In a shocking turn of events, the’ American Nightmare’ Cody Rhodes made his return to the World Wrestling Entertainment at Wrestlemania 38. He was pitted as former WWE Champion Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent which was selected by Vince Mcmahon. The former All Elite Wrestling executive vice president and founding member left WWE in May 2016 after his loss against Zack Ryder.
Reports suggest that Rhodes is scheduled to be a regular member of the RAW roster moving forward. Sources further say that Rhodes has signed a new WWE contract around three weeks ago. Rhodes also used the same theme music and the entrance from AEW as he received an incredible ovation from the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Cody Rhodes in the early moments of his match had some mannerisms from his last gimmick ‘Stardust’ before his departure. But soon reverted back to his AEW persona of the American Nightmare. He finished off Rollins with his famous finisher ‘Cross Rhodes’ which was followed by the Bionic Elbow, referencing his late father, "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes.
During his time in AEW, Rhodes managed to build a competitive Pro Wrestling Company which attracted former WWE stars like Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson (Daniel Bryan), Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Jeff Hardy and Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose). During his time in the WWE, Rhodes became a two-time Intercontinental champion and six-time tag team champion. But now, He returns with a far-superior resume which includes AEW's TNT strap (three times), the NWA world heavyweight championship, the IWGP United States championship and the ROH world championship.
Before Wrestlemania, Cody Rhodes talked to Variety about his return to the WWE after six years. He expressed his excitement and was quoted saying, “Everyone who knows has asked me how I’m feeling if I’m really excited. The answer I kind of keep giving everybody is it’s just a really heavy feeling. When I first got into wrestling, I was solely in the WWE system, and I had that dream of getting to the top.”
“Then dreams are like rivers, as the Garth Brooks song says, and it veered and it changed. Then we were able to do what we were able to do with AEW and that’s something that I’m very proud of, but to be able to revisit the thing that I set out to do in the first place when I didn’t think I would get that chance is just heavy.”