After weeks of anticipation, Cody Rhodes stepped into the ring with Brock Lesnar at Night of Champions with a titanium cast on his arm and proceeded to get thrashed by “The Beast Incarnate,” finishing the match unconscious via the Kamura.
Though to some, this would be a sign that his first win at Backlash was a fluke, and it's better to leave “The Beast” alone, but Rhodes decided to take things in a different direction, using his loss as motivation since he didn't tap out, and was instead knocked out.
“So Albany, New York, what do you wanna talk about?” Cody asked the crowd. “I know what’s hanging in the air, at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia, due to referee stoppage, I lost my match against Brock Lesnar. My contemporaries, they told me that I was foolish to fight Brock Lesnar with one hand, that I was crazy to not tap out, but there’s a reason why I didn’t tap out. It’s not because it didn’t hurt. It was excruciating, career-flash-before-your-eyes type pain. I did not tap out because that’s not the man that I want to be. Years ago, years ago sure, I probably would have tapped out. Thought about my career, live to fight another day, I have experienced enough highs and lows at this to know that some days, they just don’t come. Sometimes the second chances don’t present themselves. There was a wildly popular WWE Superstar that used to stand in this ring, and he said ‘Never Give Up.’ Never give up, hurts like h*ll when you’re locked in a Kimura for three-plus minutes, but nonetheless, Brock Lesnar, I have a question for you. And I gotta look into this camera to ask the question because you’re not here tonight. I’m assuming you have taken your annual vacation.”
What was Rhodes' question? Well, fans didn't have to wait long to find out, as “The American Nightmare” went from “woe is me” to ready to rumble on a dime.
— WWE (@WWE) May 30, 2023
Cody Rhodes will take on Brock Lesnar anytime, anywhere in WWE.
Turning his attention from the past to the future, Rhodes laid out a challenge to Lesnar, stating that he's ready for a match anytime, anywhere, as long as it's in a WWE ring.
“Brock Lesnar, are you satisfied with this being done? You have a victory over me, I have a victory over you, the game is 1-1, are you satisfied? I hope you’re not, because consider this an open challenge to you, Brock Lesnar. Hopefully you have social media, cable, a landline, something there in Saskatchewan, or Yellowstone, or wherever the h*ll it is that you roam. I’ll post my whole schedule, every detail of it, sometime this week. Everywhere that I’ll be this month, whether it’s Wilks-Barre, whether it’s Wichita, whether it’s Cleveland, whether it’s Savannah, whether it’s New Castle. If I am standing in a ring, I am standing there ready to fight you, Brock Lesnar,” Rhodes said.
“Tonight, I also wanna make it the very last time that I rattle off all of Brock Lesnar’s accomplishments. Brock Lesnar is an elite amateur wrestler who won the NCAA’s twice. He is a former UFC heavyweight champion, likely Hall of Famer there at the UFC. He has held the WWE Championship. He’s the man that broke The Undertaker’s streak. Brock Lesnar is ‘The Beast.’ Beast enough to break my arm, but not man enough to make me tap out. And if you don’t accept my challenge, Brock Lesnar, we can go ahead and add one more thing to that list: Brock Lesnar is afraid of what cannot be broken. Brock Lesnar is afraid of Cody Rhodes.”
While it would have been cool to see Brock Lesnar go full-on Brody King and attack Cody Rhodes at the mall Darby Allin-style, throwing him through a table at a local Zumiez signing, the prospects of Lesnar showing up at any time to answer “The American Nightmare's” open challenge should add plenty of intrigue to RAW this summer, in sort of a swimming of Amity Island/Jaws way. Though their rubber match probably won't come until SummerSlam, unless, of course, Brock Lesnar's a secret Englandphile, this wrinkle should reap benefits for Rhodes' booking moving forward, even if the ultimate payoff takes a few months to pay out. Long-term storytelling, am I right?