Cody Rhodes Addresses Challenging Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39 After Winning the 2023 Royal Rumble

Cody Rhodes won the 2023 Men's Royal Rumble match on Saturday night in San Antonio, punching his ticket to the main event of WrestleMania 39 this coming April. Barring any massive changes, all signs point to him challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. Reigns will have eclipsed 900 consecutive days as world champion by that point, but Rhodes has been teasing finally winning the WWE Championship ever since he returned to WWE last April. Rhodes finally addressed facing Reigns during the post-show press conference.

"I've been very careful about even saying Roman's name," Rhodes began. "Because it's one of those things where I knew and I'm sure he knew. I came back and the first night I'm back on Raw after WrestleMania I was pointing at my waist. I talked about it in an interview, the real story of wanting to win the WWE Championship, the one title that has eluded the family. And I'm sure he heard that and I've watched everything Roman has done. ...I have nothing but respect and reverence for Roman...guys, I can't tell you I'm the best wrestler in the world. Nobody can, unless their man is Roman Reigns. That's the best wrestler in the world. I'd like to think I'm number two and I always say Seth (Rollins) is number three...don't take my list that seriously. But Roman is undisputed, that's the best way to put it."

"If that is the situation we're walking into in 60-something days at WrestleMania, I can't shrivel under the lights. He's been there before, I haven't," he continued. "It's going to take everything I could possibly ever muster up and everything I have. But I've got to finish this story. It's real."

But while Rhodes had a victorious night, things weren't quite as simple for "The Tribal Chief." He beat Kevin Owens to retain his undisputed championship in the show's main event, but he eventually drove Sami Zayn to finally turn his back on The Bloodline and crack Reigns across the back with a steel chair. While Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso immediately jumped Zayn for his transgression, Jey Uso left the rest of his family behind and walked back up the entrance ramp.

With The Bloodline now seemingly falling apart and Elimination Chamber taking place in Zayn's hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada next month, it looks like Reigns has quite a bit on his plate before he can turn his attention to Rhodes. Stay tuned for more updates!