Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/02/28/cody-rhodes-names-edge-johnny-gargano-as-potential-post-wrestlemania-39-opponents/
If Rhodes is to get past Roman Reigns, he has ideas in mind regarding potential challengers.
In four weeks, Cody Rhodes is going to be headlining WrestleMania 39 when he challenges Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.
Rhodes has continued to promote WrestleMania through interviews and he recently guest appeared on The AJ Awesome Show. Looking ahead, if Rhodes is to defeat Reigns, he was asked about potential opponents coming out of WrestleMania.
He mentioned Johnny Gargano and Edge as two names he’d like to share the ring with. Rhodes added that while he was in AEW and they were going head-to-head with NXT, ‘something strong’ had to be put up against Gargano when he was on television.
If I was to be so, A, on my game, in the right spot at the right time, lightning striking, legit lightning in a bottle to be able to be the one guy who has beat Roman (Reigns) because you gotta remember, Daniel Bryan and Edge couldn’t beat Roman at the same time, Kevin Owens unable to do it, Sami Zayn, so, so close. Drew (McIntyre). Drew was almost closer than Sami was. If I was to be so lucky as the one to beat him — I don’t wanna look past him but for the purpose of your question… There’s three (people I’d like to defend the Undisputed WWE Universal Title against). We talked about one guy already so we won’t even mention him but, two come to mind. One is (Johnny) Gargano and that is because when I was with my former company, I always remembered kind of going head-to-head with him on Wednesdays and when I say that, out of respect, you had to oppose him with something strong because he delivers and he’s a wrestler’s wrestler and I don’t even know what that means but he’s someone that we never had to have that single and I’d love to have that with him just to see where I’m at, see where he’s at, very curious, different styles. So that’s one, the other one is Edge, and I’ve told some people that before. I don’t think I’ve told Edge that because I don’t want it to seem adversarial or confrontational but, I don’t know how much time Edge has left. He could do this forever if he wanted to. He’s in better shape than, you know, every locker room combined for some reason but, when I was on SmackDown, I remember he was a really good locker room leader, a true locker room leader. Led by example, would be able to pull you aside for a note here and there but wasn’t overbearing, but he looked at me as a child, a kid and those people that look at you as a kid, you wanna one day stand opposed and let them know you’re not a kid anymore and lately, we’ve been on the right side of things, you know, for example with The Judgment Day and stuff but he’s still one I’d just love to test it out, shake his hand and find out who’s better at the actual wrestling thing that we do. I mean, Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer, Hall of Famer. He’s the real deal and he’s in that lofty air that very few are in and while he’s here, again, he could be here forever but while he’s here, I’d like to get that one.
Cody has spoken at length about the possibility/idea of Dustin Rhodes being at WrestleMania 39 or sharing the ring with Dustin one more time in WWE. Cody said if it does happen, it’ll have to happen in WWE because he’s not leaving.
I say this about us (Cody & Dustin Rhodes), brothers, we both think we’re better than each other, right? We really do and I remember we had one not so great match, Goldust and Stardust but he won and then of course we had (AEW) Double or Nothing which was a totally different situation. If we were to do one here at WWE because he’d have to come here, I ain’t leaving. If we did one here in that type of setting, it’d be very, very special.
Prior to returning to WWE, Cody stated that there was period of time when his confidence was ‘shaky’. He credited Brandi Rhodes for being his ‘compass’ and said there was a similar feeling he had while portraying the Stardust character.
The year before I returned here (WWE), my confidence was really shaky and I was trying some different things that I don’t think were necessarily appreciated by me or it just wasn’t maybe working and it was one of those things, it took away a lot of the really beautiful stuff I had done that worked and that time, confidence was a little shaky and my wife has always kind of been the compass and rock to get me back but Stardust was another era where confidence was really down and the reason, it wasn’t that I wasn’t having fun. There was plenty of fun moments. What happened was… the attention span of more casual wrestling fans is a little shorter. Long time fans, we remember it all but casual fans, especially younger, they may only know you as that thing and I didn’t wanna be remembered as — I thought, oh, they remember me from the Intercontinental Title for sure, they remember me from Legacy and you start to realize they don’t. They know you as this and that was an era I was very not confident but, I wouldn’t lie to you, I think it’s important sometimes to take your licks, it’s important sometimes to take it on the chin and feel it and fall, because you do get back up stronger. Everyone says that it’s all about you gotta get back up but when you get back up, you get stronger each time. I remember telling Seth (Rollins) that. I feel like I failed my way to the top, as silly as that sounds because failure’s such an insanely good teacher. Now, I don’t wanna be looking up at the lights anymore, no doubt but it was very helpful for me and I had parents and a great wife who were really adamant about… ‘If this is what you want, you have to keep going.’
As of this writing, here is the updated WrestleMania 39 match card:
- Undisputed WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns (c) (w/ Paul Heyman) vs. Cody Rhodes
- SmackDown Women’s Championship: Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Rhea Ripley
- Raw Women’s Championship: Bianca Belair (c) vs. Asuka
- Brock Lesnar vs. Omos (w/ MVP)
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit The AJ Awesome Show with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.