Cody Rhodes Explains Why Second WWE Stint Feels New

Since he returned to WWE at WrestleMania 38 in 2022, things have been much different for Cody Rhodes — especially when compared to his first run in WWE years ago. Not only is Rhodes a different wrestling, thanks to his time honing his craft elsewhere, but he's also a bigger star. Upon his comeback, he has been consistently in the main event scene, remaining the leading candidate to defeat Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship. When discussing his current WWE stint on "Busted Open Radio," Rhodes spoke about how everything feels new, including how he motivates himself. 

"I always tell people that I'm a slow learner. It took me a while to get to the spot I wanted to be [in]," Rhodes stated. "But when I think of a new match, when somebody says 'Cody vs. somebody' — even if we had done that match eight years ago, ten years ago — it doesn't read the same way at all. It reads brand new because I had found my footing ... but I'll say there was a period of time, and maybe it wasn't in WWE ... where I really feel I lost my compass."

"I was arrogant and I was grizzled. You know how guys get grizzled long before they should get grizzled? I was all those things, and I was really angry," he admitted. "And a lot of that work is evident when you look at what I did with New Japan and Ring of Honor and AEW. There was like an anger to me that ... I'm motivated differently now ... maybe having a daughter probably changed it. But, you know, it's different, and it's a bit better for me as motivation. It's been more positive."

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "Busted Open Radio" and provide a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription