Cody Rhodes may have just had major surgery not even two months ago, but that isn’t stopping the former EVP of AEW from wanting to step back into the squared circle in WWE, regardless of his doctors’ concerns. During the San Diego Comic-Con, Rhodes addressed the possibility of him returning at the Royal Rumble event in 2023.

“[My doctor] told me flat out that he’s not going to give me a timeline because he’s afraid I’m going to try and jump it,” Rhodes said. “So I’m still going to try and jump it.” He added that his recovery is “ahead of schedule” but also noted that he “couldn’t win an arm wrestling contest right now.”

Rhodes went on to ask the crowd when they thought he should come back, to which he received an overwhelming response that he should come back at the Royal Rumble.

“My Royal Rumble stats are top 10, they’re phenomenal,” Rhodes replied. “So if I was to come back at that event, there is a chance I could actually get up in the top five and I’m all about that …. You never know! We’ll see.”

While Rhodes didn’t provide detail on which Royal Rumble stats he’s talking about, he does have the ninth-longest cumulative time spent in Royal Rumble matches. If Rhodes returned at the 2023 Royal Rumble, he would have to last 40 minutes and 48 seconds to make his way into the top five, though there are other active WWE competitors ahead of him, including Dolph Ziggler, Edge, Rey Mysterio, and Randy Orton.

Another Royal Rumble top ten for the son of a son of a plumber is the number of Rumbles in which he’s competed. Rhodes, who has eight appearances, is currently tied at the ninth spot with Booker T, Edge, Godfather, John Cena, John Morrison, Matt Hardy, and R-Truth. If Rhodes was to enter the 2023 rumble, he would move to the number eight spot and be tied with Viscera, Triple H, The Great Khali, and Sheamus. In 2012, Rhodes also earned the distinction of having more eliminations than anyone else in that year’s match with five. The record is 13, set by Brock Lesnar in 2020 (and, if the Greatest Royal Rumble counts, by Braun Strowman in 2018).

Despite these impressive accomplishments, the closest Rhodes has come to winning a Royal Rumble was in 2009, when he was in the final three with Triple H and Randy Orton. Triple H eliminated Rhodes, which allowed Orton to swoop in and eliminate Triple H for the victory.

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit “San Diego Comic-Con” and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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