Dave Meltzer “Surprised” By Cody Rhodes Move To WWE

cody rhodes wrestlemania 38 return

Dave Meltzer admits he didn’t expect Cody Rhodes to return to WWE.

As one of the company’s founders and EVP’s, Cody Rhodes was instrumental to the formation of All Elite Wrestling. It came as a shock, therefore, when it was announced in early 2022 that he and his wife Brandi would be leaving the company.

Rhodes made his return to WWE at WrestleMania 38, serving as Vince McMahon’s hand-picked opponent for Seth Rollins. While he failed to capture the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship from Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 39, he’s solidified himself as one of the top stars on Raw and is set to face Brock Lesnar for a third time at SummerSlam.

Speaking in a new interview with Chris Van Vliet, Dave Meltzer spoke about Rhodes making the jump back to WWE, admitting that the move came as a surprise. However, Meltzer points out that this was the best decision for Cody, as he would have remained in the midcard had he stayed with AEW.

“I think in some ways it was [shocking], I was a little surprised. But I mean, the one thing was when the renewal wasn’t done, because Tony had an option on Cody to renew the contract like he did with The Young Bucks and others. And when January 1 happened, and there wasn’t a renewal and he was out of contract. I mean, to me, that was very interesting. Even then, I didn’t think he was going to WWE.

“I had contact with him, and he was always like, ‘we’re we are negotiating.’ And then, you know, all of a sudden, it was kind of like, weeks are going by, I mean, mostly assumption, we’re going to work it out. And then all of a sudden I wasn’t hearing that anymore. And that’s when it was like, you know, something happened, which obviously, Vince flew down to meet him is what happened. Then it became different. And he accepted the offer, and, the benefit of hindsight, man, what a great move that was for all concerned.

“Not for AEW, but for Cody. Cody became a much bigger star than he would have been had he stayed. And WWE, I thought that, he would help them a decent amount. But it was way more than I thought. I mean, being the first guy to make that jump, and being a good talker really helped too. But you know, his right place at the right time and instinct and everything like that. I think he played it well for him, you know? If he’d stayed there, he’d been a midcard guy.”

[sided-debate-embed debate-id=”27792″]

h/t Inside the Ropes