It’s official. Racism is over. Cody Rhodes fixed it.
Racism has been one of the biggest ills to grace the earth, since the dawn of civilisation.
Hating another human being for the colour of their skin is an abhorrent practice, and one which we hoped to rid from our world over the coming generations.
Luckily, Cody Rhodes got it done ahead of schedule, and in a wrestling promo of all things.
Cody Rhodes Ended Racism
In mid-2021, Cody Rhodes was still one of the most popular men in AEW.
Coming off a loss in the “Face of the Revolution” ladder match, he was looking forward to the next step in his career.
This came in the form of an “exhibition match” against long-time friend QT Marshall, who turned on Cody to form his own stable, known as “The Factory”.
One part of the Factory was former Olympic boxer Anthony Ogogo, who had signed for AEW after turning down advances from Triple H and the WWE.
Ogogo was forced to retire from boxing due to excessive eye injuries, which apparently made him a great fit for the famously easy professional wrestling industry.
Ogogo took part in the vicious assault of Cody Rhodes, which led to the pair feuding up until Double or Nothing 2021.
However, before that, the pair would have a series of terrible segments, which would make this one of the coldest matches going into the pay per view. This included a terrible weigh-in segment, hosted by Paul “The Big Show” Wight.
However, it was the May 12th, 2021 episode of AEW Dynamite which saw Cody Rhodes cut the promo that ended racism in the United States.
Cody Rhodes Racism Promo
During his in-ring promo on the May 12th, 2021 episode of AEW Dynamite, Cody Rhodes lectured Anthony Ogogo about the United States.
He says that despite Ogogo criticising America, he is still afforded the same rights as everybody else. He lists of the things that Ogogo enjoys (money and free speech, mainly), which is entirely factual.
Nothing Anthony Ogogo had said was out of order really, but the fact he was foreign made any criticism completely out of order for Rhodes.
The real crux of the promo was when Cody Rhodes began to talk about his daughter.
He and his wife Brandi Rhodes had recently announced their pregnancy, and were getting ready to welcoming a baby girl into the world.
With tears streaming down his cheeks, Rhodes lectured the mixed-race Ogogo about how his daughter would be both white and black, in a country that had segregation just 60 years ago.
This was to a man who has parents of different races, and lived in a country where segregation was never an issue. In fact, the British public treated black American GI’s in the UK better than their white American colleagues, during world war two.
The promo ended in Rhodes crying, as he decided that Justin Roberts was going to announce him as “The American Dream” for his match with Anthony Ogogo at Double or Nothing 2021.
You can read the transcript for that promo or what the video down below.
“Has run down and verbally buried the United States, and he’s done it with such vitriol in his tone. He’s talked about the anger, the argument, the division.
And the irony is that Anthony has a visa courtesy of the USDOT. Anthony collects that great green courtesy of the U.S. Treasury. He’s afforded all the same rights we all are to do and say what he’d like. That’s freedom. That’s America.
You talk about division, you talk about anger, you talk about the argument. From the outside in, we hear that all the time. Take it from an American, the argument is what makes us who we are. Sure, there’s anger.
There’s anger in every pocket. But our empathy outweighs our anger. Let me ask you, Anthony. You didn’t come here to live the England dream, and I don’t mean to disparage across the pond. They sure know how to make a wrestler.
I’ve wrestled some of the best, whether it’s Doug Williams, Little Gabriel Kid, or even one of the best in the world right now, PAC.
It’s 1986. I’m a country music fan. Willie Nelson came out with this song, ‘Living in the Promised Land.’ He said, ‘Sent us your tired, your weak. We’ll make them strong. Sing us your far-off song, and we will sing along.’
Well, here’s where I stop singing. I stop singing when you balled up that Olympic medalist fist, and you put it between these ribs here. You like to educate, you like to pontificate on what the US is.
Allow me to turn the favor. The industry that you joined, it was an Italian immigrant who was world champion for 4,040 days. There’s so much to behold here, there’s so much to love here. The dream lives here.
What about a 16-year-old man who comes from Pakistan’s parents and invents the single-piece bumper and enriches and cultivates the lives of everybody, literally, in the city that I am standing?
Prior to 1961 in Atlanta, Georgia, there was segregation. Blacks and whites could not attend the same schools. And in 2021, in the very same city, my wife, my wife will give birth to a beautiful, a beautiful white, a beautiful black American princess who will have both identities, shun neither.
And I want her to know, I want her to know, I didn’t just lay down under another man’s flag. I didn’t just have this defeatist attitude when somebody ran down the United States. I got up off my ass, and I fought back.
And here’s where we’re going to do the fighting. At Double or Nothing, Tony Khan has already told the world that at Double or Nothing, we’re going back to full-capacity wrestling fans, wrestling fans returning to their seats and returning close up. Thank God.
And on that night, it’ll be Anthony Ogogo versus myself. But he will not be wrestling the American Nightmare. Because for one night, for one night, I’m gonna pick up a sword that is all too heavy, but it’s either me or my brother who have the right to pick it up.
So for one night, Justin Roberts, this relates to you, nothing on presentation’s sake will be different. It comes from deep inside. As I said at Double or Nothing, it will be Anthony Ogogo versus the American Dream Cody Rhodes.”
Wow. He really ended racism by having a mixed raced baby. Good job Cody.
Cody Rhodes Regrets His Promo About Anthony Ogogo
Luckily, soon after the promo, Cody Rhodes saw how incredibly tone deaf he really was.
After seeing the reaction on social media, he immediately regretted his decision and saw just how badly he had read the room on the issue.
In a recent interview with Brandon Walker on the Barstool Rasslin’ podcast, Cody Rhodes admitted that regretted “almost everything” about the feud and can see why people called it “tone-deaf”.
“I can, on record, just go ahead and say [that] I regret almost everything about the Anthony Ogogo angle. Almost everything about it. I’m good now and comfortable now.
Anthony is a former Olympian, he’s definitely someone who’s a developmental talent who’s going to be — We’re training him and we recruited him and we’re bringing him up through the ranks.”
“What ultimately — I’ve never gone on record saying this, but this is the perfect time. I stood by what I said in the promo.
I stood by it because I thought the content was good and I thought the intentions were good. However, a white guy talking about race relations, who has an American flag tattoo on his neck, I can see why people would use the terms ‘tone-deaf’ when it came to that.
“Then trying to defend it and all — Just again, intentions were good and sincere and I was so excited about Brandi and the baby but it just — That should have just been one where I went out and almost just winged it.”
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.