Cody Rhodes returned to the WWE ring after being sidelined for more than six months due to a pectoral tear he sustained in June, and he made the most of it at the Royal Rumble on Saturday.
Rhodes was the 30th and final Royal Rumble entrant and entered with Austin Theory, Seth Rollins, GUNTHER, Braun Strowman, Logan Paul, Dominik Mysterio and Ricochet still in the ring. The deck was against him, but he was the newest fighter to enter the mix.
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«The American Nightmare» would eliminate Mysterio, Theory, Strowman and Paul before he met GUNTHER for the right to headline WrestleMania. GUNTHER had already been in the game for over an hour and was on the last legs of him. He made a valiant effort to eliminate Rhodes.
Rhodes and GUNTHER would meet on the platform, but Rhodes would sneak back into the ring. He was hitting the Cody Cutter to try to get GUNTHER over the top rope, but that didn’t work. GUNTHER got the upper hand and hit a powerbomb to drop Rhodes, but his own attempt to take Rhodes out didn’t work either.
In the final moments of the match, Rhodes hit another Cody Cutter and was able to eliminate GUNTHER at the end.
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Rhodes reigned supreme as the 2023 Royal Rumble champion. He will have a chance to challenge for the Universal Championship or the WWE Championship, or potentially both if Reigns remains the undisputed champion by the time WrestleMania rolls around.
He rejoined the company in 2022 after being one of the first professional wrestlers to join All Elite Wrestling. He made his return at WrestleMania in Arlington, Texas. He would defeat Seth Rollins and then beat him again at WrestleMania Backlash.
After a long WWE career, Rhodes is on the cusp of a world championship. His wife, Brandi, reacted on Twitter.
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«11 years ago we had a private conversation in the parking lot of a television hotel. It was a pipe dream with a broken heart, without direction, but full of hope. There were many setbacks. But now here he is pointing at the WrestleMania sign. LIVE this moment «, he tweeted.