PHILADELPHIA — Cody Rhodes has finally finished the story. 

It took two full years in WWE and two shots at Roman Reigns, but the “American Nightmare” became the one to end his historic 1,316-day reign as a world champion by pinning the “Tribal Chief” to win the Undisputed WWE Universal championship in the Night 2 main event of WrestleMania 40 at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday night. 

Rhodes got help from Jimmy Uso, Seth Rollins and WWE legends the Undertaker and John Cena to finally thwart The Bloodline.

Rhodes used a triple Cross Rhodes to finally pin Reigns.

It ends the fourth-longest world championship reign in WWE history that began during the pandemic era in August 2020.

Only Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backland and Hulk Hogan have been a world champion longer. 

WWE went with an Avengers-like ending where babyfaces of past and present came to his defense in a Bloodline Rules match where anything goes.

Jey Uso was the answer to his brother Jimmy breaking up Rhodes going for a triple Cross Rhodes for the first time.

When Rhodes went for it a second time, Solo Sikoa came from under the ring and hit the challenger with a Samoan Spike. He and Reigns delivered a Spear-Spike combo, but Rhodes kicked out.

It brought out Cena, who lost to Sikoa at last year’s WrestleMania.

After Cena hit an Attitude Adjustment on Reigns and Sikoa, The Rock’s music hit. A Rock Bottom later and Cena was out of things.

Rollins’ Shield music hit but Reigns stopped him from clobbering Rock with a chair.

When it looked like there was no one left, you heard the Undertaker’s gong. The lights went out and he appeared in the ring to chokeslam Rock.

Reigns then had a callback of hitting Rollins instead of Rhodes with a chair in an ode to the breakup of The Shield.

It proved costly as it opened the door for Rhodes to kick a charging Reigns and finally put him down.

A big celebration followed in the ring with Rhodes, his family and many of WWE’s babyfaces.

Rhodes finally was able to hand a WWE world championship to his mother Michelle.

He eventually called Triple H to the ring and the boss raised his new champion hand.

For Rhodes, 38, it’s the completion of a lifelong dream for both he and his family as he finally gets to hold a WWE world championship, which no one in his family ever had.

The WWWF championship was taken from his father “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes after he only defeated “Superstar” Billy Graham by countout at Madison Square Garden on Sept. 26, 1977.

Rhodes’ victory completes a year-plus story arc between him, Reigns and The Bloodline after leaving AEW to rejoin WWE in 2022.

The night started off different with Cody’s wife Brandi by his side for the first time in WWE during a very special entrance that saw the challenger don a skull mask like his logo to signify this year would not end the same way.

Brandi told her husband, who had more family members in the front row, to “finish the story” before sending him off to the ring.

Reigns, whose entrance at WrestleMania 40 included a full orchestra, defeated Rhodes at last year’s WrestleMania with help from a Samoan Spike by cousin Solo Sikoa.

Rhodes did so after suffering a loss with Seth Rollins to The Rock and Roman Reigns in the main event of Night 1 on Saturday. 

He was pinned in the middle of the ring by The Rock — who taunted his mother Michelle in the front row all night with the weight belt with his son’s blood on it — after a Rock Bottom and a People’s Elbow.

But unlike on multiple occasions during Night 1, The Rock couldn’t save his cousin from defeat. 

After an exceptional trilogy with Brock Lesnar, Rhodes got the opportunity to be back into the title picture by eliminating CM Punk to win the Royal Rumble for the second straight year.

It then appeared that the championship opportunity was going to have to wait. 

Rhodes stunningly went out on SmackDown and conceded his match with Reigns to a returning Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. 

But the WWE audience revolted on social media with the #WeWantCody hashtag and in the arenas, booing The Rock and hijacking promos. Rhodes was truly “The People’s Champion.”

With the support mounting, WWE and Rhodes changed course at the WrestleMania Kickoff event when Rhodes officially challenged Reigns and unlocked the villainous “Final Boss” version of Rock instead — forcing Rhodes to align with Rollins.  

“One of the many benefits of this world of professional wrestling is you have the opportunity to not only hear the fans — but more importantly, listening to the fans — and then the other part is take action,” The Rock said after Night 1. “With the pivot you are talking about, it was an opportunity in front of us. When I came back, the goal was to do The Rock and Roman Reigns. As we continued to stand everything on its feet, we realized that we had an opportunity to listen to the fans. The fans matter. Their voice matters.”

The Rock did some of the best work of his career in the leadup to WrestleMania 40, appearing regularly on television to insult the “Cody Crybabies,” Rhodes’ dog and his mother.

The two then gave a scene out of a movie where Rock bloodied Rhodes in the rain in Chicago outside his tour bus and smeared it on a weight belt to give to Rhodes’ mom.

But it was Rhodes who got the final laugh by defeating Reigns and the Samoan Bloodline in the main event to officially become WWE’s new babyface champion and the leader of the next era in WWE history.

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