Cody Rhodes versus Roman Reigns will be a big match at WrestleMania 40 and to get there, Rhodes will go through Damian Priest.
The Judgement Day angle has remained one of the most important stories throughout the year. As The Bloodline angle hits the doldrums, what’s going on between Damian Priest, Finn Balor, JD McDonagh, Rhea Ripley, and Dominick Mysterio stands as the central story on WWE Monday Night Raw and through portions of WWE NXT. Things seem to be heading toward a fallout at some point, and there’s the potential for an interesting catalyst to kick things off. For Cody Rhodes to get back to Roman Reigns, he will take the Money in the Bank briefcase from Priest.
There are two parts to this situation setting up the perfect moment to drive into WrestleMania 40 season. First, fans expect Rhodes to be the guy who defeats Roman Reigns. WWE has done an excellent job keeping Rhodes hot a full year after the controversial finish to WrestleMania 39. At the same time, the “wash, rinse and repeat” nature of Reigns’s run set the stage for fans to be prepared to see him finally lose.
Then, there’s The Judgement Day story. Right now, the group continues to bicker about who is the “leader” and those subtle undertones hint at Priest being the odd man out. For that to happen, the group will need to start losing some of those titles around their waists. Mysterio is expected to lose the NXT North American title at NXT Deadline. The Creed Brothers have emerged as immediate fan favorites and now they are tag team champions. Ripley isn’t expected to face a true threat until WrestleMania. The repeated teases of Priest cashing in the MITB, only to be thwarted is also building turmoil within the faction.
Bringing it back to Rhodes. He announced himself as the first entrant into the 2024 Royal Rumble. After a stellar performance in 2023, fans are interested in how he will do this year. Will he be one of the few individuals to go back-to-back? Or will a situation with The Judgement Day cause Rhodes to get eliminated? The latter outcomes set the stage for Rhodes to turn his attention back to Priest and goad him into putting the MITB briefcase on the line in a singles match. A singles match that Rhodes would win. That outcome creates the path for Rhodes to get back to Reigns by challenging him with the MITB at WrestleMania and would be the final straw to cause Priest to get kicked out of the group. Those would be two major storylines for WWE Raw and WWE SmackDown heading into the feature event of the year.
WWE’s long-term booking has improved under Triple H’s leadership. Stories such as these two seem primed to end at WrestleMania. Can Cody Rhodes get back to Roman Reigns to “finish the story?” It seems destined to happen and that path should go right through Damian Priest and The Judgement Day.