- WWE’s February 2 SmackDown segment featuring The Rock, Roman Reigns, and Cody Rhodes has become the company’s most disliked YouTube video with over 200,000 dislikes in 9 hours.
- Cody Rhodes, who had back-to-back wins at the Royal Rumble, surprised fans by not declaring Roman Reigns as his opponent at WrestleMania and instead introducing The Rock.
- The segment has received overwhelmingly negative reactions on social media. Many fans hope for a resolution and a change in the current trajectory of the top babyface in the business.
WWE officially uploaded its February 2 SmackDown segment featuring The Rock, Roman Reigns, and Cody Rhodes to YouTube, where it quickly became the company’s most disliked YouTube video in history. 9 hours after the original upload, it has garnered 200,000+ dislikes across 1.6M views surpassing the previous video, “Randy Orton Makes it Personal with Triple H.” It’s worth noting that the latter WWE video had 200K dislikes as well, though considerably more views at 315 million.
Cody Rhodes is the first man to get back-to-back wins at the Royal Rumble since Stone Cold Steve Austin, all but guaranteeing him a spot at WrestleMania 40. Everyone believed he would use this opportunity to take on Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship to make up for his loss at WrestleMania 39. At the end of the Rumble, Cody pointed toward the sign, pointed toward Roman Reigns, and even said as much when the WWE show went off-air, but that’s not what went down on SmackDown.
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Roman would open where he cut a promo calling Seth Rollins his #2, absolutely insulting the title that Rollins has worked to build up, in the best Heel way possible. Cody came out, saying he still wanted Reigns’ title because, among other reasons, it’s the one that was put into his father’s hands. It seemed Cody was on the verge of declaring Roman Reigns as his opponent before he said, “But Not at WrestleMania,” shocking fans worldwide. He would then introduce The Rock, exit, and The Rock and Roman would stare off. Notably, Cody would disagree that Reigns’ title is the “Hollywood title” before ironically introducing The Rock. To be fair, no plans or announcements have exactly been made, but the story is not adding up for many fans. Check out the full WWE Segment here.
The Rock vs. Roman Reigns vs. Fan Backlash
Beyond the YouTube video, the reactions on TikTok, Twitter, and other forms of social media, from casual fans to content creators, have been incredibly negative. Many have pointed out how upset Cody looks in the segment and how bad it makes him look, giving up his back-to-back wins for The Rock. This segment also hurt Seth Rollins’ WHC, turned a lot of fans against The Rock, and more. The outrage, memes, and everything is genuinely everywhere for WWE fans. While some would no doubt enjoy The Rock vs. Roman Reigns, many argue that the match doesn’t need the title, nor does it need to be at WrestleMania 40. There is a world where fans get this match but Cody finishes his story this year (per the cover and tagline of WWE2K24).
It remains to be seen how the WWE responds, if directly at all, or if Monday Night Raw or SmackDown address this particular angle. Many fans are hoping there’s some resolution and some way forward, many believe that this wouldn’t have happened if the WWE wasn’t booking around many injuries, others believe that The Rock pushed for it, and some are hoping that the crowd and social media reactions follow suit with what happened with Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 30 (in some regard). Ultimately, it’s very clear how many fans are upset by the current trajectory of the top babyface in the business.