Legal Fight Almost Derailed Cody Rhodes Return To WWE
“Wrestling has more than one royal family” says the song and while the sentiment might be true, WWE fans were almost robbed of hearing those words when Cody Rhodes returned to the company in 2022.
When Rhodes left WWE back in 2016 he needed a signature song to play him into arenas around the world and Kingdom written and performed by Downstait was born.
Now as much a part of Rhodes’ presentation as his bleach-blonde hair, his ever-present weight belt, and even that tattoo, the song continues to prove a hit with fans as they “woah-oh” Rhodes to the ring for his matches.
Speaking on the Insight podcast with Chris Van Vliet, Downstait lead singer Zack Call revealed that Kingdom almost didn’t make it to WWE over issues with the company not wanting to pay for the song, that was until Cody Rhodes himself stepped in and said WWE couldn’t have him without Kingdom:
“I don’t want to give away too much (about how Cody Rhodes was able to use Kingdom in WWE). But we were aware that Kingdom was coming and we were in a little bit of a legal battle and Cody Rhodes is absolutely the f*cking man. We were on the phone with lawyers and agents and WWE’s lawyers and composers before, and we have been with them since 2009. And we all have regular jobs. And we just wanted our cut of the pie on this one.
“We know what happens when you — we’re not Joan Jett, we’re not Living Colour, but when you use a real song, they get paid, those artists get paid. It’s not a part of WWE’s work. And this is a song that we wrote.
“It was pretty close to it (Cody Rhodes having another theme for his return). And then Cody, we held our silence for a little bit and I’d said my piece and I’m — my heart is in my throat and not ready to give up the song. You know, I’ve worked so hard on the song, we worked so hard on the song. And Cody just basically breaks the silence and he goes, ‘Well, you don’t get me without Kingdom’ on this conference call. All right!
“He swore up and down right when he started using it that, ‘If I go back to WWE, I am taking Kingdom with me.’ And I mean, he’s been nothing but truthful with us the whole time. But you never know… when it comes down to the moment, you never know what’s going to happen. And about two weeks before we have this big make-or-break moment, it might have been two seconds of silence. It might not have been the 10 that’s in my brain right now. It might have been two hours.”
Cody Rhodes roared into WrestleMania 39’s main event with his signature track providing the soundtrack and there is speculation that WWE could try and repeat the trick with Rhodes at WrestleMania 40 against a very different opponent from Roman Reigns.
h/t POST Wrestling