Cody Rhodes shocked the world of pro wrestling when he, and wife Brandi, departed their roles at All Elite Wrestling to return to World Wrestling Entertainment. Rhodes served as an executive vice president of All Elite Wrestling, and was an integral part of founding the company that went on to become a major rival of WWE. Rhodes left AEW in February 2022, and returned to WWE as Seth Rollins’ mystery opponent at WrestleMania 38. On the episode of Monday Night Raw following WrestleMania 38, Rhodes made his intentions at WWE clear in an in-ring promo in which he announced that he would achieve what his father, ‘The American Dream’ Dusty Rhodes had not and capture a WWE world title.
As reported by Wrestling Inc., Rhodes seemed to hint via an Instagram Story that if he does achieve this dream, he would bring back the winged eagle design of the WWE Championship. The Instagram story featured an image of the classic strap, held by the likes of Bret Hart, Randy Savage and Andre The Giant.
There is precedent for this in Rhodes’ history with the company. Rhodes won the Intercontinental Championship in 2011. During this time, he had transitioned from the ‘Dashing’ Cody Rhodes persona to a vainglorious heel who wore a protective face mask to protect his prized looks, and insulted the appearance of the audience and opponents. He became more vicious on the mic and in the ring. During an unannounced appearance at Hell in a Cell, Rhodes unexpectedly retired the contemporary IC title and pulled from a velvet bag the classic “white strap” design, held by WWF-era luminaries like Bret Hart.
This move proved to be a boon for Rhodes and the IC title, as he reinvigorated the title with feuds with the likes of Ted DiBiase Jr., Randy Orton, Christian, Sheamus and Booker T. The title was long the distinction of solid, engaging, and crowd pleasing technical in-ring performers and Rhodes brought the required combination of prowess and charisma to the belt during his reign as Intercontinental Champion.
In order to capture the WWE Undisputed Universal Championship, Rhodes would have to take on current champion Roman Reigns. While it remains to be seen if and when their paths will cross, Rhodes’ Instagram tease ignited fans’ hopes and speculations that the winged eagle belt will rise again.
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