WrestleMania 40 Night 2 results, grades, analysis: Cody Rhodes defeats Roman Reigns to win undisputed WWE Universal Title

Photo of author

By journalsofus.com

Rhodes and Reigns headlined WrestleMania for the second night and second year in a row. After Rhodes and Seth Rollins lost to The Rock and Reigns on the first night, the main event match would be held under “Bloodline Rules”, putting the challenger at a severe disadvantage.

Rhodes entered first with a fiery, almost war-like video package. As he rose from under the stage, he was wearing a crown and skull mask, which seemed to be a tribute to Triple H – how far these two have come, right? For the first time since returning to WWE, Rhodes was accompanied by his wife Brandi.

Reigns’ entrance included the School District of Philadelphia All-City Orchestra, but only Paul Heyman accompanied the champion to the ring, despite the “Bloodline Rules” stipulation. Reigns has been in the main event of WrestleMania a record nine times and has left Hulk Hogan behind. Reigns’ run as champion is the fourth longest in WWE history, behind Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund and Hogan.

Like the Night 1 match, both players engaged in a staring contest early on. The Philadelphia crowd was much more engaged in the early stages on Sunday than on Saturday. Reigns took advantage of his power, while Rhodes relied on his speed and avoided Reigns’ spear, sending the champion crashing into the ring post.

Rhodes was actually the first to bring weapons into the equation by pulling a table from under the ring. Reigns hit Rhodes with a “drive-by” dropkick and the champion returned the table under the ring to the dismay of the Philadelphia crowd. Rhodes continued the violence and sent Reigns into the ring.

Moments later, Reigns regained the lead by hitting Rhodes with a kendo stick. Rhodes avoided a blow and eventually locked Reigns in the “Figure-Four”. WWE announcers suggested that “Bloodline Rules” is essentially the same as a no-disqualification match, but requiring a pinfall or submission in the ring.

Loosely following the structure of Night 1’s main event, the action spilled out into the crowd shortly afterwards. Reigns hit a big suplex into the crowd, but Rhodes responded with a suplex of his own and directed the action back to the ring area.

Rhodes, with little momentum, went for a “Disaster Kick”, but was caught in mid-air and powerbombed, ending the brief swing in the challenger’s favor. Reigns then taunted Rhodes, saying he would send him to Hollywood with “the rest of the guys”, referencing John Cena and his cousin The Rock.

Reigns remained in control, using a submission hold and a fisherman’s suplex for a near fall. After the referee counted two and Rhodes kicked out, Reigns began to show clear signs of frustration despite maintaining control.

The pace picked up for a while as Rhodes and Reigns exchanged superkicks and big boots before taking each other out with a double clothesline. Rhodes eventually regained the lead with a Scoop Slam and a “Disaster Kick”, nearly pinning the champion.

As Rhodes went for the “Cody Cutter”, Reigns caught the challenger and – in a sign of the ultimate insult in wrestling – tried to end the match by using Rhodes’ own finisher. Reigns’ taunts allowed Rhodes to recover enough to avoid a “Superman” punch and hit the champion with his father’s patented “Bionic Elbow” combination.

Reigns would take advantage of “Bloodline Rules” to low blow Rhodes and powerbomb him through the announce table. Reigns immediately threw Rhodes back into the ring and hit a “Superman” punch for another dramatic fall. Rhodes then countered a spear from Reigns and saved himself a near-fall by hitting the “Cody Cutter”. Rhodes suffered another fall after countering a “Rock Bottom” attempt and hitting a spear on Reigns.

Finally, about 22 minutes into the match, the much-anticipated outside interference occurred. Jimmy Uso hit Rhodes with a superkick as he attempted to hit Reigns with a finisher. Jey Uso, who had defeated Jimmy on the first night, returned shortly after and took out his twin brother by spearing him through a table off the WrestleMania stage.

Back in the ring, Reigns hit a spear on Rhodes for another near-fall, but the challenger kicked out. The action spilled outside shortly afterward, allowing Rhodes to spear the champion through the barricade.

As Rhodes again went for a trio of “Crossroads” finishers, Solo Sequoia interfered, and delivered a Samoan Spike to the challenger – a callback to how the previous year’s main event had ended. Sequoia pulled Reigns onto Rhodes for the cover but the challenger landed a kick, surprising Sequoia and his cousin. The Bloodline duo hit a combo spear and spike, but Rhodes kicked out again.

Like Jey Uso, John Cena also came to the rescue to get revenge on Sequoia. Cena hit Reigns with the “Attitude Adjustment” and then sent Sequoia into the announce table with another “AA”.

That flurry from Cena brought out The Rock. Cena and Rock faced each other at WrestleMania 28 and 29, in which both won one match each. The two megastars stared at each other before The Rock reached “rock bottom”. As The Rock took off his weight belt, The Shield’s music played and Rollins was about to take out The Rock with a chair – a nod to his betrayal of Reigns a decade earlier.

The chaos continued as The Undertaker’s music played, the lights went out and the legendary superstar came to the ring to chokeslam The Rock. The lights dimmed again and only Rhodes, Rollins and Reigns remained in the ring with the steel chair.

Instead of killing Rhodes, Reigns turned his attention to Rollins as revenge for his aforementioned betrayal. This allowed Rhodes to recover, he hit a knee on Reigns and finally, landed three “Crossroads” to end his storyline.

Cody Rhodes defeated Roman Reigns in 33:23 to win the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.

After the match, LA Knight, CM Punk, Randy Orton, Jey Uso, Sami Zayn, John Cena, Kevin Owens, Brandi Rhodes and Cody’s family celebrated in the ring with the new champion.

Rhodes addressed the celebrating crowd, saying that he was surrounded by greatness in the ring and in the stadium. He called out Bruce Pritchard and Triple H and said that he would never have returned to WWE without those two guys.

Leave a comment