Paul Heyman went for the heart when he spoke to Cody Rhodes.
"The American Nightmare" had been sidelined with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered ahead of WWE Hell in a Cell 2022, but he returned to the ring at WWE Royal Rumble 2023. He won the Men's Royal Rumble by last eliminating Gunther. The next night on WWE Raw, he made it clear that he intends to challenge Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns for the gold at WrestleMania 39. But on the February 3 episode of WWE SmackDown, Reigns agreed to give Sami Zayn a title shot at WWE Elimination Chamber after the former "Honorary Uce" turned on him at WWE Elimination Chamber.
On the February 6 episode of WWE Raw, Rhodes shared his thoughts on the looming match between Zayn and Reigns. He wished Zayn luck and made it clear that he respects the challenger. Paul Heyman, Reigns' Special Counsel, interrupted. He congratulated Rhodes on his victory in the Royal Rumble and told him he deserved it. Cody responded by emotionally recalling the way Paul Heyman gave his father, Dusty Rhodes, an opportunity in ECW at a time when their family was broke.
"ECW gave my father his confidence back and I could never ever repay you for that."@CodyRhodes @HeymanHustle #WWERaw pic.twitter.com/V5O4ODtyYG— WWE on FOX (@WWEonFOX) February 7, 2023
Heyman teared up before he got back on track and discussed Cody's road to WrestleMania. He noted that Rhodes may have thought his Royal Rumble win was the first step toward making his dreams come true, but he'll have to face a nightmare when he falls short of winning the title. He referenced how Dusty helped train many WWE stars, including Reigns and Seth Rollins, but the legend didn't train Cody. Heyman then brought up his last conversation with Dusty, where the WWE Hall of Famer told him that Cody was his favorite son, but Reigns was the son he always wished he had.
Watch out! @HeymanHustle just made it personal between @CodyRhodes and The Tribal Chief @WWERomanReigns for #WrestleMania!#WWERaw pic.twitter.com/Ww44HOK9bn— WWE (@WWE) February 7, 2023
Cody got fired up and said that Heyman made the feud personal. He vowed to make Reigns pay by dethroning him at WrestleMania.
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