On February 9th, 2024, WWE held the WrestleMania XL Kick-Off, a press conference type event to hype the upcoming PLE, at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Pat McAfee, Big E, CM Punk and Michael Cole were the panellists for the event, with Cole and McAfee intrusive the participants on stage. The crowd was heavily against the Rock, booing him after Cole mentioned he was on the Pat McAfee show.
First up, Paul “Triple H” Levesque came out and addressed the crowd. He brought up the first WrestleMania, starting that it took WWE from being a regional promotion to a global juggernaut, as well d the expansion of television, going from CCTV to PPV to streaming on Peacock to signing a 10 year, $5B deal with Netflix. It was also stated that along the way, these expansions made global Superstars, from Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Andre the Giant and Ric Flair to Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels, to The Rock, Mick Foley and Stone Cold, to John Cena and Batista. The mention of the Rock brought out boo’s from the crowd. Triple H then said that we are officially on the Road to WrestleMania, and handed it back to Michael Cole.
Bianca Belair was next, and she hyped her reality show with Montez Ford. She also talked about how WrestleMania brings out the best entrances, outfits and matches. Bianca also brought up that she made history as of of two African Americans to main event WrestleMania with Sasha Banks, and followed up that performance with matches against Becky Lynch and Asuka. She said that she won’t enter as champion, but you can’t spell WrestleMania without EST.
Rhea Ripley came out next, and she said that Bayley made the right decision to turn on Damage CTRL and face Iyo Sky at WrestleMania, claiming it was wise to not waste her WrestleMania Golden Ticket. She then said she has a big match at Elimination Chamber in Perth, Australia against Nia Jax, but she’ll walk out of that as champion and will be ready to fight whoever wins the Elimination Chamber match.
This prompted Becky Lynch to come out. Becky stated that she is officially in the Elimination Chamber match for the first time ever and she plans on winning it, and looks forward to knocking Mami off her perch, but Rhea has to focus on Nia first. Adam Pearce had to get between them as it was starting to get rather heated between the two women. Cole would hype the Chamber match and the Rhea vs Nia match, and said that Michin vs Bianca was slated for Raw.
Seth Rollins was out next. He allowed the fans sang his song before he proceeded to talk. He says that he doesn’t make the decisions on who he faces at WrestleMania, he’s just a prize at the end of the road. Seth introduces Cody Rhodes, but Roman Reigns comes out instead. Seth took a jab at Roman about finally showing up to work.
Roman states that he chooses The Rock as his WrestleMania opponent, which Seth states isn’t how this all works. This prompted The Rock to come out. The Rock said his catchphrases. He asked the audience who they thought would win between The Rock and Roman Reigns, which got mixed reactions and a “We Want Cody/Rocky Sucks!”
Fans also booed when The Rock asked if everyone thought if Roman vs Rock would be the biggest match in WrestleMania history. You could tell that The Rock was confused and taken aback about the negative reaction. The Rock says he had something to show the people and a picture of the Anoa’i/Fatu/Maivia family tree and said that it’s the only dominant, powerful Royal family in pro wrestling.
He then introduces people to the “Cody Crybabies” as the fans continue to boo and chant for Cody Rhodes. Cody says The Rock has a lot of influence, but he doesn’t determine the main event of WrestleMania, that goes to the winner of the Royal Rumble. Cody says that he chooses to face Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL. Roman looks shocked and says that Cody must be stupid and that he should face Seth Rollins for the “Number 2 Championship.”
Roman follows this up by saying Cody had his chance at WrestleMania 39, and that he is irrelevant, just like Dusty Rhodes. Cody responded with “How’s Jey?” The Rock said if you talk about Roman’s family, you talk about The Rock’s family and that there is more a problem between the two. Rock followed that with a slap to Cody, and both were restrained.
Back at the panel, Michael Cole affirmed that it is Roman vs Cody. Big E says the Rock isn’t just one of the biggest stars in wrestling, but he is on the board. Cole started that it’s time for Cody to finish the story.
Backstage, Jackie Redmond interviewed Triple H and asked what was going on. Triple H said that people go into business for themselves and there’s a lot of ego’s. The Rock and Roman walked past and told Triple H to fix the situation, and if he doesn’t, they will.
At the panel, Cole chuckled and said “how do you fix it? Cody made his choice.” Punk and Big E said that they should just settle it with violence, since fighting is what they do. Pat asked if seeing the Rock in this state is the way we’re headed, and Cole signed off.