Home Cody Rhodes wins ‘undisputed’ WWE world title in main event at Wrestlemania 40

Cody Rhodes wins ‘undisputed’ WWE world title in main event at Wrestlemania 40

Chris Graham
(© rafapress – shutterstock.com)

WWE put its “undisputed” world title on Cody Rhodes in the main event at Wrestlemania 40 on Sunday, ending the nearly three-and-a-half-year reign of Roman Reigns as the company’s standard-bearer.

The match was predictable sports entertainment, with run-ins by WWE mainstays Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, John Cena and The Undertaker factoring into the finish, which gave Rhodes, the son of the legendary three-time NWA world champ, “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, his first world title reign in any promotion.

The win capped a big weekend for WWE in Philadelphia, which hosted two nights of Wrestlemania at Lincoln Field, the home of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, with attendance reported by WrestleTix at 68,803 for Night 1 on Saturday night and 69,652 for Night 2.

Damian Priest left Philadelphia as WWE’s other world champ, after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to defeat Drew McIntyre, who had just won the belt from champ Seth Rollins in the opening match of Night 2.

One other title change of note: Bayley took home the WWE women’s world title with a win over Iyo Sky.

The title win by Rhodes, who left WWE in 2016 to make a go of it on the indy circuit, then was a founding EVP at WWE rival AEW in 2019, was the culmination of a two-year story arc that had seen Rhodes fall short in a challenge of Reigns at Wrestlemania 39 in 2023.

Reigns, a former first-team all-ACC defensive lineman at Georgia Tech, had held a share of the WWE world title dating back to 2020.

Reigns had defeated former NCAA and UFC champ Brock Lesnar in the main event at Wrestlemania 38 to unify WWE’s two world titles at that time to become the “undisputed” champ.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].