WWE News

Cody Rhodes Calls WWE Return “Easiest Decision” He’s Ever Made

Cody Rhodes returns to WWE at WrestleMania

Cody Rhodes has opened up about his return to WWE at WrestleMania 38, calling it the easiest decision he’s ever made and revealing why he left WWE.

After months of speculation that the unthinkable may happen, WrestleMania 38 saw the reveal of Cody Rhodes as Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent on ‘The Grandest Stage Of Them All’ with one of the creators of AEW leaving the company and joining WWE shortly thereafter.

While his All Elite Wrestling departure shocked many, Rhodes said it was “just time” to leave and discussed how the show is doing well and that wrestlers who weren’t being paid are now.

Speaking on The Ringer Wrestling Show, Cody elaborated on his decision to leave AEW, saying there’s “no bad blood” before adding that returning to WWE was the easiest decision he’s 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 Rhodes also discussed how the deal came together, adding that Vince McMahon himself flew to have a meeting with him.

“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 matter. 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.”

Cody Rhodes Returns To WWE

With Rollins waiting impatiently in the ring, the AT&T Stadium went dark before the proclamation that “Wrestling has more than one royal family” rang through the venue and ‘The American Nightmare’ rose up from under the stage to one of the biggest reactions of the night from the fans in attendance.

Following his return, it was announced that Cody has signed a multi-year deal with WWE.

“Perception of me is all over the place. ‘He’s an egomaniac. He asked for all this money.’ It’s kind of fun to hear, but in reality, I grew up here. I was 20-years-old, I didn’t know what a contract was. I was 19 when I went to OVW. Now, it’s a different story. It’s not so much about, ‘this has to be this way,’ it was just more of, I was the Executive Vice President of AEW, one of the founding fathers.

“I wanted to make sure that leaving, it was with the utmost respect and not, I hope no one is lazy enough here, which no one is, to make AEW jokes or bingo hall references or anything like that. Nothing against them, it was just time for me to move on. I had wrestled everybody that I wanted to wrestle. I didn’t want to be a 15-time TNT Champion and hold the belt hostage.

“I wanted to move on to a different piece of leather. Nick Khan is another one, ‘perception is reality,’ everyone has these opinions on Nick Khan. That guy was the nicest guy I ever met in my life. The nicest guy. Bruce to come in, the Chairman himself. The courtship felt so good.” (H/t Fightful)

Speaking in an interview with Variety, Cody Rhodes added that he told Vince McMahon he believes he is the best wrestler in the world, and that he now has the opportunity to prove it.

“I told Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard and Nick Khan — this very small circle of individuals — I told them what I truly believe and it’s that I’m the best wrestler in the world. And to go further with it, I actually don’t think there’s a close second. But with that said, the opportunity now exists to prove it, and that’s what I’m most excited about.”

The former AEW EVP went on to explain that he is a completely different person to who he was when he left WWE.

“It’s a completely different individual returning to the game. It’s a different brand. It’s someone who’s experienced all the wonders of independent wrestling, of travelling internationally, of being able to get on the ground with the fans that make this whole ship move.”

Cody Rhodes then revealed that he has a huge goal in mind, to capture the WWE Championship that his father was never able to win.

“But different person or not, I’m still that little kid that I mentioned in an AEW promo that wants what my dad didn’t get, and I’m not going to say it out loud because I don’t want to jinx it.

“But, you know, he went to Madison Square Garden, stood across from Superstar Billy Graham and he held it in his hands, the goal of mine, and it was taken away because that was the context of the match. I understand that now as an adult, but as a kid, that was the only reason I ever wanted to get in, so that I could get what he didn’t get.”

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.