Though the 2023 Royal Rumble is over seven months away, Ric Flair has already predicted a winner!
16 time World Champion Ric Flair is no stranger to the Royal Rumble, having won the 1992 edition that many consider to be one of the top years for that event.
While the 2023 Royal Rumble is still over half a year away, Flair believes the currently injured Cody Rhodes is a favorite to win and eventually dethrone the record-breaking reign of Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, at least for one of the titles held by the Tribal Chief. He explained his reasoning on a recent episode of To Be the Man (available early via AdFreeShows).
“Cody’s gonna be the champion sooner or later. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get that championship off where Roman has both of them — get one of them off him. I think the company functions better with two champions anyway.”
Continuing, Flair explains that he believes Cody will dethrone Reigns after returning from injury and winning the 2023 Royal Rumble as a sooner return might not be healthy for the American Nightmare.
“Absolutely, if that’s the time frame. Those things are very delicate. That tissue in there takes a long time to heal, and you can’t rush it. You’ve got to actually follow the doctor’s orders.”
He then reiterated that unless someone is built up in Cody’s absence, the grandson of a plumber is his top choice to win the Royal Rumble.
“Yeah, unless somebody comes along miraculously. First of all, it’s hard to determine what they’re gonna do because there’s so many, with both companies [AEW and WWE] right now, moving parts. Looking at it just from today, not knowing any more than I do as of this moment, that’s what I would do with Cody, yes.”
The Nature Boy is well familiar with dealing with health concerns as he’s 73 years old and has a pacemaker installed. Still, the master of the Figure Four says that despite those who’ve spoken up in protest, his doctors have given him the go-ahead to compete one last time in a match as part of Starrcast on July 31st. The event surrounding his bout sold out in under 24 hours.
Cody Rhodes, meanwhile, competed inside Hell in a Cell with a torn pectoral muscle, and has shared images of the continuing evolution of his bruise on social media. He was written off of Raw on the latest episode after a brutal attack from Seth Rollins, and is set to undergo surgery for his injury on June 9th.