Cody Rhodes is the American Nightmare, a moniker in ode to his father, the American Dream Dusty Rhodes. It is a nickname that he literally wears proudly as a tattoo on the right side of his neck.
At 2020’s Revolution pay-per-view, Rhodes challenged Chris Jericho for the AEW World Championship. However, the match isn’t remembered for the in-ring action or the result, but rather for the debut of his instantly controversial ink.
The American Nightmare was a guest on Logan Paul’s IMPAULSIVE podcast. During the interview, he spoke about winning the Royal Rumble, his infamous Hell in a Cell match with a torn pectoral muscle and of course his neck tattoo.
When asked about the tale behind his divisive ink, Rhodes revealed he thought it was going to be a lot smaller and everyone’s reaction when they first saw it.
“The tattoo on the neck…the dude drew it, and I always liked the design. The American Nightmare design was what it was. I powered through. I have one tattoo on my chest for my dad. I don’t have a lot of tattoos. He’s powering through and is like, ‘Do you want to take a break?’ I kept thinking, ‘I’m good.’ I wish I had taken a break because I didn’t know it was double the size of the drawing I saw.
I thought, ‘Oh my God, I’m wrestling in two days.’ He said, either do it months out or two days before. I don’t know if it was a mistake or I wasn’t paying attention. A lot of people were like, ‘Neck? Neck?’ My boss at the time [Tony Khan] was like, ‘No way, it’s not going to be your neck.’ Then I walk into the production meeting and Jim Ross is [stunned]. The whole meeting was just staring at it, not listening to anything.”
Cody Rhodes Will Face Roman Reigns At WrestleMania 39
Rhodes made his triumphant return to WWE at last year’s WrestleMania 38 as a surprise opponent for Seth Freakin Rollins. Just one year later, he will challenge the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship in the main event.