The Wrestlemania XL Press Event/Kickoff was highly anticipated and hoooo boy did it not disappoint! With so much speculation leading up to the event, here is what I think we all learned:
1. THEY MISJUDGED WRESTLING FANS: My initial thought is the TKO board thought they could just insert The Rock into the main event, usurping Cody Rhodes and almost two years of storytelling and people wouldn't care. They were wrong. People are invested in this story and you can't just jump in and do whatever you want.
2. THE ROCK KNOWS BUSINESS: Even though he thought he could waltz in with little to no backlash, The Rock knows business and (I think) quickly realized the need to pivot. Hence his "long game" tease. While Rock/Roman at this years WM would be huge, imagine how much bigger it'll be with a proper build-up of over a year to next years Wrestlemania.
3. CODY WILL BE A BIGGER STAR BECAUSE OF THIS: He's already big, this now has the chance to make him legendary. If he beats Roman (which is not guarantee), he finishes the story and is larger because of it. If they do a tag match night one and Cody pins Rock, then he pins Roman night 2......HUGE.
4. THE BELT DOESN'T NEED TO BE INVOLVED: Rock/Roman doesn't need the title attached. It's a big enough story without it and keep in question who actually wins when they face each other. You can tell the story so detailed, nuanced, and draw it out without anyone else having to be involved; if Roman is still champion, he will HAVE to defend against SOMEBODY at the big PLE's. Without the belt, the possibilites are endless...
5. TRIPLE H IS KING: My belief is that without him, this pivot we saw doesn't happen. I have to believe this is his idea, and Dwayne buys into it because of his long-standing relationship with him. There's trust there. "Wanna tell a story Rock? Wanna draw more money than ever Rock? Listen to this..."
6. THIS IS WHY AEW WILL NEVER BEAT WWE: I like AEW's product, but......this proves to me they'll never slay the beast. The sooner Tony Khan accepts that, the better. They can sign all the free agents they want, but this right here is why they can never be beaten. Long-term story telling is where it is at, and WWE does it better than anyone.