Former WWE Head Writer Reveals What Changed in Cody Rhodes' Promo With the Rock

Cody Rhodes' promo with The Rock on SmackDown was supposed to go a lot differently.

Back in February, Cody Rhodes arrived on SmackDown to speak to the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns. Rhodes had just won his second consecutive Royal Rumble weeks prior and seemed poised to officially issue his challenge to Reigns. Only... that's not what happened. Instead, Rhodes rescinded his previous call-out, noting that he wasn't going to face Reigns at WrestleMania 40. Out came The Rock, seemingly setting up for the long-awaited match between two icons of their respective wrestling generations. Rhodes walked off defeated following that angle which the cameras picked up, prompting the WWE Universe to start a movement to get Rhodes his WrestleMania match.

The SmackDown Segment Didn't Go as Planned

(Photo: WWE)

Brian Gewirtz, the former head WWE writer who now works at Dwayne Johnson's Seven Bucks Productions, recently spoke out about the segment and how Rhodes was actually supposed to act a lot differently. Gerwirtz has been working with The Rock on his creative since his return in January.

"Cody is a human being who is genuine and real, and he wears his heart and emotion on his sleeve," Gewirtz told The Masked Man Show. "In Alabama [February 2 WWE SmackDown], certainly, even if you tell me, 'that would never work, it's stupid to propose it.' The idea was supposed to be, it's like the Nixon-Kennedy debate a little bit where you read the transcript, you're like 'Nixon kicked his ass.' If you watch the actual footage, 'Oh, he was a sweaty terrible mess.' Cody, it was supposed to be, in some form, 'Yeah, F**kin A! Go get 'em Rock! You're going to get your ass kicked, Roman! Let's do this!' and this uplifting promo. Instead, he looked like someone shot his dog in the face in the parking lot. Just look at his expression. By the way, someone else, even when the team wins, looks forlorn and upset and despondent. Julius Randle [laughs]."

Gewirtz continued, explaining that Rhodes' reaction in the moment didn't "help matters."

"That, I don't think, helped matters. It might not have changed or affected anything. Certainly, on paper, and I don't blame Cody for that, he's real and one of the realest people I've ever met. He said what he had to say in the promo, but you couldn't mask what he was really feeling, and I think the fans felt that a lot. They felt like 'he doesn't mean a word of this. This is being forced for him to say.' He's despondent. He's literally doing the Michael Cera-Arrested Development, Charlie Brown walk out of the arena when he's supposed to be on cloud nine. I think that had a lot to do with it" (h/t: Fightful).