Relive The Beast Incarnate's savage return in this slow-motion video, captured during the Jan. 16, 2017 edition of Raw.01/18/2017 - 17:00
A Dream Come True for Cody
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Sometimes after rough beginnings, dreams do come true -- just ask Cody Rhodes.
The 22-year-old son of the "American Dream" Dusty Rhodes held an ice pack to his black eye and moved gingerly around the Raw locker room Monday night, but he couldn't stop smiling. Earlier that night, he thought he might have to clear out his locker for good and head home. Acting Raw GM Jonathan Coachman had watched him lose his first two matches in valiant attempts to defend his father's honor against Randy Orton, and he was growing impatient. So he gave the young Rhodes an ultimatum: win now or hit the road.
But after a victory over Daivari, was able to breathe a sigh of relief and smile for the first time in weeks. He prevented himself from getting fired, and showed Coachman and all of WWE that he belonged in the squared circle and on the Raw roster. Cody Rhodes now has a clear opportunity to walk in his Hall of Fame father's footsteps and fulfill a lifelong ambition. (WATCH)
"As long as I can remember, from my earliest memory when I was four years old, I could remember the smell of Bengay in the locker room," he said. "There was nothing I ever thought I'd do other than professional wrestling. There was never a moment where I thought I'd do anything else."
Despite his relief and happiness, Cody couldn't help but think about his ailing father, who was watching from his home in Austin, Texas, as he recovers from a severe concussion he suffered at Orton's hands. The image of Orton punting his father and the Dream being taken away on a stretcher still haunted Cody. But he was somehow able to focus on winning the match against Daivari, saving his career from potentially being over before it had a chance to really begin.
"Pops is always going through my mind," Cody said. "Here is my life, my blood, laid up with the most serious injury of his career, and that's saying something for 40-something years in professional wrestling. He's always on my mind, but tonight was about what Cody Rhodes could do."
Cody says he never lost faih in himself and his abilities, despite his rough start. Randy Orton gave him a wrestling lesson, he said, but he has learned very well. The son of the son of a plumber is looking forward to new opponents and showing our fans what he can do as he begins to make his own mark in sports-entertainment.
"I think now is the time for our fans to see that I was raised in a wrestling family -- I know how to wrestle," Cody said. "There will be other competitors. I certainly learned a great deal from the Randy Orton matches, and look forward to more matches with Orton in the near future. For the time being, I think people will be surprised to see that I can lay it on somebody, too."
But Cody Rhodes is also taking his career one day at a time. Each match, he says, will be a learning experience. Our fans can be certain about one thing: the Rhodes legacy will live on every Monday night on Raw.
"It's [my career] a ladder, and I can't see the top of it yet. I'm going rung by rung," Cody said. "I may slip sometimes, but this isn't a weekend job for me. This is my life's work."