While Cody Rhodes has barely been back in WWE a week and has only been on television once since securing a win at the Royal Rumble, he’s already looking ahead to his biggest challenge in professional wrestling: taking on Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship at WrestleMania 39. Rhodes discussed the match on RAW, leading to a mini-boss feud with Judgement Day and a match against Finn Balor, discussed it some more online, and when he stopped by The Bump on Wednesday afternoon, you’d best believe Rhodes talked about it there too, only this time with a twist: the physical belt itself.
Discussing the physical belt he’ll be vying for at the show, Rhodes mentioned that, while he likes the current design of WWE’s top title belts, he would really like to hold the Winged Eagle belt that the company used from 1998-2002, even if it’s a bit of a longshot.
“Through my youth, the WWE that I was watching was really synonymous with the Winged Eagle,” Rhodes began via Fightful. “I think there’s a lot of people who love the Winged Eagle design. Some people like the ‘Big Eagle’ [the design used from 1998-2002], whatever, but the Winged Eagle was the one for me.
“Today’s design with the giant W is also incredibly special. It’s this walking billboard for the promotion.”
“The reality is I was able to change the Intercontinental Championship once before, which seemed absurd. If I’m able to get to the finish line, biggest WrestleMania of all time. SoFi [Stadium] in Hollywood, if I’m able to get to the finish line, and get my hands on these things that like I said, have eluded my family up until now. It just would be kind of a fun — maybe it’s just a pipe dream. Maybe it’s just a thought, a glimmer, but it would be fun to just say, let’s just boil them [the two separate titles] down and bring back the Winged Eagle.”
Ultimately, Rhodes knows that his desire is rather unlikely, but after changing the IC Title, why not put it out there and see what happens?
“All the titles, it’s the equity within them that makes them special,” Rhodes said. “From a design standpoint, I just have a lot of love and reverence for that one, and it’s just a little pipe dream. I had the same pipe dream with the Intercontinental Title and I was lucky enough to make that come to fruition. So, follow along because this is where the fun begins.”
If Rhodes ends up hoisting the Winged Eagles at some point in April, he suggested it first on The Bump.
Cody Rhodes complements his new behind-the-scenes WWE bosses.
After six months on the mend, Rhodes returned to WWE for the Royal Rumble, but during that time away, “The American Nightmare” worked his tail off to get back, even if it wasn’t always the most glamourous thing. Speaking with Ariel Helwani of BT Sport about his recovery process, Rhodes had a pretty interesting reaction before going on to complement his new bosses, Nick Khan and Bruce Prichard.
“I was embarrassed, I really was,” Rhodes said. “I was on top of my game. All the measurables of, ‘this is working, we’re selling this, people are tuning in.’ I’m doing it. Then I got hurt bench pressing at my gym. Probably a lot of wrestling was involved in that, but I didn’t know. I was just embarrassed. I’m really sorry. I am. I didn’t want to leave. I had almost a 30-minute match and then had to go get surgery. I was embarrassed. That was one time where I thought, ‘I’m worried now. Maybe I don’t have it.’ Everyone has doubts, even the most confident people. Maybe I didn’t have it. I’ll tell you two people that really kept me in check, Nick Khan and Bruce Prichard. I don’t know why they have reputations. They’ve been nothing but angels to me. Nick and Bruce don’t see Dusty (Rhodes) when they see me, they see me. That’s big. That’s big with me. They kept me on and never told me, ‘You’re going to do this, this is going to happen.’ Just, ‘get better, get well, we need you back, we’re going to go for it,’ but we never talked about what it was. To be able to come back and punch this ticket, Thank God, just have to stay healthy.”
While it’s a bit weird to be embarrassed about getting injured and working to get back from it, it is at least encouraging to know that Rhodes likes his new bosses. Let’s see how he feels when his current hot streak comes to an end.