The Rhodes to WrestleMania is in full effect. Cody Rhodes made his long-awaited return to WWE at January's WWE Royal Rumble , outlasting 29 other superstars in the men's multi-man battle royal to punch his ticket to WWE WrestleMania 39 . While past years have left the Rumble winner with a choice of opponent at the grandest stage of them all , Roman Reigns occupying both of WWE's world championships meant Rhodes's decision was already made for him. This has WWE is somewhat of a narrative corner, as it has already begun advertising Rhodes vs. Reigns for WWE WrestleMania 39 despite Reigns having a scheduled defense before then. In years past, WWE would simply wait to have the Rumble winner select their Mania opponent until all of that champion's defenses were in the rear view.
With this in mind, the build to Rhodes vs. Reigns has begun, over two months before they are set to meet at the showcase of the immortals. This marks a rare feat for WWE, as most storylines kick off roughly one month before they culminate in a match. Rhodes spoke Reigns's name for the first time last week, while this past Monday's edition of Monday Night Raw featured the American Nightmare sharing the ring with the Tribal Chief's wise man, Paul Heyman. The two engaged in an impassioned promo, one full of references to both men's history with one another, and concluded with a cheeky taunt from the special counsel.
Speaking on the Wrestling Observer Radio , Dave Meltzer reported that WWE booked this segment with Rhodes and Heyman in an effort to ensure the WWE WrestleMania 39 main event does not "feel secondary" to Reigns's current feud with Sami Zayn. Zayn turned on Reigns and The Bloodline at the end of WWE Royal Rumble and set himself on a collision course with the Head of the Table the following week on WWE SmackDown . Reigns and Zayn will meet for the Undisputed WWE Universal Title later this month at WWE Elimination Chamber .
Zayn's white-hot program has led to many fans calling for the former honorary uce to be inserted into the WWE WrestleMania 39 main event, not unlike Daniel Bryan's storyline in the lead-up to WWE WrestleMania XXX . WWE has reportedly remained adamant that Reigns vs. Rhodes remains a singles contest while Zayn reunites with Kevin Owens to battle Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos for his Mania match.
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