Cody Rhodes won the 2023 Royal Rumble and set up a match with Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania 39.
The former AEW star entered at number 30 and immediately eliminated Dominik Myterio form the ring. It was his first match in nearly a year and he entered with all the pomp and circumstance of a returning hero. He was the only man to enter with a full set of pyro as the crowd sang along gleefully to his entrance song.
The final four in the 2023 Royal Rumble match was Cody Rhodes. Gunther, Logan Paul and Seth Rollins. Cody Rhodes last eliminated xxx to win the 2023 Royal Rumble match.
The former TNT Champion eliminated a number of WWE Superstars on his way to winning the match. He was the fan favourite in the match as he faced off with Logan Paul and Gunther to end the match. Wrestling for the first time since his match against Seth Rollins at Hell in a Cell 2022, Cody was battling ring rust throughout the match.
He impressed though, teaming up with Seth Rollins to help take down Gunther. Both men hit pedigrees on the Austrian brawler before facing off against one another. They then faced off against each other until Logan Paul ran back into the ring and eliminated Rollins. Rhodes then eliminated Paul and set up a final two of Cody Rhodes vs Gunther.
Gunther had been in the match since the start, entering at number 1. He broke Rey Mysterio’s record for longest time in the rumble match and looked dead on his feet by the end. This didn’t stop him dominating Cody. He laid countless chops into Cody’s surgically repaired peck, attacking the injury that kept him out for 7 months. He then hit Rhodes with a top rope suplex before continuing to beat down the son of Dusty Rhodes.
Cody Rhodes fought back however, “Hulking Up” to find every ounce of fight he had in him. He hit the Cody Cutter onto the Intercontinental Champion and almost eliminated him from the match. However, Gunther held on. Cody then paid tribute to his brother Goldust by hitting the “Shattered Dreams” kick to Gunther in the corner.
Gunther hit a massive dropkick and powerbomb to knock Cody down a peg as he entered the 70th minute of his time in the 2023 Royal Rumble. It was a historic showing but it was Cody’s night. Cody fought out of a sleeper hold to drag Gunther over the top rope, but didn’t manage to throw him out the match.
The American Nightmare then reversed a powerslam into Cross Rhodes before throwing Gunther over the top rope. Cody Rhodes won the 2023 Royal Rumble match as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.
Cody Rhodes will main event Wrestlemania 39, challenging Roman Reigns for the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship.