The date: April 2nd 2022. I’m in my living room, marking out in a way I haven’t since I was a little kid. Why, because I suddenly have faith in the WWE again. I will be brutally honest, when I first started wrestling, it was unanimous that the WWE was the goal and top aspiration for all indie wrestlers and as time drove on, it suddenly wasn’t. The last few years have been hard on everyone, but especially for Vince McMahon’s employees. Apparently, it was so bad that The Elite, who up to this point was a wrestling faction and also a podcast group, decided to make their own t-shirt… uh, I mean wrestling company. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love AEW and what they have accomplished, but when it becomes too much? Well, apparently for Cody Rhodes “too much” was reached on Feburary 15th 2022.
Two days beforehand, I had just placed an order on the AEW site for the very limited edition Bryan Danielson vs Sagat AEW X Capcom t-shirt when I also decided to go ahead and throw down on the Nightmare Family shirt that mirrors the FoxHound logo. I could not wait to rep my favorite non-me modern era wrestler (Sorry Danhousen, I lovehousen you too) and suddenly like end scene of Usual Suspects “Poof, he’s gone.” I was happy that I got my shirt ordered because they are made to order, which means there’s no secret stockpile out there and they are gone as well now. There had been many speculation on where the American Nightmare would show up next. Maybe Ring of Honor, possibly Impact, most likely was New Japan even if they all had tied to AEW but very few people actually believed he was going to show up once again in WWE, the company he was trying to help destroy.
Now we’re back to the morning of Wrestlemania Night 1 and Im getting dressed for my Wrestlemania party. I have a decent stack of wrestling t shirts but I decided on the previously mentioned Nightmare Family shirt, because it was honestly funny to me that fans actually thought Cody “I never want to remember Stardust ever again” Rhodes would make his return to wrestle against Seth Rollins. The vignette starts and the tale is told about Rollins trying for a match at ‘Mania and only finally succeeding once Big Daddy Vince said he could have it, but on the stipulation that Vince gets to choose the opponent. I was in my fridge looking for a drink when Seth came down the ramp. Now this is when his secret opponent is about to be revealed. The lights go out and somehow I now knew it would be him. I ran into the living room where my wrestling party was taking place and even made a joke it was The Boogyman, just in case I was about to be mad. I was not mad. I dropped to my knees and celebrated the Prodigal Son’s return like Brandi Chastain at the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
What followed was one of the best wrestling matches I’ve seen in a very long time. Cody and Seth tore it down. I’ll be completely honest, I left work friday evening with a comment about how I would , in fact, not be having a good weekend because I was hosting Wrestlemania. I laughed, My co-workers laughed, they thought I was being funny but let’s be honest, the last few Wrestlemania’s have been kind of lame in comparison. I’m glad I was wrong because Cody is back, baby and he’s back with a brand new fire. He hit seth with all the classic moves : Cross Rhodes, Cody Bomb, he even hit Seth with a Bionic Elbow. This match had everything a big return should. I was yelling like a tweenage girl at a BTS concert featuring those One Direction kids with 2009 era Justin Beiber’s haircut. I never sat down during this match and only rested after I knew Cody had won and was in the back. The only part of my tirade that got recorded was after the bell rang and I’ve been told that the words that came out of my mouth are too expletive for this article. but trust me, I used ALL the words that night.
How do I feel about this? Great I say. Some big questions were asked that night to me both in person and through messages. Is Cody going to stay? Is Cody just here for ‘Mania? What about Ring Of Honor? well, As of time of this writing (after the Raw following Wrestlemania) the answers are Yes, No, and what about ROH, don’t they have enough talent? He came back to kick off that special Monday Night RAW with a promo about how he wants, no needs that WWE championship. Seth Rollins even came out to say “Welcome home”. I personally can’t wait for him to strip said title away from Roman “time to take a snack and bathroom break” Reigns. I said what I said, Reigns is a boring champion. His move set is as complex as a Pokémon and his majority fanbase is also mostly children. He’s essentially John Cena 2.0. That being said, Cody ended the night with a dark match against Kevin Owens that also tore the house down. He’s got two whole excellent matches under the new run at WWE and I can’t wait for more.
What do you think about Cody Rhodes coming back to WWE? Do you embrace it as I do with open arms or are you one of the angry AEW fans that labeled him a traitor and burned his merch immediately? Let us know in the comments and I look forward to see what everyone has to say. I think it’s clear that I bought his new shirts and can’t wait for their arrival, but for now, that’s my 2 cents on the matter. See you next time!