Cody Rhodes has signed with the WWE and will be at WrestleMania 38, according to a recent report from PWInsider. The news dropped nearly a full month after his departure from All Elite Wrestling was released and weeks of speculation that he may or may not be going back to the same company he requested his release from in 2016 and has openly opposed ever since. But with “The American Nightmare” expected to arrive on WWE TV soon (possibly tomorrow on Raw), fans have started combing some of the old statements he made in various interviews during his time with AEW.
The first came from one of Rhodes’ appearances on the AEW Unrestricted podcast. He told Tony Schiavone and Aubrey Edwards at the time, “I wanna stay an Executive Vice President of All Elite Wrestling, and I’ve told Tony [Khan] this, until I die. This is where I, this is the end of my road. I can’t necessarily go back [to the WWE], the others can change [their minds], I really can’t.”
Fans also dug up an old interview Diamond Dallas Page did for an AEW promo package leading up to Rhodes challenging Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship at the 2019 Full Gear event. Page quoted Dusty Rhodes during the promo by saying the only thing “real” in pro wrestling is “that first world championship title.”
Rhodes has previously held the Ring of Honor and NWA World Heavyweight Championships but barred himself from ever challenging for the AEW World Championship again following his loss against Jericho. He instead held the TNT Championship on three separate occasions before leaving the company.
But perhaps the most illuminating Rhodes quote came from one of the episodes of the Rhodes to the Top reality series where he acknowledged the mixed reaction he was generating from fans. “The American Nightmare” consistently insisted he wouldn’t turn heel despite the growing resentment his onscreen character was generating throughout 2021.
“Do I fit in the new AEW?” Rhodes asked. “I don’t know. But I know I won’t turn heel, I just can’t do that. There [is] no bitterness in my heart, but obviously my character is not as clear-cut as I thought and I don’t know if I have the energy to fix it. I am really tired.”
Do you think Rhodes will find success back in WWE? Or will eventually make his way to AEW again at some point in the near future? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!