As Cody Rhodes seemingly inches ever closer to a WWE return, it appears that a major WrestleMania match could be in his future.
Following the shock news that Cody Rhodes and his wife Brandi have left AEW, speculation is running wild over where the pair might land next. If indeed the couple will reappear on television together at all.
In the wake of his AEW exit, it was immediately reported that Cody Rhodes’ camp and WWE had been in contact, adding fuel to the fire regarding a return to the company. Rhodes began his professional wrestling career with WWE in 2006 in OVW, before leaving the company a decade later after becoming increasingly dissatisfied with his creative and his position on the card.
It has now been reported by Wade Keller of PWTorch, that not only is Cody Rhodes returning to WWE, he could be in line for a major push and marquee match at WrestleMania 38.
“Cody and WWE haven’t confirmed it but Cody is going to WWE and he’s going to get a big push,” Keller said. “Vince McMahon is going to treat this as a big deal. Everybody I talked to thinks Vince loves the idea of acquiring a co-founder and EVP and, you know, main event wrestler.
He just held their secondary singles title not that long ago, and having him show up on WWE TV is something that Vince is very interested in taking advantage of and making money on it. It could even be a situation where Cody is in a major match at WrestleMania.”
Keller went on to add that he isn’t aware of a any non-compete clause regarding Rhodes, meaning that he could be factored into WWE programming in the very near future.
“I fully expect Cody to be on WrestleMania either as a wrestler or making his first appearance,” Keller said. “I don’t know if they can hold back on putting him on TV so I could even see him appearing on Raw or SmackDown next week. I’m not aware of there being any kind of non-compete at this point since he’s been a free agent for a while so Cody could appear. I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s even some augmentation to the booking plans for WrestleMania perhaps related to the Elimination Chamber in order to set the stage for Cody to do something really big at WrestleMania.”
The report also noted that Rhodes’ previous departure from the company and any previous issues, wouldn’t have a negative impact on his career should he return as expected.
“I think Cody will get a big push, at least at first. You know, there’s different opinions on whether Vince is going to resent Cody for creating competition or admire Cody for his entrepreneurial spirit and being classy about it the whole way. You know, Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff, Jeff Jarrett, they all competed with Vince [and] they all got jobs again. So, you know, we’ll, we’ll see how it goes. Vince saw Cody as a mid-carder.
He saw Christian as a mid-carder. Christian went to Impact Wrestling and won a world title…He came back, he got a better push, but it wasn’t at the level of Edge, which is what, you know, Christian always wanted. He wanted to be at the Edge level.”
Back in January it was reported that Cody Rhodes was working without a contract and was technically a free agent. The report explained that his deal with AEW had expired at the end of 2021.
Rhodes’ final match came on a special Beach Break edition of Dynamite where he was defeated by Sammy Guevara in a Ladder Match to determine the Undisputed TNT Champion. Cody Rhodes leaves AEW having never won the company’s World Championship, but as the only three-time TNT Champion in the promotion’s history.
H/t to Wrestlingnews.co for the transcription.