This Is The Moment Cody Rhodes Knew He Was Back At WWE Royal Rumble

Cody Rhodes won the 2023 men's Royal Rumble upon his WWE return, after suffering a torn pectoral muscle this past June. With that being Rhodes' first match in over seven months, his body will need time to get fully reacquainted with the rigors of the ring. However, there was a certain point in the Royal Rumble match where he felt like he was truly "back" inside the squared circle.

"Somebody asked me, they said, 'When did you feel like you were really back?'" Rhodes said while appearing on "WWE's The Bump." "Where I knew I was really back was, I landed on my feet, I was lucky enough to land on my feet on a back suplex and when I turned around thinking 'I got him, I'm going to pick a leg. I'm going to grab an arm.' I was met with one of these heart-stoppers ... I was met with one of those and honestly, I liked it. That's where I felt like I was back. That's where, a little bit of grit, a little bit of that violence."

Rhodes and GUNTHER were the last two men left in the Rumble, with GUNTHER having lasted over 71 minutes at the point Rhodes eliminated him for the victory — a new record. Despite Rhodes walking away with a world title match at WrestleMania 39 against Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns, the "American Nightmare" felt punishment prior to winning, exiting the hard-fought contest with his chest red from GUNTHER's chops.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "WWE's The Bump" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.