Cody Rhodes’ WrestleMania return to WWE was kept largely under wraps, and the star discussed how many people knew about it before it happened.
When news broke in February that Cody Rhodes and his wife Brandi were leaving AEW, it didn’t take long for rumors of a WWE return to start. It was reported in mid-March that he had indeed signed a deal with WWE, and at WrestleMania 38, Cody Rhodes returned to the company as Vince McMahon’s hand-picked mystery opponent for Seth Rollins.
Speaking to The Ringer Wrestling Show in a recent interview, Cody Rhodes was asked who he called to tell that he’d signed a deal to return to WWE, and he revealed that he kept the news quiet from pretty much everyone.
“Nobody. The real ones, the OGs knew [I was coming back]. The one guy who had a hard time not being told was Kevin Owens. I was just wanted to keep it quiet, keep it on the low.
“I didn’t even tell Randy [Orton], I haven’t even seen Randy. I heard he’s a really good guy. It blows my mind. This guy threw a dynamite stick in a lobby in Mexico the first week I met him. Now, he’s a family man? What the hell are we doing? I didn’t tell anyone, I kept it very limited. Only Brandi knew, my mom knew, maybe a few others.
Cody Rhodes continued, saying that he didn’t even tell a family member that works for the company and wanted to keep the news a secret until the night of his return.
“My cousin works here as a timekeeper, and even he didn’t know. It was the best-kept secret in wrestling but I really wanted to keep everything low-key. WrestleMania is the one time you don’t know what’s happening, and won’t know until you see it. Like when Bryan Danielson won the title at WrestleMania 30, you knew he was going to, but had to wait until the end of the night to see it.”
When discussing why he made his return against Seth Rollins, Cody Rhodes explained why there’s no one else it could’ve been.
“There’s nobody else it could have been. Seth walked into the ring at a live event in Michigan, it was his first match after coming out of FCW. It was against me. Then, in Dayton, Ohio, he had his first dark match on TV against me. The Shield vs. Rhodes Brothers were some special matches that I blocked out of my head for some reason.
“It needed to be him. And here’s why: this isn’t a knock against Seth, but I heard so much about Dusty’s kids at NXT, to the point where: ‘what about his real kids?’ Again, [I’m a] slow learner, maybe it took me a while to walk out there and win his respect, as he earned mine once. But this is a different guy now, he’s been to the top of the mountain. It couldn’t have been anybody else. It had to be him – now that I think about it.”
Cody Rhodes began his wrestling career with WWE back in 2006, initially appearing in developmental territory Ohio Valley Wrestling. After remaining in OVW for a little over a year, Rhodes made his main roster debut in July 2007.
The second-generation star remained with the company until May 22nd 2016, when he was released after asking to leave.