When news broke that Cody Rhodes, much like Randy Orton, Seth Rollins, and CM Punk, had some time set aside thanks to Adam Pearce to discuss something very important to him with the WWE Universe, it got fans talking.
What on earth could Rhodes have to, well, talk about, with the fans in Nashville? Did he want to call out Punk? Call out Rollins? Announce that he was moving to SmackDown in order to shoot his shot on the “Tribal Chief,” Roman Reigns, at or before WrestleMania 40? Well, as it turns out, after hearing everyone else talk about their stories, Rhodes wanted to address his own.
“So, Nashville, what do you wanna talk about? So many stories stemming from this weekend. Here’s one of gratitude: my team in the WarGames match at Survivor Series was able to secure the victory, and I want to thank each and every one of my teammates, that being Sami Zayn, the ‘Yeet Master,’ ‘Main Event’ Jey Uso, our champion here on Monday Night RAW, Seth Rollins, and lest we not forget the other member of our team, the one who came through for me, the ‘Legend Killer,’ Randy Orton! Randy Orton was a mentor to me early on, he remains that to this day, indeed, my dear friend, he has given me a handful of memories, he has given me a brand new one in the WarGames when he picked up Damien Priest, he threw him to me, he allowed me to do that Cross Rhodes 1-2-3, secured the victory for our team, not just in any match, but in my dad’s match,” Cody Rhodes told the crowd in Nashville.
“The other story, the return of CM Punk. Nobody knew that was going to happen, nobody knows what’s going to happen because of it, and that’s why tonight everybody’s gonna be tuning to see what he has to say. Here’s what I have to say, CM Punk, welcome back. But what’s the saying? A fisherman always spots the other fisherman from afar. With all this news being made, all these stories, well I’d like to make some news myself, and I’d like to do it right here. I think at this point, you guys truly know me. Which means there’s only one destination for me. And that’s why, granted the authority here by Adam Pearce, I will be the very first to declare myself for the 2024 Royal Rumble!”
Whoa, Cody in the Royal Rumble? Who on earth could have seen that one coming?
… every fan of WWE? Oh yeah, I guess that was fairly obvious wasn't it, as the Royal Rumble gets a guaranteed title shot at whoever they want in the main event of WrestleMania. What fans didn't expect was for the lights to go out House of Black-style and give the “American Nightmare” flashbacks to late 2021 AEW.
Shinsuke Nakamura wants to bring chaos – or Chaos – to Cody Rhodes.
With the lights still down, Cody Rhodes and the rest of the fans in Nashville turned their attention to the Titantron, where the ghoulish figure of Shinsuke Nakamura graced the screen.
“Cody. You are the hero who has won his battle,” Shinsuke Nakamura said via on-screen subtitles. “Now you say you need to continue your story. But I need you to set me free, to awaken me, to evolve. I was very patient with you week after week. But now I am done waiting. I will bring chaos to you.”
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, is that chaos, “complete disorder and confusion,” or are we talking Chaos, the New Japan Pro Wrestling faction of “The Rainmaker” himself, Kazuchika Okada, the seven-time IWGP Champion who has been rumored to be the apple of Paul “Triple H” Levesque's eye in free agency next year? While there is clearly a connection between the duo, as they were both members of the Three Musketeers alongside Katsuyori Shibata and Nakamura actually served as the original leader of Chaos alongside current WWE Universe members like Karl Anderson and Matt Bloom plus NJPW stalwarts like Gedo, Jado, Toru Yani, Takashi Iizuka, and Tatsuhito Takaiwa.
Could we be looking at a new faction of Japanese performers the likes of which SmackDown is currently enjoying in the new-look Damage CTRL? Or was that just a happy coincidence, with nerdy wrestling fans freaking out about the opportunities of Okada even if it will probably go nowhere, considering he's about as connected to New Japan Pro Wrestling as Hiroshi Tanahashi or Antonio Anoki? Either way, based on the misting Rhodes received from Nakamura on the way out the door, it's safe to say this is going to be a hard-hitting affair either way.