After taking care of business against AJ Styles at King and Queen of the Ring last month in Saudi Arabia, Cody Rhodes took the ring in Glasgow, Scotland, for the opening match of Clash at the Castle with a very different goal in mind: fear.

That's right, unlike, well, basically any other match type WWE has to offer, Rhodes couldn't secure the win via a pinfall, submission, or even a TKO – as Styles learned all too well – but instead had to make his opponent so afraid of the physical pain coming their way, or to someone they love, that they verbally end the match in order to avoid the long-term consequences of their obstinance.

Opening up the show in order to free up the main event for Drew McIntyre and Damian Priest, Rhodes, and Styles spent very little of the opening minutes of the match actually in the ring, using the conditions of the match to have a mini Anarchy in the Arena around the Glasgow Arena, giving fans a peak behind the curtain at Gorilla position before making their way back to the squared-circle.

Exchanging heavy artillery as the match progressed, Styles seemingly secured the win when he passed out Rhodes with his Crossface submission, but alas, it wasn't meant to be, as according to the referee and the official rules of the match, the only way to win is via a verbal “I Quit,” so, in a very weird look, the “Phenomenal One” had to splash his foe in the face with water to wake him up. This, however, gave Styles an idea: if Rhodes wouldn't quit because of the pain he felt, why not instead get in the face of Mama Rhodes in the hopes of getting him to say the key phrase like Edge did at Extreme Rules versus Rhea Ripley and Finn Balor? Unfortunately, Mama Rhodes is one tough cookie, and she refused to be intimidated or cause Cody to fear for her safety enough to call it quits.

Back in the ring, a fired-up Rhodes hit Styles with three straight Cross Rhodes, but before the referee could ask if the “Phenomenal One” would quit, the “American Nightmare” handcuffed his foe to the ring post and grabbed the ring steps, threatening to not just end the match but potentially his opponent's career, too. While Styles did ultimately end the match with the two magic words, that didn't stop Rhodes from finishing the job anyway, hitting him with the steps with a face engulfed with rage.

Is Rhodes turning heel? No, probably not, but if he continues to get pushed by The OC, or even by The Bloodline, who attacked him after the match, who knows; maybe “Homelander” Rhodes will officially make his way to the WWE Universe.

Cody Rhodes warned about going Homelander mode at CatC.

While plenty of fans in the OVO Hydro were shocked to see how vicious Cody Rhodes was willing to get at Clash at the Castle, threatening AJ Styles with the steel ring steps in order to get him to say “I Quit” only to nail them with the diamond-plated structure shortly thereafter, if they were paying attention to the Kickoff event on Friday, they really shouldn't have been, as the “American Nightmare” telegraphed the potential of having to “go full Homelander” in order to secure the win.

“Michael Cole has become, and I think we're all loving it, has become the voice of WWE. I feel because you're the voice of WWE, perhaps you have only seen WWE. Maybe it's exclusively been your number one thing. You've been the ambassador, you've waved the flag. You've done all that,” Cody Rhodes told Michael Cole and company via Fightful.

“The reason I bring this up is because Scotland knows this, the one thing I learned when I walked away was just how to get down and dirty. You guys ever heard of a group called the Bullet Club? So Michael's question, I'll pose to you guys because it's a great question. Am I vicious enough to beat AJ Styles? Am I angry enough to go full Homelander and rip AJ Styles' throat out? With everything you've learned about me and everything that we have been through together as the story continues, do you guys trust me to give you the absolute best WWE Championship match, the best PLE going, and is Scotland gonna get another PLE in WWE's future? Thank you guys very much. Enjoy.”

Did Rhodes ultimately go full-on heel in Scotland? No, I wouldn't say so, but it certainly came closer than he has at any point in this current title reign, which might be a little Easter egg for fans in the know but might also be the start of the most interesting storyline WWE could tell, the tail of the “American Nightmare” going from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vader with Paul Heyman as his Emperor Palpatine.