then, this past Friday happened, there was a seismic shift in WrestleMania 40 plans. This has caused the hashtag "WeWantCody" to trend. So, what is this trend?

Everything to know about the WeWantCody trend after Rock vs. Roman Reigns seemingly confirmed for WrestleMania 40

This trend circulated across social media because Rhodes seemingly passed on his chance to challenge Reigns once again and handed it to The Rock, or Dwayne Johnson. The Rock vs. Reigns was a highly anticipated match for wrestling fans for years. But with the match apparently going to happen this year, fans don't like how it all went down.

Last year, Rhodes nearly beat Reigns at WrestleMania 39, but interference from Solo Sikoa played a significant factor in the loss. This was a decision that was ridiculed by WWE fans and media for not striking while the iron was hot. Rhodes was one of the top faces in the company in his return, and it made all the sense in the world for him to end Reigns' lengthy title reign. But WWE and chief content officer Paul "Triple H" Levesque stressed patience, as the story of Rhodes' chase for the title was not done.

Winning back-to-back Royal Rumbles made fans believe that the anticipated rematch was happening at WrestleMania 40. But then, the Feb. 2 edition of Friday Night SmackDown took place.

Rhodes was advertised to announce whether he would challenge Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion or World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. Reigns took the microphone first and called the World Heavyweight Championship the "loser's bracket title." Not to mention Reigns, the character belittled Rollins. Rhodes would come out and discuss potentially facing Rollins. Rhodes then pivoted to Reigns and detailed how winning the title off of him would "finish the story." But then, Rhodes said that that wouldn't happen at WrestleMania 40. Rhodes then revealed that he "received counsel" regarding who he should face at WrestleMania and one of those individuals was The Rock, who made his way to the ring to a loud ovation.

As the Rock made his way into the ring, Rhodes hugged him and then walked out of the ring so "the People's Champ" could stare down Reigns to end SmackDown.

Fans on social media expressed outrage over how this was handled. Fans were told Rollins and the World Heavyweight Champion weren't important as compared to Reigns and the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Rhodes said he had to "finish the story" by beating Reigns, only to say "no thanks" and hand his opportunity over to The Rock. A video of the segment posted on YouTube at one point received nearly half a million dislikes and counting, becoming the channel's most unpopular video ever.

Reporting following this segment made fans irate with The Rock.

Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported this past Saturday that The Rock pushed for a match at WrestleMania 40 with Reigns, and it was backed by top TKO executives. Some sources told PWInsider they believe The Rock made this push to "save WrestleMania" due to the absences of CM Punk and Brock Lesnar. Punk had torn his triceps in the 2024 Royal Rumble and will miss WrestleMania. As for Lesnar, he is implicated in a lawsuit by a former employee against Vince McMahon over allegations of sexual abuse and trafficking, and his WrestleMania plans were reportedly pulled.

The optics were not good since The Rock had recently been added to TKO's Board of Directors. The viewpoint of some fans on social media was that The Rock politicked his way into the WrestleMania 40 main event using his Board of Directors powers.

During the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, reporter Dave Meltzer said that a WrestleMania 40 match against Reigns was part of The Rock's deal with TKO.

When (Rock) made the deal on January 3 to come in (facing Roman at WrestleMania) was part of the deal," said Meltzer, h/t Wrestling Junkie. "Why Cody Rhodes won the Royal Rumble is a question that I cannot answer because nobody will answer it for me."

Additionally, Meltzer said that WWE expected there to be fan backlash for Rhodes not getting his match against Reigns at WrestleMania. But, they didn't expect there to be this much negative reaction to The Rock.

“They were expecting Cody Rhodes to turn into Daniel Bryan," said Meltzer, h/t WrestleTalk. “They were expecting to make Cody Rhodes into a martyr and make him a bigger babyface out of that. Were they expecting the people to boo Dwayne? I don’t know, because I’ve asked that one and haven’t gotten a straight answer. The reaction for Cody, about Cody getting screwed and people getting behind Cody, that was part of the story. That was absolutely expected.”

In the days following the SmackDown segment, some wrestlers also supported Rhodes and used the WeWantCody hashtag. Some of the wrestlers include Logan Paul and Ricochet.

Multiple posts by WWE's social media team have been bombarded with "WeWantCody" replies. Even The Rock's social media posts were filled with those supporting Rhodes. There were even instances this past weekend in which The Rock was booed. Whether it was a house show this past Saturday or during the NXT Vengeance Day event when they showed WrestleMania 40 press conference graphic for this Thursday in Las Vegas, Nev.

Speaking of NXT Vengeance Day, "there were efforts made to cover up" the negative reaction to The Rock by production, according to Fightfu's Corey Brennan (subscription required).

The Rock did respond to some of the backlash. While talking about the moment in Birmingham, Ala. for the stare-down with Reigns, The Rock said, "ps, tough skin, love the passion."

Perhaps the worst thing of this all is that The Rock's daughter, NXT star Ava Raine, was dragged into the negative fan reaction, who said she received death threats. Raine tweeted "Can ya'll just leave me out of this...i'm busy running a SHOW. Death threats over a situation I have nothing to do with."

Fans who are not happy, do not bring the families of those not involved in WrestleMania plans into this.

The WrestleMania 40 press conference is seemingly set to confirm Reigns vs. The Rock in Las Vegas. It's also possible that Rhodes will challenge Rollins for the World Heavyweight Championship either on Raw this Monday or at the press conference.

For those wondering why "WeWantCody" was trending on social media, now you know.

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