Cody Rhodes has rebuffed claims that he tried to “mansplain racism” during his polarising promo on AEW Dynamite as he hyped his showdown with Anthony Ogogo.
Rhodes’ impassioned promo came after British Olympian Ogogo had run down the United States while proudly waving the Union flag of the UK.
During the promo, Rhodes pointed to some of the issues in the US including racism. The first-ever AEW TNT Champion talked about his wife and his soon-to-arrive daughter as he discussed how far the country had come over several decades.
Rhodes commented first on the divisive promo:
“I very much am proud to be an American. We have tons of problems here, which is the first thing I said when I started speaking. We have tons of problems, but I still genuinely believe hope outweighs them. I’m not trying to mansplain racism to anyone. All I was trying to say is that I’m proud of my wife. I’m proud of the city I’m in, and I’m proud of this baby girl that’s on the way. When it comes to Anthony’s opinions on the United States, those are his opinions.”
“That’s the beautiful thing about being here is that you can say whatever you like. He has chosen to say a lot, pointing out things we do wrong as a country. I think you’re remiss if you only point them out and don’t point out that people are functionally and actively trying to fix them. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of and excited for Memorial Day weekend as we honor our fallen is to just always reiterate, yeah, we got a lot of messy spots, but everyone does their part, at least I believe. I’m a hopeful person in terms of trying to clean that up. Anthony is here living the American Dream like many professional wrestlers in their time. I cited Bruno Sammartino in my promo, an Italian immigrant who changed our industry forever.”
As far as the bronze medal boxer being the hero goes, Rhodes says fans can pay their money and make their choice:
“I think the way Anthony’s done it is a little crude, and I think punching a man while his back is turned and draping him under your flag is crass, I suppose. But again, that’s the beautiful thing about fans, that’s the beautiful thing about wrestling. You pay your money. You’re allowed to do whatever you want as a fan. So people who think he might be the good guy, or I’m the good guy, or I’m the bad guy or he’s the bad guy, that’s fine by me. It’s more interest for the match and more interest for the outcome for the match, but with all that said, when it’s set and done, I really hope to say, whether I like him personally or not, that I’m proud of Anthony as far as being AEW’s first developmental talent and what that looks like in a major pay-per-view spot.”
Cody Rhodes will compete under his father’s moniker for the first and only time as ‘The American Dream’ Cody Rhodes faces AEW’s Guv’nor Anthony Ogogo at Double Or Nothing.