Cody Rhodes Channels 2Pac in Final Roman Reigns Face-Off on SmackDown

Tonight’s WWE SmackDown was the final meeting between Undisputed WWE Universal Champion and the challenger Cody Rhodes before they face each other at WrestleMania 39, and while brief, it was one of the most unique meetings in their feud. Rhodes kicked things off by delivering an unexpected rap of 2Pac’s California Love, and then took a big shot at the Tribal Chief right after, calling into question the 11 years WWE invested in him. Reigns would eventually meet him face to face in the ring, but there wasn’t much talking to be done at that point, as both just wanted to get to their battle over the WWE and Universal Championship.

First Rhodes went into California Love, which drew a great reaction from the crowd and was not expected at all. If you’re curious, you can watch his full rap in the video below, and it is quite entertaining. After that, Rhodes went at Reigns directly, specifically in regards to what Reigns told Rhodes during their last meeting about Rhodes not being ‘the guy’ even in his own company, which was referring to AEW.

“He laid the Titles down in front of me,” Rhodes said. “Told me that I couldn’t even be the guy in my own company, which is odd because Roman Reigns is an 11-year tens of millions of dollars investment on the behalf of WWE telling you that he’s the guy and it only started paying off in year 8.” That got a big reaction from the crowd, and Rhodes then said, “Oh it’s all good. I thought we were shooting here cowboy!”

Then Rhodes went at the idea of being intimidated by ‘the guy’, and he told Reigns that he was the new head of the table after WrestleMania, even if he didn’t want to face that reality. “Everyone thinks they’re the guy until they meet the guy. So allow me to introduce myself Roman Reigns. I’m not just Dusty’s son. I’m not dashing. I’m not dust, but I am your successor. I am the next head of the table. I am the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes, and I’m the next Undisputed Champion,” Rhodes said.

Roman then entered the ring and didn’t give off his usual acknowledge me to the crowd, telling them he didn’t really care what they had to say. He then told Rhodes to acknowledge him, but Rhodes wasn’t doing it. Reigns then dropped the microphone and lifted the Titles, and SmackDown went off air.

Now the two will take their fight to the ring at WrestleMania. It’s been a long road to this moment, as Rhodes experienced a severe injury last year that put him out of action until this year’s Royal Rumble. Once he recovered, he jumped into one of the biggest matches of the year and was able to get Gunther over the rope and win the Rumble match, earning a shot at Reigns.

Reigns has dominated WWE as the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion, and The Bloodline has pretty much run SmackDown thanks to The Usos, Solo Sikoa, and Paul Heyman. Now that is all on the line at the biggest wrestling event of the year, and if Rhodes does succeed in dethroning Reigns, it will mark the beginning of a new era in WWE.

What did you think of Rhodes’ promo? Let us know in the comments and as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!