WWE clearly had no meaningful plans in mind for Rollins in the closing stretch of 2021 into 2022. He was drafted back to Raw that October and worked his way into the WWE Championship picture but fell short on every occasion.
It reached a point where he had no obvious opponent for WrestleMania 38, and rumors were swirling as to whether he’d be left off the card entirely. Thankfully, the returning Cody Rhodes emerged as a last-minute rival for Rollins, and the two men stole the show.
That alone would have been enough to satisfy fans, but they resumed their storyline coming out of the event and continue to do tremendous work together. From acknowledging their respect histories with Dusty Rhodes and even Rhodes’ All Elite Wrestling stint, it seemed nothing was off limits.
Rhodes did the impossible when he scored a second straight win over Rollins at WrestleMania Backlash. All signs pointed to The Visionary winning at Hell in a Cell, especially once it was revealed Rhodes had torn his right pectoral muscle beforehand, but The American Nightmare persevered through the pain and secured the clean three-count.
Rhodes’ iconic performance put the match in a league of its own and left the audience eagerly anticipating their next battle.
Graham Mirmina, aka Graham “GSM” Matthews, has specialized in sports and entertainment writing since 2010. Visit his website, WrestleRant, and subscribe to his YouTube channel for more wrestling-related content.