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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from WWE and AEW.
Cody Rhodes Talks Triple H
Three years ago, Cody Rhodes sent a direct shot at Triple H, destroying a throne during his entrance at the 2019 Double or Nothing pay-per-view.
Rhodes admitted at the time the move was about sending a message to The Game over his perceived lack of opportunities during his first run in WWE. Now that Rhodes has made the leap back to WWE, it’s been made clear there are no hard feelings.
Rhodes told reporters Sunday that Triple H—who Rhodes has admitted is his favorite wrestler—was the last person to speak to him ahead of his WrestleMania match against Seth Rollins:
“We did speak and I think Triple H did it in such a Triple H fashion,” Cody Rhodes said. “Everybody had come on that bus to say hello, talk a little bit about what may happen and the very last one was Triple H. My former assistant from AEW came as a friend and he was on [the bus] and he knows the world’s worst kept secret that Hunter is my favorite wrestler. That was a really, [starts to tear up] jeez, this has been a wild tear-filled weekend, but it was just a good moment. Also to see him healthy and I know the retirement came as it did but to do some justice to not only see my favorite wrestler and somebody that gosh I wanted to model so many things after and such. Seth being his protégée and to be able to give some of those fan service moments for the fans and also for Triple H.
“That was really touching and especially, you’ve got to put it in perspective, I talked a lot of smack, I destroyed his throne, I was very loud. Very intent on getting angry, I was just angry and that was just a moment of no anger. Because why would I be angry? You guys are paying me this absurd amount of money and I get to be me? I get to be me and especially coming from where I had left here, there’s nothing to be angry about. It’s more of a matter of one chapter ended, a beautiful chapter in AEW which I’m so proud of, and then to start this new chapter here. I just kept saying out there finish, I wasn’t talking about the match, but finish as far as what’s next, what I started here, I have to finish if that makes sense. But I spoke right before with him and I’m very excited to see him.”
Rhodes was successful in his first WWE match in six years, defeating Rollins and getting one of the loudest pops of WrestleMania weekend.
More importantly, from Rhodes’ perspective, is that the company bought into his vision. There were essentially no changes from his AEW presentation. Same music, same Homelander-inspired outfit, same questionable neck tattoo.
WWE even used his “undesirable to undeniable” catchphrase from his well-regarded AEW promo.
Stone Cold’s Match Kept Under Wraps at WWE
For the first time in 19 years, Stone Cold Steve Austin had a sanctioned match in WWE on Saturday, defeating Kevin Owens in a No Holds Barred slugfest.
Despite Austin’s return being arguably the biggest in wrestling history, WWE only promoted Saturday’s main event as a segment rather than a match. It’s likely the company would have sold more tickets if Austin’s return was promoted as an actual match.
However, it seems even people backstage were kept in the dark about the plans for Austin. Fightful Select reported the company kept things hush-hush backstage in order to be able to pivot if Austin did not feel comfortable wrestling a match. A formal decision on the match actually taking place came close to the day of WrestleMania.
Owens was informed of the possibility all the way back in January, though, so this wasn’t some fly-by-night decision. It was likely a matter of Austin, who is very legacy-conscious, wanting to be 100 percent sure he wouldn’t be embarrassing himself on the biggest stage.
Based on the crowd reaction and Stone Cold’s own beaming expression for much of the weekend, suffice it to say they made the right decision.
WrestleMania 38 Producers Revealed
Here are the producers of every match from WrestleMania weekend, per PWInsider (via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc.):
- The Usos vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Rick Boogs: Shawn Daivari
- Drew McIntyre vs. Happy Corbin: Chris Park
- The Miz and Logan Paul vs. Rey and Dominic Mysterio: Adam Pearce and Shane Helms
- Becky Lynch vs. Bianca Belair: Molly Holly and Tyson Kidd
- Cody Rhodes vs. Seth Rollins: Jamie Noble
- Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey: Pat Buck
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Kevin Owens: Michael Hayes
- RK-Bro vs. The Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy: Chris Park
- Boby Lashley vs. Omos: Adam Pearce
- Johnny Knoxville vs. Sami Zayn: Kenn Doane and Shane Helms
- Sasha Banks and Naomi vs. Shayna Baszler and Natalya vs. Liv Morgan and Rhea Ripley vs. Carmella and Queen Zelina: Tyson Kidd, Shawn Daivari and Molly Holly
- Edge vs. AJ Styles: Petey Williams
- Sheamus and Ridge Holland vs. The New Day: Petey Williams and Kenn Doane
- Pat McAfee vs. Austin Theory and Pat McAfee vs. Vince McMahon: Jamie Noble
- Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar: Pat Buck and Michael Hayes