Cody Rhodes on The MMA Hour recap: The advice John Cena gave him after WrestleMania 39, whether he considered returning to AEW when his WWE deal expired


By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Cody Rhodes appeared on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani on Wednesday. The following are the highlights of the interview that can be viewed below or via

-Cody on The Rock’s reaction to being turned on by some fans: Cody said he thinks the fan reaction to him has gotten under the skin of The Rock. Cody said he doesn’t think Rock realizes that some of the people who chant negative things about him are wearing Rock gear and simply wanted to see Cody vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania XL.

-Cody on losing at WrestleMania 39 and what happened after the show: Cody said it was a long walk both in length and in feeling. He said he walked with his wife Brandi and they didn’t have any words between each other, but he had a nice moment with Dallas Page once he got back to his bus. Cody said Page, who hated that Cody lost. “We just main evented a WrestleMania, but also we’re not the type to just happy main eventing WrestleMania,” Cody said. He added that he would have given his left finger to main event WrestleMania when he was playing Stardust, but once he was in there he wanted to win at WrestleMania.

-On advice John Cena gave him after WrestleMania 39: Cody said Cena challenged him to be the champion without the title belt. Cena told him to look at merch sales and compare live event ticket sales from his last appearance at a venue to his current appearance.

-On when he found out he wasn’t winning at WrestleMania 39: Cody claimed he found out when he was speared by Roman Reigns and pinned. When Helwani said surely there was a conversation beforehand, Cody said not surely and then said that’s as far as he would go with his answer.

-Cody on dealing with the media during WrestleMania week: Cody said he went out of his way to talk to everyone who had a microphone during WrestleMania 39 week. He spoke of being burnt out by the end. He said today was his media day with several appearances, but he was pulling back on how much media he does this time around.

-Cody on whether he feared the window closed when he lost at WrestleMania 39: Cody recalled Michael Cole asking during a Smackdown interview if he would run away if he lost at WrestleMania 39. Cody said it hurt, but he said he also questioned what if he did. Cody said ultimately he felt like it was a call to action.

-Cody on the past year: Cody spoke of proving people wrong and winning back-to-back Royal Rumble matches. Cody said the fans believed in him so much that they “turned away The Rock” so he could get his WrestleMania match. Cody said he hates the slogan “finish the story” because he failed to do it last year.

Whether Cody remembers his late father Dusty Rhodes expressing disappointment over not winning the WWWF Championship: Cody said it was more about how much Dusty talked about those three matches with Superstar Graham at Madison Square Garden. Cody said that when he spoke about Ultimate Warrior and Hulk Hogan, his father always had to let him know that Hogan was a big fan of his. Cody said he feels like he’s part of an outcast family in pro wrestling. Cody said that in order for the line in his song to be true about how there’s more than one royal family, he has to beat Roman Reigns.

-Cody on Janel Grant’s lawsuit against Vince McMahon and Vince’s legacy in WWE: Cody said it’s very important in a situation like this to not shame the accuser. Cody said he likes to see how it plays out in court. He said he doesn’t want to be naive to it, but his focus is on how to make their show the best show. Cody said he hopes that justice is brought for whoever. When Cody was asked about Vince’s role in the company, Cody said Nick Khan and Paul Levesque have been the people he has worked with.

-Cody on his relationship with Paul Levesque: Cody recalled some of the things he said about Levesque and said it was in the spirit of competition, but “we take this stuff personally.” Cody said Levesque has been an incredible mentor and guide. Cody said that if he goes on to work behind the scenes, he would like to follow in Levesque’s footsteps.

-Cody on retirement: Cody said he doesn’t want to be on the road all the time when his daughter turns ten. He spoke of potentially changing his schedule down the road. Cody said his new contract with WWE is all but complete, but he declined to share the length of the deal.

-Cody on CM Punk: Cody didn’t remember when he was told, but he wasn’t shocked and he was really happy for Punk. Cody said Nick Khan and Paul Levesque have their finger on the pulse. Cody said Khan told WWE management who Cody was and what he could do for the company and assumes he did the same for Punk. Cody said he thinks Punk is a great addition to the locker room. “He’s just been wonderful since he came back,” Rhodes said.

-Cody on whether CM Punk labeling Tony Khan a nice guy but not a boss: Cody said that’s not his assessment. He spoke of the pride he takes in what was created in AEW and what it does for the industry overall. Cody said he has “an unbelievable love” for so many people in AEW, including Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks. Cody said he wishes everyone in AEW nothing but the best.

-Cody on what Punk had to say about The Elite: Cody said he thinks there was a ton of misunderstanding and miscommunication. Cody said he loves Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Kenny Omega, and CM Punk.

-Cody on whether he considered returning to AEW before re-signing with WWE: “No, and it’s not in any way a negative towards them,” Rhodes said. “I know I didn’t win the title at WrestleMania 39, but I was in the spot always dreamed of.” Cody said the company didn’t hand him the exact ball, but they gave him a lot of responsibility.

-Cody on what The Rock said to him when the first shared the ring on Smackdown: Cody said he would rather The Rock share that story. Cody said it was something that was extremely touching, but what was being taken away from him was weighing on his mind and he felt negative about what was being said to him in the moment.

-Cody on whether there was an audible called for the WrestleMania XL main event: Cody said that whatever happened, what’s on television has been far more compelling to him.

-Whether he knew Rock still had it in him at age 51: Cody said Rock has become so many things, but when you strip it all away the thing he is most is a pro wrestler. Cody said he doesn’t have to like Rock and said he genuinely does not like him, but he has all the respect in the world for him. Cody said it doesn’t surprise him that The Rock is having so much fun. Cody said Rock has sixty people around him at all times and praised the team he put together. Cody said he has his own small team and said it’s important to have people who prop you up and support you.

-Cody on how his mom feels about being referenced so many times: Cody’s mom sleeps during Raw and sees it on YouTube or hears about it from friends. Cody said that Rock intimidates a lot of people and perhaps himself included, but you can’t intimidate his mother. Cody once again praised Rock’s mom and said she’s a lovely lady. Cody said his own mother will be in attendance. He said the Huber family will be there. He said the same crew that was there last year will be there this year.

-Whether Brandi will get involved at WrestleMania XL: Cody said you will see Brandi at WrestleMania. Cody got emotional and said it will mean a lot. Cody said she was hugely scapegoated and a victim of misinformation. He praised her work behind the scenes in AEW and said it pisses him off to this day that she got a bad reputation.

-Cody on his relationship with Seth Rollins: Cody said you are bonded over people you have significant memories with. Cody showed off the Rolex watch that he got for himself and said he bought another for Rollins. He said there are more than two, but he wouldn’t say who else has them. Cody said he and Rollins will always be competitive, but they can be respectful and friends. Cody said his father and Ric Flair were at each other’s throats, but they remained loving and respectful. Cody also spoke about taking care of the locker room during WrestleMania season and said he’s been in a Santa Claus mood.

-Cody on the WrestleMania XL matches he wants to see: He mentioned Rhea Ripley vs. Becky Lynch, then spoke about Gunther vs. Sami Zayn. Cody said Gunther is the type of wrestler he wants to wrestle. He said Gunther just keeps getting better. Cody also put over Zayn as an artist. Cody said Lynch is in a position now where fans might have forgotten just how unbelievable she is. Cody said he watched from afar when The Man caught on and nobody was catching on like she was. Cody said he bought twenty copies of Lynch’s book and gave them to the kids at the Nightmare Factor as homework. Cody also praised Ricochet, then conceded that he probably won’t get to see any of the WrestleMania matches during the show. They wrapped up the show with a single round of darts, which Cody won and therefore got to sit in Helwani’s seat.


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