Cody Rhodes returned to WWE as the mystery opponent for Seth Rollins.
Rhodes came out to Downstait’s “Kingdom” to a massive response.
Rhodes won the match after more than twenty-one minutes hitting three Cross Rhodes and utilizing the Bionic Elbow in the final sequence.
🚨🚨🚨🚨@CodyRhodes IS BACK and facing @WWERollins at #WrestleMania! pic.twitter.com/ST3B1EmfCx
— WWE (@WWE) April 3, 2022
Variety released an interview with Rhodes that was conducted earlier in the week where Rhodes shared his motivation for returning to WWE:
I told Vince McMahon, Bruce Prichard and Nick Kahn (sic) — this very small circle of individuals — I told them what I truly believe and it’s that I’m the best wrestler in the world. And to go further with it, I actually don’t think there’s a close second. But with that said, the opportunity now exists to prove it, and that’s what I’m most excited about.
Rhodes also spoke about the decision to leave AEW:
I chose to remain silent about my departure from AEW and I’m going to keep my word on that. There’s no shoot interview. There’s no nefarious tale that’s going to be told. There were all these different theories and none of them are correct. I mean, there were things about money and creative control. They were printed as fact and it’s been a very difficult two months to see that, when the reality is it was just time. It was a personal matter and we couldn’t move past it. I have nothing but respect for Matt [Jackson], Nick [Jackson] and Kenny [Omega]. I’m rooting for Tony Khan. His name is going to be in the history books as someone who helped to bankroll and support this entire alternative and revolution that AEW became but for me, it was just time to to move on. I get an opportunity at my dream, I get another chance at it. And you really can’t leave any stone unturned with that.
In the interview, Rhodes mentioned that A&E and WWE are producing a documentary on Dusty Rhodes as part of its ongoing relationship.
In a statement from Rhodes’ PR team, the deal was described as a “multi-year agreement” with WWE:
Cody Rhodes' team of Hyperion, Spanos Law and Vision PR confirms he is signed to a multi-year WWE deal — and will serve as executive producer to the Dusty Rhodes documentary on A&E pic.twitter.com/wGX20b6UhE
— Justin Barrasso (@JustinBarrasso) April 3, 2022
Rhodes left WWE in 2016 and hit the independent scene while becoming a major star in Ring of Honor and leading the company to its highest average attendance figures beginning in 2017.
In 2019, Rhodes was part of the founding members of All Elite Wrestling and held an EVP role with the company. His contract expired at end of 2021 and last wrestled for the promotion in February when he lost the TNT title to Sammy Guevara.