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Cody Rhodes reflects on 10 year absence from WWE SummerSlam [Exclusive]

Believe it or not, but it’s been 10 years since Cody Rhodes walked out to perform on one of WWE’s biggest stages.

Don’t feel bad it you weren’t aware. Not even Cody knew.

The American Nightmare’s triumphant return to WWE was derailed last year when he suffered a torn peck while training for his Hell in a Cell match with Seth Rollins. Cody would go on to wrestle and defeat the now reigning World Heavyweight Champion in one of the most courageous performances in company history.

His subsequent surgery and rehabilitation would keep him out of action for several months, meaning his return to SummerSlam would have to wait.

That wait is nearly over as Cody Rhodes gets set to take on Brock Lesnar Saturday night live from Ford Field in Detroit.

It will be Cody’s first appearance at the ‘Biggest Party of the Summer’ since 2015, but the name on the guest list that year didn’t say Cody Rhodes — it said Stardust. He lost a tag team match in the blow-off to his feud with Arrow and Heels star Stephen Amell.

That match also featured Neville (AEW’s PAC) and King (Wade) Barrett. My how the times have changed! Wade Barrett has since left the company and returned as the lead color commentator on Friday Night SmackDown and PAC now wrestles for rival AEW. A company that Cody Rhodes helped launch.

Cageside Seats had a chance to ask Cody about his return to SummerSlam during a community event media scrum at Ford Field Friday evening. The name Rhodes being the focus of our inquiry. Because while Stardust had his time to shine eight years ago, Cody Rhodes’ last appearance at SummerSlam was back in 2013. A 6-minute victory over Damien Sandow.

“We all know what our big four are. I know it changes... but at least two of the big four are pretty consistent.” Rhodes began his reflection. “There’s a large sense of responsibility, is the best way that I would put it. It’s not the most exciting or sexy answer, but everything I do, I want to kind of reinforce my place in the world, in this world. I wanna reinforce my place and I have the largest task ahead of me in terms of a Brock Lesner. I really do think Brock Lesner is Mr. SummerSlam, kind of looking through his former accolades at SummerSlam. Just beating The Rock, just that alone. So the task is in front of me, and it’s another opportunity to show people where I want to be, where I think I am.”

“The fun part for me, is this connection that I have with this WWE Universe and pro wrestling fans has grown beyond my wildest expectations. So again, going into this match with Brock... the dangers of it, the violence of it. I still can’t do anything but smile, really. Just because I look forward to having that moment in Detroit. And again, that’s a great stat I didn’t even know. So to be able to make that walk, anytime you can, and connect with the audience, it’s the best.”

You can watch Cody’s full answer in the video at the top of the page, and of course, you can check out his match tomorrow night at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. Coverage starts at 8pm ET on Peacock.

You can follow Rick Ucchino on Twitter and subscribe to the Bleav in Pro Wrestling Podcast Channel for more of his work.

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