In the high-stakes world of WWE, the buzz around Roman Reigns' historic title run is reaching a fever pitch as Cody Rhodes speaks of "finishing the story" by toppling the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion at the grand stage of WrestleMania 40.
The wrestling community is abuzz, with industry veteran Bully Ray raising intriguing questions about the narrative WWE is crafting for Reigns' legacy. On a recent episode of "Busted Open Radio," Bully Ray's discourse with co-host Dave LaGreca deeply delved into WWE's historical acknowledgments—or the lack thereof.
The focus? Bob Backlund's impressive yet seemingly overlooked reign. Bully Ray highlighted a conspicuous omission on "WWE SmackDown," where Reigns ambitiously set his sights on the legacies of Hulk Hogan and Bruno Sammartino, while the commentary team, including Michael Cole, sidestepped any mention of Backlund's tenure from the late 1970s to the early '80s.
Backlund's reign, once celebrated for surpassing 2,000 days despite two disputed losses, seems to be fading from WWE's narrative, a move Bully Ray suggests could be a strategic play to pave the way for Reigns to eclipse Hogan's 1,474-day reign.
If successful, Reigns would ascend to a historic position in the WWE pantheon, second only to the legendary Sammartino. This strategic shift in storytelling isn't just a matter of legacy but also has potential implications for Cody Rhodes' trajectory.
Bully Ray's pointed analysis suggests that WWE's selective historical recognition could signal a less than favorable outcome for Rhodes if he faces Reigns at WrestleMania 40. "Why would they get rid of Backlund's name? It's been there since day one!" Bully Ray exclaimed, underscoring the weight of this narrative decision.
Adding another layer to this complex tapestry, a producer on the show recalled WWE commentator Corey Graves referencing Inoki's victory over Backlund upon the NJPW founder's passing last year—a subtle nod to the historical intricacies at play.
Roman Reigns Vs. Cody Rhodes
As speculation mounts, the rematch between Rhodes and Reigns, initially teased following their WrestleMania 39 showdown, remains shrouded in mystery. The timing and venue are still up in the air, with WrestleMania 40 being a strong but unconfirmed contender.
Meanwhile, Reigns' reign has been nothing short of monumental, crossing the 1,100-day mark as a part-time performer with a mere handful of title defenses this year, one of which was against Rhodes himself. The WWE Universe is watching closely as the saga unfolds, with Reigns' legacy and Rhodes' ambitions hanging in the balance.
Will history be rewritten, or will the echoes of the past shape the future of WWE's championship lineage? Only time will tell as we march toward WrestleMania 40.
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