Cody Rhodes spoke to The Ringer shortly after his victory over Seth Rollins on WrestleMania Saturday.

Rhodes emphasized he finally feels confident enough to carry the Rhodes Family name, and doesn’t feel like “the Ugly Duckling” of the family anymore, while referencing the right hands and Bionic Elbow he delivered on Rollins towards the closing stages of the match.

“Long story short, the reason I got into this whole thing was to be like my dad,” Rhodes said. That specter is so heavy, I veered away from it. To be able to do one jab, and they [the fans] knew [it was an homage to Dusty Rhodes], I just felt such a rush [gasps].

“I hate when people say he [Dusty] must be proud of you. I know they mean well, but he’s not here, and I wish he was here to see it. I feel such a responsibility to carry the name, and the whole thing finally felt like, ‘you know what? I can do it.’ I am no longer going to be the Ugly Duckling of the family. I can do it, I can carry the Rhodes name, I can carry it in Texas, on a show featuring Charlotte, Steve Austin, freakin’ Undertaker, and I felt good about it.”

When asked if he walked into WrestleMania 38 with any expectations, Rhodes revealed he avoided the walk through the curtain until his music played.

“Everyone kept asking me all day, ‘what do you expect?’ And of course, I was hoping they’d be happy [with my performance],” Rhodes responded. “I really didn’t want to put any expectations out there. I didn’t even look out there, didn’t walk up the ramp before the show. I didn’t see anything. Coming up on that lift was the first time I saw the grandeur, the Showcase of Immortals, all the things that WrestleMania is.

“And man [gasps], that’s just the feeling I’ll chase for the rest of my life. If we don’t get another one as a wrestler, we’re always chasing. When am I getting the next one? Gosh, if I don’t’ get another one, I feel so vindicated. So vindicated. To go from nowhere on the card, no desire to have me [on the card], to not being prioritized, and that’s no knock on anybody. And to go out on the wilderness, and do everything I could to make noise – change our business of pro wrestling or sports entertainment. I felt like they appreciated it, and I appreciated them.”

When asked if he had accomplished what he wanted to during his time away from WWE, Cody Rhodes stated he was planning to tell all this Monday night on RAW. As noted earlier, Rhodes has signed a multi-year contract with WWE. You can click here for various reactions from the wrestling community to Cody Rhodes’ WWE comeback.

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