Cody Rhodes shocked the wrestling world on Saturday night, making his return to WWE by facing Seth Rollins at WrestleMania 38. Rhodes picked up the victory by hitting two consecutive CrossRhodes on Rollins, followed by his father's signature Bionic Elbow and yet another CrossRhodes.
In an interview with Variety that dropped at the same time as his arrival, Rhodes discussed his feelings on returning to WWE after requesting his release in 2016.. He departed from AEW back in mid-February after being one of the founding members and executive vice presidents of All Elite Wrestling.
"Everyone who knows has asked me how I'm feeling, if I'm really excited," Rhodes said. "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.
"Even now, thinking about it is heavy," he added. "So yeah, all the feelings — happy, excited, pressure, responsibility, all of it. But I don't know how I will feel until I'm out there. It just seems like kind of a culmination of my whole career, but I don't want to jinx it. I don't want to put any hyperbole there, but it's the biggest crowd in wrestling. It's returning as me in something that I built and nobody else built. And that's the ultimate vindication."
Rhodes' arrival came with every piece of his presentation from AEW, including his entrance theme, nickname, Nightmare Family logo and ring gear. He mentioned in the interview that he doesn't plan on changing anything.
"Yeah. I mean, there should be no difference. To quote some of these individuals who courted me for this moment, 'It's not broke.' And this was a place that didn't care for me. And it wasn't that they didn't have love and respect for me but as a wrestler, I wasn't considered their most desirable. If anything, I was kind of undesirable. That's where the whole mantra comes from, the whole promo of 'desirable to undeniable,' to be able to return on your terms. It kind of feels like being in the military and having conquered something or having won this battle and being able to stand and keep your chin parallel with the floor and to be able to come in that fashion, a bit of a conquering hero. That's how I see it in my dreams," Rhodes said.