Pro-wrestlers moving from WWE to AEW had become the norm. This didn’t surprise anyone. But, when Cody Rhodes moved from AEW to WWE, he changed the entire game.
Losing a big star such as Cody Rhodes obviously affected AEW, regardless of what one might say. Now, AEW Megastar Chris Jericho opened up about The American Nightmare’s departure from the company during his appearance on Busted Open Radio.
Chris Jericho believes that Rhodes moved to WWE for similar reasons which urged Jericho to leave WWE in 2017 – a possible lack of respect or value. However, considering Rhodes moved to WWE, he should be able to come under the spotlight almost immediately.
“Cody, now, is as bigger than he’s ever been just by changing companies. And obviously, they did a great job in putting him over at WrestleMania, bringing him in at the highest of levels, and now it’s up to Cody to do the dirty work shall we say and continue that momentum and get that job done. And can he do it? Absolutely. He’s a very smart guy. He’s a great performer.” H/t Busted Open
In this regard, Chris Jericho is correct. As soon as The American Nightmare arrived at WrestleMania 38 as Seth Rollins’ challenger, the crowd popped. WWE picked the right moment and a top Superstar to build him up against.
On the other hand, Jericho also revealed that while the company felt his absence the first couple of days, it changed rapidly. A few later it was like he never existed and AEW moved on the way Rhodes moved on.
Cody Rhodes has set his sights on the WWE Championship
After The American Nightmare defeated The Drip God at WrestleMania 38, he arrived on WWE Raw. He gave an emotional speech about his father, Dusty Rhodes. He revealed that he wanted to go after the WWE Championship belt, and win it to honor his father.
But, going after the current WWE Champion Roman Reigns is not going to be easy. He isn’t sitting around waiting for challengers. Additionally, there are other Superstars on the roster who want to be the next challenger.
Therefore, before going after Roman Reigns, WWE has sent Cody Rhodes after Seth Rollins. On WWE Raw: April 11th, 2022, Rollins challenged Rhodes to a WrestleMania 38 rematch at WrestleMania Backlash. Cody Rhodes accepted.
It’s possible WWE is setting up stage for The American Nightmare by making Seth Rollins put him over. It sets the notion that the one person Roman Reigns couldn’t defeat during his domination becomes the Superstar who falls at the hands of Cody Rhodes.