Cody Rhodes Says Main-Eventing WWE WrestleMania Is A High, But 'You Have To Win'

It's been almost four months since Cody Rhodes faced Roman Reigns in the main event of WrestleMania. Now "The American Nightmare" is speaking on just how important making it to the center of WWE's grandest stage was to him.

"I think there's this natural high that you get from doing what we do." Rhodes explained on Sam Roberts' "Notsam Wrestling" podcast, "There's a next-level euphoria that we can only ever hope to get to, and the only way you can get to it is the most selective moment in what we do: the main event of WrestleMania." 

Rhodes' path to WrestleMania's main event was a long one that included leaving WWE in 2016 after expressing frustration with the Stardust character. His return was one of 2022's biggest moments, and fans were immediately on the edge of their seats in anticipation of a WrestleMania match with Reigns. 

"I was telling my mom, it's like getting elected President in the business," Rhodes said. "The match is going to be the main event of the year of pro wrestling. It's going to put it all together, and this year there was a real excitement ... I'm not knocking any previous main events, but if you were there at So-Fi and even at home, you could feel it. That whole week ... I was geared up and amped up and ready. Every community appearance, everything I did, even with long hours, it was genuinely just a blessing. You main-evented WrestleMania, something that no one in my family had ever done.

"But ... you have to win at WrestleMania."

Rhodes will never forget WrestleMania 39, or the fans' reaction

Rhodes famously lost to Roman Reigns that night, which he explains made the experience "very bittersweet." Many fans were rooting for Rhodes to dethrone the long-reigning "Tribal Chief," and those immediate moments after are the ones he'll never forget. 

"Sitting there in the ring, I knew I was being filmed, I knew I was being shot, and I knew how sad I looked," he explained. "Looking out and seeing our fans hurt and disappointed at the show they're not supposed to be hurt and disappointed at was like the worst-case scenario. It dawned on me that to get back here, they'll have to believe in me. I just lost in front of them. Can I get them on board after some of them invested, flown out, traveled, and brought people? I remember seeing a guy in the crowd who had every piece of my merch on, and he was just staring at me. I just told him, 'I'm sorry.'" 

Rhodes remains optimistic about the future and his chances at winning back the fans. And he's noticed fans are already rallying, with many showing up at live events to support him in surprising ways. 

"Every place we go to, it just seems like more excitement." He said, "I noticed even last night fans are bringing signs a lot more. Signs! I think we're on pace to do something very, very special. The story of Cody Rhodes is not a lock ... I think it's fragile, but I try to make it a lock."