After leaving AEW in February, Cody Rhodes has returned to the WWE and was revealed as the mystery opponent for Seth Rollins during Night 1 of Wrestlemania 38.
Cody Rhodes appeared on The Ringer Wrestling show to talk about his return at WWE WrestleMania and admitted that re-signing with the WWE was “the easiest decision I ever made.”
“I’m so proud of AEW. I’m so proud of Matt, Nick, and Kenny, and I really want to see Tony move forward, no bad blood, in the best of ways and all the respect in the world, but the decision to come here was the easiest decision I ever made. It was just time. That show is doing well. Wrestlers are getting paid that weren’t getting paid, and I had a small part in making that happen — maybe a big part, I don’t know, depends on who you ask — I’m so proud of it, but it’s one of those things, how much are you going to do for everybody else, until you say, ‘I want one for me.’ I felt like that tonight. I felt real good,” Cody said.
In the interview, Cody also spoke about getting vindication from Vince McMahon when the two met during the contract negotiations
“One of the most special parts of it was Bruce (Prichard) and the Chairman himself [Vince McMahon] flew down to meet me. Had that meeting not led to anything, had it just been a conversation about ‘wrestling, sports entertainment, so fun,’ just a conversation on that, it would have been great closure on the last loop. I left here on the worst of terms. I talked all the smack on earth, but none of it mattered. It was just, ‘you went out and did it.’ I remember saying, ‘I have to be me. It has to be Kingdom. It has to be The American Nightmare.’ To hear Vince say, ‘Well, it’s not broke. That’s what we’re buying.’ Just vindication. It felt good. You spend all the time trying to prove the people wrong who doubted you and prove people right who were on board with you. In that moment, it was closure on the first loop and excitement for what’s next. It’s pretty clear what I came to do. Pretty clear. There is unfinished business. For my family, there is something we never got, and I want to be the one to get it.”
Rhodes returned to the WWE a much bigger star with a much bigger paycheck than when he left. He now has a chance to rewrite his legacy and try to earn the world championship and household-name fame that eluded him the first time around.