Any rumors seem to be in the rearview now, but speculation about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and the main event of WrestleMania 40 ramped up around his surprise appearance on SmackDown back in September.
One person who isn’t paying attention to any of that chatter? The man Reigns beat at ‘Mania this year, and who we’ve repeatedly been told is planned to challenge him again in the Spring: Cody Rhodes.
Appearing on Busted Open today (Nov. 13), Rhodes said he respects The Rock and would love to have him on the card in Philly. But he’s not worried about The Great One, the Megastar, or anyone else preventing from trying to finish the story. Asked about Johnson’s claim on Pat McAfee’s show that he was at one point “locked” in as Roman’s challenger at WrestleMania 39 before teasing he could fill that role at next year’s ‘Mania, Cody replied:
“I’ll say this about The Rock coming on Pat — which I was watching live because I love Pat — and then SmackDown and all this. The Rock did for sports entertainment so, so much and continues to do so much by being the biggest star in Hollywood that I’m able to be at the level I’m at because I can stand on shoulders like those of The Rock. So he could have come on there and run me down and I still would have the highest respect for The Great One. He’s honestly a model superstar for anybody who wants to just supersede all expectations.
“With that said though, no matter what he said, anyone who did ask me, anyone who did confront me on it — I said I’m not flinching. I’m not flinching. And I feel like if The Rock and I were in the same room, he would expect nothing less from me. If you think it’s somebody else, I’m going to do everything I can to make sure you know it’s me. And that’s the same attitude that The Rock had when he was climbing the ladder.
“I don’t care who it is. If that happens to be The Rock, if that happens to be anybody who comes into this fray. A wonderful superstar like LA Knight. An absolutely stellar performer like Sami Zayn, who him and I went toe-to-toe in a way last year. Line ‘em up and I’m just going to do everything I can to outrun them. I certainly am. And I mean that with the utmost respect to them. I wasn’t shook at all by Rock’s big day out. What I would say is: not flinching.
“If Rock’s part of WrestleMania 40, that would be outstanding. He should be. It’s The Rock. But I don’t think he’ll be in my spot.”
Again, from everything we’ve heard the American Nightmare has no reason to flinch. But no matter, sounds like he’s got the right attitude toward what could very well be the biggest moment of his career.