At the Royal Rumble, Cody Rhodes made his highly-anticipated WWE comeback.
Rhodes embarked on his championship conquest by winning the Rumble match and booking his ticket to the WrestleMania main event. It was a special moment for the third-generation Superstar, whose championship aspirations are clear, but he was also returning from a brutal injury.
To help support and champion him through one of the biggest achievements of his career, was the former AEW FTW Champion, protégé and friend Ricky Starks.
Starks was pictured accompanying the American Nightmare backstage at the Alamodome, which created quite a buzz around the wrestling world.
In a recent interview with Stephanie Chase, Starks spoke about the reason he attended the show and the importance of supporting his friend.
“It was important to me because that’s my friend. That’s a guy who has helped me out through a neck injury. That’s a guy who had helped me out through my career, even before AEW, when I was an extra at SmackDown. This guy talked to me and gave me advice when he didn’t have to,” said Ricky.
“That’s what’s important. I don’t give a shit, and I want everyone who’s watching this to do this verbatim. I don’t give a shit if there’s some tribalism from the fans. I don’t care if someone from my company or over there thinks it’s a bad look. I don’t give a fuck.
That is my friend. One thing about me is I’m genuinely going to be a friend no matter what, and if you ride for me, I’m gonna ride for you. So it’s important that I go there and see a guy who is ultimately on the biggest chapter of his career. It was important for me to be there because I would want the same damn thing.
“Like I said, I don’t care what tribalism happens from the fans, from the people I work with, over there, it was important for me to go and support my friend on one of the biggest nights of his life because that’s what friends do. If there’s one thing about me, it’s that I’m a genuine down-ass person that will ride for my friends, and nobody will question me for that. I refuse to let anybody question me. Or even try to give me any type of pushback on it. Because I’m a grown-ass person, I can do that,” said Starks.
Ricky Starks made his AEW debut against Cody Rhodes
Starks made his debut for AEW’s June 17th 2020 episode of Dynamite. During this time Cody was the TNT Champion and defended it weekly in an open challenge. Starks answered the challenge but was unable to take the title although his performance secured him a place in the promotion.