WWE's annual Wrestlemania spectacular has come and gone for 2024. Wrestlemania XL (40) was absolutely the biggest Wrestlemania ever. Sure, there will be metrics that can be argued to say Wrestlemania event was bigger, but as far as the size, spectacle, and meaning of this year's Wrestlemania event...you probably can't top it.

Both night's of Wrestlemania XL were capped off by a variation of the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns vs. Cody Rhodes. This is a story YEARS in the making. On the Saturday night of Wrestlemania, Reigns teamed with mega movie star The Rock to face Rhodes and WWE Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. This tag-team match was to determine the stipulations of the match on Sunday night of Wrestlemania XL where Reigns and Rhodes would face off for the championship.

In the tag match, if Reigns and The Rock won, it would be "Bloodline Rules" for the Sunday match. Essentially meaning its no disqualification, and any of Roman's family members were free to get involved in the match without costing him the match.

WrestleMania 40
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On Saturday night, Reigns and The Rock won. So Sunday, Rhodes had the odds stacked against him. But the son of Dusty Rhodes knows all about that. The wrestling icon Dusty Rhodes was always fighting from behind during his incredible career.

Sunday night came and when Reigns and Rhodes squared off, it was literally a storybook tale. It all starts with his father, Dusty. His dad never won the WWF (WWE) Championship, so Cody felt like his family had an unfished story. Cody had previously spent years in WWE trying to carve a path to the title, but he felt stifled. So he left. When he was gone, he went international and helped take New Japan Pro Wrestling's Bullet Club faction to new heights. From there, he teamed with a small group to launch All Elite Wrestling (AEW); the first true competitor to WWE in decades.

But while Cody was building his franchise in AEW, he could see cracks. The people that he had formed the group with may not necessarily had the best intentions. They may not know what they're doing. So he bailed. He left to tell the tail of a prodigal son. The prodigal son of the son of a plumber. Cody returned to WWE.

When he came back, he jumped right into Wrestlemania, taking on his Wrestlemania XL partner Seth Rollins. Once Rhodes was back in WWE full time, he was able to win the Royal Rumble, and pick the championship he would challenge for at Wrestlemania. He picked Roman Reigns to end his story against.

But that was 2023, Wrestlemania 39. Where he took on Roman, and lost. The story wouldn't be finished.

WrestleMania 40
Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

Then we come to 2024, and the Royal Rumble. If Cody won there, he could pick Roman again. Which he did, and he did. Setting the stage for Cody to take on The Bloodline and their leader Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania XL.

On Sunday night, Cody won, and finished his family's story.

Now if we go all the way back in the story, decades back, when Cody was breaking into the business, Dusty did something to help his son. Dusty Rhodes pawned a Rolex watch to get enough money to put Cody into the classes that would help jumpstart his pro wrestling career.

At some point over the last few weeks (or maybe months) the management at WWE had an idea. They talked about the story of Dusty pawning the watch, and what would it mean to Cody if there were able to get it back. This group of WWE Executives were Paul “Triple H” Levesque, Bruce Prichard, and Nick Khan.

During the post-Wrestlemania press conference, Cody told the story, showed the watch, and started this conversation. When Triple H got to his portion of the press conference, he was then asked about it. That's when we got a bigger picture of how this went.

Triple H explained that Khan came up with the idea, and Bruce Prichard went to work tracking the watch down. Now, we don't know the specifics, but Rolex watches do have specific serial numbers on each watch. Meaning Bruce Prichard could have used that to track the watch down. Or through mutual acquaintances, he may have been able to find exactly where Dusty pawned it, and traced it that way. No matter how they did it, the trio were able to get the watch back, and present it to Dusty's son on the biggest night of his professional life.

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