Cody Rhodes Reacts To WWE In-Ring Return And Royal Rumble Win

Cody Rhodes made his long-awaited return to action at WWE's Royal Rumble premium live event. After entering at number 30 during the eponymous match, "The American Nightmare" won the bout by overcoming GUNTHER at the very end. For Rhodes, the victory meant that a longtime dream finally came true.

During the Royal Rumble Post-Show Press Conference, Rhodes revealed that he spoke to Randy Orton the night before this year's event. The conversation made him recall being one of the final participants in the 2009 Royal Rumble match, which was won by Orton. According to Rhodes, that was the moment he knew that he wanted to be the last man standing someday.

"Triple H eliminated me, but that caused Randy to eliminate him, and he won the Royal Rumble, and he brought [Ted DiBiase Jr and me] in the ring. I remember thinking that I'll sit on the floor, stay small, and he brought us in the ring. I thought, 'Man, I wanna be that guy.' I also thought like, 'That'll be next year, that'll be next year. I'll be up there.' And here we are, I think that was over 10 years ago."

Rhodes noted that he's managed to connect with the crowd since then, an element of his performance that he felt was lacking during his original WWE run. He stated that his 2015 excursion from the company helped him find his identity as a performer and resonate with fans on his own terms, too. "I don't play anybody, I'm me. And tonight me was good enough, and it feels good to have that."

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