Cody Rhodes Addresses His Royal Rumble Victory, What Dusty Rhodes Would’ve Said

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Cody Rhodes made his epic WWE return by winning the very thing that eluded his late father Dusty Rhodes. The American Nightmare officially punched his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania 39 by emerging victorious in the 2023 Men’s WWE Royal Rumble match.

Following his historic night at the Alamodome, Rhodes discussed his landmark Royal Rumble victory. In a post-match interview with Ryan Satin, The American Nightmare commented on popping his eardrum during the match and shared his thoughts on what his late father Dusty Rhodes would’ve said had he been alive today.

You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

Cody Rhodes on returning to the ring: “It was really funny, Sami Zayn was one of the first people I talked to today, and I said, ‘I hope I remember how to do it.’ He said, ‘It’s like riding a bike.’ That’s real. Honestly, it’s like this muscle memory. It’s fun to do stuff that you haven’t done in seven months. Pushing off with the Cody Cutter, not sure your foot is there. The thing I missed the most is the thing that took me the longest to get. I love this audience. Some people think it’s try hard or fake emotions. This is a real story. I don’t know how I stumbled onto this. I have the privilege and also the burden that I don’t play a character. I’m me. Me was enough tonight. I popped my eardrum, but I don’t care. Just a wonderful Royal Rumble. The Rhodes don’t have any frame of reference on going to WrestleMania in terms of going on last in a big spot. I’m proud to say I can be the one to do it. That’s the secret. The secret when you’re someone’s kid is you love them and all that, no kidding, but you want to be better than them. ‘Better than Dusty Rhodes, how could you ever be?’ I don’t know if that’s the case. If I see him again, I can say, ‘I did this.’ You feel complete.”

What he thinks his father Dusty Rhodes would say: “The thing about my dad was that, when it’s a big moment, shockingly, a guy who could spit fire and a master orator, he didn’t say a lot. That’s the way our relationship was. He liked to watch when I got into the zone. Everyone will tell you, ‘He’s watching,’ and all this. To honor him the best way, I try not to think about it. Triple H saying he’s proud of me, that means a lot because I caused a lot of trouble. I don’t regret the trouble, but maybe I regret some of the ways I handled it. To be under his tutelage for that moment, and not blow it, it felt good. I was in the Rumble with Randy Orton and Triple H, I told Randy this last night, I got to sit there and watch him have his moment, and I thought, ‘I hope that’s me one day.’ In my mind, I’m thinking, ‘it’s going to be next year, the year after that.’ Here we are, ten years later. I’m a slow learner, but I figured it out.”

On how it feels to earn a title shot at WrestleMania 39: “It doesn’t just feel good, it feels surreal. I wasn’t even working here a year ago. I don’t know how we got here. There are things in my career that lined up perfectly, so perfectly. I don’t know how we got here. It doesn’t line up perfectly. I don’t believe in destiny, I don’t believe in fate, but my gosh, if there was a case study for it, it’s me. Maybe I just need to give in and say what this is, it’s a journey of destiny, who knows. No frame of reference for what that spot is. I cannot wait to feel it.”

Cody Rhodes on his torn pectoral injury: “I’m very sorry I got hurt. That was stupid. Warm up before you lift. I’ll never…it won’t happen. Thank you for everything. Biggest night of my career.”

Cody Rhodes will now challenge Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania 39 in Los Angeles, CA.

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(h/t – Fightful)

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