Cody Rhodes was doing some press in the New York market yesterday (Dec. 14), talking to Peter Rosenberg & Dave La Greca on The Michael Kay Show. He’s promoting WWE’s annual holiday show at Madison Square Garden, at which he’s set to face Shinsuke Nakamura under a stipulation his father helped make famous — the Bull Rope match.
But in addition to hyping that Dec. 26 event on WWE’s “home court”, Rhodes discussed quite a few wrestling-related topics with Rosenberg & La Greca, including his ones from his career in between WWE stints. Founding AEW is part of that, and while they didn’t dive directly into the conversation that’s swirling around that company’s fortunes right now, they did touch on some things that are relevant to it.
Namely, does Cody think current AEW World champion Maxwell Jacob Friedman will follow himself, Jade Cargill & others from Tony Khan’s promotion to WWE:
“I think one day you will see MJF in WWE.”
Expanding on that statement, Rhodes brought up his relationship to Friedman — and pointed to one change MJF’s made over the past several years that Cody things means he’s coming to WWE:
“I’m really proud of him. For those that don’t know, MJF was one of my recruits and probably the one I’m most excited about because of potential and personality and overall professionalism.
“One thing I’m proud of him for doing is, if you notice, he’s put on a lot of muscle and he’s put it on safely over the last year and a half.
“When he does that jump — I don’t know when that is if he makes the jump, but if he comes to WWE — he’ll have to stand across from guys like Drew McIntyre, you have to stand across from guys like Omos or, gosh, Brock Lesnar. I’m not shaming anyone who is not hitting the gym and clanging and banging with the weights, like The Rock would say, but it is part of what we do now. You have to be able to swing a bat with the big boys. Watching him grow physically, it seems like maybe he knows where his future lies.”
MJF has spent much of his AEW run teasing a move to WWE as part of his character. However, insiders believe he quietly re-signed with Tony Khan after he stepped away for AEW for several months after Double or Nothing 2022, and Friedman hasn’t brought up “the bidding war of 2024” as much since turning face this past summer. That’s probably one reason Rhodes closed out his answer by playing coy:
“Really, your guess is as good as mine. I never bother him about it because I want to remain the friends we’ve become today.”
Let us know what you make of the American Nightmare’s thoughts on one of his proteges. And watch his entire appearance on The Michael Kay Show here.